UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (09-11-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1. “The forces in a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” ― Jawaharlal Nehru
(150 words) 10 marks

Q2. "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom". – Thomas Jefferson (150 words) 10 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1. “The forces in a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” ― Jawaharlal Nehru
(150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • Jawaharlal Nehru, in the backdrop of the Great Depression, stated that an unregulated capitalist model tends to disproportionately benefit the rich and questions its applicability for India.
  • A capitalist economy usually goes through business cycles with periods of manias being followed by panics and crashes.
    • However, the capitalist model of economic development has been followed successfully in countries across the world, and has been found to be much more advantageous for a free democratic society and its people, as compared to socialist and communist models.

Main Body:

  • Some of the issues that may arise in a capitalist society:
    • Invisible hands: free markets always create the right amount of supply to meet demand and all prices will adjust accordingly.
      • However, prices and wages adjust only with a lag.
      • There may be surplus production at times, just as some periods of underproduction affecting employment adversely, may exist.
    • Loss of virtue ethics: At times, under certain conditions, a distorted form of capitalism viz. Crony capitalism may emerge.
      • In this, state actors and institutions may be involved to get undue leverage and gains, which creates market power and leads to price distortion.
      • If left unchecked, favoritism and nepotism may breed corruption in the system thereby raising questions of virtues and duties of public servants.
    • Moral dissonance resulting in increasing social crimes: A weak, inefficient and corrupt executive, may collaborate with crony capitalists.
      • This leads to widening inequality in the society, exacerbating poverty and unemployment.
      • Such a situation often leads to social tensions and an increase in criminal activities.
      • The moral dissonance of unequal status may drive people to normalize social evils through bad conscience and resort to unethical ways to settle scores against injustice and social evils.
    • Public distrust in policies and institutions: unchecked capitalism has resulted in increased consumerism/materialism.
      • This comes at the cost of commodification of workforce, disparities in wages, policies being tweaked for the benefit of a few, environment at cost of mindless development, using taxpayers’ money to pay for failures in financial industries, etc., thus eroding the very essence of distributive justice.
  • Other side of Capitalism:
    • Capitalism has created wealth for the nation. And, this wealth has benefitted even the poor people, much more than other economic models.
    • Moreover, nowhere in the world, there exists a pure capitalist society or a pure socialist society, rather a mix of both the models.
      • In India, the government realizing the need for state intervention, has acted to correct increasing income inequality.
      • It has adopted policies with humane approach and followed principles of redistributive justice like better access to education and health care, affirmative actions, financial inclusion, minimum wages, rights-based approach, DBTs and well-targeted social policies.

Conclusion:

  • The need of the hour is compassionate capitalism and deontological approach to human development. Gandhiji’s talisman can be a source of moral guidance for institutions and people to ensure that the fruits of development reach all.

Q2. "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom". – Thomas Jefferson (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • Honesty is a component of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes, such as integrity, truthfulness, and openness including clarity of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating etc.
  • Honesty also involves being reliable, trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. While wisdom is the ability to both think and act using experiences, skills, and judgment. To be wise, one must intentionally act with prudence and common sense. Wisdom has a connotation of judiciousness, pause, and discipline.

Main Body:

  • Wisdom, the discipline to synthesize knowledge and experience to do what is required, begins with honesty:
    • Being true to oneself is the key to wisdom: One must first be true and honest with oneself.
      • One must be principled in one’s dealings with others as one can’t be wise without also being truthful and honorable.
    • Dishonesty is synonymous to deception: Honesty is the foundation of wisdom.
      • If a person is proven dishonest, how could you believe him or her even if he or she has managed to become wise.
      • Even people indulging in ‘inconsequential lies’ without any intent to deceive anyone are portraying their lack of wisdom.
      • These acts of dishonesty, even if done to become more socially acceptable, without being rude or offensive, put a blanket over one’s wisdom in another's eyes.
    • Wisdom breeds trust only with honesty: For a civil servant, there cannot be a more immoral act than being dishonest.
      • Being dishonest can make people think that the person holding the public office is not trustworthy and aspersions are cast over his character as well. Once a public servant loses trust of the public, all is lost. His/her wisdom has no meaning.
      • But being honest can assure others that the person can be trusted.

Conclusion:

  • Being honest often requires courage and sacrifice, especially when others try to persuade to justify dishonest behavior. When you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to others.
  • At a personal level, an honest person will be blessed with peace of mind and self-respect. Thus, honesty is necessary for both learning and teaching and practicing wisdom.
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