SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [19th January 2018]- Day 40

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  • January 24, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [19th January 2018]- Day 40


1. “Citizen’s Charter doesn’t give people any legal powers, just higher expectations and power to whinge.” Critically comment.


  • Define citizens charter
  • Write about legal status and issues involved
  • Utility of Citizens charter and suggested reforms
  • Conclusion


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.Citizen’s Charter initiative not only covers the Central Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations but also the Departments/ Agencies of State Governments and UT Administrations.

Main Body:

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.

  1. Citizen charter in itself cannot ensure a responsive and effective administration. Employees need to be trained, sensitized and deviant behaviour punished.
  2. Business process re-structured with provision of mechanism for complaint redressal provided
  3. They are nothing but pious statements of intention which do not contain any objective goals. Further they are drafted unilaterally by the organisation without involvement of stakeholders which is defeating the purpose of citizen charters.
  4. It remains unreached to public due to the lack of awareness, budgetary support to departments is poor and updating citizen’s charter often takes a back seat.

However Its importance in public administration can be highlighted through the following points,

  1. It ushers in a regime of transparency and openness.
  2. It promotes good governance.
  3. It incentivizes accountability in administration.
  4. It is citizen-centric in nature, keeping in mind the needs of citizens.
  5. Most importantly, it ensures better service quality, and grievance redressal.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has been supporting in improving the citizen’s charter of various government departments.Many states, for instance Odisha – (Odisha Right to Public Service Act- 2002) is in tandem with citizen’s charter which involves penal provisions as well.RTI Act adds a big strength to the basic intention behind citizen’s charter.

Way forward:

The ARC recommends the following in respect of the citizen’s charter for making it more effective:

  1. Involving the citizens in the making of the charter.
  2. Reward schemes to incentivise citizens’ initiative.
  3. Be made more effective by stipulating the service level sand also the remedy in case the service is not provided.


Effective implementation would require a consultative process between those entrusted with framing and implementing the charter, education drive to create awareness would go a long way in making Citizen Charter a tool for better governance.

Best Answer: Maximus



2. Who are the main actors in the delivery of public services? Discuss their role and interrelationships.


  • Introduction: Define what public service delivery is.
  • Body: Make body into two parts, one identifying the main actors and another for point out the inter-relationship between the main actors.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


Public services are a type of services provided by government or an official institution in order to benefit all people under its jurisdiction. It includes both paid and free services. Public services includes road, health, education, Transport, waste disposal etc.


Main actors and their roles in delivery of public services:

  1. Legislature
  2. Executive and institutions: This includes permanent executive like bureaucrats and local government employees and Political executives of the day.
  3. Judiciary: All hierarchical levels.


  1. Take provision of affordable food to citizen as example:
  • First the legislature as to bring in bills to make provision for the same.
  • Then executive arm should implement them with help of institutions like PDS, Ratio shops and government employees who make sure it reaches the needy and intended person.
  • Any issues with them or if state fails to fulfill their role then judiciary will intervene and pass orders to carry forward the work or take up a necessary work. Sometimes they themselves will initiate the task and pass orders where other two actors should continue the work and vice-versa.

Note: In Ethics examples are very important. So u can take an example and explain the content as per the demands of question. Above just for easy understanding one example is taken. You can take any example to show how there is inter-relationship between them.


Other than the above mentioned actors, there are other actors who don’t delivery any functions but play a vital role as mediators or supervisors to make sure everything is in order like civil organizations, NGO’s, Media, participatory citizens groups etc.

Connecting the dots:

  • Probity in public services.
  • Role of corporates in public service delivery.

Best Answer: Lapis Lazuli



3. Differentiate clientelism, favouritism, nepotism, rent seeing and graft.


  • Describe each term along with examples


It refers to a client – patron relationship. In the context of public service and administration it describes the relationship where people have to rely on their social, political and economic connections in order to access public services such as education, healthcare, subsidies etc.

Clientelism is prominent in developing countries like India because of weak state capacity and rampant corruption. Politicians find it difficult to fulfil policy commitments, hence they resort to vote-buying through clientistic strategies. This undermines the credibility of bureaucracy to deliver public goods and services in an impartial, accountable and efficient manner.


It is the idea of giving unfair preference to some individual, group or a company (such as in awarding contracts) by people in authority. The basis for favoring someone can be social, political or economic. For e.g. a politician favoring people from his caste or government making policies which favour rich businessmen.


It refers to favoritism directed towards friends and relatives. For e.g. during job recruitments, family and relatives are preferred.

