SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [2nd Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

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  • September 7, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [2nd Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Define attitude? Which factors shape the attitude of an individual? Why is it necessary to train the attitude of a civil servant? Substantiate by giving an example.

Definition of Attitude: (Write any one definition, but the texts which are in bold should be definitely included in your answers)

  1. Attitude can be defines as ‘a psychological tendency expressed by evaluating an entity with some degree of favor or disfavor’. This can include evaluations of people, issues, objects or events. (or)
  2. Attitude is an internal state of person that is focused on objects, events, people that can exist in the person’s psychological world. It remains inside the person (Ekenimoh, 2013). (or)
  3. An attitude is a state of the mind, a set of views or thoughts, regarding some topic which have an evaluative feature (positive, negative or neutral quality)

Factors that shape the attitude of an individual:

  1. Social learning or Social influence: the process of deriving attitudes from family, peer groups, religious organizations, and culture. (or)

Because of social influences, people form values or attitudes about people and about different issues in life, that exist in the form of behavioural tendencies.

  1. Rewards/Punishments: If an individual is praised for showing a particular attitude, chances are high that s/he will develop that attitude further.
  2. Learning attitudes through exposure to information: media related influences, reading biographies of self-actualised persons, an individual may develop a positive attitude towards hardwork and other aspects as the means of achieving success in life.

Why is it necessary to train the attitude of a civil servant?

There is a growing concern that the Civil Services and administration in general, have become wooden, inflexible, self-perpetuating and inward looking. Consequently their attitude is one of in difference and insensitivity to the needs of citizens is, coupled with the enormous asymmetry in the wielding of power at all levels, has further aggravated the situation. Training them is important –

  • Because ‘attitude influences behaviour’ and ‘bad attitude is contagious’
  • To enhance his/her performance and productivity – Attitudes are the means for reaching desired goals or for avoiding undesirable results. Positive attitude is highly necessary to foster cooperation and collaboration by involving subordinates in the decision-making process and to develop skills in conflict management.
  • Favourable Work Environment – Positive attitude will create a conducive/friendly atmosphere which naturally elicits performance as there is cooperation rather than conflict; harmonious relationship in place of rancour.

(Give a good example and conclude with a quote)

Note: Many of you have given very poor and bad examples. Please be careful while writing examples, don’t bring your emotions or reflect negative attributes in your answers.

Some quotes:

“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”                                                                                      

– Irving Berlin

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”

– W. C. Fields


Best answer: El Nino

An attitude is a learned tendency to evaluate people, issues, events and objects in a particular way and determines our behaviour and action towards them. Attitude affects our relationship with surrounding and our quality of work. It becomes our identity.

Following are some factors that shape the attitude of an individual –

  1. a) Belief – People who don’t believe in God develop negative attitude towards religion and hence become less tolerant towards religious events.
  2. b) Experience – An attitude is a summary of a person’s past experience. A negative experience with one auto rickshaw driver may develop negative attitude towards all of them.
  3. c) Values – A person with values like honesty and integrity will exhibit zero tolerance for corruption. People with empathy and compassion for animals and plants show environmental activism.
  4. d) Relation to Needs: Attitudes vary in relative to requirements they serve. Attitudes of an individual toward tobacco may be very negative and same may not be true for an employee of a tobacco company.

Civil servants attitude must be trained because of following reason:

  1. a) To uphold constitutional values – like empathy and compassion towards weak, respect for women, protection of environment. Eg: recently a traffic police was seen holding a brick against a woman.
  2. b) Practice civil service values –
  • Objectivity – A secretary who has negative attitude towards reservation if asked to prepare a report on the same must be able to do it objectively.
  • Responsive – Civil servants are accused of showing resistance to power sharing and decentralization. They must change their attitude to respond to aspirations of people.
  • Professionalism

Recently government had to introduce biometric to bring punctuality in public servants. Punctuality should rather be their attitude and come from within.

Recently CBI chief was alleged to meet many accused in 2G spectrum case at his residence. Professional attitude will avert such cases and help maintain public trust in higher institutions.

As has been said by Winston Churchill, ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference’. Government must proactively work on attitude change of civil servants.

2. In public service, persuasion plays a critical role. Where in your opinion, persuasive communication can play an important role? Which tools will you adopt for effective persuasion? Discuss by taking an example.

What is persuasion? (You can use any other definition but the content and message should be on the same line)

Note: In Ethics paper try providing flowcharts or small pictorial representations wherever appropriate to score 2-3 marks extra.

