• IASbaba
  • September 25, 2019
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Read GS 1 and GS 2 Here

Read GS 3 Here

Dear Aspirants,

We are all engaged in some or the other activity. When there is no passion attached to the activity, we call it a ‘job’. When an activity has passion behind it, it becomes ‘joy’.

We have been doing one thing with great passion and dedication for the last 5 years. Yes! We love to guide civil servant aspirants. We have dedicated ourselves into creating an ecosystem that gives even a person sitting in the remotest corner to crack the prestigious civil services examination with Rank-1. In this process, we have developed, designed and dedicated a series of initiatives for civil services preparation.

The quality of these initiatives have been proven time and again. It has become the norm to have high hit ratios in Prelims and Mains from the initiatives of IASbaba, namely Integrated Learning Programme (ILP) and Think Learn and Perform (TLP).

This article is not to boast about the HIT RATE of our initiatives in any case. It would be an injustice to say that these many questions, directly or indirectly came from our initiatives using keywords of the UPSC questions. In that way, if we frame questions over the year on all keywords in UPSC syllabus our hit ratio will be 100%. However, you are smart enough to analyse the importance of our initiatives and its very close resemblance to actual UPSC papers.  

Rather than numbers focus on its significance and make it a part of your preparation. You should work on the smart study and smart thinking to keep your inputs minimum and maximize the output.

Below we have come up with the Analysis and Approach for each question of ETHICS General Studies (GS) Paper 4 that was asked by UPSC along with the links and references of IASbaba questions/ articles. Needless to say- if you are regular with the initiatives of IASbaba, your chances of clearing the most coveted examination of India is really high.

We at IASbaba are expecting bigger and better results this year!!



The pattern of the paper remains the same as the previous year. Section-A is for 130 marks and Section-B consisting of six case studies is for 120 marks.

Regarding Section-A

The marking pattern in Section-A remains the same. Question number 6 has three sub questions which are quotes given by moral philosophers/thinkers which is on similar lines of the previous year question paper.

Many of the questions in this section demands only a basic understanding of the terms mentioned in the syllabus. However, many questions have two parts, with the second part generally demanding the application of the understanding.

Regarding Section-B

The length of the Case Studies is smaller compared to the previous year. Only in one case study, the examiner is asking about the options available.

Most of the case studies demand to suggest some measures with respect to the major issue in that particular case. This requires a stronghold on the Syllabus.

For example, if we see the last case study (Q12), the case mentioned above will not help much in answering the questions given below. In order to answer these questions, we need to know the institutional measures regarding the issues mentioned.

Similarly, Q.10 is asking about the consequences of politicization of bureaucracy. This cannot be answered just by reading the case study. It requires prior knowledge on the same.

Even in Q.8 the second part of the question needs to be answered with prior knowledge. Like measures to be taken to ensure that honest civil servants are not implicated for bonafide mistakes on their part.

To sum up, we can say that UPSC is checking your theoretical knowledge and solution-oriented bureaucrat by explaining the context of the question in the case studies.

Q1. (a) What are the basic principles of public life? Illustrate any three with suitable examples. (150 words) (10 marks)     


This question asks about the principles one should follow in public life. Here, you need to explain in brief the principles of public life like Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership. Then pick any three among them and explain with examples.


Integrity: A.P.J Abdul Kalam has borne travel expenses (to come to his swearing in ceremony) for his family in his personal capacity.

Honesty: Shanmugam Manjunath a sales officer (grade A officer) for the Indian Oil Corporation had performed his duty honestly by sealing a corrupt petrol station in UP for selling adulterated fuel, though it led to his murder later.

Leadership: Armstrong pame leading the way in constructing the 100km road.


  • ILP VALUE ADD NOTES– Ethics- An Approach
  • ILP Mains Mock

Q1. (b) What do you understand by the term ‘public servant’? Reflect on the expected role of public servant.  (150 words) (10 marks)


This is a direct question on the role of public servant. Here you need to define the term public servant in Introduction.  Then in body part, mention role of public servant in detail with examples.

A person who works for the government (Centre, State, Local) such as a teacher, IAS officer, police officers, Judge etc is known as a public servant. A public servant values public good over his/her personal interests.

