Categories
Mains Marathon Tutorial

Answer-Writing Practice: Read this to avoid Mistakes


Mains Marathon 2017 has started. Daily answer writing practice is very important. The key to prepare for Civil Services Examination 2017 is Reading Current Affairs on a daily basis and continuous answer writing practice. For Reading Current Affairs on a daily basis, we have Must Read Articles from NewspaperThe 9 PM Brief and Daily Editorials. For Answer writing practice, start answering in Mains Marathon 2017.

 

Read the Article below on how to start Answer-Writing Practice and avoid mistakes:


Answer writing

Answer writing is the main tool & practicing is the key for perfection in mains examination. The article below addresses some of the Unanswered Questions of every aspirant regarding Mains Answer writing.

How is it different from answering our university papers?
What should be done to score high?
How should we start as a beginner?
How to balance our approach in answers?

Lets see the above questions one by one.


How is it different from answering our graduation papers?


WORD LIMIT

In University theory papers one can write as much as he/she can. But in CSE-Mains, there is a fixed word limit and it is expected from you that you would not cross that limit. The trick is that in UPSC, You have to touch every aspect of the question and have to frame it within that limit. Though this will be difficult in the beginning good practice will help a lot.

QUALITY OF ANSWER

In university paper, both matter but in CSE -quantity is fixed and quality only rules.

DYNAMISM

In university exams questions are quite repetitive but in CSE ,No one knows.

MOTIVE OF THE EXAMINER

University is better of passing you and sending you out … less work load, better statistical image.Government is better of keeping you out … coz if you are not knowledgeable and you get through you turn into a long term liability


What should be done to score high?


  • Answers should be multifaceted.
  • Try and keep the introduction and conclusion very short.
  • Avoid reiteration of the similar thoughts
  • Use as many concepts as possible especially for your optional papers.
    For example:-While writing about top down model of globalization or modernization One can use Durkheims concepts of Anomie or Ogburn’s concept of Cultural Lag. Or say while answering a question on grassroots democracy, one can write about Ambedkar and Gandhi’s debate
  • Give as many examples as possible to support your view. Try to have a contemporary relevance to you answer.
  • Write in very simple English, Academic jargons is not appreciated by UPSC.
  • Your answers need to be more dynamic and holistic. As UPSC says “The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.
  • Write answers directly; do not beat around the bush. Some punctuation marks like this one (;) play a crucial role.

How should we start as a beginner?


  • As a beginner starting from point zero one can buy previous years question paper module and attempt some questions daily, moreover the questions from NCERT too will help.
  • Start writing answers as and when you study, don’t wait for the whole or even sufficient amount of syllabus to be finished.
  • Say you are studying polity and finished President, soon after, check previous years’ papers on this topic and try to answer as many as you wish, you could pick a single question that is the easiest for you and start answering on a piece of paper.You might not be able to answer questions that involve president and the prime minister as you wouldn’t have covered the latter yet. You can skip such questions for later.

How to balance our approach in answers?


  • For a balanced answer that too within the specified word limit -you first need a reasonable level of knowledge base.
  • First read and learn a topic. Attempt simple questions, Commit mistakes again and again while practising. Practice makes it perfect.
  • When a Question is asked to present your views try to give a generalist’s view. Sometimes you need not to give your suggestion, but you are expected to present existing facts in the present context. For e.g. Instead of writing ‘I feel’,it is better to write ‘it is felt….’.
  • If they are asking what innovation means, then a simple definition with one relevant example will be better rather than explaining it with lot of jargon/theory/models.
  • Also while writing for a particular paper do not think that you can write points from that particular syllabus only. Take a holistic view, broaden your outlook, Use relevant concepts/knowledge from other subjects also.
  • Communication skill, command over a language etc are known as SOFT Skills. A good vocabulary is needed to articulate your thought in a precise manner.

