Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

20 May 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE      
Question : What are Competencies of civil servant and why are they Important?

(GS Mains; Paper 4)


 
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19 May 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : What is Sarvodaya? Explain its relevance in present day governance.

(GS Main; Paper 4)
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30 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE       
Question : As a Secretary to the Ministry of Education, what would you do to enhance the motivational level of students reducing the dropouts from schools in India ?

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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14 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : Elucidate role of Dr. Ambedkar as a moral philosopher. 

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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11 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE    
Question : If we succeeded in changing attitudes toward a specific behaviour in a group of subjects, would this attitudinal change also produce behavioural change? Discuss. 

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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09 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE    
Question : Discuss how individuals can become aware of and cope with various forms of negative social influence.

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
Social Influence
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01 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : What are the psycho-social determinants of begging? As a police officer what will you do to restrain beggars from begging at traffic lights? Give your opinion.

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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22 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE    
Question : How can we program moral development with the help of psychological techniques?

(GS Mains; Paper-4)
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16 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE      
Question : What, according to Gandhi, are the moral foundations for good life?

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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13 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : Trust is a must-have condition for leadership. Why? What strategies you will adopt for building trust as a leader?

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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03 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE    
Question : Elaborate positive human capital concepts in relation to better utilization of human potential.

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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02 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : Explain the concept of distributive justice. Elaborate its relevance in contemporary times.

(GS Mains; Paper 4)
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21 Jan 2022 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : Should anti-social persons be dealt by the criminal justice system or by a clinical psychologist? As a police officer dealing with anti-social persons, what would you prefer?

(GS MAINS; PAPER 4)
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26 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : What are the values you can learn from the life of Jesus, which you can incorporate in today's governance to make it still better.

(GS MAINS; Paper 4)
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11 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : According to Gandhi ji, ‘God is Truth and Truth is God.’ Explain.

(GS MAINS; PAPER 4)
 
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27 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : An Economic Advisor of the Govt. of India wants to demit her office. A former college professor, the economic advisor has decided that she would like to return to academia as Vice- chancellor of a central university.  As you are the chief communications officer for the university, she has asked you to issue a press release announcing her intent to pursue the position and reminding voters what a great friend she has always been to the University.  She also wants the press release to announce a press conference in the university press room where the economic advisor can elaborate on her goals for the University.  The press release will be sent out during the university’s budgeting process. The economic advisor has always valued education and has always been a champion of the university’s funding requests.

Should you do as the Economic Advisor asks? Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case. What are the options available to you in this situation? Explain your selected course of action.

(GS MAINS; PAPER 4 - CASE STUDY)
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20 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : What do you mean by Deviant behavior (or Deviance)? Examine ‘terrorism’ as an issue pertaining to psychological deviance. As a police officer what will you do to encourage terrorists join the mainstream and lead a normal life and eschew the path of violence?

(GS Mains Paper 4)
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‘Deviant behaviour’ is something that is not aligned with the ideas and values of socially accepted norms. For example, stealing someone's property is a social crime and if anyone is trying to do it will be considered deviant.
Terrorism as psychological deviance
Terrorists believe that others' social activities are against their own beliefs and in return, they try to protect their belief system by creating violence. They also do not follow the socially acceptable means to achieve the goal of bringing desirable changes. Their position can be seen as ‘maladjusted personality’ where their personal social experiences made them act in an impulsive way with little or no regard for the future consequences. However, many social and economic studies have found a correlation between prevalent socio-economic backwardness and a rise in terror activities.  
Step that can be taken as a Police Officer 
Bringing ‘Attitudinal Change’ is important in these situations at the same time any action should be taken keeping in mind what Gandhi ji has said that we should hate crime not the criminal. Hence, a police officer can take the following steps;
  • Persuading them to make good life decisions where they can make a positive contribution to their family and society. For example, the Indian Army organises many skill development programmes for the youth who belong to terror affected regions.
  • Giving the true idea of peace that every religion wants to achieve.
  • Spreading the importance of collective social existence and values of peace and prosperity.
  • Highlighting the ‘exemplary behaviour’ of others who had similar experiences so they can learn from others experiences.
Overall, understanding deviant behaviour will help society members to change the behaviour of others. This becomes very important for those who are at the position of decision making or its implementation. For example civil servants need to have a deeper understanding of deviant behaviour so they can help in ameliorating the situation.


