Descriptive Questions Bank 2023 for UPSC

By | July 7, 2020
Descriptive Questions Bank - Model Answers of Descriptive Questions

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Welcome to JobsCaptain’s new section Descriptive Questions Bank with Answers for the year 2023. All below given Descriptive Questions helpful in Bank Exams, Civil Services/UPSC examinations etc.

This post provides you with model answers to all types of descriptive questions such as Very Short Answer (VSA) type questions, Short Answers (SA) type questions and Long Answer (LA) type questions.

Let’s start reading Descriptive Questions with Answers.

Cooperatives and Social Justice

Question – Write a short note on the role played by cooperatives in providing social justice.

Answer: Throughout the world today, societies are being torn apart due to the fact that various social groups and classes are not getting their due respect from other forces in society. Many societies are lacking social justice which could be seen as equal opportunity treatment of all persons in society. Various institutions have the responsibility to ensure this happens. Yet social justice is absent in many instances.

Cooperatives are based on principles and values that speak directly to the issue of social justice. Most traditional cooperatives follow the seven principles of cooperative identity, promoted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), an Apex organization for cooperatives around the world. These principles call for the practice of democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Cooperatives also embrace the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

With these principles and values at the core of cooperative operations, the poor, excluded and marginalized sectors of society are usually served well by cooperatives. The financial sector is one area where this has shown well. Financial cooperatives are some of the largest providers of micro-finance services to the poor. Through their commitment to servicing the poor and under-served, financial cooperatives are helping to lessen the burden of poverty.

Cooperatives have also been instrumental in promoting inclusive development in rural areas, helping to both strengthen and diversify rural economies. This access to financial services often supports the formation of small and micro businesses. Cooperatives have also been able to strengthen agricultural production and improve access of poor farmers, especially through engaging in fair trade arrangements.

While the need for more research cannot be denied, that which exists supports the idea that, if given the right supportive environment, cooperatives could help in profound ways to achieve social justice, where it is lacking.

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Read here Argumentative Questions With Model Answers.

Economic Growth & Social Development

Question – Economic growth and social development are co-related. Comment.

Answer: There is nothing more pleasing and palatable to hear from experts and economists that India is the second fastest growing economy and if the ill effects of global meltdown do not affect our growth story harshly, India would become an economic power by 2020. Ever since the economy has been unshackled and left free of undesirable and unnecessary hurdles, we have written our success story on the economic front with commendable confidence and competence.

In the highly competitive world that we live in, if fast and sustained economic development is the crying need of the hour, it is equally true and telling that the constitutional guarantees and directives are made mandatory so that the goals of social development/social justice remain in sharp focus. Gone are the days when people could be pleased with pompous promises.

That economic and social development go hand in hand, is not only a fact of modern concept translated into reality, but also a sure safeguard against unrest and avoidable social/ethnic tensions. In India, if we witness some areas suffering from militancy or insurgency, the reasons may be both political and economic.

When people’s perceptions and beliefs coalesce and express themselves or become visible in the form of alleged or real discrimination, deprivation, neglect or imbalance, it is time to ponder and take urgent steps to redress their grievances, both political and economic. It is the paramount duty of every government, whatever its composition or complexion, to see that the benefits of growth trickle down to the various strata of society. Besides a fair share in the national economic development to those who still live below the poverty line, it is incumbent on governments, both Central and States, to focus directly on health, sanitation, education, housing etc issues of the rural and economically backward population.

There is no denying that accelerated economic growth is important to achieve social upliftment as only an efficient economy can produce a surplus to meet the needs of one and all. All said and done, we require high economic growth, high public expenditure on social services, and efficient and accountable public spending to ensure sustainable and stable growth for all social classes, especially those at the lowest rung of our socio-economic milieu.

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Making India a Knowledge Society

Question – Having maintained steady economic growth over the years, it is time to make India a knowledge society/hub. Comment.

Answer: When the goal is to excel, expediency is ruled out; when the only course open is merit, mediocrity is out of reckoning; and when the competition is cut-throat, compromise on quality is out of the question. Making India a knowledge society is not a pipe dream but a reality, both actionable and achievable. We have already taken the first step in this direction by establishing the ‘National Knowledge Commission’. Since the objective of making India a knowledge hub is closely linked with the setting up of World Class Universities and Institutions undertaking high ranking research, it is imperative that we focus on right perceptions and correct practices, irrespective of the compulsions of electoral politics or other petty considerations.

The master plan of establishing World Class Universities may hit many a roadblock unless and until the three key agencies Human Resource Development Ministry, University Grants Commission and National Knowledge Commission agree on the need of allowing the proposed universities to prosper and excel in pursuit of the highest standards of academic and research achievements.

