Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 60]

  • October 31, 2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 60]


Q.1) “The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity”. What is the importance of this statement in the life of a public servant? Discuss.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit


Ans) Integrity in public service is about being honest and and of strong moral character. A civil servant with integrity will not place himself/herself under any external influential/obligation (financial or otherwise) to outside individuals or organisation that might seek to influence him/her in the performance of official duties.


Why integrity is a strong pursuance tool-

1) A civil servant with integrity will seen to be consistent in his action and thus,will command trust from the public he/she serves.Trust acts as a persuading power.

For e.g if a police officer is seen as a person of integrity, public will be more forthcoming in sharing information related to crimes/criminals.His integrity in fulfilling duty acts as persuading tool for him/her.


2)A public servant with Integrity commands respect and people keep faith in him/her.They are ready to even go an extra mile with him (even in the face of adversity).That helps achieve organisation goals better.

3) Integrity in public life convinces the public about the honesty of the actions taken by public servant.This automatically leads to have people being persuaded easily and bridge communication gaps,if any .This not only helps serve people better but also improves efficiency.


For e.g – a public servant of integrity can better convince an unruly crowd to calm down by assuring them of taking care of their grievance due to the faith they have in him.

Thus, we see, both integrity and persuasion go hand-in-hand in public service. 

Q.2) In your opinion, what differentiates the work culture of a private corporate set up from a government one? Why do government employees lack motivation to improve the efficiency and productivity of their organization? Is their any solution?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Rahul Agarwal


Ans) It has often been argued that the productivity of an employee depends a lot on the work-culture of her organization. There is a general perception that, private corporates have much better environment than their government counterparts due to following factors:


A. Better Communication: All the top corporates believe in wide spread communication of its policies and decisions to all its employees, while in government sector there is strict hierarchy of flow of communication, and it generally get filtered in the way downwards.

B. Performance Appraisal: Corporates work on the principle of rewards for the individual efforts and results. While on the other hand, government departments, so not give enough recognition to the efforts on individual. They generally have seniority based promotions rather than merit based.

C. Enabling infrastructure: Most of the top corporates, provide shuttle services, after office relaxation clubs, crèche facilities etc. Infrastructure in government organizations lacks in comparison.

D. Lesser Hierarchy: Corporates believe in two way communication, with lesser distance between ground level employees and top management, on the other hand, top level officials in government sector are generally inaccessible, and follow strict hierarchy. 

Thus, owing to the above factors, we generally find government employees lacking motivation towards doing their job with high efficiency and productivity. The steps to improve work culture could be :

A. Performance based appraisal: Where the merit and performance should be given more weight-age than the seniority.

B. Open communication : for developing trust and inclusiveness among employees.

C. Townhalls: Where top management can interact directly with employees for getting suggestions and addressing concerns.

D. Training and development: To upgrade the skills of employee to increase their competency. 

Q.3) The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. In light of this statement, discuss the significance of laws and statutes as guides for civil servants in ethical conduct. Adopt a critical approach for the same.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vidhu


Ans) Any institution need some rules and regulations and guidelines to work in a proper manner. Just like the laws of physics guide the solar system to work in a proper manner, civil services also need certain laws and guidelines to work efficiently.

The laws provide for the following purposes:

1. Laws legitimize the position of the civil servant. They provide the legal authority to the officers to do their work.

2. They set the powers and restrictions of the civil servants. The officers need to work under these conditions only.

3. They define the actions and reactions needed for situations which arise while at work

4. They define the code of conduct, the code of ethics and how one should behave while in his official capacity

5. An act of the officer can be scrutinized by the people or the judiciary if it violates the laws and regulations and hence it implements the principles of checks and balances.


But binding the officers to predefined laws has the following restrictions:

1. It sometimes creates moral dilemma where the officer has to let go of morality and follow the law

2. Real world situations demand out of the box thinking which cannot be always defined in rule books

3. It strengthens the hierarchy principle in bureaucracy


Hence the rules should be made for civil service but they should be integrated with the ethics and culture of the society and should be regularly updated to make them in tune with the times. 

High Order Thinking


Q.1) You are an administrative in-charge of a district where a function on the occasion of a “Book Launch” is going to take place. The author of the book, an eminent personality has invited you as a friend to be part of the occasion. Few days before the function, some people from a religious group came to your office requesting to stop the launch, as the book contained anti-religious matters and it has enough content to hurt the religious sentiments. They warned you about the consequences of not taking any action against the upcoming function. You were warned of violent and communal ramifications if no action is taken from your side & unfortunately, you share the same religion.


What will be your course of action in this situation?


The Top Answer for this Question was written by – Rahul Agarwal


Ans) Any creative work which may affect religious sentiments is a sensitive issue for maintenance of law and order in district. Also, as part of administration I am duty bound to protect the right of speech and expression of author. Therefore my action points would be:


A. I will politely tell my friend regarding my inability to attend function, because as a district in-charge I shouldn’t be seen involved in patronizing any community

B. I will alert him regarding the oppositions he might face during the event of his book launch.

C. I will patiently listen to the concerns of the religious group, and would like to figure out that their concerns are based on facts or simply on rumour

D. I will convince them that my religious identity would always be subservient to law of the land regarding administrative matters, and I would according to laws.

E. I would suggest them to go for judicial stay, if they believe that book consists objectionable matter, as I don’t have the requisite authority to ban a book launch.

F. I will also try to convene a peace committee of elders of all communities to deliberate on matter.

G. Meanwhile, I would make a detailed arrangement of security for the upcoming event, as it is legal and protesters shouldn’t be encouraged about their veto on other’s rights. 

Q.2) Your younger brother is a happy go lucky person. He doesn’t believe in family traditions and societal conventions. In fact he doesn’t even believe in the institution of marriage. Your parents are frustrated by his attitude. They want him to marry a girl of their choice but he refuses to marry anyone. He argues that he can’t spend a life constrained by family responsibilities and mid-life worries. He wants your parents to stop even thinking about his marriage.


What do you think about his attitude? Is he right? Which side will you take? Why?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Monk Who Sold his Nano


Ans) Institutions, be it religion or marriage, or democratic polity, are effective only when the followers have belief/faith in it. My brother has no faith in institution of marriage, so coercing him isn’t going to yield a fruitful marriage or a happy family. In fact such coercion would be detrimental to the would be bride.


– If I am involved in the family I would probably know why my brother is acting out or has lost faith in concept of family and marriage. Probably he has seen a lot of failed marriages, or probably it’s the constant bickering of our parents that annoys him and makes him hate having a life partner. The only way to be persuasive is to show him the beautiful side of marriage- care, affection, kids and a lively home. These connection may not appear necessary but are needed by every individual. The exuberance of youth fades away sooner or later and only cultivated relationships help in the future.

– I would have to persuade my parents to be be appreciative and not coercive on my brother, if they wish to sustain a healthy relationship with him. They need to understand raising a kid doesn’t imply owning him. They have to let him go and respect his personal decisions. and for my brother’s future they need not worry, for they have raised him well enough to take care of himself.

– Even if my brother sticks to his view point, I would support him. For marriages aren’t the only way to cultivate a relationship or family. Those are cultivated by attitude, which my brother has.

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