Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 51]

  • October 22, 2015
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Think and Learn-2015, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 51]


Q.1) We are not limited by our abilities but our attitude. Do you agree? Substantiate.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Adityaka

Ans) Attitudes are personal orientations of beliefs towards an attitudnal object. They determine human behaviour. Attitude causes action or inaction.

Ability is the possession of mental and physical skills and means to execute an action. It can be cultivated over a period of time with directed effort and preperation.

Since attitudes are what cause action, their positive or negative orientation affect the horizons a human being can reach. The positive attitude of never giving up, for example, informed many of the nationalists in the Indian movement for independence. Limitations in ability were overcome over a period of time with concerted effort in mass mobilization and spreading political propaganda. In the end, it is the attitude of seeing the nation gain political and economic freedom that saw it through.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are many who have immense ability but a negative attitude. Negative attitudes of patriarchal mindset inform many households in the rural as well as the urban areas. This leads to insufficient participation by able women in the economy, impinging upon national goals of economic growth, development and poverty alleviation.

The fact that attitudes overshadow abilities is best shown by the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Being paralysed from neck down did not stop him from using his brains to the best of his abilities to supply breakthrough theories in physics.

Q.2) Modern times are such that anyone can shoot to instant fame and at the same time delegated to oblivion and loneliness by the society. Do you agree with this statement? Critically comment. How do attitude and emotional intelligence play important roles in overcoming the anxiety or depression as a result of such scenarios.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vidhu

Ans) Television, social media, internet has expanded the reach and level of connectivity among the people from all over the world. This has opened up many avenues which we can utilize for getting new job opportunities, expressing our skills and talent to a wider audience and in turn earn a living. For example a local artist group in a remote village inRajasthan posted their songs video on youtube which became the most viewed video of that year. This earned the group wide recognition, opportunities to perform all over India.

One the flipside,how many of us remember Abhijeet Sawant, the 1st Indian Idol winner or any winners of any television realities show. How many of us remember Joginder Sharma, the cricketer who bowled India to 2007 T20 world cup victory.

These examples show that public has short term memory. We recognize talent , then. “change is the only constant”. This behaviour by the society leaves the once famous 1 shot celebrity in tatters and loneliness.

One needs to have a positive attitude and emotional intelligence in this stage. One has to realize that success is achieved by people who show perseverance and dedication. One shot at glory can make you famous, hard work

and perseve rance can make us successful. Even in depressing time such people need to have faith in their abilities and work harder. EI teaches them to maintain mental balance and strength. Attitude gives them strength to working for regaining what they have let gone. So a positive attitude and a strong EI can help people overcome such depressing stage and regain the lost glory.

Q.3) Case Study


Your best friend is preparing for the civil services. He belongs to a humble background and it is imperative for him to qualify the exam in order to support his family. However, you know that he lacks the aptitude required to become a civil servant. Although, he works quite hard and devotes most of his time to preparation, he doesn’t have the requisite writing and communication skills to qualify the exam. You tried convincing him not to lose time and instead try some alternate means to support his family. However, he is adamant to become a civil servant and has already given four attempts.

Now, the results of the latest cycle is out and this time also your friend could not succeed. He is a broken man now. He is very depressed and his attitude towards life has changed completely. He has lost faith in his abilities. You are concerned for his life and future. 

In a situation like this, what role you would play as his best friend? How your friend can be brought back to normal?


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

Ans) If I were someone’s ‘best friend’ I wouldn’t be so judgmental of their abilities/inabilities, but since I am in this case, I would do the following things –

– Since I am the best friend, I must be aware of what cheers him up or his mental defence techniques (a game of football, a wrestling match, pistol shooting range, or just simply listening to Beatles, Pink Floyd or Hans Zimmer). He can do all those things by himself, but probably out of depression he isn’t. I can initiate it for him.

– When he is out of the gloominess of failure, I will try n make him understand the ultimate aim of civil service i.e. service of a civil society can be achieved without having an office with designation of IAS or IPS. I can quote success stories like Satya Nadella whom UPSC refused, but Microsoft accepted with open arms. The stigma that our society associates with failure is ludicrous, and it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your failures. Our innate abilities aren’t defined by success or failure in a one day exam but by a bigger exam called ‘LIFE’.

– For his future- though I may be critical of his abilities to clear an exam (since I am not in UPSC, this apprehension doesn’t matter), I must not push my views upon him. I can enlist alternative opportunities that are close to his other aspiration (an NGO, a teacher/mentor, a part time internship in some bureaucratic office). If he still wants to pursue the ludicrous cycle of UPSC I would be financially supportive (if I am capable) of him, but remind him that my courtsey comes as loan and not grant. 😛

Life isn’t easy and failures are inevitable part of it, but someone’s failure or our success doesn’t gives us the high pedestal to impose our views paternalistically upon others, even if it’s keeping their best interest.

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