Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

UPSC Essentials | Mains answer practice — GS 1 (Week 30)

Are you preparing for UPSC CSE 2024? Here are questions from GS paper 1 for this week with essential points as the fodder for your answers. Do not miss points to ponder and answer in the comment box below. Try them out

UPSC Mains answer practice — GS 1 (Week 30)National Award-Winning Teachers in Hilly Areas: With almost no internet access and minimal network connectivity, students and teachers faced a great ordeal in the last two years. Attempt question on digital literacy in India in today's mains answer writing practice. (Image: Mohd Jabir with his students in Ladakh)

UPSC Essentials brings to you its initiative for the practice of Mains answer writing. It covers essential topics of static and dynamic parts of the UPSC Civil Services syllabus covered under various GS papers. This answer-writing practice is designed to help you as a value addition to your UPSC CSE Mains. Attempt today’s answer writing on questions related to topics of GS-1 to check your progress.

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Digital literacy in India has a long way to go. Discuss why India needs to achieve digital literacy.


How Syama Prasad Mookerjee fought for Jammu & Kashmir’s integration with India?

General points on the structure of the answers



— The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction.

— It may consist of basic information by giving some definitions from the trusted source and authentic facts.


Festive offer

— It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

— The answer must be preferably written as a mix of points and short paragraphs rather than using long paragraphs or just points.


— Using facts from authentic government sources makes your answer more comprehensive. Analysis is important based on the demand of the question, but do not over analyse.

— Underlining keywords gives you an edge over other candidates and enhances presentation of the answer.

— Using flowcharts/tree-diagram in the answers saves much time and boosts your score. However, it should be used logically and only where it is required.

Way forward/ conclusion


— The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach. However, if you feel that an important problem must be highlighted, you may add it in your conclusion. Try not to repeat any point from body or introduction.

— You may use the findings of reports or surveys conducted at national and international levels, quotes etc. in your answers.

Self Evaluation

— It is the most important part of our Mains answer writing practice. UPSC Essentials will provide some guiding points or ideas as a thought process that will help you to evaluate your answers.


You may enrich your answers by some of the following points

QUESTION 1: Digital literacy in India has a long way to go. Discuss why India needs to achieve digital literacy.


— Digital literacy is the ability of individuals and communities to comprehend and apply digital technologies to meaningful actions in everyday situations.


— The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (2009) guarantees elementary schooling to all children in the age group of 6-14 years.



— The Internet came to India in August 1995 and by 2017, according to the World Bank, 34.4 per cent of the population was using the web.


— In 2018, the Government of India launched an ambitious digital literacy programme to make at least one person in every household a digital literate.

Current Situation

— It makes children most vulnerable.

— According to a Google India survey:

(i) children as young as 10 years old have internet access, and 98% of Indian parents believe that in order for their child to use the internet independently, they should be taught about online safety and digital citizenship.


(ii) 45 per cent Indian parents believed their child had been exposed to inappropriate content online while 43 per cent said they were subjected to overshared information on social media.

— According to Ashok Pamidi, CEO of the NASSCOM Foundation, the two most important things India needs to learn today are how to stay safe online and how to use digital finances. Senior citizens over 60 and younger users between the ages of 14 and 16 are the ones who are more vulnerable to risk when using the internet.

Why does India need to achieve digital literacy?

— Digital literacy initiatives are being strengthened for various target groups to skill, upskill and reskill users through training, internships and apprenticeship programmes.

— As India approaches its 100th year of independence, digital ecosystems will become inseparable from economic growth.

— The inequitable access to technology has exacerbated the divide in the ability to work from home, as well as in learning outcomes for children during the pandemic.

— Poor access to smart devices and internet services can worsen inequalities in income and opportunities.


— The State of India’s Digital Economy Report had highlighted the role of missing analogue foundations that support and drive the digital economy. This includes physical and social infrastructure.

— According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), only 4.4% of rural households own computers, with only 14% having a computer with an internet connection. The problem worsens when we consider the rural population living in hilly areas.

(Source: International Literacy Day: Why India needs to achieve digital literacy now more than ever by Shyna Kalra, World Teachers’ Day 2022: How these National award-winning teachers tackled digital illiteracy in hilly regions by Sakshi Saroha, India@75, Looking at 100: Preparing for a digital future by Mansi Kedia)

Points to Ponder

Government’s initiative towards Digital Literacy

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM

Related Previous Year Questions

Explore and evaluate the impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships. (2022)

Elucidate the relationship between globalization and new technology in a world of scarce resources, with special reference to India. (2022)

Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (2021)

QUESTION 2: How Syama Prasad Mookerjee fought for Jammu & Kashmir’s integration with India?


— Dr. S P Mookerjee was an academic, barrister, and politician who founded the Bharatiya Janata Sangh, the forerunner of the BJP.

— Dr. Mookerjee, as president of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (1943-46), vehemently opposed Huseyn Suhrawardy’s United Bengal plan, which would have created an independent Bengali nation with a sizable Muslim majority.

— In 1947, Dr Mookerjee was invited by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to join the interim cabinet as Minister for Industry and Supply. He was one of two non-Congress ministers in Nehru’s cabinet (the other being Dr B R Ambedkar).


— Dr. Mookerjee served as minister for just over three years before resigning in April 1950 over the contentious Nehru-Liaquat Pact, a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan that established a framework for the treatment of minorities in both countries.

— In 1951, he founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which he envisioned to be a “nationalistic alternative to the Congress party”.

Proponent of Kashmir’s integration with India

— The integration of J&K with the Indian Union was a key plank of the Jana Sangh. After Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India in 1947, negotiations over J&K’s exact status in relation to the Indian Union lasted for years.

— The Delhi Agreement, which established the parameters of J&K’s autonomy, was signed in 1952 by the prime minister of the state, Sheikh Abdullah. In addition to the tricolour, Kashmir was permitted to fly its own flag, its territory was guarded against “outsiders,” and the Centre was not permitted to send in armed forces without state approval.

— Dr. Mookerjee delivered a blistering critique of the J&K policy of the Nehru government in Parliament. He insisted on the state’s integration into India without any special treatment.

— “Nahin chalenge ek desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan aur do nishan (You cannot have two constitutions, do prime ministers, and two flags in one country),” Dr Mookerjee famously said.

— Dr Mookerjee came out in support of the Praja Parishad, the political party of Jammu Hindus, and its “highly patriotic and emotional” movement to “merge completely with India”.

— In April 1953, amidst deadlock on the issue, Dr Mookerjee took the agitation to the streets in Delhi. Hundreds of Jana Sangh workers courted arrest.

— On May 8, 1953, Dr. Mookerjee left for Jammu after failing to persuade Nehru to alter his policy. After that, he planned to travel to Srinagar, even though Sheikh Abdullah had given him instructions to restrict his travel. He was taken into custody on May 11 and booked into a Srinagar jail.

(Source: How Syama Prasad Mookerjee fought for J&K’s integration with India by Arjun Sengupta)

Points to Ponder

Nehru-Liaquat Pact

Delhi Agreement

Related Previous Year Questions

Discuss the contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre- and post-independent India. (2013)

Throw light on the significance of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times. (2018)

Previous Mains Answer Practice

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 1 (Week 28)

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 1 (Week 29)

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 2 (Week 29)

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 2 (Week 30)

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 3 (Week 30)

UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 3 (Week 29)

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First published on: 22-12-2023 at 14:17 IST
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