Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 37]

  • October 7, 2015
  • 1
Think and Learn-2015, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 37]


Q.1) What is Moral Earnestness? Do you believe that Indian lack moral earnestness in public life? Illustrate with examples.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – SK

Ans) Morality defines what is right/good or what is wrong/bad. Moral earnestness means, sincerity towards one’s own moral values. If stealing is bad, a person with moral earnestness would never steal. In the public life in India we can see both strong moral earnestness and utter lack of it. The following examples would show that they are lacking.

  1. The very fact that a programme like “Swachh Bharat” had to be launched to clean our own surroundings shows that we don’t have moral values to keep surroundings clean.
  2. We need a “Model Code of Conduct” to prevent immoral acts like cash for vote during election campaigning.
  3. It’s common to see fist fights and pepper spray attacks in legislative houses where laws are to me made. Where is morality?
  4. We haven’t repealed/amended AFSPA yet even though Army, which should otherwise protect, is committing crimes against its own citizens. There is no morality.
  5. Juveniles are committing heinous crimes like rapes and murders. This shows that morality is lost and laws like Juvenile Justice Amendment act has to come to our rescue.

Despite these examples, we have a strong moral earnestness in various other ways in numerous fields. Moral values like tolerance and peaceful coexistence with all religions, respect towards women and elders, non-violence in public life, patriotism and sense of duty towards the nation, feeling of brotherhood among people from different regions, protection to environment, plants and animals etc. hold our society and nation together.

Q.2) ‘Justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done’. Discuss.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Ramdas

Ans) Justice is the foundational value of civilization. Those who could not provide justice have perished. No advancement- material or spiritual is possible without justice. Justice means giving a person his due. It is to respect the dignity of the individual.

Justice must be seen to be done because if not so, then a perception gets mileage that powerful can manipulate system by hook and crook and can get away.

There should be constant visibility so that it acts as a powerful deterrent for wrong intentions and acts. It sends a strong message that injustice will meet punishment.

It is like dhamma and the wheel of dhamma should constantly rotate. If stopped, then conflicts will arise in the society.

Justice needs to be seen to maintain trust of people in the system.

e.g. recent killing of a man by a mob over rumours of beef is one such incident where guilty should be punished swiftly. If not, then people will lose trust and may take law into their hands.

It has to be noted that public has short memory and hence constant re-enforcing of idea of justice is required. Ignoring this will lead to growth of evil tendencies and righteousness will be counting its last moments before dying.

Q.3) ‘The time has come to ripe to repeal Article 311?. Do you agree?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vidhu

Ans) Article 311 of the constitution provides for the job security of the All India Service officers. It provides protection from dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of the civil servants from any authority other than appointee (President). It is now being felt that article 311 is encouraging corruption and needs to be repealed.

It’s been said that if there is no fear of losing job/allowances, incompetency thrives. Unchecked and unpunished corruption mushrooms up. There is lack of accountability in the work. Undue advantage of position to promote personal/family interests develop. The slow administrative and judicial enquiry system further erodes the fear of punishment for the corrupt officers.

The governments can only suspend /transfer an officer. Even then article 311 backfires as state governments can use to suspend/transfer good officers for political reasons eg. (Ashok Khemka, Durgashakti Nagpal).

But this article provides protection to honest and ethical officers. It helps them to work without undue political interference and fear of political backlashes. A repeal of such protection would reduce their morale and ability to work. If repealed governments can remove officers which do not follow their ideology at will. This will discourage innovation and honesty in the executive.

The present requirement is to modify the article and set up an independent statuory body to look into transfers and promotions of civil servants. Protection is needed for good working and decision making. A repeal of law might not be helpful but changes can be made to bring in more accountability and complacency in the system.

Q.4) Case Study


You are a Civil Services aspirant. Although you belong to reserved category, you do not claim the benefit on the grounds that you family is economically and socially sound.You also received good education and went to one of the top institutes in the country. But in the last attempt you missed the final list by a whisker. Had you applied through reserved category, you would have got a good rank. In the meanwhile, your family which was unaware of all, this came to know about it. This time, they are insisting you to apply through reserved quota.  Even you are in the fix due to unpredictable nature of the exam.

What are options available to you? How will you convince your family? Are you justified in not claiming something which is rightfully yours?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Monk who sold his nano

Ans) Life presents ethical dilemmas where one has to choose between personal greed vs global needs. Similar situation props up in the above scenario In this case I as an aspirant would have following options-

  1. Succumb to parents pressure and my petty fetish of being an IAS and take reservation –

– Hedonistically it’s a justified step. I wanted to be a civil servant and it’s going to make me and my parents happy. Besides, I am not doing anything illegal in pursuit of my dream.

– My action may destroy some deserving (but deprived) candidate’s chances. In long run such habits may destroy whole meritocratic institutions.(not a good step from utilitarian perspective)

– To be a better human I must stick to moral principles, especially those which foster equality and meritocracy(not a good step even from egoistic point of view)


  1. Stick to my principles and convince my parents to let me apply without reservation –

– a deserving, deprived aspirant is lifted out of deprivation (a larger population is better off)

– By writing exam without reservation I am upholding my integrity at adverse circumstances(egoistically correct way).

I would make my parents understand that by claiming reservation I am basically lying about our social and economic standing. They need to place their confidence in their kid whom they have imparted good education(moral and systematic), and now is not the time to slacken that confidence for petty personal purposes.

Affirmative action is intended to work in trickle down manner. If the same beneficiaries(or the already sound ones) keep on benefiting, there won’t be a trickle down and people may loose faith from a semi effective equalizing system.


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