SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [26th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • August 29, 2016
  • 3
IASbaba's Hot Questions, IASbaba's Think Learn Perform 2016, IASbaba's TLP - 2016, Think Learn Perform (TLP)- 2016, UPSC Mains Answer Writing - 2016, UPSC Mains Questions 2016
Print Friendly, PDF & Email



SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [26th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]



  • UPSC clearly spells out that ‘Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge’.
  • Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined ‘with due economy of words’ in all subjects of the examination.
  • The main examination is intended to ‘assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding’ of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
  • If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a ‘deduction will be made’ on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.

However, many of you have answered based on your superficial or commonsensical knowledge. Handwriting is not easily legible of some people.

Some have bombarded mere information whatever they know and some are trying to impress the evaluator or to prove that they know a lot on that topic/question and writing above the word limit. (not only in Ethics paper, but in all other papers too)

So, please be cautious. Be aware what you are writing and what you want to write. If you don’t know much to write, then use calculated and educated commonsensical knowledge. But after writing, refer to some sources or peer answers and prepare, learn how you could have made your answer better.

While answering Ethics (or any discipline), you should specify certain terms, concepts or theories. Every discipline has some set of specific terminologies, specific words/concepts. Therefore, learn the art of including such terms and concepts of the discipline concerned, to score better marks and get an edge from other aspirants.

Always provide some examples of thinkers/quotes/current applications. Write less but write effective. Maintain a standard level while answering all questions (average word limit, simple and relevant answer even if you know more etc.). Stand apart and different from other answers, score high.

All the best

IASbaba Team


1. Parents, elders and teachers try to inculcate values in children. Can you give account of a teaching/lesson by any of your family member or a teacher that helped you overcome a tricky situation in your life? What were the values that were at stake in the situation that you were faced with? How did you tackle them?

The question asks about your personal experience, so it is very subjective. There cannot be one model synopsis for it.

General Guidelines for the answer:

  • You need to clearly mention the values that we generally learn from our elders.
  • You need to describe the situation, and mention the values which were at stake. Remember, the values asked here are more important than the situation. So emphasise more on them.
  • End your answer on a positive note on how you tackled that tough situation.


2. If you qualify the Civil Services Examination, you will get the opportunity to work as an administrator in public life. You will have many duties to perform, and very often you might be faced with ethical dilemmas. In the context of the scenario explained herein, do you have a role model to follow? Which famous philosopher/ leader/ administrator you would derive inspiration from? Why?

In Ethics question, there cannot be a single correct answer. Hence there can’t be a synopsis giving you a model answer.

However, following are the points that you need to keep in mind while attempting this question:

  • Identify the key terms. In this case, Ethical dilemma, role model and how his/her’s inspiration will help you in solving your ethical dilemma.
  • In the introduction you have to mention in one or two lines about what exactly is an ethical dilemma, with the help of an example. The example should be related to a duty of a civil servant.
  • About your role model. You can mention that you don’t have a single role model, but don’t say that you have none. The examiner will take it as arrogance from your side or shear ignorance.
  • Explain how that personality will help you come over your ethical dilemmas. Try to quote something from that personality, so that you can show that you actually admire him/her. And not mentioning that name in the answer just to impress the examiner.
  • Conclude on a positive note.

NOTE: it is shocking to find that so many people have written about Mahatma Gandhi, but only one has mentioned about his ‘Talisman’. This is one particular thing which he gave only to solve ethical dilemmas.

Best Answer 1: Aman


Best Answer 2: Discipline

The public administrators often face ethical dilemmas due to diverse nature of job and great responsibilities. Ex Mysore state Diwan Sir M. Visvesvaraya has been my role model. Sir Visvesvaraya has been an epitome of ethical conduct. The reasons are:

  1. Spirit of service: In his own words : “your work may be only to sweep a railway crossing, but it is your duty to keep it so clean that no other crossing in the world is as clean as yours.” He was a dedicated engineer and public servant, who took his work passionately. He was a dedicated, punctual public servant.
  2. Honesty, Integrity and professionalism: Sir Visvesvarayya used to have two set of candles. one for office work and one for personal use. He never used office privilege for the personal gain. His high integrity, never misuse of public office etc are few of many qualities which made him my role model.
  3. Simple living and high thinking: he never showed off his status. He used to simply dress, and believed in high moral standards.
  4. 4 Others: humility, service to humanity.