    All the best. Keep writing 🙂


 

Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of the Day – 22 February 2016

Newspaper  Must Read Articles

Newspaper articles bearing relevance to Civil Services preparation 


The Hindu 


National


Digital ‘magic wand’ for healthcare, cyber-security {Science & Technology – Space – Paper III}

‘Mini-stomachs’ that can make insulin developed {Science & Technology – Space – Paper III}

Unemployment down in urban centres, but persists in rural areas, says survey {Social problems- paper I}

Scheme for projects in Naxal zones extended {Security issues – Paper III}

Soon, GI tag for four Bengali sweets {Prelims}


International Affairs 


‘Provisional deal reached on Syria ceasefire’ {Syrian crisis –  Paper II}

Storm over Sri Lankan deal with India {India and her Neighbours – Paper II}


Opinions & Editorials 


To grow or not to grow {GDP- Paper III}

From sabhas to fishing villages {Art and Culture- Paper I & Prelims}

Unreasonable demands {Reservation – Paper I}

Delivering on Make in India {Government Policy- Paper II}


Business & Economy


Can Union budget turbo-charge start-ups?{Start-Ups- Paper III}

Adequacy of foreign exchange reserves and currency turmoil{Economy – Paper III}

Start-ups will need more tax exemptions, incentives to flourish {Start-Ups- Paper III}

India studying impact of market economy status for China {Economy – Paper III}

 


Indian Express – Opinion & Editorials 



Livemint


 

Need for restoring order in Parliament {Parliament- Paper II}


Miscellaneous 


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of the Day – 19 February 2016

Newspaper  Must Read Articles

Newspaper articles bearing relevance to Civil Services preparation 


The Hindu 


National


Supreme Court vacates status quo in Arunachal{President’s Rule – Paper II}

‘WhatsApp came in handy during Hudhud relief work’ {Science and technology in Disaster Relief – Paper III}

Belgium keen on joining ‘Clean Ganga’ drive{Environment- Paper III}

‘Strengthen peacekeeping under U.N. to counter new threats’ {Security issues – Paper III & International Organisations- Paper II}


International Affairs 


Iphone access: tech companies bat for privacy{Science and Tech – Paper III}


Opinions & Editorials 


Gay rights are human rights {Human Rights – Paper I ,II & IV}

 


Business & Economy


CCI orders probe against Monsanto joint venture {Economy- Paper III}

Ministry moots National Social Security Authority {Social Security- Paper II}

India must try to profit from ‘Industry 4.0’ {Industry – Paper III}

Cabinet approval for trade facilitation pact ratification {Trade- Paper II}


Indian Express – Opinion & Editorials 


Turkey’s Syria Challenge {International  Affairs- Paper II}

Not just bad debts {NPA- Paper III}


Livemint


India’s failed diplomacy at the WTO  {International org – Paper II & Trade- Paper III}

Make in India and renewable energy {Renewable Energy – Paper III}


Miscellaneous 


Five new ‘hot Jupiters’ discovered {Science & Technology – Paper III}

LED bulb could connect you to Internet {Science & Technology – Paper III}

Pilot testing of bedaquiline drug on TB patients to start soon {Science & technology – Paper III}

Microsoft testing Skype integration with Aadhaar  {e-governance Paper II}

Neanderthals, humans interbred earlier than thought{History – Paper I}

Now, a novel propeller for Mars expeditions {Science & Technology – Paper III}

2,000 turtle eggs find their way to hatcheries {Environment – Paper III}

Creating space for tigers a long-drawn-out process{Environment- Paper III}

Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of the Day – 28 January 2016

Newspaper articles bearing relevance to Civil Services preparation 


The Hindu 


National


SC seeks proof of breakdown in Arunachal   {Indian constitution- Paper II}

Coffee won’t make your heart race, says study {Science and Technology – Paper III}

IICT working on drugs for cancer, Alzheimer’s {Science and Technology – Paper III}

Konkan mega projects decried {Environment- Paper III}

Extend Start-up India to farm sector, says Minister {Government Policies- Paper II }


International

Europe clamping down on rights: HRW {International- Paper II, Ethics- Paper IV}

Denmark the least corrupt country, India at 76th position {International- Paper II}


Business & Economy


Centre clears new financing model for highway projects  {Infrastructure- Paper III}