A public servant while performing his role should exercise certain values like accountability, integrity, honesty, committed to service, effective implementation of policy, leadership, service delivery, empathy towards the vulnerable section.

Example on the expected role of civil servants:

Rajni Sekhri Sibal (ex-Director of Primary Education) was transferred for not cooperating to change the results of JBT (JBT teachers recruitment scam) . Being committed to service and possessing the values of honesty and integrity, she has made sure that no one can tamper with the results.

SR Sankaran (fondly called as ‘People’s Officer’) possessing the values of empathy and compassion strived towards the abolition of bonded labour.


  • ILP VALUE ADD NOTES– Ethics- An Approach
  • ILP Mains Mock

Q2. (a) Effective utilization of public funds is crucial to meet development goals. Critically examine the reasons for under-utilization and mis-utilization of public funds and their implications. (150 words) (10 marks)


The question is about leakages and corruption in expenditure management. You need to address why effective utilization is crucial to meet development goals. Address reasons for under- utilization and mis-utilization of funds and their implications. Then Conclude by giving the measures for the same.

Reasons- corruption and leakage, reckless and wasteful expenditure, high revenue expenditure, lack of scientific approach.


Under-utilization: In the year 2015-16, out of a total grant of Rs 9,000 crore that was made available for modernisation of Police Department, states utilised around Rs 1330 crore (14%)

Mis- utilization: Department of north eastern region – Misuse of Rs 900 crore in Arunachal Pradesh through various centrally sponsored schemes related to non-lapsable central pool of resources (NLCPR) and North Eastern Council (NEC)

According to a report, 56% of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (to address the declining child sex ratio and women empowerment) funds is spent on advertisement and only 25% used for actual work.


  • Wrongful utilisation of public funds is a serious concern in governance in India. Examine the structural and institutional factors leading to this problem. What measures have been taken by the government to address this problem? Discuss (TLP Plus/Offline 2019)
  •  Examine the challenges in the efficient utilisation of public funds in India? How are those being addressed? (C2C/TLP Offline Test-15)

Q2. (b) “Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption”. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer (150 words) (10 marks)


The question is asking you whether non-performance or not doing one’s duty by public servants is a form of corruption?

In the introduction, define corruption (monetary and non-monetary – misusing the power of authority to favour any person/party). Then in the body part, start by agreeing, yes it is a form of corruption, and justify with examples. Then give the other side also and justify with example.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Non-performance of duty by a public servant is not a form of corruption: it may be due to lack of coordination, lack of human power and budget.

Example: Justice M.Katju recusing himself from hearing an appeal filed by Novartis. He recused from his duty to preclude fears of bias.

Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption: expecting money for his/her responsibility, lethargic attitude or maintaining the status-quo for favouring a person/party.


  • A total of 225 Government officers are punished for non-performance during 2017-2018.
  • Failure to act is an actionable wrong as much as any malafide action by such public servant–District Court Judge in Delhi
  • SBI officials were alleged for their laxity in filing a plea seeking that Vijay Malya be barred from leaving the country.


  • People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow. Do you agree? Critically analyze.  (TLP plus/Offline Test-4)

Q3. (a) What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality? (150 words) (10 marks)


This is a straight forward question asking you to explain the term constitutional morality and how can one uphold constitutional morality.

The principles governing with right or wrong has evolved with time. During ancient time religion and societal norms served as the basis for morality but in modern times Constitution should serve as basis for morality.

Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of constitutional democracy. The answer can then elaborate on some of these principles like rule of law, equality, liberty, justice, tolerance and fraternity.

Example: Tensions created when ancient morality clashes with Constitutional morality by citing examples of Sabrimala entry issue, LGBTQ rights etc. The second part of the question can be addressed by citing the importance of education, awareness about fundamental duties and active citizen participation in Politics which helps in upholding Constitutional morality.