Since public finance is an integral constituent of universities worldwide, most of the new universities shall need significant initial financial support from the government, without any political and bureaucratic control or interference. Once it is admitted that the universities shall grow without any covert or overt outside influence, and there will not be any automatic career advancement but through open competition, the goals envisaged now will begin to appear after some years and India will be on top as the fountain of knowledge.

We need intellectuals and original thinkers and for this to happen we must provide facilities to our universities at par with world standards. Granting intellectual freedom to universities, Vice Chancellors and faculty members is also a prerequisite of making India a knowledge hub.

Mobile Usage Manners/ sans

Question – In a civilized society mobile users are supposed to follow certain basic manners / etiquette. Comment.

Answer: If mobile phones and motor bikes are the metaphor of an upwardly mobile generation, they are equally a nagging nuisance and nightmare if used uncaringly and unscrupulously. Just as road users of all hues and hypes are supposed to follow certain road rules for their safety and smooth movement of traffic, in the same vein mobile phone users have to observe certain basic etiquette. A parliamentary panel that went into the entire gamut of mobile phone use observed that mobile phones had become a menace in India due to its improper and indiscriminate use as most consumers were either unaware of basic etiquette or did not wish to follow them.

The Committee on Petitions of Parliament gave its observations on a petition, seeking reasonable restrictions on the use of mobile phones in educational institutions, places of worship and similar other public areas that required silence and solemnity. It is highly unethical as well as unpardonable to suffer and tolerate instances of mobile phones ringing in high volume in public halls, condolence meetings, lectures/seminars, cinema halls, religious assemblies, auditoriums, crematoriums/graveyards and at places of worship. All this shows the low level of basic cell phone manners among consumers.

The Panel Report observed: “Counselling users on cell phone manners has not been conceptualized on a professional level in India. In the US, the month of July every year is observed as ‘cell phone courtesy month’ to encourage ‘unmindful’ consumers to follow polite and considerate usage and be more respectful of surroundings.” The panel ruled out a blanket ban on its use in public places. In case of higher institutions, students and teachers could use the mobile phone during free time in non-prohibited areas. No doubt, a mobile phone is helpful for an attendant in hospital to communicate with relatives of a patient, but a complete ban on its use by doctors and attendants in operation theaters, intensive care units and areas where expensive medical gadgets are kept is a ‘must’ and no laxity on this count should be condoned.

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Moral Policing

Question – Moral policing is bizarre and banal, besides being a criminal act. Comment.

Ans: There is no denying that any act, done individually or collectively, that results in violation of rights of others is a crime that deserves no leniency or mercy, however compelling the circumstances may be to commit such an unlawful act. On the face of it, both ‘moral policing’ by some self-appointed guardians of morality or culture and ‘honour killing’ of girls by parents or their kin, are not only bizarre and banal in nature but also anachronistic . Of late, incidents of ‘moral policing’ by some misguided youth have become quite common and their occurrence, especially on New Year Eve, Valentine Day, in or around ‘Pubs’ where women visit in non-traditional dress, have rightly invited criticism and condemnation. No one has the right to indulge in hooliganism or molestation of women by way of protest or agitation against the so-called ‘obscenity or immorality’.

In a democratic set up like ours, people have the right to differ and disagree on any issue but do not have the right resort to violence to have one’s way.

To stop the cross-cultural currents by venting one’s ire in the form of burning shops, forcing theatres to close down and misbehaving with women, is both illegal and illogical for which the law of the land must effectively intervene and bring to book the miscreants stalking the streets as ‘moral police’. Once the goons realise that they will have to pay heavily for breaking the law, more and more of them will be unwilling to indulge in such activities.

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Sports – A Social Necessity

Question – Development of a sports culture in the country is an important social necessity. Write your views on the topic.

Ans: The importance of sports and games is being increasingly recognised in India from both the educational and social points of view. More and more funds are being allocated for encouraging sports in schools, colleges and universities. Time was when only a few students who were fond of certain games, like hockey, football, cricket or tennis, were allowed special facilities. But now, regular programmes are drawn up in all educational institutions to persuade as many students as possible, regardless of special aptitudes, to participate in games.

Sports foster friendship and amity. It is felt that apart from some exceptional cases of students showing extraordinary talent and skill in certain games, or students who are expected to be high on the merit list in university examinations, most other students should play one game or other, not necessarily for achieving distinctions but for the sake of sport.

Several factors need to be taken into account in this connection. First, physical fitness is of the utmost importance for everyone, young and old. Participation in games and sports invariably ensures good health, fitness and, generally, freedom from ailments of various types. Actually, physical fitness is essential for proficiency in studies and for winning distinctions in examinations. Ailing bodies do not make for sharp brains.

Secondly, regular participation in sports provides a healthy channel for diversion of energies. When students participate in sports regularly the misdirection of youthful vigour is much less and the tendency to indulge in indiscipline and disruptive activity is curbed.