Talks start on WTO meeting outcomes  {International Economy- Paper II}

Government yet to decide on MIP for steel  {Indian Economy- Paper III}

CERT-In signs cyber security pacts with 3 nations  {Technology- Paper III}


Opinion & Editorials


The stained steel frame {Role of civil Service – Paper IV}

After Paris, keep the heat on {Environment – Paper III}

Sounding the smoke alarm {Health care – Paper II}

Denmark’s absurd law on refugees {Ethics – Paper IV}

The case for full disclosure {Ethics, Law- Paper IV & II}


Indian Express – Opinion & Editorials 


Ghosts Of Ship-To-Mouth {Agriculture- Paper III}

Why yuan matters {International Economy- Paper II}


Livemint


Ensuring privacy in a digital age {Technology – Paper III }

Delivering benefits to the poor {Welfare Schemes – Paper II }


Economic Times / Financial Express



Business Standard 


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of The Day– 28 October 2015

Newspaper articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

The Hindu


National/Front Page

  • Ancient temples in Mandya district unearthed – Identity –  Jaina Temple, Where – Chikkabetta of Artipura in Mandya district, Why Important – oldest known archaeological find of Western Ganga dynasty, Period – 925 AD or the beginning of the 10th century. (Indian History and Art & Culture – GS Paper I)
  • India moves up in ‘ease of doing business’ ranking – Current year rank – 130 Last Year – 134 Improvement in “Distance to Frontier” – assess the absolute level of regulatory performance and how it improves over time. India on “Protecting Minority Investors” features in top 10 rank list. (Infrastructure – Industries – GS Paper III)

International 

  • China furious over U.S. warship patrol – U.S warship patrols in South China Sea. Conflict – Islands of Parcel(Xisha) and Spratly(Nansha). The ownership of islands being contended by China, Vietnam and Philippines. China apprehensive about US patrol near disputed islands while US claims it as freedom of navigation in international waters. (Contemporary World Issues – GS Paper I & International Affairs – GS Paper II)

Business

  • Income Tax Dept sets up panel to simplify tax law – Keeping in mind the current government focus on better the “Ease of doing business” in country a panel headed by Justice R.V. Easwar has been constituted to look into Income Tax Act, 1961 to sort out different interpretations of Act which lead to numerous litigation. They have also assigned to bring about predictability and certainty in Income Tax Act. (Indian Macroeconomy – GS Paper III)

 Opinion-Editorial

  • Salesmanship as statesmanship – In the recent situation where too many foreign visits of PM Modi has been criticised, the editorial assesses foreign policy being followed by current regime in the country. The editorial further looks into a little bit of historical background of India’s foreign policyand provides suggestions into what can be done. (Indian’s Foreign Doiplomacy – GS Paper II)
  • The age of intolerance – The article looks into what comprises pluralistic fabric of Indian Society, how is it under threat in the current times and what can be done to preserve the same. (Indian Society – GS Paper I)

Indian Express


Editorials & Columns

  • Towards a modern code –  The article tells that Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to be designed should be such that it decreases gender discrimination towards women. In this context it explores different religious laws and find none of them are suitable enough to be borrowed in Uniform Civil Code. The article also lists different apex court verdict where UCC has been mentioned. (Government Policies and DPSP – GS Paper II)
  • Breadbasket To Basket Case – The article looks into how Punjab which with all favourable condition for Agriculture at its disposal has failed in its economic leverage. The article lists out how the poor policy as well as policy paralysis along with neglect from Government has been a hindrance in Punjab realising its economic potential in Agriculture. (Agriculture – GS Paper III)

LiveMint


  • Angus Deaton and the great Indian poverty debate – With lot of controversy in India with poverty line due to poor political statements and questioning details of different committee which reflects poor statistical capability in our country, the article looks into the importance of work of Agnus Deaton in context of Indian poverty and nutrition. (Indian Economy – GS Paper III)
  • Prioritising learning over schooling for quality education – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been mutually been agreed upon by almost all nations. The article looks into education targets in SDGs and its implementation in India. The article further divulges into the different reports which highlights the flaws in our education system. the article further goes into suggesting what India can do to provide for better learning outcomes in the country. (Primary Social Services – Education – GS Paper II)

Economic Times


  • Six expert panels to review Companies Act 2013 – With an eyes on improving Ease of doing Business in country Government looks to be geared for a major overhaul of Companies Act. For this purpose Government has constituted a six member expert panel to have a re-look into the provision of Companies Act. The industry has sought relaxation on many provisions like – easing of registry, raising of funds, corporate governance, account & auditing and penalty provision. The government has also envisaged to set up a National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT). (Indian Economy – GS Paper III)
Categories
Uncategorized

