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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 investing billions of dollars over the last couple of decades in space shuttles and telescopes to spot traces of extraterrestial life, with hardly any positive results, whereas the social security system in the US has been severely affected due to such unreasonable spending.
Moreover, looking for evidence of 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 still below poverty line.  The success of this mission did enhance the prestige of India, but hardly benefitted 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)

More and more people are using computers and other forms 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.

Collocations

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

habit:
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.

word count: 269

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Essay 54 (Changing Places Frequently)



IELTS Essay Question in Qutar on 6th Dec.
In the past people used to live in one place in their whole life. Nowadays people live in several different places during their life. What are the reasons for this change? Is it a positive or a negative trend?

Unlike in the past, there is an increasing tendency among many people to change their place of residence frequently for various reasons.  This, in my opinion, is advantageous to people in many ways.

One of the major reasons for this shift is the frequent transfers of employees in large business organisations on account of promotions or for other reasons.  For example, multinational software companies like Microsoft and Google have development centres in different parts of the world and employees are often asked to relocate to different cities or even countries depending on the requirements in various projects.

Another important reason for people's periodic movement, is their desire to enjoy better economic prospects.  This would mean that they move to different parts of the same country or even other nations for superior salaries or business opportunities.  An ideal example would be, the movement of unskilled labourers from the northern Indian states of West Bengal, Orissa and Assam to southern states of Kerala and Karnataka.  They often shift from cities to cities for better wages and favourable working conditions.  Similarly, many Indian professionals travel to and live in the different Arabian Gulf nations due to higher salaries offered by companies in this region.

Positively, many people have been greatly benefitted by frequent relocation, in terms of improving their economic status and lifestyle.  Moreover, they have been able to enjoy the experience of meeting new people, cultures and opportunities.  Finally, it has made individuals more self-reliant, open-minded and bold.  However, some feel that those who relocate often, need to deal with problems like unfamiliar languages, unfriendly climate and racism.  Nonetheless, the experience of majority of people prove that it generally has a positive impact on the lives of people.

In summary, many factors have influenced people to live in different places during their lifetime.  Despite certain drawbacks, it definitely has been advantageous to majority of them both economically and socially.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Essay 53 (Fathers as Homemakers)




Nowadays more and more fathers look after their children at home, while mothers are doing fulltime work. What are the reasons? Is it a positive or negative development?

In the recent times, an increasing(growing) number of men stay(remain) at home and care for(look after)their children, whereas(while) women engage(are involved) in fulltime jobs and earn for the families.  A number of factors have led to this situation, and, this trend, in my opinion, is greatly desirable(acceptable).

One of the major reasons for this shift(change) in gender roles is the unemployment of many men especially due to frequent occurances of conomic recession in many parts of the world.  This has resulted in many men staying(remaining) at home and providing for the needs of their children, while women continue to earn for the family.   For example, the dot-com industry suffered(experienced) a major meltdown(recession/collapse) in the United States a decade ago and the majority of employees who were laid off were men. It was not easy for them to find an alternative employments and many of them stayed at home and looked after their kids.

The rise in women's earning power, is another factor, that has led to this situation.  This would mean that many women draw(earn) bigger salaries than men and it is often more reasonable(logical) for them to save(avoid) the expenses of babysitting than going for a job.  For instance, women who work as business executives, doctors and lawyers usually earn huge(enormous) salaries, whereas their husbands may not be well-paid.  If they have two or three kids, it is financially more viable for their husbands to look after their children at home than spending on a nanny.

On the other hand, many people think that men are forced to become homemakers mostly due to economic reasons and therefore their self-esteem can be affected. Nonetheless, it is increasingly being considered as a positive development by majority of people because it has helped to rectify conventional attitudes and raise women's morale(self-esteem).  Moreover, children would be more comfortable being cared by their father than a nanny.

In conclusion, it is mostly economic reasons that has led to the recent increase in the number of male homemakers.  It definitely has greater advantages for the society and therefore should be appreciated.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Essay 52 (Contact between Countries)



Some people say that the increasing business and cultural contact between countries is positive development, while others think that many countries will lose their national identities as a result. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The growing global business relationships and interaction between various cultures have resulted in greater economic development and better understanding between people across the globe. However, some people believe that such developments have led to the degradation of the individual identities of many countries.