Rent Seeking

When a firm uses its resources to procure an unwarranted monetary gain from external elements, be it directly or indirectly, without giving anything in return to them or the society, it is termed as rent-seeking. A common example for rent-seeking is political lobbying by companies. These are primarily done by companies in order to make economic gains through government action.

This might be done by a company to get subsidy from the government for the product which it produces or increasing tariff rates by the government for its services, etc. Such a practice neither leads to creation of new wealth, nor does it benefit the society.


Graft is a form of politico-administrative corruption where the public officer such as a politician, civil servant uses his/her authority for personal gain. Graft occurs when funds intended for public projects are intentionally misdirected in order to maximize the benefits to private interests. For example, the CWG Scam, 2G Scam etc are examples of graft.

Best Answer: SST





Oversight is one of the three primary functions of a parliament, to curb the misuse of public money. By the use of various tools a parliament has a duty to monitor the activities of the executive branch of government to ensure the laws passed and the funds allocated by the parliament are fully and accurately implemented. Corruption by government officials is a key means by which funds are diverted from the purpose intended by parliament and can also result in the unequal or ineffective application of one or more laws.

The main means by which a parliament monitors the work of the executive is through parliamentary committees. All committees should have the specific powers and authority to call evidence, demand testimony from senior government officials and subpoena documents. By conducting routine or extraordinary hearings and investigations a committee should have a strong knowledge of what is occurring in the aspects of the government under its purview.

For e.g.: Advertisements in the newspapers in favour of our politicians cost a great deal of money, may be about rupees two crores for a full page advertisement in a national newspaper. This is been paid from the public exchequer, so here it requires the officials to internalise the virtues of integrity and objectivity.


Integrity is soundness of moral principle which comes from character of uncorrupted virtues. It is putting the obligation of Public services above your own personal interest. The code of behavior mentioned in conduct rules of Central Services (conduct) rules 1964 expects Civil servants ‘maintaining integrity and absolute devotion to duty.


Ability to take decisions on sound logic and facts and must be free from any bias and emotional inclination.

In recognition that public office involves a public trust, public service agencies, public sector entities and public officials seek to promote public confidence in the integrity of the public sector and it also requires officials to internalize the virtues of integrity and objectivity to curb the misuse of public money, and the officer should have been:

  • Committed to the highest ethical standards;
  • Accept and value their duty to provide advice which is objective, independent, apolitical and impartial;
  • Show respect towards all persons, including employees, clients and the general public;
  • Acknowledge the primacy of the public interest and undertake that any conflict of interest issue will be resolved or appropriately managed in favour of the public interest; and
  • Are committed to honest, fair and respectful engagement with the community.

Best Answer: no best answer for today.

5. How does work culture in government institutions affect productivity? Explain with the help of suitable examples.


  • Introduction- explaining the concept of work culture.
  • Main body- How work culture affects productivity?
  • How to ensure healthy culture in government institutions?
  • Conclusion


Work culture in an organization is associated with beliefs, thought processes, attitudes of the employees and ideologies and principles of the organization. It is the work culture which decides the way employees interact with each other and how an organization functions. In layman’s language work culture refers to the mentality of the employees which further decides the ambience of the organization.

How work culture affects productivity?

  • Poor coordination between various departments- Fragmented solutions. The issue of environmental pollution cannot be solved single-handedly by Environment ministry, it needs mutual cooperation of other ministries like road, commerce and industry etc.
  • Lackadaisical attitude of employees, lack of punctuality- resulting into overall delay. Regulatory clearances have been termed as a major road block in ease of doing business in the country.
  • Business-as-usual approach- E-courts, e-governance, digitisation of work, less of paper work etc, once adopted may bring in transparency and improved efficiency. But the poor adaptability to adopt change has resulted to delay in adoption of technologies.
  • Lack of transparency- It results into opacity, which is a major cause of corruption.
  • Work culture based on mutual-coordination, discussion and debate- Results into dynamism, innovative and out-of-box solutions for long standing issues, improving productivity by a large extent. 

Way ahead:

The work culture can be improved in a number of ways-

  • Right kind of training.
  • Leadership needs to play the role of building a healthy work culture.
  • Encouraging those who have high ethical and moral standards when it comes to organisational tasks, citing them a role model.
  • Initiatives like PRAGATI, heralded by PM himself can go a long way in bringing a change in the way government departments functions.


As PM Modi has stressed its time the work culture is changed from “chalta h” to “badal sakta hai”. The youth in the bureaucracy can be the torchbearer of this change.

Best answer: Vijay Prakash



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