These high moral standards, and virtuous conduct of Sir M. Visvesvaraya inspired me to follow his foot steps.

3. Will you conduct yourself in an ethical manner even if the consequences of your actions are against national interests? Substantiate your response by taking an example.

Many of you have answered poorly. Some said ‘question is very tricky’ and many have written common-sense answer with superficial examples. Some of you have provided lot of examples.

Majority have focused only on security aspects – war, fighting, killing, terrorists. This is how we have shaped our mind – “National interest means ‘Security’” J

To answer this type of question, you have to enhance your thinking level and whichever stand you take, substantiate with effective example.

  • You should first understand that – ‘every action that we do has consequences’. Sometimes consequence determines what kind of act we do. i.e., having consequences in mind we do an act. (A concept called “consequentialism” in Ethics).
  • You should be aware that ‘National interest is a moral concept’ of such power and cogency that it overwhelms all other moral considerations and “Statesman’s highest moral duty is to ensure the survival of the state and that this is the national interest in a nutshell”.
  • Use some quotes: “The meaning of national interest is survival—the protection of physical, political and cultural identity against encroachments by other nation-states”—Morgenthau.
  • National Interest is a vague and ambiguous term that carries a meaning according to the context in which it is used.

In National interests, there are some primary interests which no nation can compromise. I.e. a state has to defend these at all costs.

There are some secondary interests which are less important than the primary interests. Then there are also some permanent and variable interests, general and specific interests.

  • So write that depending on which type and context of National interest you are dealing with and what is the end consequence, you will decide whether to act in an ethical manner even if the consequences of your actions are against national interests.
  • Give example of already witnessed acts (of some ex-Bureaucrat or leader or otherwise), not your own newly made-up example – “be safe” – as question says ‘Substantiate your response by taking an example

Conclude it saying – Sometimes there might be a situation that if one goes forward with an ethical approach, the end consequence might be negative. In such scenario, you will make sure to defend national interest at all costs.

However, if there is dilemma between ethical conduct versus national behaviour and if the end consequence is positive, i.e. your ethical action, even though against national interest in short-term, if intended towards attaining the real goals of national interests or larger good for the people and country in the longer run (as witnessed in the example above), then I would prefer to act in an ethical manner.

Best answer: (No best answer. I read almost all answers, but didn’t find any good answer. If example is good, no subject matter of Ethics, no terms and concepts).

Answers with good terms and concepts (though deviating), have failed to provide good examples.

Solution: Prepare Ethics, read at least one book thoroughly. Know some terms and concepts and their application.

4. Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (APIs) were in news recently. Why? What is the significance of APIs for health security in India? Suggest ways through which the concerns raised by the pharmaceutical industry with respect to APIs can be addressed.

API: A substance used in a finished pharmaceutical product (FPP), intended to furnish pharmacological activity or to otherwise have direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or to have direct effect in restoring, correcting or modifying  physiological functions in human beings.

(This definition is only for your information. You can use a simple definition in the answer.)

The moment an API is mixed with another API, or with an excipient, it is no more considered an API.

In News: APIs were in news for two reasons:

  • Large dependence of India pharma companies , on Chinese imports.
  • US’s Home Land Security’s new law which states that only APIs will be bought only from local manufacturers and will not be imported.

