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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Essay 60 (Criteria for a country's progress)

Economic progress is often used to measure a country's success. However, some people believe that other factors are more important. What other factors should also be considered when measuring a country's success? Do you think one factor is more important than others?

Financial status is mostly considered an important yardstick to assess the development of a nation.  However, many economists argue that a number of other criteria should also be given importance.  Among them, I believe education is the most significant.

To begin with, educated citizens in various professional sectors and scientific fields can be a major symbol of a nation's progress.  For example, scientists, engineers and technicians spearhead research and development, and industrial growth in most advanced countries.

Furthermore,  effective health care sector can be an important measure to gauge a nations development.  To explain, only a truly progressed nation can ensure efficient universal health care facilities for its citizens.  For example, the life expectancy of advanced countries in Europe, America and Asia is the highest, due to the availability of latest medical procedures, health care personnel and medicines.

Finally, scientific development in agricultural sector is a vital benchmark of progress.  This means that in most advanced nations, the highest level of agricultural production is achieved using the latest technology and minimum manpower.  For example, mechanised farm implements, high yielding seeds, highly effective fertilisers and other scientific methods practiced in these countries ensure maximum yield from agriculture.

I believe, the advancements in education is the most important indicator of the comprehensive development of a country.  The main reason is, only with the help of educated professionals in all fields, including healthcare, agriculture and industries can a country achieve success.

In conclusion, there are varied ways to measure the progress of a nation, but education is the most significant aspect, because all the other sectors depend on it.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Essay 59 (Life on Other Planets)

Some people think that government should invest money to study life on other planets, while others say that it is waste spending money on such things when earth itself has lot of problems.  To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Space agencies in many countries are now taking great efforts to find signs of life on other planets.  However, certain people think that it is unreasonable to waste money and efforts on such futile projects, when there are more serious issues left unsolved on our own planet.  I support the latter view.
To begin with, it is improbable/unlikely that there is any life on other planets and spending for this purpose would be a very unwise use of taxpayers valuable money, which would be better spent on human welfare.   For instance, NASA has been spending billions of dollars over the last couple of decades in space shuttles and telescopes with hardly any positive results, whereas the social security system in the US has been severely affected due to such unreasonable spending.
Moreover, discovering life on other planets would be of little use to human beings, except for experimental purposes.  Money used for expensive space expeditions should be deviated/diverted towards human welfare schemes such as education, healthcare, housing and social security.  For example, the government of India spent many billions of Rupees on the recent Mars project, whereas a major proportion of Indian population is below poverty line.  The success of this mission did enhance the prestige of India, but did not benefit the nation in any other ways.  Countries like India should not waste money in discovering life on Mars, but spend it for alleviating poverty or improving the basic infrastructure of the nation.
In conclusion, spending on expensive space programmes to search for extraterrestrial life is not worthwhile, while many problems on earth are left unattended.

Essay 58 (Technlogy in Solving Crime)

There is a decline in crime rate today as technology helps in preventing and solving crime. How far do you agree or disagree?
Scientific inventions are increasingly used these days by law enforcement agencies to deal with criminal activities.  This, in my view, has definitely helped in reducing crime.
To start with, many law breakers have been dissuaded from illegal activities as anti-theft electronic gadgets have been installed in most crime prone places.  This would either warn the presence of burglars and thieves or help to trace them.  For example, security alarms and cameras have brought down burglaries in banks, and x-ray machines and metal detectors in airports have greatly reduced crimes like smuggling and hijacking.
Similarly, in the recent times scientific methods and devices have been successfully used in solving crimes more efficiently.  An ideal example would be, the use of finger printing, DNA testing and lie detection technology in identifying culprits and bringing them to justice.  These technologies have definitely discouraged  many criminals from committing offences.
On the other hand, criminals have also devised methods to evade anti-crime gadgets and technologies and therefore some people say that technology has not helped in reducing crime.  Criminals, for example, now use masks at crime scenes to hide their identification from security cameras, and researchers have discovered that a significant proportion of criminals trick polygraph tests and act innocent.  Despite these minor drawbacks, we need to acknowledge that the use of technology has played a very crucial role in tackling crime in various ways.
In conclusion, technology today has greatly revolutionised crime prevention and detection, which has resulted in the reduction of illegal activities in many parts of the world.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Essay 57 (Online Shopping)

Nowadays on-line shopping becomes more popular than in-store shopping. Is it a positive or a negative development? Give your reasons and examples.

Recently, the number of people who purchases various products and services online is increasing more than ever before. This has certainly affected the business of shopping centres to a great extent. However, I consider this development as positive, due to a number of reasons.