07 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : Science denial became deadly during COVID pandemic last year. Even, many political leaders failed to support what scientists knew to be effective prevention measures. Over the course of the pandemic, people died from Covid-19 still believing it did not exist.
Why do some people deny, doubt or resist scientific explanations? As a budding bureaucrat suggest what can be done to confront these psychological challenge and overcome these barriers.

(GS MAINS PAPER 4)
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Science denial is not a new phenomenon. But having seen this sort of apathy during pandemic it is more important than ever to understand why some people deny, doubt or resist scientific explanations — and what can be done to overcome these barriers.
These are, primarily, the psychological challenges that we need to confront to understand science denial
Social Identity
People tend to align with those who hold similar beliefs and values. Social media generally amplify this. We see more of what we already agree with and fewer alternative points of view. When those in our social circle share misinformation, we are more likely to believe it and share it.
Binary Thinking
Some people tend to think dualistically i.e. there’s always a clear right and wrong. But scientists view tentativeness as a hallmark of their discipline. Some people may not understand that scientific claims will change as more evidence is gathered, so they may be distrustful of how public health policy shifted around Covid-19.
Emotions and Attitudes
Emotions and attitudes are linked. Reactions to hearing that humans influence the climate can range from anger (if one does not believe it) to frustration (if one is concerned he/she may need to change his/her lifestyle) to anxiety and hopelessness. How we feel about climate mitigation could align with whether we are for or against it.
Mental Shortcuts   
If we see an article online with a headline such as ‘Eat Chocolate and Live Longer’ and we share it, because we assume it is true or think it is ridiculous.
Motivated Reasoning
Interpretation of facts also depend on one’s political views. For example, when people were asked to look at the same charts depicting either housing costs or the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time, interpretations differed based on political affiliation. When people reason not just by examining facts, but with an unconscious bias to come to a preferred conclusion, their reasoning will be flawed.
Solutions 
So, to overcome these psychological barriers we may resort to certain actions that will bring in the changes in denial of scientific details:  
The most effective way is to listen to others’ concerns and try to find common ground. Someone we connect with is more persuasive than those with whom we share less in common. When one identity is blocking acceptance of the science, leverage a second identity to make a connection. For example, several influential political leaders of the world, who were in government refused Covid to be any pandemic and compared to be milder than cold and flu. The toll that this scientific bias had on the followers is not a secret.
Recognition of the fact that we may be operating with misguided beliefs about science. We should adopt a scientific attitude, an openness to seeking new evidence and a willingness to change one’s mind.
The role of emotions in decision-making about science is also important. Suppose, we read a story about stem cells used to develop Parkinson’s treatments and we become overly hopeful because we have a relative in early stages of the disease. Or we may react by rejecting a possibly lifesaving treatment because of our emotions.
So we should learn to monitor the quick, intuitive responses. We should turn on the rational, analytical mind by asking ourselves, how do we know this is true? Is it plausible? Then we should do some fact-checking. Let us learn not to immediately accept information we already believe, which is called confirmation bias. We should look at articles with both pro and con information, evaluate the source, and be open to the evidence leaning one way or the other.
If the above corrective measures are adopted, society will benefit and credibility of science can be enhanced and the scientific culture will be engrained in the larger section of the population. This will indirectly inspire even research and scientific community to come with new and advance solution humanity is grappling with. 


05 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : Manifestation of decline in academic ‘Ethics and Integrity’ has come to fore during Covid-19 time even in scientific education and research. Elaborate.
In what way it is going to impact the professional competence and the humanity? Suggest the ways to overcome it.