  • ILP MAINS VAN- Constitutional Morality
  • The protest against the apex court’s verdict on Sabarimala temple has exposed the deep-rooted cultural taboos towards gender issues. Do you agree? Is it possible to reconcile public opinion and constitutional morality in this case? Comment. (CAF- Day 1)

Q3. (b) What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience’? How does it manifest in the public domain? (150 words) (10 marks)


The answer can begin by defining what is meant by crisis of conscience’ and later how does it show up in the public domain.

‘Crisis of conscience’ is a situation in which someone feels worried or uncomfortable because they have done something which they think is wrong or immoral

In public it manifests in the form of ethical dilemmas and wrong decisions taken often overlooking the larger public interest/our own value system. It leads to realization of mistakes committed and the need to rectify it.

Example: Because of the crisis of conscience’, post-Chauri Chaura incident (non-violent movement turning to be a violent movement) Gandhiji had to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922, though many national leaders were against the withdrawal.

Resignation of Gopinath Kannan (J&K IAS Officer) citing denial of ‘freedom of expression’ to the people of Jammu and Kashmir was not acceptable to him.

Resignation of Sasikanth Senthil (Karnataka IAS Officer) citing that fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner

The answer can end with the teachings of Gandhi who said that one should always listen to voice of conscience during crisis period.


  • How does one’s conscience help in ethical decision making? Illustrate. (TLP Phase-2 2019)

  • In public life, conscience and not laws, rules or regulations inspire ethical behaviour. Do you agree? Critically examine. (TLP Phase 2 2018)

Q4. (a) Explain the basic principles of citizens’ charter movement and bring out its importance. (150 words) (10 marks)


The question is a direct one that needs to first define Citizen charter, explain the basic principles of citizens’ charter movement and then bring out the significance of the movement.

citizen’s charter is basically a set of commitments made by the organization regarding the standard of service, delivery time and grievance redressal mechanism.

The six principles of the Citizen charter movement are: (i) Quality: Improving the quality of services; (ii) Choice: Wherever possible; (iii) Standards: Specify what to expect and how to act if standards are not met; (iv) Value: For the taxpayers money; (v) Accountability: Individuals and Organisations; and (vi) Transparency: Rules/ Procedures/ Schemes/Grievances. The answer can expand on these principles and the progress made by India with regard to Citizen Charter.


  • What purpose do citizen charters serve? Is it effective in India? Critically comment. (TLP Phase 2 2018)

Q4. (b) There is a view that the official secrets act is an obstacle to the implementation of the Rights to Information act. Do you agree with the view? Discuss (150 words) (10 marks)


The question is asking your opinion on the statement ‘Is official secrets act (OSA) an obstacle to the implementation of Rights to Information act’. You need to prove whether the 2 acts (official secrets and RTI) are in conflict, is there any misuse of the provisions of Official secrets act or compatible.

Initially, you should give a brief background about the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the intention behind such historic legislation. You can quote SC observation which stated that RTI is inherent in Right to freedom of expression (Article 19)

The second part of the answer needs to elaborate on the origin of the Official Secrets Act (Colonial times) and merits in its continuance (National Security). The colonial-era law meant for ensuring secrecy and confidentiality in governance, mostly on national security and espionage issues, has often been cited by authorities for refusing to divulge information. Governments have also faced criticism for misusing the law against journalists and whistleblowers.

The third part of the answer should bring out the conflicts between these two acts and the possibility of misuse of OSA in denying information under RTI Act which hampers the democratic functioning of the country.

The OSA does not define “secret” or “official secrets”. Public servants could deny any information terming it a “secret” when asked under the RTI Act. The 2nd ARC report stated that as the OSA’s background is the colonial climate of mistrust of people and the primacy of public officials in dealing with the citizens, it created a culture of secrecy. “Confidentiality became the norm and disclosure the exception,” it said. This tendency was challenged when the Right to Information Act came into existence.

In the concluding part, the answer can take a stand by suggesting to narrow the definition/ambit of Official Secrets act so as to safeguard National Security as well as to not hinder transparency under RTI.



Q.5 (a) What do you understand by probity in governance? Based on your understanding of the term, suggest measures for ensuring probity in government. (150 words) (10 marks)


This question consists of two parts, of which the first one is asking about your understanding of probity in governance and the second is asking to write the measures to ensure such probity.

