SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [29th June 2018]- Day 5

  • IASbaba
  • June 30, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [29th June 2018]- Day 5

1. An ethical and honest person can never be a rich and successful businessman. Do you agree? Substantiate your response.


  • Introduction: Give 1-2 introduction. It can be a quote and small explanation or what is ethical and honesty according to you.
  • Body: Two parts are required here. First part, mention how being unethical a businessman will be failure and how being ethical even if trouble appears it is short term. Two sides are also required not just one side.
  • Conclusion: 1-2 lines conclusion is must.


Ethics and Honesty are the two virtues which is required in every businessman to be successful. “You can fool some people sometime but not all people all the time”, this quote by famous singer can be adopted in every walk of life especially business.


With the boom in technology, access to information has become very easy. At click of a button you get history, review, opinion about everything. So being unethical and lacking honesty will not take you too long.

Example 1:

Take example of Mehul Choksi, a jeweler who is now a famous absconder. He had got several warning about quality of gems being sold for high prices from Dubai authorities. He did not mend his ways and tried to fool customers but it finally proved fatal to him and now he is a fugitive according to Indian Laws.

Example 2:

Jack ma: The founder to Alibaba, China.

When you see his life history there was several rejections and failures but he stood for his core believes and today the world can see what he has achieved. He stands as an inspiration for generations of Chinese businessman and also to budding entrepreneurs across the world.

Example 3:

Steve Jobs: Apple founder.

He was honest to this product and customers. He wanted to provide the ultimate quality and never compromised on that. He was even thrown out of his own company for standing up to his belief. But at the end the world will remember him as one of the most successful tech genius.


Avoid giving controversial examples like Ratan Tata, Vijay Mallya, Ambani. It’s always safe bet to go for those who are already proved by competent authorities and not by Media houses. Reason for Tata or ambani’s is Radia tape. Vijay Mallya: His airlines business was failure because of wrong strategy. His case is still in court. So do not derive at conclusion until proved.


Rules and regulations will have loopholes most of the times. Just with those two we cannot make a business house or businessmen ethical and honest. It has to be cultivated and imbibed in him. Experience is biggest teacher in life.

Best Answer: AKG


2. To stick to one’s high moral standards and values in a highly immoral society is plain stupidity. Critically evaluate the statement.


  • Introduction may include the meaning of moral values and why the today’s society is mentioned as ‘immoral’
  • Since the question demands critical evaluation, the body must include the problems faced by sticking to high moral standards and also arguments as to why it is necessary to stick to one’s moral standards
  • Conclusion has to be optimistic with emphasizing the need of being moral


Moral values are set of principles guiding us to evaluate what is right or wrong. They are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behaviour and choices.

Today’s fast-changing society seems to be ‘immoral’ because of rampant corruption, crony capitalism, self-interest driven attitude, political opportunism, a tendency of backstabbing etc.


In such a scenario, a person sticking to high moral values and standards may seem to be stupid. Because that person may bear the cost of being moral.

For instance,

  • Honest and non-corrupt civil servants who stick to high moral values often face quick transfers, harassment, threats etc.
  • Persons raising their voice against injustices of the society face social isolation. Social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy faced criticism from conservatives.
  • Gandhiji, in his struggle for independence, faced flak because of his methods which involved moral persuasion, honesty (Satya) and non-violence (Ahimsa).
  • Alsooften societal terms are biased and guided by caste, religion, region, money etc. The best person always may not be rewarded and the one who must be punished may not get the punishment.

In our daily lives too, in some instances, we face problems when we adhere to our moral values and principles.

  • A person paying tax regularly may be economically disadvantaged to the one who evades it.
  • Student cheating in exam might get more marks than the honest student.
  • Honest farmers feel cheated when bank defaulters get away from the law.

In spite of such negative atmosphere, there are many people, who despite facing adversities, have been quite successful in their professional as well as personal lives.

  • One such example of our times is of APJ Abdul Kalam, who in his various capacities as a scientist, project chief, administrator, advisor and finally as the President could lead a successful life despite facing societal problems.
  • Gandhiji despite facing flak for adhering to high moral values and standards could prove his worthiness to the world and rest is history.
  • People like Narayan Murthy, Nandan Nilekani etc. have shown high corporate governance values despite being in highly competitive crony capitalist world.

Apart from these, there are innumerable people working in their respective fields, who hold their heads high because of their adherence to high moral values and work ethics. Such people are internally happy and have pride associated with their work. They act as an inspiration to others and society as a whole.


At the same time, it is necessary to be practical and cautious enough while taking decisions and doing any actions. Though moral values are required they must be well thought out and must be backed up by our conscience, so as to be relevant in the today’s fast-changing society.

As an old saying goes, “to be beautiful as a lotus one has to rise above the surrounding mud”. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to stick to high moral values and standards despite being in such negativity, ‘to bloom as a lotus’.

Best answer: parul jain



Omki Chamki



3. A civil servant who maintains integrity and takes ethically correct decisions is mostly harassed by the system. In such a scenario, what remains as the motivation to stay upright and ethical? Discuss.  


  • Give a brief introduction on the importance of ethics in civil service.
  • Briefly mention the nature of harassment faced by upright civil servants.
  • Mention the factors that motivate a civil servant who is under pressure.


Allegiance to the constitution, following ethical principles are the guiding light for any civil servant. But in the current times of increased corruption, misuse of power, a civil servant is often hounded for doing his or her duty.


Civil servants who abide by and conduct themselves in line with foundational values would be unnecessarily transferred or removed from one department to another or be adjudged as politically partisan or face life threatening challenges. Many civil servants withstand such challenges and carry out their work without any fear. Such fearless attitude becomes a beacon of hope in present times.