Press Information Bureau (PIB) Important Articles of The Day – 20 October 2015

PIB articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution


Ministry of Environment and Forests


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of The Day– 20 October 2015

Newspaper articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

The Hindu


National

  • ‘Collegium was revived to avoid chaos and tyranny’ – The article looks into the debate of Supreme Court re legislating collegium system after striking down National Judicial Appointments Commisssion (NJAC). A controversy has been fanned as pointed out by FinMin Arun Jaitely that by legislating SC is encroaching upon parliament jurisdictions. (Supreme Court/High Court – GS Paper II)
  • Our Constitution accommodates differences: Pranab – In the wake of recent instances of activities which shows intolerance among different communities the President of India reiterates that Indian constitution fundamental are strong and addresses differences in society. (Indian Constitution – GS Paper II)

International 

Business

  • IMF should question quantitative easing: Rajan –  Fiscal stimulus provided by developed economies to give a push to their slowing economy, sometimes leads to adverse impact on developing and small nations economy. In this context RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has urged International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be a watchdog for such policies of developed economies rather than watching from sidelines. (Macroeconomics – GS Paper III)

Opinion-Editorial

  • Constitution’s will upheld/Collaboration, not confrontation The article looks into the recent judgement by the Supreme Court striking down National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). The articles look into power of judicial review of constitution and judiciary’s reservations against NJAC. The article looks into fear of conflict between Judiciary and executive and suggest for cooperation. (Supreme Court/High Court – GS Paper II)
  • Still stuck in the old school – The article looks into the New Education Policy of the government. The article explores into how the policy will be a failure until unless the whole current system of education is updated and changed. (Government Policies – GS Paper II)
  • Aadhaar and the right to privacy – The article looks into the issue of Supreme Court judgement that Aadhar not to be made mandatory for welfare benefits on the basis that it encroaches on the right to privacy of an individual. (Government Policies – GS Paper II)

Indian Express


Editorials & Columns

  • Walking away from the code – The article looks into the issue of legislating a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens of India.  The article further explore into the steps, procedures and consultations that should take place before bringing such a legislation. (Indian Constitution (DPSP)/ Government Policies – GS Paper II)
  • Old conflicts and new – The article looks into the process of conflict resolution that needs to take place between Israel and Palestine. (International Relations – GS Paper II)

LiveMint


  • Who should get government welfare benefits? – In the wake of studies by Nobel Prize Winner Agnus Deaton, regarding welfare entitlements need to be de linked from poverty estimates, the article explores into the new framework of entitlement distribution grounded in Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC). (Government Policies/ Social Justice- GS Paper II)
  • The start-up policy rush – The article looks into how the policies and external aids can actually help the Start Up companies to prosper in the nations. At the same time the article looks into drawbacks that these policies bring along with them and weigh down on prospering businesses. (Government Policies/ Indian Economy – GS Paper II & III)

Economic Times


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of The Day– 8 October 2015

Newspaper articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

The Hindu


National

  • Banks killed road sector: official – The article explains how the Banks have caused a bubble, failed to do due diligence and lent more than what was warranted to developers which in turn has led to the high Non-Performing Assets (NPA) arising out of the road sector. (Infrastructure, NPA’s- GS Paper III)
  • Indian NGO criticises U.S. climate action plans – Indian Environmental NGO has pointed out the loopholes in US Climate action plans and laments at the deep inequalities in the climate negotiations arena globally. (Role of NGO- GS Paper II, Climate Talks- GS Paper III)

International 

  • ‘Myanmar can better India-China ties’ – In the words of Aung San Suu Kyi the article ,looks into the India Myanmar relationship so far and how Myanmar can help ease tensions between India and China in sensitive issues.( India and its neighbourhood- GS Paper II)
  • Chemistry Nobel for mapping how cells repair damaged DNA -Sweden’s Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar won the prize for “mechanistic studies of DNA repair”.They have shown how cell repairs the damaged DNA during replication which is a part of the cell cycle. (Science and tech- GS Paper III, Award – Prelims)