(GS MAINS PAPER 4)
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On one side, in medicine, the search for new treatment and urgency to develop vaccine and on other side, in academics, the emergency transition to online learning and assessment and perceptions of academic integrity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, both had glimpse of worrying outcome during Covid-19 pandemic period.
The Coronavirus pandemic generated unprecedented scientific urgency to search for new treatments and vaccines, resulting in over one lakh scientific publications in 2020, purportedly for rapid dissemination of knowledge and for abating human suffering. But in the race to be faster, scientific journals bypassed the usual method of multilayer peer review criteria and reduced the average turnaround time from 60 days, to sometimes less than a week. Similarly, even adequacy and potency of vaccines were announced without following the legitimate methods. Inevitably, scientific misconduct and fraud happened.
Many papers on efficacy of HCQ, mask, ivermectin were retracted after publication. The most stunning was from an US healthcare analytics company. Twin articles published in two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, related to hydroxychloroquine and its cardiovascular side-effects was a fraud.
In another instance, Annals of Internal Medicine backtracked on a highly-cited paper it published, that asserted face masks were ineffective in preventing the spread of Covid. This misinformation led to careless exposure and infection in millions. Such publications demean the very foundations of science.
A flawed report on ivermectin showed that this anti-parasite drug reduced Covid-19 death rates by more than 90%. However, later this paper was withdrawn, again a case of scientific dishonesty. Revenues of pharma companies making ivermectin had swelled over months, and unsuspecting patients had paid for scientific misinformation. It resulted into hoarding and malpractices by drugs distributors and sellers keeping all ethical values at bay. Scientific integrity is perhaps declining.
There is ‘academic dishonesty’, too as academic misconduct surfaced during examinations in a digital world. Unethical behavior, cheating in online exams and other online assessment formats to gain an unfair academic advantage during online learning and evaluations have become common now. Students in different parts of the world accept indulging in such dishonesty, though with diverse excuses.
If the unethical and immoral practices, as such, continue it will have a damaging effect on society and the trust on science will erode, which will again prove to be disastrous. It will put the life in jeopardy. The practitioner of medicine will lose the public trust if report published in fraudulent ways are relied upon. Besides producing semi-educated and inappropriately skilled students, such conduct will have long-term ramifications. A generation of ‘ethically compromised’ children will soon populate India. So, ethics are more essential than ever now. In pandemic times, we rapidly need new information, which should be unbiased and trustworthy. Moreover, there should be honest and prompt public admission of errors by the scientific community. Covid-19 is going to be with us. So science must redeem its ethical center. 
The pressure of incomplete enrolment of patients in clinical trials, lack of adequate consumables and kits for carrying out basic science experiments, research workers being away for months due to lockdown and above all, no money with funding agencies to support ongoing scientific projects, are reasons given for altering ‘facts and findings’. Sponsors and funding agencies should help. Research funding and human resources need to be increased several fold without political meddling.US scientists recently requested President Joe Biden not to politicize research.
Solutions have to come from parents and society. We need to have offices of academic integrity in our colleges. May be we can think about an independent National Agency for Scientific and Academic Integrity as well. The meaning of ‘education’ and ‘learning’ rather than ‘passing out’ needs to be drilled in our systems. We need to initiate dialogues on values and build ethics in teachings and curricula in school and college education. We do not want our physicians and scientists to be corrupt. We must take a pledge to make education and research ethical.


01 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : "Where do the evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with 'what can I give' spirit." - Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Elaborate the above statement.