On the one hand, the establishment of large international businesses firms has created a great number of jobs for the educated and skilled youth in many underdeveloped countries. For example, the arrival of software and outsourcing companies like Google and Accenture from the United States have created enormous jobs for engineers in India. At the same time, these companies have been able to reduce the cost of their operations by relocating to less expensive locations of the world.

Similarly, today people in many countries are able to enjoy music, dance, theatre and other cultural practices of other countries. This has helped them to appreciate other cultures and it has often become a positive impact on their own cultures. For example, western music and movies are very popular in many parts of the world, and in India films and film music have been greatly influenced by the technical advancements of the west. At the same time, Indian spiritual and cultural practices like yoga and meditation have been extensively practiced by many westerners, especially in the recent times.

On the other hand, People's food and dressing habits and entertainment options are dominated by international business firms, whereas traditional lifestyles becoming unpopular. This has led to the internationalisation of culture directed by multinational companies. This is evident in the increasing popularity of fast-foods like Pizzas, Burgers and fried meats of multinational chains like KFC, Pizza Hut and MacDonald. In contrast, many traditional dishes are becoming less popular or even extinct all over the world.

In conclusion, although we need to acknowledge that globalisation has resulted in a certain loss of cultural identities, it has enormous benefits in terms of economic development and cultural evolution of the world. Therefore, from a broader perspective, accepting such changes can only be considered as a positive development.

Essay 51 (Changing Locations)





It is common that people change their locations more frequently than in the past. What are the reasons? Is it a positive or negative development?

Unlike in the past, an increasing number of people are relocating to different cities and countries for various reasons. This movement, in my opinion, in general, has a positive impact on their life.

One of the major reasons for this movement is that these days, many professionals do not find jobs that suit their qualifications in their own hometown or country. Whereas large cities and industrialised countries offer them lucrative employment opportunities and obviously they would be encouraged to migrate to such places. For example, many young graduates from rural India and small towns have moved to the metropolitan cities of India, like Bangalore and Mumbai, where multinational companies and large industries provide them appropriate jobs. In addition, for changing jobs and inter-organisational transfers people relocate more often these days.

In addition, a growing number of people today move to more developed regions and countries for life style changes like better education, shopping opportunities and cosmopolitan environment. Migration to countries like Canada and Australia, for example often come under this category. Also, people with lower income sometimes shift to less expensive cities, where house rentals and educational expenses are more reasonable.

Although leaving familiar environments, friends and relatives is often a painful experience, mostly it has a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families. They often gain in terms of economic betterment, professional development and lifestyle improvevent.

In conclusion, due to several reasons professionals, business men and even common people need to move to newer locations more than ever before. This definitely is greatly advantageous to them despite minor inconveniences.

Essay 50 (Exam Stress and Creativity)







Most education systems rely on examinations to encourage children to study, but as a result, children suffer from too much stress and they never learn to be creative.  Therefore, exams should be abolished.  To what extend do you agree or disagree?

As a method of motivating students to take education seriously, examinations do exert a certain amount of stress on them.  However, this does not affect their creative development and hence, there is no need to abolish examinations.

To start with, unlike common perception, examinations these days are not all about rote learning and memorising, but also encouraging children to research and form their own opinions about various topics.  For example, in language and literature examinations children are often asked about their views about  a novel or poem.  This encourages them to read books more seriously and develop their own perspectives.  Similarly, in science practical examinations, students are required to conduct experiments and arrive at new findings.  Activities like these clearly show that examinations can enhance the creative abilities of children.

Moreover, even if examinations result in a certain level of anxiety or pressure, it should only be considered reasonable as they would inspire students to work harder to have a sense of achievement.  In other words, a fair amount of tension helps children to make greater efforts for achieving higher grades or marks.  Researches have proved that stress can produce favourable chemicals in the body, like adrenalin to help body to aim higher.

On the other hand, examinations do lead to excess stress in certain children, which is mainly due to lack of preparation or pressure from family members or teachers to perform well.  Moreover, a certain amount of rote learning is involved in examinations which can reduce the creativity of children to some extent.  Nonetheless, proper guidance and counselling can help children to handle their exam related anxieties successfully.  Moreover, more innovative ways of conducting tests to reduce the need for memorising can help children to enhance their creative abilities.

In conclusion, it unreasonable to ban examinations because they play a very vital role in helping children to approach studies with greater earnestness.  It also helps to develop their imaginative expressions rather than suppressing them.