The factors that motivate such personals to remain steadfast in such adverse situations can be summarized as below-

  • They have immense self-belief. Under no threat they would change their action as they believe that what they are doing is right and it would serve the right purpose. That is why Mr. Ashok Kemka exposed the corrupt dealings even when he was getting transferred continuously.
  • They have strong sense of duty and believe that doing their job according to the law of the land is the ultimate end to their job. For instance, Ms. D. Roopa exposing the VIP treatment given to a prisoner even when the person in question was powerful.
  • They have strong moral conscience that prevents them to take any steps that goes against their beliefs. Apart from that, it gives personal satisfaction to carry out the intended job as they entered the service with a goal to do the right thing.

Apart from these intrinsic motivators, civil servants would get motivation from few extrinsic factors as well.

  • In the time of stress, the support from family and closed ones would act as a great motivator.
  • Also, the appreciation from the people who are served by a civil servant also acts as a great motivator to act in the interest of the people. For instance, the appreciation that Mr. Armstrong Pame received from the people would inspire many other civil servants to dedicate themselves in the service of people irrespective of the stress they are facing.


‘When going gets tough, the tough gets going”. Facing challenges, getting obstructed from doing their job is something that civil servants expect. In this light, they need to be motivated enough to carry themselves in tough times and come out as victors.

Best Answer: P29



4. Even though materialistic pleasure and gratification remain elusive for a moral person, happiness driven by values and contentment brings true peace and stability in his life. Do you agree? Examine.


  • Introduction may include the definition of happiness. How it varies from one individual to other.
  • The first statement- materialistic pleasure and gratification may be difficult to be achieved by a moral person. This can be explained by an example.
  • Further the two sorts of happiness- one from material gains and other from actions driven by values needs to be compared.
  • Conclusion- a balanced approach can be adopted. Both are important (material gains and staying virtuous).
  • Ethics questions are best addressed by usage of examples. Thus, the answer can have 2-3 examples.

Happiness is a very subjective feeling. It varies from individual to individual. Some may derive it from materialistic gains while others may feel happy when they stay committed to their values and take actions accordingly. Happiness in the latter case results into true peace and inner stability, while in the former case is only temporary.


  • An honest bureaucrat by the end of her career may not have wealth as compared to a corrupt official. But she will have a sense of contentment that she has served the society to her best and sticked to her values. This feeling of inner satisfaction will result into true happiness.
  • Mother Teresa gave up all material pleasures she could have and focused on serving commoners. Her values of empathy, compassion, virtuosity were above anything for her. Her actions were always driven by these values. This was the reason that she stayed happy throughout.

It is true that for a moral person at times material gains and gratification may remain elusive. A chartered accountant working in real estate sector may be offered commission from banks. She being honest will refuse it and hence not have the materialistic pleasure. But this very action will bring in an inner peace, her inner self will be aligned with her thoughts giving her stability.


However, in present times just materialistic gains to some extent is also necessary. For a hungry poor man, a loaf of bread whether somebody gives him or he steals it doesn’t matter. Thus, a balance in life is needed. Wherein materialistic gains must be to the extent that the basic needs get fulfilled. One shouldn’t start cherishing these gains as any pleasure or happiness derived from it remains temporarily.

Best answer: Deena Das



5. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” Comment.


“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” Sir Thomas Elva Edison has aptly interlinked Non-violence and Evolution. Where there is violence, there is vulnerability, destruction, mitigation and extinction of the species. So Non-violence seems to be the paramount principle which leads to the evolvement of the species while living in harmony with its environment.

Proponents of non-violent:

Non-violence or ahimsa has been the proponent of religions worldwide. Non-violence has served as a pillar for numerous freedom struggles and identity movements worldwide ranging from India to the United States. Modern leaders of the 20th century such as MLK Jr., Gandhi, and Mandela held on to the belief that non-violence was the progressive way forward. The importance of harbouring such a philosophy was that it gradually led to the awarding of sovereignty for their respective groups. But more importantly, it led to the widespread belief that “tit for tat” does not suffice. The use of non-violence as a means inspiring national support was truly unprecedented.

Why it is important to be non-violent?

Many civilizations have come to an end in aftermath of violence, continual war among put their survival in peril. While the principle of Non-violence has been propagated from the time immemorial for peaceful sustenance. All religions are enshrined with the values of peace which leads to enlightenment and hence evolution. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism among few prominent religion of the world hold such principles sacrosanct.

Recent times, how society is changing with different types of violence:

In recent times terroristic activities has been witnessed which has led to mass destruction in various part of the world on religion lines and also to prove nations hegemony. Organisations like ISIS, Taliban, HIz Mujahedeen Al-Qaida have come and is posing threat to the national security. Also modern concepts like modernization, urbanization, globalization has exposed the weaker and destitute and his resources to the powerful. These people – marginalized, tribal people, illiterates, poor, women and children and also the other gender have been overtly exploited. Along with that we are violently destroying the environment in the name of development and also when we don’t care for the society and when we become more self-centric people won’t care much about the environment.

Hence it becomes obvious to adopt non-violent means to prevail peace and harmony among such sections. Also the violence inflicted upon animals should be curbed. There have been efforts by nations and at the global stage by legislating and passing landmark judgments in favour of posterity. Also International peace organizations and peace missions in the different countries are contributing towards establishing the peace in this world.


Nonviolence is a power which can be wielded equally by all-children, young men and women or grown up people, provided they have a living faith in the God of Love and have therefore equal love for all mankind. When non-violence is accepted as the law of life it must pervade the whole being and not be applied to isolated acts.

Best Answer: Gagan Deep


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