(GS MAINS PAPER-4)
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In the recent days corruption has taken its mammoth form. Often we come across the news of material aggrandisement by public servant found by investigating agencies. It seems as if corruption and the raid has become the new norm. It is strange to note that some of these high officials, these days do not seem to have been tempered by a sense of responsibility and dignity. The talk of strict governance by the political class does not really instill any fear among them, as the corrupt officials are aware of the fact that the ruling classes too are embroiled in the black gulf of moral deficiencies.
But the challenge lies in fighting this slack morality. Corruption and moral turpitude are evils that need to be defeated by the goodness of self. Yes, there are people in governance with contaminated attitude and immoral values, whose natural qualities of involving in corruption do not disappear easily. Still changes in attitudes are key. For them we have different mechanism which can stem out this evil. From recruitment stage to training they are fed the dosages of ethics, integrity and aptitude lest they should stay away from greed and corruption.  We have different codes of conduct for government functionaries. We have institutional and legal framework like CVC, CBI, CAG, Lokpal and Lokayukta and legislation like Whistle Blowers Protection Act to ensure probity and governance so that we can aspire to become corruption –free society.
Lessons on ethics, values, attitude and enhancement of the existing framework of accountability and transparency can definitely subdue the never-ending greed.  Ethics is a set of standards that helps guide behaviour, choices and actions of Individuals-It is multidimensional as it is governed by the value system of the society including the concept of rights, obligations, fairness, virtues, etc. Ethics and probity form the cornerstone of the public administration System. In today’s world, when the governments arc playing an active role in the socio-economic development of the country, the role of the government functionaries becomes more challenging as they are both the facilitators and enforcers of the law and rules. 
Avoiding conflict of interest in all circumstances and at all times and under no circumstances using the official position for private purposes will encourage 'what can I give' spirit. Government functionaries should be careful about their relationships with stakeholders, which may influence, compromise or threaten their ability to act objectively for the overall good of the society. Decisions should never be driven by gains for a select few or specific segments of society.
If the values facilitating the subordination of the self to a larger good and spirit of empathy for others are imbibed and nurtured over a lifetime corruption will go away. If government functionaries work with integrity they will succeed with integrity. The endeavour should be to be an environment giver, care giver, smile giver or a rural reform giver. If our civil services start thinking and acting on those lines, the menace of corruption can definitely be eradicated.
Also to acquire the spirit of this sort we should never stop fighting until we arrive at our destined place, that is, the unique oneself. We should have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard and have perseverance to realise the great life. These are four essential criteria to replace the greed with 'what can I give’ spirit.


08 Aug 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question :

What are the ethical and attitudinal lessons learnt from the mega event like Tokyo Olympics?

(GS MAIN PAPER 1)

 

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The Tokyo Olympics has been a golden period for sports followers. Sports relax and entertain. They also teach us some important spiritual, life-improving lessons. Some of the noteworthy and praiseworthy gestures we saw during this mega event are: 
Maintaining Grace and Magnanimity: In a high jump event at the Olympics, we saw Qatar’s athlete giving up an opportunity to go for a solo gold medal because his Italian opponent was injured. He shared the gold medal with the Italian and ensured that the spirit of Olympics wins. There was grace and magnanimity to be seen. Similarly, in life, we too should be prepared to share the spoils. We grow in stature when we bring up others with ourselves. one will end up being a winner.
Teamwork: In football, the striker in the front scored a goal. Though the goal is solely marked in his name, the ball actually reaches him after several passes made by his teammates, dodging the opposing defenders. The striker’s role is to put it in the goal post from a short distance. He is credited with the goal scored. Similarly, in life, a significant portion of our success can be attributed to our team and our family. We must acknowledge their role.
Reducing Errors: It is seen that in any sport, a player or a team with fewer unforced errors will win, as compared to the one who may hit more winners. The recently concluded Wimbledon final is a fine example. The winner, Novak Djokovic, made only 21 unforced errors, and his opponent Matteo Berrettini, more than twice as many, 48. Berrettini had 57 winners, as opposed to Djokovic’s 31. Trying to hit winners also carries the risk of committing mistakes. Similarly, in life, if we can avoid mistakes like taking disproportionate financial risks, we will most likely end up a winner.
Focus and Concentration: The most embarrassing situation is when a player scores an ‘own goal’. This happens mostly due to lack of focus. Similarly, in life, by lowering one’s guard, one could become a victim of fraud. We should remain focused to ensure that we don’t put ourselves in harm’s way.
Derive Enjoyment at One’s Level: It is not for everyone to become the greatest of all time, a legend. Every generation throws up only a few great names that are revered for a long time. A vast majority play the game knowing that they may never be legends, but they play because of their passion for the game. Similarly, in life, for example in civil services, everybody cannot become the cabinet secretary or chief secretary, but one can create a niche that can make a person happy and successful.
Inspiring Others: The captain of the team is not necessarily the best player, however, he is a motivator and has the ability to bring out the best in his team. He has the heart to take the blame for the defeat and credit the team for success. Similarly, in life, we may not be the best engineer, lawyer or a bureaucrat leading a team, but if one has the qualities that inspire others to respect him/her, one can lead successfully.
Down, but Not-out: Instances of turning the game around in one’s favour are many when all seems lost. We have seen players and teams doing the impossible through sheer grit. Similarly, in life, patience, perseverance, confidence in your ability play an important role to ensure that you come out successful from a difficult situation.
Therefore, we can say that sports teach us life changing lessons and it is still more important because even the persons with less education can take a leaf or two from the values and attitudes displayed by sportsman. A civil servant inherent with these qualities will certainly move up in the hierarchy and command the respect of the citizens.


