Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 13]

  • September 14, 2015
  • 6
Think and Learn-2015, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 13]





Q.1) One cannot legislate or codify for integrity. At the end of the day, integrity is a question of uncompromising moral reasoning. Discuss this statement with suitable examples and arguments.

The crux of the question should be in examples, because the statement made is straight-forward and to justify it usage of a lot of examples is necessary. Even while giving counter-arguments, one should complement it with factoids and real-life scenarios.


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Annapurna Garg

Ans) “A researcher is carrying out a research on a drug. He is under time constraint to complete his study and submit it. He has the option of fudging the data and complete his work. But his integrity makes his avoid this and go by the moral principles of not getting trapped by such short cuts. Though, no one is watching him, but he follows the right path”.

This is what we call integrity. It’s the quality of being morally sound even when no one is watching. It’s a personal quality of adhering to morally right principles in most of the situations one comes across. It’s a virtue which develops in an individual from various factors such as parents, siblings, community, cultural values, media etc.

Since it’s an abstract concept, it’s difficult to codify it. For example, in above case, even if the person fudges the data, it’s highly unlikely anyone would come to know about it. However, it’s also true that the laws concerning violation of ethics can definitely be brought to light. For example, ” a road contractor who uses sub standard material for construction and hence roads breaks within few months. Thus he deceives public as wells as government”. Here his morality can be questioned and investigated also.

Thus, laws can increase ones compliance with the ethical principles. But this can happen at a superficial level. Overall a person would not change and may act unethically where laws do not apply.

Q.2) Are objectivity and neutrality always desirable in administrative decision making? What are the conditions in which other values may come in conflict with objectivity?

Any question which says “always desirable” should be dealt with carefully, because there are always exceptions. There might be some scenarios in life where it is prudent to not be objective or neutral for the greater good. So, such universal generalizing questions should be given a balanced answer with good examples.

The second part should enumerate the other values alongwith examples.


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Ravi

Ans) Preamble and Fundamental Rights of our constitution established the values that all individuals are equal and subjected to laws in equal nature. Objectivity and Neutrality are fundamental in realising the goals of the Constitutional values and ideals, and making ethical, rational decisions according to the rules and regulations. But administration involves facing many challenges and issues and is dynamic in nature and circumstances where subjectivity is to be considered are as follows:

a)To realise social and economic justice to downtrodden as enshrined in Directive principles, administrators has to consider subjective paths but their actions should be in their jurisdiction and judicious, reasonable and have humanitarian values. For instance, recently the PM of India has ordered AIMMS to provide treatment to an 8 year old girl suffering with cancer on humanitarian grounds.

  1. b) Administrator life is involved with instances of risk and need taking decisions on the spot. Innovativeness needs certain element of subjectivity to achieve peace and stability in administration.
  2. c) Administration has to flexible to realise the welfare of the people. Though Supreme Court awards death sentences on objective basis, Constitution has provisions to pardon death sentences subjectively based on good moral conduct during period of sentence.

Though objectivity and neutrality are fundamental in administration, certain other values like sympathy, benevolence, responsiveness also required according to situations. 

Q.3) Case Study – The government has rolled out a massive financial inclusion plan that aims to open savings bank accounts for all the citizens of India. You are a branch manager in a reputed commercial bank. There is immense pressure on you to meet the monthly target of the total number of bank accounts to be opened in your branch. However, you are faced with certain problems. Firstly, your area was badly hit by a flood few months back. Thousands of people were dislocated and only now coming back to their homes. In a situations like this, it is difficult to target the required number of people. Secondly, your branch is severely under staffed. You have already made representations to your seniors to augment the manpower in your branch but to no avail. When you intimated your zonal head about these handicaps, he insisted that you work out the solution yourself and in no case target is to be missed.


In this situation, what options do you have? State their merits and demerits. Which option would you follow and why? (250 words)


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Nishant

Ans) An Organization’s values are its lifelines. The manager faces the problem of ensuring an ethical work culture and meeting the targets in light of the difficult constrains. His personal integrity and strength to withstand external pressure will also be tested in the process. As such he has two broad options discussed below:


1. Adopt unethical means to achieve the targets

This solves the immediate problems at hand but murders the core values of public service – probity, accountability, transparency, neutrality and upholding the law. In such a case, the service wouldn’t be reaching out to those who need it. Hence, there goes compassion and empathy towards the vulnerable. Additionally, it sets a bad precedent for work culture and weakens the value system of the organization. The real problem of understaffing remains unsolved too.

2. Think Out of the Box

Here, the manager can truly showcase his dedication to public service delivery. Since the people are still settling into their lives again, it is difficult for them to come to the bank branch. As a solution, the manager can take help of local SHGs, NGOs sponsored by the bank to reach out to the people. If possible, digital accounts employing ICT can atleast be opened and extensive paperwork can be done later. But he must not compromise legality and security at any time

Option 2 should be followed as it will ensure target is met without undermining service values. Lastly, a good public servant never leaves the job half done. Using the details of this case, he should make sterner requests for staffing so that quality and timely service can be ensured in the future.

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