SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [28th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • November 17, 2016
  • 4
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
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [28th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. What do you understand by ‘codes of ethics’? How is it significant for the civil services? Discuss.

Codes of Ethics: A written set of guidelines issued by an organization to its workers and management to help them conduct their actions in accordance with its primary values and ethical standards.

A code of ethics (code) serves as a central guide to support day-to-day decision making at work. It clarifies the cornerstones of any organisation– its mission, values and principles –helping leaders, members and volunteers understand how these cornerstones translate into everyday decisions, behaviors and actions. While some may believe codes are designed to limit one’s actions, the best codes are actually structured to liberate and empower members and volunteers to make more effective decisions with greater confidence.

A code also serves as a key reference tool. Use it to locate key documents, support services and other resources related to ethics and values within an organization. Ethical codes are adopted by organizations to assist members in understanding the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and in applying that understanding to their decisions.

This Code of Ethics sets out the standards of correct conduct expected of Public Officers. It emphasizes the importance of a responsible, responsive and caring Civil Service and is intended to promote effective administration and responsible behaviour.

The Code provides the direction – a self-imposed vigilance is required to achieve the highest standards of ethical conduct.

Public Officers, in the performance of their duties, shall demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and carry out their roles with dedication and commitment to the Civil Service and its core values. Code of Ethics helps them to comply with and uphold the law, and project a good, right and positive image of the Civil Service.

The code helps them to deal with the public fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and to the best of their abilities.

In the performance of their duties, Public Officers shall not act arbitrarily or to the detriment of any person, group or body and shall have due regard for the rights, duties and relevant interests of others. They are, in addition, required to respect the privacy of individuals when dealing with personal information.

Public Officers have the duty to always conduct themselves in such a way that confidence and trust of the public in the integrity, impartiality and effectiveness of the Civil Service are preserved and enhanced. The significance of code of ethics is very high in all these aspects.

Best answer: Kumar Harsh

Codes of ethics are guidelines based on the core values and standards of an organization. These assist members in deciding between right and wrong. Civil services have their own set of codes which have following significance :-

– OBJECTIVITY: taking unbiased decisions devoid of pre-conceived notions or prejudices. eg rationally deciding course of action during a disaster, and not being biased to men in power.

– NON-PARTISANISM: helps a civil servant take politically-neutral decisions. eg not seeking favor for transfers.

– These help in upholding SPIRIT OF SERVICE and ensuring that work is done in a diligent, devoted and disinterested manner.

– Improves SERVICE-DELIVERY by making civil servants more responsive, empathetic and reliable. eg ensuring delivery to even the last-man-standing in a queue(ANTYODAYA, as prescribed by Gandhiji).

On the other hand, not following these guidelines may amount to MORAL TURPITUDE and also, INEFFICIENCY. Gandhiji’s TALISMAN should be the guiding light when in dilemma. Codes of ethics, if well-defined and diligently followed can uphold good as well as ethical governance, and help realize rule of law.

2. The codes of conduct for politicians require a legal backing to make them more effective and meaningful. Do you agree? Critically examine.


Intro can be what do you mean by code of conduct and you can also mention about lack of statutory backing for our own.


Since it’s critically examine, you have to write two sides of the answer. Both pros and cons in giving more weightage to one and lesser to another, don’t balance it to 50-50%.

The question itself mentions it is required so avoid saying no however if u have enough points to prove otherwise you can go for it.

-Start with mentioning about if given legal backing how it brings transparency and accountability for all the things said and done during campaigning.

-How it will upload the true value of democracy, secularism, ethical values and moral values, fraternity and universal brotherhood.

-How it keeps tab on sweeping promises made and lies exposed.

-How law and order can be ensured and guilty brought to books.

But the problem with legal backing is:-

-Leads to political problem and politically motivated cases.

-Due to poor enforcement record on politicians, it will just be another law.

-How unethical works are done by other field agents and workers so the main politicians role is always hidden.


End with saying how every statute will have problem but first step is important and gradually with times amendments can be made to bring in the democracy as provided by constitution.


Best Answer: Kumar Harsh [ILP: KUMA0203]

Codes of conduct are the set of guidelines governing actions of members in an organization. For politicians, although model codes of conducts(MCC) are imposed during elections, but such codes do not have any legal backing. Legalizing them would result in following:-

– Stricter implementation will check corruption. eg cash for vote
– will act as a deterrent, preserve law and order and improve adherence. eg curbing of malpractices like liquor distribution.
– Ensure accountability of politicians and transparency in political activities. eg disclosing party funding details, handling Conflict of Interest situation etc.
– a check on unrealistic promises and baits offered during elections. eg distribution of freebies like laptops.