Business

    —–

Opinion-Editorial

  • Access at the cost of Net neutrality? – The author explains how the” Free Basics” of facebook and “Airtel zero” can tweak the internet and impinge the moral concept of Net Neutrality. (Ethics- GS Paper IV, Government Interventions- GS Paper II)
  • These migrants need attention, too – The article looks into migration of fishes from Malabar region to coast of Gujarat and Andhra to coast of Bengal due to rise in temperature of water. The same can be seen in river fishes too.(Fisheries Industry -GS Paper I, Climate change – GS Paper III)
  • Setting standards for schools – The article throws light on the recent judgements by the Allahabad High court which have forced attention on the appalling educational system in Uttar Pradesh and their impact. ( Judicial Activism- GS Paper II)

Indian Express


Editorials & Columns

  • Climate realpolitik -The article briefs about the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and how it has made nations solve the deadlock in Climate talks. The author feels that in the course of time it will open up a potentially productive conversation rather than the muted grumbling against each other in the recent past.( Climate talks, Development- GS Paper III)
  • The unmade case for global goals – The article throws light on the vagueness in the Sustainable development goals accepted by the UN recently and how the success of SDG depends on India’s performance which is unfortunately not taken seriously by the Indian Executives.(International Institutions, Welfare schemes- GS Paper II)
  • Aadhaar, rights and the state -The article laments that the UIDAI is an invasion of privacy of the individuals and its against Gandhian principles. The author gives instances where the government was not complying with the supreme court orders ,which according to him shows the prevalence of executive’s free will.(Government Policy, Weaker Sections- GS Paper II)
  • What’s in a number -The article looks into how the hurry in execution of Direct Benefit System  has actually led to exclusion of beneficiaries and that the savings claim made by the government is  an exaggerated value when compared to the actual savings.(Government Policy, Weaker Sections- GS Paper II)

LiveMint


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of The Day– 7 October 2015

Newspaper articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

The Hindu


National

  • Sneezing monkey, ‘walking’ fish found in fragile Himalayas: WWF -A monkey that sneezes when it rains and a “walking” fish are among more than 200 species discovered in the fragile eastern Himalayas in recent years. Well Just 25% of the region’s original habitats remain intact, and hundreds of species are considered to be globally threatened.(Science and tech, Environment- GS Paper III)
  • INS Astradharini commissioned -India’s first totally indigenously designed and built INS Astradharini was commissioned. 50-metre catamaran hull vessel is the first indigenously built warship of the Indian Navy .(Science and tech- GS Paper III)

International 

  • Blow to U.S. tech firms as EU court quashes data dealOver 4,500 Internet firms can no longer legally transfer user data from Europe to the United States. The message is clear mass surveillance is not possible in Europe and is against fundamental right (Science and tech- GS Paper III)

Business

—–

Opinion-Editorial

  • The politics of waste managementA report found that 90% of India’s sanitation workers die before they reach retirement age. Over the last quarter-century, while the volume of waste has increased by a factor of 8-10 times and shifted decisively towards being non-biodegradable, the labour force engaged in sanitation work has shrunk by 60%. (Social Justice – GS Paper II)
  • Unbundling the coal-climate equationIndian INDCs reflect an enduring paradox: India will need to grow its coal capacity if it is to successfully go green.There is still enough room for India to grow its coal consumption while continuing to accelerate its thrust on the expansion of renewable energy.(Science and tech, Environment- GS Paper III)

Indian Express


Editorials & Columns

  • She came and went – Highlights there are foreign policy lessons to be drawn from what didn’t happen during Angela Merkel’s visit. Discusses India-EU trade negotiations, Foreign Trade Agreement etc.( International Relations- GS Paper II)

LiveMint


Categories
Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of The Day– 6 October 2015

Newspaper articles bearing
relevance
to Civil Services preparation

The Hindu


National

  • Germany won’t sign MLAT, cites death penalty -India has signed MLAT with 39 countries, including the United States. An MLAT is an agreement between two or more countries for gathering and exchanging information to enforce public or criminal laws.

International 

Business

Opinion-Editorial

  • The grand delusion of Digital India -The idea of attacking poverty by increasing mobile connectivity in a country that ranks 55 in the Global Hunger Index is just fantasy.India’s economy finally grew faster than China’s in 2014. But on a variety of social indicators, it is decades behind China

Indian Express


Editorials & Columns

LiveMint


  • The great global trade slowdown -The sharp decline in trade elasticity suggests that there are structural challenges that are deeper than the usual reasons