(Most of the candidates have mentioned only one point)

Significance on Health Sector:

  • Because of excessive dependence on imports, Indian pharma industries are losing internal market as well as foreign market.
  • If suddenly for some reason china decides to stop its export of APIs to India, It will be catastrophic as India will not be able to cope up with the demand in a short time.
  • Indian citizen’s expenditure in health exceeds in amount than other countries, with increase in medicine prices this portion will increase further.
  • India’s health security is dependent on its generic medicines which are cost effective. Over dependence on Chinese imports can hamper their production in a long run.
  • India is known as the pharmacy of the World. Indian pharma companies thrive on their exports especially to western countries. Ban in US will hamper exports and in turn growth of Pharma companies which will be disastrous for India’s health security.


  • Do mention some Recommendations of the Katoch Committee. It will give weight to your suggestions.
  • Diversifying import locations apart from China.
  • Giving impetus to R and D in Pharma Sector.
  • Giving tax rebates to Pharma companies so that they can compete in the internal market with imported APIs.
  • Make in India to have special focus on Pharmaceutical sector, thus increasing foreign investment & technology transfer.


Best Answer: Ross Stark


5. To address the chasm between India’s demographic bulge and employment opportunities, the Government has launched many initiatives to impart skills to the population. Give a brief description of these initiatives/ schemes. How can these be made more effective?

  • Introduction:

Write a short introduction about population and employment mismatch.

  • Body:
  • Initiatives:
  1. national skill development fund was established in 2009 to boost skilling .
    National skill development corporation (NSDC) constituted under PM to streamline development. It will have representation from both public and private sectors.
  2. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana or Skill India is a campaign launched by Prime Minister an aim to train over 40 crore (400 million) people in India in different fields.
  3. USTAAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) Scheme:This scheme aims to preserve the traditional occupation related to arts/crafts of the minority communities so as to make them attractive for new generation.
  4. Apprentice Protsahan Yojana:
    Scholarship will be provided to apprentices. Industries providing them training will be rewarded.
  5. Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana :
    Training and certification of overseas Indian workers, providing them bridge training in various sectors confirming to the international standards is the main aim of this scheme.
  6. UDAAN
    Focus of this scheme is to provide vocational training and employment to the unemployed youth of J&K.
    It aims at providing training to women of minority committees in effort to make them employable.

(Students need not mention all the schemes, only a few important ones, or one for each social group will suffice)

  • Steps to make them more effective:
  1. Integrating Industries with training and skilling institutes for sector specific training.
  2. Allowing industries to actively participate in formulating syllabus for skilling and training.
  3. Outcome based incentives to teachers and institutes, which should include Social audit at appropriate stages.
  4. Certification must have all India acceptance, to increase mobility of the workforce.
  5. Feedback oriented programmes for efficient output.
  6. Training institutions must have strong rural presence, so that youth from lower strata are not discouraged by financial constraints.
  7. Participation of women need to be promoted by facilitating required infrastructure
  • Conclusion:

Write a brief conclusion.

Best answer: Bhawana.

India is projected to be the youngest country with over 60% of its population in workibg age group by 2022 but we have only 4.69% of our population formally trained at present. To fulfill gap this gap several initiatives have been undertaken like..

@Separate ministry for skill development and entrepreneurship and separation of entrepreneurial and vocational training.
@Launching of national skill development mission and formation of national skill policy for the first time.
@Pathbreaking schemes like PMKKY, AIM and DDU-GKY in which unemployed, school drop outs and rural poor would be provided outcome based training.
@Skill India mission which has a target of above 40 crore trained youth by 2022 will turn India into “Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat”.
@Standardization through transnational skill standards aligned with that of UK standards.
@Group specific schemes like UDDAN, Nai Manzil and USTAAD for JK youth, for women and for minority respectively.

Making them more effective…
@Center-state cooperation as “vocational training” is a concurrent list subject
@Orienting them towards new avenues of necessaity like digitization and technology adoptation.
@Consistant review and reforms to recognize loop holes.
@Incentives in the form of re-skilling, better pay, training at work place and post-retirement benefits etc.
@Convergence of schemes and adequate fund release.

India’s promising demographic dividand can turn into nightmare if not channelized properly as youth is assest only if it is educated and skilled



For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....