Thirdly, sports helps one to learn to take defeat sportingly. The right spirit can be learnt on the playgrounds. There is no point in bearing a grudge against the rivals as today’s losers can be tomorrow’s winners, as in society in general and the political arena in particular.

The relatively poor show of our athletes in international competitions does not weaken the case for encouraging sports, which help to lay the foundations of a healthy, sound society. The cost is returned several-fold.

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Tackling Violence

Question – Suggest some effective measures to deal with the growing menace of violence in Indian society.

Ans: The irony of life has been that ‘the more we change, the more we remain the same’. If in the past violence resulted from ignorance and irrational behaviour based on petty parochial prejudices, now it emanates from ‘bad blood, blinkered biases and perceived wrongs’ that have no basis, either now or in the past. It is both shocking and shameful that in the land of Buddha and Gandhi, the cult of violence has made deep roots, not only in people’s psyche but also in their day-to-day dealings.

Knowing fully well that violence vitiates social climate and violates human rights, the scourge continues to grow. No doubt, we live both in the best of times as well as in the worst of times. If we have the state-of-art technology at our disposal to render life less boring and painful, we have an easy access to arms and other means of violence to make life equally unsafe and unpleasant. It is a matter of deep concern that the curse of violence is no longer, confined to criminals and anti-social elements; it is very much evident among students in schools, colleges and universities that are supposed to be nurseries of knowledge and civilisational values.

In order to re-inculcate the spirit of tolerance and understanding among those who easily lose self-control, the teachings of Gandhi can work as balm to pacify the ruffled ego of the prospective violators of social norms and laws of the land. The time has come to re-discover Gandhi in our mental make-up and convince ourselves of the relevance and reverence that Gandhi symbolised as the supreme symbol of non-violence, both in thought and action.

Meditation and Yoga have also proved their efficacy in controlling one’s agitated nerves and dubious desire to wreak vengeance. India is fortunate enough to have been the home of both meditation and Yoga and there are examples aplenty to show how these twin gifts have worked wonders in bestowing mental and physical health and harmony on those who practise them.

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Tradition Vs Modernity

Question – Are Tradition and Modernity foes or friends? Give your views on the topic.

Ans. The impact of technology is fast changing our everyday. Our struggles for emancipation—social, sexual, aesthetic—seem to have left us half-way, having failed to bring about a transformation that embraces all the layers of society. Nevertheless, tradition gives a sense of identity. There is an element of security in it; yet innovation is necessary to prevent stagnation and rot. Society must and will continue to innovate. Cultural exchange is the stuff out of which social processes are made. Traditional medicine, for example, was humane and modern medicine is merciless; traditional science had built in correctives, but modern science and technology is aggressively domineering; in tradition there was respect for plurality, but modern societies are self-consciously homogenising. Modern societies may breed fascists, but traditional ones had their share of Changez Khans too.

True, modernity has got many emancipatory possibilities. But then, modernity is not free from its discontent—dislocation of the individual from the protective context of family-kinship ties, alienation from the communitarian ideal and loss of collective memory.

Just as all that meets the eye may not be the only reality, in the same vein, to assert with authority that tradition and modernity are incompatible is to rush in where even the angels would pause and ponder to tread. Seemingly, both tradition and modernisation look to be at loggerheads with each other, but on deeper analysis, one finds that even the most traditional/orthodox societies have prepared themselves, though reluctantly, to accept new realities which modernity has unfolded with an unprecedented speed. It is almost hypocritical to disown the advantages of modernisation in our daily perceptions and practices.

To some, tradition is a morass of beliefs and customs that refuse to liberate human minds from its stranglehold. On the contrary, modernisation is a process that tries to update people, minds and machines. Since both hold key to all material progress and prosperity, it is not unnatural that both tradition and modernity should live in a ‘love-hate’ relationship with each other.

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Limitations on IP Rights

Question – Write a short note on Limitations on Intellectual Property (IP) Rights.

Ans: The most important feature of any kind of property is that the owner may use it exclusively, as he wishes, and that nobody else can lawfully use it without his authorization. This does not, of course, mean that he can use it regardless of the legally recognized rights and interests of other members of society. Similarly, the owner of copyright in a protected work may use the work as he wishes, and may prevent others from using it without his authorization. However, there are limitations to the rights.

The first limitation is the exclusion from copyright protection of certain categories of works. In some countries, works are excluded from protection if they are not fixed in tangible form. For example, a work of choreography would only be protected once the movements were written down in dance notation or recorded on videotape. In certain countries, the texts of laws, court and administrative decisions are excluded from copyright protection.