03 Jul 2021 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE 
Question : Plausibly, Emotional Intelligence can play a critical role in an effective implementation of the relief measures for tackling the menace of Covid-19. Comment. [GS Mains Paper IV] 

Topic: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
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25 Jun 2021 gs-mains-paper-4 ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE     
Question : “It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.” Examine the statement with suitable examples in the context of a public servant discharging his/her duties.

(GS Mains Paper IV)

Topic: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
Write or upload your answer - SUBMIT A-CUBE IAS Answer :
A public servant is entrusted with powers to solve the problems that affect a large number of people. The problems include poverty, inequality, climate change, distributive justice, peace, nutrition, clean air and clean water, access to education, and many more.
The public servant tries to solve these “grand societal challenges” with the help of other organs of the government. Even the United Nations has compiled these global problems first as Millenium Development Goals (2000) and subsequently, as the Sustainable Development Goals (2015), which every government tries to attain. 
But these problems are complex characterized by the complexity, connectivity, dynamics, in transparency, and attaining many goals. These attributes require special competencies for dealing with the uncertainties of the given domains, e.g., critical thinking.
It is not IQ, but complex problem-solving competencies for dealing with complex and dynamic situations, that is important for handling these problems. These problems require competencies that go beyond analytical intelligence, and comprise systems understanding as well as systems control. Complex problem solving is more than analytic intelligence.
Problem solving is a processual view on intelligence. Real-world (ill-defined, “wicked”) problems normally show a series of attributes that simple (well-defined) problems lack:
  • There is no clearly defined goal;
  • There is more than just one (“the one and only”) solution;
  • Information needed for the solution has to be actively searched for;
  • There are dynamics in the problem situation (one cannot wait forever for a solution).
In today’s computers lingo this is called “artificial intelligence”. Systems competencies seem to be more important than intelligence. In the 21st century, skills such “critical thinking” (e.g., finding and evaluating relevant information), understanding the complexities and dynamics of large systems, and dealing with uncertainty better represent the requirements of life than finding the correct answer to a number-series task (as tends to be requested in conventional tests of intelligence). Systems thinking involves a collection of cognitive and non-cognitive features. It is a holistic approach, switching between a bird’s eye view and a detailed view, remaining calm and persistent in the pursuit of goals, and showing empathy for the acting persons, instead of focusing on simple cause–effect chains, with a preference for systemic thinking about loops with positive or negative feedbacks.
Let us take an important contemporary real-world problem, namely climate change. Analytical intelligence (based on rational choice assumptions) might argue that, with respect to the anticipated rising sea level and myself living far above sea level, there is no threat to me as a person. However, with empathy (as part of a broader understanding of intelligence), one could imagine the threat to people living on an island in the Pacific Ocean exposed to a rising sea level.
Thus if a public servant thinks in the above mentioned way, then we can say his/her current concept of intelligence is missing an ethical dimension. So a blend of ethics, wisdom and values will make a wise person act instantaneously and righteously. To become a wise person is a process that normally demands time and life experience. Wisdom should be one of the competencies of a public servant. Thus a public servant performing his/her duty in a complex context, should be a systems thinker, have proficiency in navigating complexity, be open-minded, long-term thinker, interdisciplinary, inclusive, and globally conscious.
To address societal needs, intelligence must be enriched by an ethical dimension. Also, a public servant must be “adaptive”, which is a new perspective of intelligent behaviour. Intelligence in all its forms is adaptive. The new perspective is on society and on the survival of mankind and therefore takes value into account. One should learn to deploy Transformational Intelligence, which is the mental abilities to create, expand and enhance possibilities. Therefore, “It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently” is the contemporary need for any public servant.
This “something more” could be ethics, values, wisdom, empathy and adaptability. “Values” adds to the non-cognitive variables and “wisdom” to the cognitive variables. This will certainly make an important difference in the life of public servant while discharging his/her duties.



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