According to Perloff (2003), persuasion can be defined as “…a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue through the transmission of a message in an atmosphere of free choice.”

The key elements of this definition of persuasion are that:

  • Persuasion is symbolic, utilizing words, images, sounds, etc.
  • It involves a deliberate attempt to influence others.
  • Self-persuasion is key. People are not coerced; they are instead free to choose.
  • Methods of transmitting persuasive messages can occur in a variety of ways, including verbally and nonverbally via television, radio, Internet or face-to-face communication.

Where can we use persuasion in public service? (One way of classification is given below)

  1. International relations – Diplomacy etc.
  2. National level – Law making, Elections, debates, Events etc.
  3. Society/Community level – to change some social norms, tolerance, behavioral changes etc.
  4. Individual level – Attitudinal change, Motivation etc.

Persuasion tools: (Given in detail just for knowledge purpose – you should use them as per your need)

Aristotle’s tools of Persuasion

  • Argument by character
  • Argument by logic
  • Argument by emotion




The Persuasion tool model for Negotiation:

The model can help you find the best negotiation approach to use, based on your level of intuition and your influencing capabilities. You can use the model to develop your influencing and persuasion skills, and become a better negotiator.



In this diagram, the horizontal axis represents influencing, which is a measure of your overall persuasion capability. The vertical axis represents the level of intuition required when using a certain negotiation style.

The quadrants highlight negotiation approaches that may work best for you, based on your levels of intuition and your influencing skills. These approaches are emotion, logicbargaining, and compromise.

For example, if you have a low level of intuition but you’re good at influencing others, the best approach would be to use logic in a negotiation. However, if you have low intuition and are poor at influencing others, the best approach would be to use compromise.

(Read in detail – https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_80.htm)

Another way of looking at the tools:




You can give a personal/ Newspaper or any fictional example but those examples should be relevant and reflect the message properly. In fact, you can give an example with every tool you mentioned above.

Best answer 1: El Nino

Public service is about building social capital and good relation between public and government. Hence persuasion plays a critical role in public service.

Persuasive communication can play an important role in following situation:

  1. a) Bringing social change – To deal with issues like girl child education, inter caste marriage, temple entry for women, persuasion may be the only solution because change has to be brought keep intact the dignity and respect of all stake holders.
  2. b) Imposing new rules – which bring inconvenience to people. Like odd – even scheme of Delhi government. On the first day of violation of rule people were given red rose and no fine was imposed. Later people willingly followed the rule.
  3. c) Moral conditioning – Persuasion can bring change in attitude of people. In Delhi Metro various signboards on certain seats asks passengers to offer that seat to needy people. Similarly, regular announcements to keep the station clean persuade people to change their behavior.

Following tools can be adopted for effective persuasion:

  1. a) Incentive – For instance in income declaration scheme a window was open to declare black money with some fine and no legal action.
  2. b) Faith and trust – For land acquisition as has been done in case of land acquisition for capital Amravati.
  3. c) Scientific evidence – To inculcate environmental value like shifting to CNG, LPG, Bharat stage IV, odd- even scheme etc.
  4. d) Appeal to emotion – like advertise of Delhi police to drive slowly.
  5. e) Coercive persuasion – to respect the modesty of women by making laws more stringent as has been done recently by amending IPC.

Persuasion brings lasting change in a person’s behavior. Hence this tool must be used more by organization and government.


Best answer 2: Officer in making

Persuasion is an attempt to change a person’s or society’s attitude and their certain beliefs towards a situation or object or person. It plays a very crucial and critical role in public service. As our society is more of traditional, pluralistic with different culture, beliefs; Public servants would come across many instances to persuade the society.

In my opinion Persuasive communication can play an important role where is a conflict between Reason and one’s Emotion. It can be understood by this example-

It is more often seen in the time of Disaster Management, people would suffer from an unavoidable disaster hesitates from leaving their homeland to a safety place, which would be going to destroy probably. At this circumstances, Persuasion plays an important role.

At the above situation the tool I would adopt is to make them aware of outcomes of reasons and emotions. If they would leave the place they would get rehabilitation, they would restart their life. If they will not leave they would endanger themselves including their property, even it would cost their life. Making someone aware of the outcomes between the conflict he/she is having would largely impact their decision further, this is how persuasion plays a major role in the domain of a public servant.