To begin with, e-shopping is generally considered to be more convenient for customers than in-store purchasing. Perhaps, this is because many people, nowadays, are unable to find adequate time to go shopping as they are too busy with professional or personal responsibilities. For example, virtual shopping websites such as, E-bay and Amazon provide a wide range of products online, which cater to the needs of individuals from the comfort of their home. Moreover, such shopping sites have considerably reduced major inconveniences associated with shopping, like traveling to far away shops, parking vehicles in crowded cities and spending a considerable amount of time.

Furthermore, online shopping allows people to select from a wide range of products, and the prices and features of products are often compared. This has enabled customers to choose the right products that suit their needs. For instance, popular online shops in India, namely Flipcart and Jabong have not only provided detailed information of their products on sale, but also customers' opinions and reviews on their product experience. Besides, placed orders on these websites can be altered or canceled by customers, and purchased products can also be returned if they do not meet the assured quality.

Shopping, however, is a social experience for certain people and many of them enjoy shopping as leisure or entertainment. But, popular shopping websites often compete with stores with lower prices and discount sales. This has also influenced many people to purchase products online.

In conclusion, online shopping offers greater benefits to customers when compared to in store purchasing. Clearly, while it converts shopping into a hassle free experience, shopping over the internet is increasingly convenient, too. Therefore, I think this is definitely a positive trend, and the popularity of online shopping is likely to continue.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Essay 56 (Relevance of the print media)

rMore and more people are using computers and other form of gadgets for reading information.  Therefore there is no need to print books, magazines and newspapers on paper.  Do you agree or disagree?
An increasing number of people depend on modern electronic gadgets to gather information and the relevance of the printed media is often questioned today.  However, I am convinced that printed books, magazines and newspapers will continue to attract people for a number of reasons.
Firstly, despite many improvements in technology, reading information on electronic gadjets is still physically stessful.  Therefore, even people who like the convenience of electronic readers or computers prefer printed books or magazines for serious or long reading.  For example, students and researchers often experience problems like headaches and strain in the eye, when they engaage in prolonged reading on electronic devices.  This clearly indicates that printed reading materials will continue to be used by many people in the future.
Secondly, many popular books and magazines will not be published electronically, because publishers fear that they can be pirated easily.  For instance, people download unathorised copies of ebooks through various torrent sites, and it is a huge revenue loss for publishers.  The non-availbility of ebook versions of many popular books and magazines would force readers to depend on printed aleternatives.
Finally, reading a printed material is part of the daily routine of majority of people over a long period of time and it is not easy to break that habit easily.  Moreover, even today a large number of young people are also acquiring such behaviours.  For example, most men in my home state, Kerala, India have the habit of reading the printed newspaper along with their morning coffee.  We have not witnessed a major decrease in this practice in the recent times.
In summary, despite the growing popularity of electronic reading devices and materials, the printed media still remain relevant for a variety of reasons.  Therefore, printed books, magzines and newspapers will continue to attract people for a long period of time.


collect/gather/access - information
disclose/exchange/impart/provide/supply - information

acquire/develop/fall into/form/get into - a habit
break(yourself of)/get out of/ give up/kick - a habit

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Essay 55 (Customs not required)

Many customs are traditional behaviours are no longer required in the modern society and therefore they are not worth keeping.  To what extent do you agree or disagree?

People all over the world try to preserve their traditional practices and ways of life, but sometimes many of them seem irrelevant in the present day social life.  Hence, I believe that it is not beneficial to follow them in today’s context.

To start with, some of the age old practices, especially of certain conservative societies are discriminatory to women and would further distance them from the mainstream of society.  For instance, women in India fold their hands as a gesture of greeting when they meet a person, whereas men shake hands.  Traditionally, holding a man’s hand was often considered as an audacious act and an immodest behaviour by women.  However, in modern workplaces in India women increasingly prefer to shake hands with men as a more warm gesture, which can reduce the distance between them and their male colleagues.  This clearly shows the irrelevance of some of the traditional practices in today’s society.

Furthermore, many behavioural patterns of the past do not respect personal freedom and expect individuals to obey the commands of the older member of the family or community.  For example, formerly, in many countries father insisted on his son to choose his own profession or an employment of the former’s preference.  In modern society, children have a variety of career choices and most people think that it is better to leave such decisions to children themselves.  This would ensure that their aptitudes are taken care of and individuality is respected.

In conclusion, it is not beneficial t continue with many traditional customs and ways of behaviour as they do not help modern ways of living.

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