Few argue, it will have no significant effect as:-
– Politicians have unscrupulous nexus with bureaucrats, media and police.
– It’s difficult to monitor activities and establish crime as politicians perform mainly field work.
– MCC viewed as an obstacle to development activities during the enforcing period.

However, a system of checks and balances through legal backing, must be imposed. This is imperative because of rampant corruption and malpractices prevalent in the political arena. It will bolster democratic principles of justice and equality, simultaneously allowing citizens to practice their right to vote with objectivity.

3. You have been appointed as the head of the Public Food Distribution department in a backward district of Bihar. Incidentally, there is no citizen charter in your office. Your superior asks you to prepare a citizen charter. What would be the structure and essential components of the charter prepared by you? Discuss.



Your introduction should briefly define the what is citizen charter.

  • Citizen’s Charter is a document which represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respects of
  • Standard of Services
  • Information
  • Choice and Consultation
  • Non-discrimination and Accessibility
  • Grievance Redress
  • Courtesy and Value for Money.

This also includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizen for fulfilling the commitment of the Organisation.

(general info)

  • The Citizen’s Charter is not legally enforceable and, therefore, is non-justiciable. However, it is a tool for facilitating the delivery of services to citizens with specified standards, quality and time frame etc. with commitments from the Organisation and its clients.

Body: (you can write your answer on below mentioned lines)

Components of good citizen charter: –

A good Citizen’s Charter should have the following components: –

  • Vision and Mission Statement of the Organisation
  • Details of Business transacted by the Organisation
  • Details of ‘Citizens’ or ‘Clients’
  • Statement of services including standards, quality, time frame etc. provided to each Citizen/ Client group separately and how/ where to get the services
  • Details of Grievance Redress Mechanism and how to access it
  • Expectations from the ‘Citizens’ or ‘Clients’
  • Additional commitments such as compensation in the event of failure of service delivery.

(Here take care of the fact that you are posted in backward area and public distribution department. So the examples should be mentioned according to this requirement.)



Your conclusion should say that the citizen charter is one of the most important tool in facilitating the delivery of services to citizens with specified standards and quality. In above mentioned example the usefulness of such tool increases manifold as the citizen may not be aware of their rights or not empowered enough to ask for such service.

Best Answer1: – CSE2017 aspirant (ABG)

Citizen’s charter is an essential document to make citizens aware of their rights and organisation’s duty towards their causes. For Public Food Distribution Department, Citizen charter should include

(1) Mandate:

The mandate of the department is to distribute quality food items to certain section of people at nominal rates fixed by the government.

(2) How to avail service:

Description regarding the procedure to obtain required services from the department needs to be enlisted clearly in order to streamline the process for public.

(3) Contact with officials

In case of any queries, contact details of the designated officials appointed to deal with such issues need to be provided.

(4) Grievance re-dressal:

Redressal mechanism to settle any dispute or grievances of people regarding functioning of department or conduct of any official needs to be mentioned in charter.

(5) Community participation:

The details regarding the participation of people and how it can help strengthen the department and entire system will help evoke public interest in department’s functioning.

Along with preparing citizen’s charter, it is essential to circulate it among the public so that they come to know about it. Corruption and Leakages in public distribution system is the cause of worry and citizen’s charter surely plays an important role in checking them.

Best Answer2: – abhishekrwt597

As the head of the dept in a backward district the following points need to be considered in the charter:
1)Mission, vision and Clear cut definition of services that are going to be provided

2)Well defined standards of services to be expected

3)Publicised organizational structure and go to persons along the hierarchy

4)Grievance registration and redressal mechanism

5)Contact no of the persons dealing with issues arising out of the charter

In light of job specifics, following points need to be kept in mind:

1)The charter needs to be printed in English, Hindi and the local dialect if any(with major focus on the last two)

2)Prevalence of illiteracy(assumed) may require that technical jargons may be avoided.

3)For the same reason, regular stakeholder awareness meetings, with local participation needs(Similar to ASHA workers) needed to ensure dissemination of information.

4)Focus on compassionate dealing and high empathy to ensure that trust is built between the public and the person.

5)Authorized POS, persons, and fair price need to be highlighted in the charter.

