SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [8th December 2017]- Day 15

  • IASbaba
  • December 9, 2017
  • 14
TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [8th December 2017]- Day 15


1. How does attitude influence one’s behaviour? Discuss. Can right attitude be inculcated? How? Discuss.


  • Start by defining Attitude
  • Write correlation of attitude and behavior and how attitude influence ones behavior
  • Write how right attitude can be inculcated


An attitude is “a relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioral tendencies towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols”. Psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor”


Structure of Attitudes

Attitudes structure can be described in terms of three components.

Affective component: this involves a person’s feelings / emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”.

Behavioral (or cognitive) component: the way the attitude we have influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one”.

Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief / knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous”.

How does attitude influence one’s behaviour?

One of the underlying assumptions about the link between attitudes and behavior is that of consistency. This means that we often or usually expect the behavior of a person to be consistent with the attitudes that they hold. This is called the principle of consistency.

The principle of consistency reflects the idea that people are rational and attempt to behave rationally at all times and that a person’s behavior should be consistent with their attitude(s). Whilst this principle may be a sound one, it is clear that people do not always follow it, sometimes behaving in seemingly quite illogical ways; for example, smoking cigarettes and knowing that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease.

There is evidence that the cognitive and affective components of behavior do not always match with behaviour

Attitudes effect behaviour as:

  1. Determines our actions: We do what we hold dear and is an expression of our deeply held attitude.
  2. Influences one’s outlook – A person with an optimistic outlook has a good bearing and contribute in socially better manner.
  3. influences the mode of our dealing with others – A person with positive regard to human being won’t differentiate and snub interaction with other group member.

Attitudes being a social construct can be inculcated in the following manner:

  1. Classical Conditioning – By imparting frequent training and awareness sessions wherein the type of behaviour to be exhibited is linked to the nature of the situation (stimulus)
  2. Reinforcement mechanism – By rewarding positive behaviour and punishing deviant behaviour; good behaviour and hence attitude can be strengthened
  3. Social Learning – By modelling good behaviours, one can learn right attitudes
  4. Bringing about a change in the environment. A positive environment has a strong bearing on attitudes.

Best Answer: Ramyaa Rg


2. Examine the functionality of right attitude in discharging duties by a civil servant. How does lack of requisite attitude affect performance of a civil servant? Discuss.


In introduction, define what is attitude. Then in Body, make it into two parts. First part, write about right attitude and how it helps in discharging duties. Then second part mention about lack of attitude and how it affects the performance.

Since it is Ethics question, try to stick to 150words.


Attitude is a way of looking at any situation and deciding either consciously or unconsciously – how we relate it to ourselves and to others. Attitude pertains to our feelings, beliefs and behavior predispositions directed towards people, groups, ideas or objects. Attitudes are formed primarily based on underlying values and beliefs.

Points to be covered

Functionality of right attitude in discharging duties by a civil servant:

  1. Dedication to public service
  2. Integrity
  3. Impartiality and non-partisanship
  4. Objectivity
  5. Tolerance
  6. Empathy
  7. Compassion towards weaker sections

*Explain in two-three lines any 3-4 of the above mentioned points along with suitable examples

Lack of requisite attitude affects performance of civil servant:

  1. Lack of integrity-> Corruption
  2. Lack of empathy and compassion -> Indifferent to problems of weaker sections
  3. Lack of dedication to public service -> Inefficiency in performance and use of public resources for private affairs
  4. Lack of objectivity -> Improper understanding of consequences of decisions and biasness in decisions
  5. Lack of non-partisanship -> Political favors and thus inability to take bold decision against a particular political party
  6. Lack of tolerance -> Inability to understand any situation from neutral point of view and extreme reaction

*Write any 3-4 points with example


Attitude makes a big difference in performance of a civil servant. Right attitude empowers and develops positive values whereas wrong attitude makes even great qualities of a civil servant useless.

Connecting the dots:

  • Components of Attitude
  • Social Influence of attitude

Best Answer: Learner 



3. What hard power can’t achieve, persuasion can. Do you agree? Illustrate.


In this answer you need to compare between the two approaches.

In your introduction you need to define what ‘Hard Power’ is and then compare it with Persuasion.

Remember that you don’t need to go extremely against ‘Hard Power’.

You need to illustrate your stand with the help of some real life examples. Since Hard Power is generally used in context of IR, its better if you give an IR example.


Hard power is the use of military and economic means to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies. This form of political power is often aggressive (coercion), and is most effective when imposed by one political body upon another of lesser military and/or economic power. Hard power contrasts with soft power, which comes from diplomacy, culture and history.

Persuasion is an umbrella term of influence. Persuasion can attempt to influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviors.

Persuasion can also be interpreted as using one’s personal or positional resources to change people’s behaviors or attitudes. Systematic persuasion is the process through which attitudes or beliefs are leveraged by appeals to logic and reason.

We have covered two best answers here. In first answer, theory is nicely covered. In second best answer, amazing examples are used at different levels.

One of a brilliant example for this is engagement of US with North Korea and Iran. US is still struggling with North Korea while despite being a hostile nation, Iran’s nuclear deal is considered to be a great achievement for global security.

Note: The above example is also used by one of the candidates in the answer today.

Connecting the Dots:

A question can be asked on India being a soft power or how being a soft power, India can be more influential than Hard Hegemonies.

Best Answer : Sakshi Singh


Best Answer : Ramyaa Invinsible


4. What are India’s views on SAARC? Also comment on the viability of BIMSTEC as an alternative forum to SAARC. Why has BIMSTEC not taken off yet? Examine.