The second category of limitations concerns particular acts of exploitation, normally requiring the authorization of the rights owner, which may, under circumstances specified in the law, be carried out without authorization. There are two basic types of limitations in this category: (a) free use, which carries no obligation to compensate the rights owner for the use of his work without authorization; and (b) non-voluntary licenses, which do require that compensation be paid to the rights owner for non-authorized exploitation.

Examples of free use include:

  • quoting from a protected work, provided that the source of the quotation and the name of the author is mentioned, and that the extent of the quotation is compatible with fair practice;
  • use of works by way of illustration for teaching purposes; and
  • use of works for the purpose of news reporting.

In addition to the specific categories of free use set out in national laws, the laws of some countries recognize the concept known as fair use or fair dealing. This allows use of works without the authorization of the rights owner, taking into account factors such as the nature and purpose of the use, including whether it is for commercial purposes; the nature of the work used; the amount of the work used in relation to the work as a whole; and the likely effect of the use on the potential commercial value of the work.

Non-voluntary licenses allow use of works in certain circumstances without the authorization of the owner of rights, but require that compensation be paid in respect of the use. Such licenses are called non-voluntary because they are allowed in the law, and do not result from the exercise of the exclusive right of the copyright owner to authorize particular acts.

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Market Economy Vs Academic Profession

Question – A casualty of the expanding market economy has been the devaluation of the academic profession. Comment.

Ans: Today, when we stand in front of our shopping malls, multiplexes and other exhibits of money and market power, we find to our dismay that the real and regretful casualty of the expanding market economy has been the devaluation of the academic profession.

Although comparisons are odious yet they are inevitable in the globalized village that we inhabit. Both competition and competence are the buzzwords. If by design or default academic excellence is allowed to suffer at the altar of economic forces, the consequences in the years to come could be quite unpleasant and unwanted. One of the fall-outs of the shortage of research scholars will mean hindering India’s progress as a knowledge economy. There is already a severe shortage of well-trained young doctorates to fill existing posts in research institutes and universities. This problem is likely to be even more acute in the envisaged elite new universities of the international standards. There is ample evidence that India is not well-placed and prepared for the future transformation since the growth in the number of doctorates has only been 20 per cent in the period 1991-2001, compared to 80 per cent in China. In the opinion of Prof M.G.K. Menon, eminent scientist, there is a crying need to provide better incentives to encourage youngsters to take up science and research as a career. For this to happen it would also be necessary to get the best amongst the young to come into science, and take up research. There has to be a sustained campaign to point to the excitement of science and the discoveries that come through it.

Besides offering lucrative incentives to those who wish to go in for academic career as faculty members and research scholars, there is a pressing need for urgent government policy interventions, including high priority initiatives, to attract, nurture and retain the country’s best young minds in academia and research. Under no circumstances should the market economy be allowed to undermine academic profession-cum-research. Those at the helm of affairs should know that increased coverage in the media of different facets of teaching, research and academic achievements, both nationally and internationally, can turn the tide in favour of academia.

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Social Obligations of Media

Question – In a multi-religious/linguistic milieu like India, media must perform its role keeping in mind its social obligations. Comment.

Ans: There is no denying that media (both print and electronic) is the ears and eyes of the masses. Being both the message and the messenger, it has to perform its robust role in a multi-religious-cum-linguistic polity like ours with utmost care and caution. Though unintended, the media tends to suffer from emotions like patriotic fever. When ethical, religious and sectarian biases are allowed to prevail, truth often becomes a casualty.

In the opinion of some veterans it is time for the media to step into the shoes of the masses and look at the news from their perspective. A journalist has to be aware of the sentiments prevailing in society without losing sight of the all encompassing fact that media has social obligations as well. Much water has flowed since Independence and those working in the media have to do a balancing act. For some, the field of media is synonymous with glamour which is anything but true. The line between the media and masses is blurring, with masses taking on the role of the media to report events. In a free and transparent democracy the media cannot and should not be treated as a mere commodity to dish out adulterated news. If the ever vigilant media keeps the government of the day on its toes, it too has to do a tight-rope walking in certain very critical and sensitive situations.

The marathon coverage given to the Mumbai attacks (26/11) made everyone realise that they were living in a dangerous media world. The live coverage also brought forth the pros and cons of breaking news in a highly charged situation. For some analytical minds it also proved how the ethical standards could be thrown out of the frame of the idiot box. For days TV channels forgot that they were not only transmitting signals to the domestic audience but also giving sensitive and strategic information to the cross-border patrons of terrorists who were controlling them through satellite phones. All said and done, it is apt to say that a mad race for TRP can erode the ethical backbone of media. Sir Robin, veteran BBC broadcaster, once rightly remarked that “television is a tabloid medium, at its best when there is war, violence and disaster”. A code of conduct is badly needed to deal with a crisis situation like Mumbai attacks or else ‘breaking news’ would become “barking news”.

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