6)As the public may not have experience in dealing with the govt, do’s and dont’s(expectations) during interface may also be added.

7)Considering food security needs of the public, adequate compensatory measures may be made a part of the Charter(subject to affordability issues).

The charter needs to be reactively and proactively revised based on public feedback and admin experiences.
A citizens charter is in any case an important tool for govt accountability, However, in a backward district with few other avenues of redress, the importance of charter in holding the administration liable for its conduct increases disproportionately.

4. The idea of a Universal Basic Income is gaining traction across the world. Do you think India is prepared to adopt this scheme? Critically evaluate.

According to the idea of basic Income, every adult citizen of a country should receive a minimum salary irrespective of the nature and amount of his work, either from the government or from some public entity.

Since the idea is gaining traction across the world, it is argued if India should also adopt this scheme.

There are some positive aspects of this approach in context of India like.

It is not a targeted scheme. The targeted schemes in India have not performed well as people keep on going below and above the poverty line. So many a times a person who is just above the poverty line, even though may be deserving won’t be able to avail that scheme. This ambiguity won’t be there in case of UBI. It can also reduce distress migration from rural areas.

Also it will be in the form of cash transfer and not in the form of ‘in kind’ transfers like the case of PDS etc. This way they will be less market distorting.

But this scheme can also have some very negative effects as well.

  • Lack of motivation for people to work as they will be getting an assured income. With a very high demographic dividend this can be disastrous.
  • This will decrease the availability of labour force in the market.
  • This will also put a huge pressure on the exchequer. According to a survey, it will 11% of the GDP as compared to current 4.2 spend on welfare subsidies.
  • It is also seen that when a lot of money transfers are involved, the corruption rises. So Government will also have to invest more on regulatory mechanism.

With a population which India has and considering the developmental needs of the country, the time is not right to implement a UBI scheme on a large scale. A pilot project can be started to check its actual results on the ground.

Best Answer: Abhishekrwt597

Universal basic income refers to a form of unconditional monetary transfer from the govt or govt funded public institution in the form of a social security.

This has gained prominence because:

1)Continued global economic inequality and halting progress to remove it.

2)Increasing jobless growth.

3)Increasing automation(4th IR WEF)

4)Issues of accessibility to resources and corruption preventing last mile delivery.

Its application in India has been advocated because of:

1)Increasing income inequality(Although lower relatively than its peers)

2) Increasing shift to contractual labour leading to underpaid labour and exploitation.

3) Absence of social security for the poor(One of the lowest insurance penetration, and great opposition to recent moves to amend EPF scheme)

4) Inadequacy of alternatives such as livelihood and food for work program and increasing leakage and pilferage.(MGNREGA issues)

However, advancement in this regard merits caution:

1)Such income reduces the incentive to work. With india’s demographic(young) and poor qualitative parameters, this could create a huge demographic liability(by shifting focus from improvement to provisioning)

2)Increased financial burden and affordability(India still a welfare state; no viable financing source)

3)It will lead to an overhaul of the taxation and the pension structure, and new technologies for facilitating DBT, leading to cost and admin issues.

4)May derail manufacturing programmes(Make in India) by forcing manufacturers to raise thier min wages in tandem, thus driving them out of competition(poor logistics and infra in India, specially MSME).

5)Federal structure along with disparity in livelihood standards(questions of equity central; rich States already pay over and above the minimum wage for political considerations) only complicates this issue.

Thus the application of a universal basic income in India requires careful thinking, In light of present compulsions of the govt(financial and political), Basic income while desirable, may need to be deferred to the near future.

5. The marginal improvement by one rank i.e. from 131 to 130 in the Ease of Doing Business ranking is a reminder for several course corrections that are needed in the Indian politico-economic system. Comment.



  • Your introduction should mention the recent efforts made by govt. of India in improving the ease of doing business ranking.
  • Also mention the impact of improvement of rank on Indian economy. (in brief)



Mention the various verticals under which ease of doing business index has been prepared (in brief)


To improve the current position further we need to do several course corrections that are needed in Indian politico- economic system which are as follows: –

Political corrections: –

  1. GST need to be implemented soon.
  2. Consensus building process and involvement of states in policy framing process will fasten the whole system
  3. Land acquisition bill need to be passed
  4. Codification of laws and removal of obsolete laws
  5. Fast tracking of projects including faster environmental clearance process by making the process more transparent
  6. Reduction in corruption will have overall impact on the whole process
  7. E-governance and technology based clearance system will reduce delays and bring more transparency
  8. Overhauling of administration by setting accountability and proper chain of command.