3. Society tends to impose certain value systems which may or may not be conducive to the law of the land. However, it becomes difficult to ignore them in public administration. Can you describe one such situation wherein social mores and laws come in direct conflict with each other? How will you address the conflict? Discuss.

Social values form an important part of the culture of the society. Values account for the stability of social order. They provide the general guidelines for social conduct. Values such as fundamental rights, patriotism, respect for human dignity, rationality, sacrifice, individuality, equality, democracy etc. guide our behaviour in many ways. Values are the criteria people use in assessing their daily lives; arrange their priorities and choosing between alternative course of action.

Some values are universal, but some values are particular to a society. Since they evolve in a very long time span, they become rigid and it takes a long time for any externality to change them.

In Public Administration, sometimes there is a conflict between what is legal and what is legitimate. Legal is something which is accepted by law, and legitimate is something that is accepted by society. A tussle arises when what is legal and what is legitimate is contrasting.

(Note: You are not supposed to write this detailed introduction. It is only for your understanding. Based on this understanding, select your example and your method to address the problem.)

Try to choose some latest legal/legitimate conflict. Like:

  • Khap Panchayat’s dictat.(Legitimate but not legal)
  • Live in relationships (legal but not legitimate)
  • Child marriage
  • Dowry
  • Caste system (temple entry, inter-caste marriage, untouchability etc)
  • Religious superstitions (Although it is a good example, but try to avoid it because it can sound controversial.)

(Note: Some people have mentioned Homosexuality in their answers. It is not a very good example here, because it is neither legal nor legitimate in India.)

Your Approach:

Your approach should be pragmatic. You need to understand that as a government authority you will have to be firm as far as the laws and legality is concerned.

If you think something is a social evil, first try to convince the people, involve the local leadership, use the art of persuasion and in most of the cases try to find a middle path.

A lot will depend on the example that you choose to write.

If it is about some very grave situation, like untouchability, you need to be very strict in tackling that.

(The key to these answers is a very clear flow of thoughts. You need to show that you are decisive and not confused. And don’t write contradictory sentences.)

Best answer 1: VIV0989

Laws of the land are a reflection of a society’s value systems. However both can sometimes come in conflict with each other producing ethical dilemmas for public servants.

For instance, Indian society is deeply religious while laws are secular and objective. thus religious traditions at times come in conflict with laws. A situation like barring the entry of women in temples in violation of their right of equality and practice of religion reflect this. Here religious values of society are pitted against constitutional rights of women. Disregarding the former while enforcing law in top-down manner can cause disaffection in society and threaten to disrupt peace.

A more sustainable approach to address such conflicts is by taking sensitivities and concerns of all stakeholders involved into consideration. A bottom-up approach through consensus building and education about values of equality, dignity etc will command greater respect and acceptance. public servants and civil society must have persuasion ability, emotional intelligence and leadership to bring about the social mindset change. At the same time, objectivity in application of laws cannot be overlooked while resolving such conflicts.


Best answer 2: Kept6363

Our society have a powerful hold on us. People would ignore law but not societal prescriptions. Law itself, cannot be divorced from the society.That child marriage is VALID in India though punishable, is an apt example.

Societies consider many things as appropriate which is unlawful. For example, the prevalence of dowry despite the Dowry Prohibition Act. Girl’s parents consider it their duty and a means to ensure their daughter’s happiness . Boys’ family consider it their right.

One can reform such entrenched practices by

1) ENGAGING COMMUNITY MEMBERS:- People get persuaded easily if the credibility of the source is high in their eyes. They would convey that it is mutual understanding that sustains a marriage which would make their daughters happy, thus resorting to ego-defensive mechanism

2) MEDIA AWARENESS including publishing success stories which can inspire many to follow suit
3) SCHEMES providing for INCENTIVES for those who defy this practice
4) Ensuring EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT for girls so that they become independent and confident enough to protest against being ‘commodifed’

Attitutional change is an uphill task but can be accomplished if gradual changes and middle path are put forth to first win the confidence of the society. This is what an administrator should first aim for.

4. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka etc. present a new and transformed face of terrorism. Do you agree? Substantiate. Since threats of terrorism are always looming large, what precautions should India take to avoid such attacks. Discuss.

For this question, as most of the points have been covered by the answers mentioned below we are just providing the outline/ indicative guidelines.


Your introduction could be a one or two liner mentioning the recent attacks and presence of terrorist organizations.