The seven countries’ grouping BIMSTEC connecting South Asia with the Southeast Asia received much attention after the last year’s SAARC summit in Islamabad was postponed following tensions between India and Pakistan over terror attacks.


  • Give a brief introduction with what is SAARC and BIMSTEC
  • India’s views on SAARC
  • Difference between BIMSTEC and SAARC and how it can help in regional development and cooperation
  • Reasons for BIMSTEC slow progress


SAARC was formed in 1985 while BIMSTEC has been in existence in various forms since 1997. SAARC has faced problems in the past, mostly attributed to India-Pakistan hostilities. India’s problems with Pakistan over Kashmir, terrorism, and nuclear issues have affected the working of SAARC since its inception. Hence SAARC doesn’t allow any bilateral agenda to be discussed on its platform, but even this provision hasn’t stopped the India-Pakistan rivalry from spilling over into the workings of the organization.

Historically, India has preferred to maintain relations on the bilateral level rather than pursue a regional agenda under the BIMSTEC framework. However, India has been an active member of SAARC, which is seen as a means to better relations with neighbors, one of the primary objectives of Indian foreign policy. To break out of the deadlock due to SAARC, India is now channeling its energies toward BIMSTEC. BIMSTEC offers India a chance to engage with its South and Southeast Asian neighbors without being weighed down by Pakistan’s consistently unfriendly attitude.

India’s view on SAARC:

For too long, India had conflated its regionalism with SAARC that was established three decades ago at the initiative of Bangladesh. While Delhi and Islamabad were both wary of the move in the mid-1980s, it was the inward economic orientation of the Subcontinent that limited possibilities for regional cooperation. As the Subcontinent launched economic reforms in the 1990s, regional integration appeared a natural consequence waiting to happen. As the South Asian states opened up to the world, it seemed sensible to connect with each other. But that was not how it turned out.

Difference between SAARC and BIMSTEC:

BIMSTEC includes include India’s northern, southern, and eastern neighbors, who are part of SAARC as well. But besides Pakistan, the grouping leaves out two other SAARC states: Afghanistan and the Maldives. Barring Pakistan, India is making efforts to remain engaged with Afghanistan and the Maldives. India has established a strategic partnership with Afghanistan and provides both defense and developmental assistance. India has been actively resetting its ties with the Maldives as well; India’s minister of state for external affairs recently visited the island nation.

In SAARC as well as in BIMSTEC, India’s demographic and economic might is a major factor. India is a rising economy and can offer large markets for trade, investment, and energy for member states of a shared regional grouping. The attractiveness of the Indian market and military capacity of India will be key factors in the future of the Bay of Bengal region given the economic and security challenges ahead.


More efforts toward regional cooperation in BIMSTEC have the potential to make SAARC more and more irrelevant in Indian foreign policy discourse, although Pakistan will remain central to India’s foreign policy. Unless Pakistan seriously rethinks its strategy in SAARC, it will be hard to keep India and other states interested in the grouping.

Best Answer: shivani


5. The recent outreach of the US presents India with the prospect of an enhanced India role in the Asia-Pacific balance of power system. Comment.


  • Introduction
  • How US is reaching out to India?
  • Opportunities made available
  • Challenges involved
  • Conclusion

The role of India in the Asia-Pacific region is growing reflected in change of terminology from Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific in the American diplomacy.

How US is reaching out to India?

  • US aligning with the idea that peace in Central Asia in particular Afghanistan can be attained by help of India. So far, India was out of the frame while dealing with anti – terrorism operation in Afghanistan.
  • A hard-line stance taken by US against Pakistan’s support for terrorism.
  • Formation of Quad grouping with Australia and Japan.

Opportunities made available:

  • The outreach of democracies Japan, Australia and USA in the region provides India with prospects to play a greater role in the balance of power system in the region, to contain China.
  • The Quad, if fructifies, allows India to play a greater role in providing alternative to the countries in the Asia-Pacific from neo-colonial investments of China.
  • With a major defence partnership with the US, India can augment it’s military power to balance China in the IOR and thus promote rules based order and freedom of navigation.
  • Elevation of India as ‘Imp. Defence Partner’ by US has paved way for India towards key and strategic collaboration on global security.
  • Put a deterrent on the Chinese assertiveness in the region. Quad Navies presence may prevent any Chinese misadventure.
  • Checking state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.

Challenges involved:

  • China is the major trade partner with all the countries of the Quad and with several nations of Asia Pacific. India is not yet successful in balancing China economically.
  • India’s project deliverance is not up to the mark of China.
  • The regional countries are already wary of the India’s ‘Big Brother’ attitude, cooperation with US may further stimulate negative feelings.
  • With India coming closer to US, it seemingly is moving away from the Panchsheel policy.
  • The unreliability in the US foreign policy and the US first attitude of Trump’s administration.
  • Side taking with US may hampers our relation with Russia as well as countries of Arabian Peninsula too.


Taking support of power nation is not a bad idea but it shouldn’t cost the regional interest. Ways by which India can avoid conflicting situations includes-

  • Entering into the groupings after taking regional countries, including China to an extent, into confidence to avoid conflicts.
  • Working towards economic integration rather than militarizing the region.
  • Accepting the US overtures with caution for power balancing while retaining the regional identity and character role.

The current need is a pragmatic effort to tackle the geopolitical challenges that India as a nation need to address.

Best answer: Invincible




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