Economic corrections: –

  1. Tax reforms
  2. FDI limits should be increased – which has been done by the government on large extent
  3. Reducing the regulations – push for market based reforms
  4. Agricultural productivity and investment in food processing units.
  5. Insolvency and bankruptcy code should be implemented.
  6. Problems related to NPA’s and banking sector reforms
  7. Trade facilitation and FTA’s will improve the overall trading.


Your conclusion should say that ease of doing business depends on various factor which require an overhauling of system. Though, the recent govt. has started various reforms but it will require some time to reflect changes on the ground. Meanwhile, state governments should work in collaboration with the central government to achieve the target early.


Best Answer1: – Bhuvan

In recently published Doing Business 2017 report, World Bank ranked India the 130th country in terms of ease of doing business, based on 10 measured indicators. Ranking, which is comparative to other countries shows 1 position improvement for India. On absolute terms India improved its Distance to Frontier by around 2% from 53.* to 55.*, which 37th fastest reforming country. Though, this improvement is laudable, as always there is room for further improvement for better ranking.

1) address challenging and result oriented reforms.

So far the reforms that yield better ranking/DTF are of less resistant reforms. For example, getting new electric connection from low power lines directly, reduced need to have a distribution transformer, which reduced cost of getting electricity for new business. Which in turn increased our ranking in _getting electricity_ indicator, which is less than 30, which is comparable to OECD countries. At the same time, reforms like GST are politically more challenging and are overdue to improve ranking on _Paying Tax_ indicator which is above 140 ranking. With GST, number of tax rates will reduce substantially and hence helps is reducing time taken to receive VAT refund for a corporate, this will improve _post filling_ measurement in _Paying Tax_ indicator. Hence, India need to push take more politically challenging and result focused reforms.

2) Use multilateral forum to have effective targets.

India can achieving good ranking with collaboration. In 2009 Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC), set a target to improve 25% on Doing Business Indicator in 6 priority areas by 2015. With 12.9% achievement it lauded its initiative and set another similar target of 10% of 2015 baseline to achieve by 2018. Recently, ASEAN came up with Economic community with similar focus on doing business. India can also leverage BRICS, SAARC, BIMSTEC forums, as all have common interest on Doing Business targets. Apart from increasing economic coherence, it will also help in learning from each others achievement on Doing Business indicators.

3) Learning from others.

Globally more and more countries showing interest in Doing Business targets and each have came with unique success methodology. For example, Japan setting a target of reaching top 3 among OECD nations, came up with 31 reform recommendations. These are categorized to less, medium, high political resistant reforms. Such categorization helps in proper prioritization. Rawanda, Africa`s second rank holder, has vision of reaching low-middle-income by 2020, has a separate department focused on achieving these indicators. Similar, dedicated units are also found in Kenya, Burundi. India can also come with focused, dedicated, prioritized plan for achieving better ranking.

Best Answer2: – ILP- KUNA3885 (thevagabond85) 

India, in recent past, has taken several measures(faster electricity connection, single window clearance etc.) in rather aggressive manner but improved only by 1 rank because other economies also taking reformatory steps. therefore faster and multi-dimensional reform needed without compromising with environment and employees concern :

Political correction :

# Labur law codification has been lingering down. tripartite talk b/w govt, industry & labur representatives should be properly addressed

# GST enacted but need to finalize the RNR and cess issues quickly.

# Bankruptcy & insolvency code enacted recently should be implemented

# Land acquisition is a major hurdle which require political consensus .

# Finalizing MOP and judicial reform to expedite case resolution. Effective judiciary key to woo foreign investors.

Economic correction:

# Agricultural productivity: need to be increased with increased irrigation facility(PMKSY) and improved rural connectivity(PMGSY) to tackle frequent food inflation and consequent impact in Monetary policy relaxation.

# Banking reforms: to deal with NPAs(Indradhanush) is equally prudent for credit availability to market.

# Tax reforms: Retrospective taxation which was abolished needs to be communicated well to F.investors. Tax adventurism should be curtailed(Shome panel on TARC)

India stands out as a haven of stability and an outpost of opportunity amidst the gloomy landscape. India must take above reforms to reap the rich demographic dividend. Given our finacial constraints, foreign investment can help augment our ambitious projects like MII, Smart City, AMRUT, SBM etc


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