Change in methods of Terrorism

For explaining the new transformed face, you should know earlier methods. So just mention what has changed in recent times – Approach, reach, impact, weapons, funding, reasons etc.


In this part, try to give examples of current setup and mention what else we need to do.

You should mention various approaches/ dimensions like Institutional (law, agencies, global cooperation etc.), Individual (de radicalization, employment, sensitization etc.), Societal (harmony, vigilance, interaction with youth etc.)


You can conclude it by a line or two which sends a message that in present time when threat of terrorism is growing rapidly, we should quickly adopt a comprehensive strategy to prevent, protect, contain it effectively.


Best answer 1: Night Fury


Best answer 2: Dreamz Unlimited




Best answer 3: Soumya Anand 



Best answer 4: naadan parinda

Athenian Scholar Heraclitus once said that nothing in this world is permanent, changes do take place. Recent attacks of Paris, Dhaka have made world encounter with changed version of terrorism which is more dangerous & difficult to counter.

>Lone Wolves-People involved behind these attacks aren’t professionals, hence absence of substantial police records

>Influenced by radical ideology on their own through social media-absence of any established terror network to trace

>Highly unorthodox usage of techniques and weapons to attack. Ex-Attack in Nice by Bus
>Suffering from an inferiority complex of having discriminated by Western world and culture
Having faced the scourge of terrorism from long time, India needs to evolve strategy to resist this new trend.

>Eliminating the sense of alienation amongst youths of minorities. Providing them with capacities through schemes like Udaan, Nai Manzil etc.

>Preaching and spreading the message of unity and taking steps in countering radical Ideologies-Recent Sufi Summit in Delhi

>Active monitoring of social media to counter these ill ideas
>Strengthening intelligence mechanism b/w agencies and taking quick humane actions
>Need to stress on adoption of CCIT by UN in order to get clarity over “terrorism”
Changes do take place but wise are those whose approach is dynamic. Therefore, active cooperation of all is required to counter the menace

5. Social security has received huge attention from the policy makers in recent years. What do you understand by social security? Why is it important to ensure social security and for whom? Discuss.

According to I.L.O, Social security is the protection which society provides for its members through a series of public measure, against the economic and social distress that otherwise would be caused by the stoppage or substantial prediction of earning resulting from sickness, maternity, employment, injury, unemployment, invalidity, old age and death.

Social security may also refer to the action programs of government intended to promote the welfare of the population through assistance measures guaranteeing access to basic minimum needs such as food, shelter and to promote health and well-being for the population at large and potentially vulnerable segments such as children, the elderly, the sick and the unemployed. Services providing social security are often called social services.

Why is it important to ensure social security?

  • To give individuals and families the confidence that their level of living and quality of life will not erode by social or economic eventuality.
  • To provide medical care and income security against the consequences of defined contingencies
  • To facilitate the victims physical and vocational rehabilitation
  • To prevent or reduce ill health and accidents in the occupations
  • To protect against unemployment by maintenance and promotion of job creation
  • To provide benefit for the maintenance of any children.
  • Mechanism to solve the problem of insecurity.
  • Objective of DPSP – Idea to provide social justice. Article 41 lays down, “the state shall with in the limits of its economic capacity and development make effective provision securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness, and disablement, and other cases of unserved wants”

(Give a good conclusion)


Best answer: Peeku

Social security includes measures provided by legislation to maintain minimal income in case the sources of income are disrupted. It is a way through which the State ensures minimum material standards for all.


  1. Ensures security of income and provides a minimum level of material living
  2. Helps in restoring normal conditions after a crisis (medical care, sickness benefit etc).
  3. Provides a dignified life to senior citizens through old age benefits.
  4. Maternity benefits empower women and ensure their inclusion in workforce.
  5. It is an important step towards the goal of ‘welfare state’

Social security must be ensured for all, but following need more attention:

  1. Unorganised sector- It forms the major chunk of workforce but the nature of occupation is seasonal and temporary. Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 was passed for this purpose. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna aim to provide universal social security system.
  2. Women- The Maternity benefit act ensures paid leaves and continued participation of women in workforce
  3. Elderly- depleting sources of income in the old age makes the elderly people vulnerable. Schemes like Atal Pension Yojna encourages uninsured workers to come under the National Pension Scheme
  4. Children- Schemes like Mid Day Meal, ICDS, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan etc ensure overall development of children

Social Security must not be taken as a burden, but as a means to ensure economic security in longer run.

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