Firstly, define probity and explain about probity by giving examples/case study.

Based on the explanation given about probity in the first part, one must suggest some measures which will ensure probity in Government.

Probity is the act of strict adherence to the highest principles and ideals (integrity, good character, honesty, decency) rather than just avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals. Moreover, Probity has been described as a risk management approach ensuring procedural integrity.


 Public servants should be held personally responsible for their mala fide acts in the discharge of their functions as public servants.

  • The necessity for a law providing for confiscation of illegally acquired assets by public servants.
  • The Hota Committee had also drawn attention to the delays and procedural aspects therein which prevent disciplinary penalties from becoming a tool for ensuring efficiency and probity.
  • As a society, we must evolve to a level where probity becomes a way of life, where honesty is a routine expectation


  •  What is ‘probity’? Why is it a desirable attribute to have for a civil servant? Examine. (TLP Phase-2 2019)

  • Examine the concept and application of ‘probity in governance’. (TLP Phase-1 2019)

  • Probity is a much broader concept than merely ‘honesty’ or ‘financial rectitude’. Do you agree? Substantiate. (C2C/TLP Offline 2019 GS-4 Full Mock)

Q.5 (b) “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you instead of against you.” Do you agree with this view? Discuss. (150 words) (10 marks)


The first line of the question itself is defining emotional intelligence. According to statement emotional intelligence is nothing but making proper use (intelligent use) of the emotions such that the emotions will benefit an individual instead of causing harm.The second part of the question is asking your view on the statement given.

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the capability of a person to manage and control his or her emotions and possess the ability to control the emotions of others as well.


Emotions working against an individual: IAS officer Mukesh Pandey (DM of Buxar) committed suicide due to some personal emotions/issues (Sadness, frustration)

Emotionally Intelligent: P.V. Sindhu losing in two consecutive Badminton World Championships finals won the 2019 Badminton World Championships. (Converted disappointment, frustration to Grit and Success)


  • What qualities make a person ‘emotionally intelligent’? Explain. (C2C 2019/TLP offline Test-10)
  • Is an emotionally intelligent person a better administrator? Illustrate. (TLP Plus/Offline Test-9)
  • A person’s ability to perceive, identify and manage emotions allows him to develop the kinds of social and emotional competencies that are important for success in almost any job. Elucidate. (ILP MAINS)

Q.6 What do each of the following quotations mean to you?


The quotation given by the thinker/moral philosopher should be first explained in simple terms. Then one must provide real life examples/case studies which will fit in to such an explanation.

One can also provide counter-arguments. However, they must be substantiated with examples and case studies.

6 (a) “An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates (150 words) (10 marks)


When Socrates said, “The life which is unexamined is not worth living”, the philosopher was telling us that we should carefully analyse our actions, a piece of advice for which he should be admired.

One must constantly examine their life in order to improve their quality of life. Provide examples which will help in explaining the quote.


M Gandhiji – Continuously examined the steps taken by him in the struggle in South Africa which helped him to evolve the tool of Satyagraha.

A Einstein -Constant examining of his failures has led him to revolutionise scientific thoughts on space, time, gravity and light.

Counter Argument: Socrates’ statement does instigate discussion, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone’s way of life and what makes or doesn’t make their life worth living. The theory that all lives that are unexamined don’t have a purpose and should not be lived is unreasonable and simply not true. There is a lot more that contributes to a person’s happiness and well-being besides ‘examining their lives’. Factors such as life experiences, being with family, things to be thankful for, memories, and reaching success in life. Everything that makes one happy, and a happy life should most definitely be lived whether its examined or not.


  • “An unexamined life is not worth living.” (TLP Plus/offline 2019, ILP MAINS MOCK- Test-9)


6 (b) “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” – M.K.Gandhi (150 words) (10 marks)


The quote by Gandhi conveys that a man is what he thinks. Gandhi emphasizes upon the importance of thoughts and its role in shaping an individual.

Explain about the importance of thoughts and how they play a major role in shaping an individual.

Give some examples which showcases the importance of thoughts and influence of thoughts on an individual/society.

What he thinks, he becomes’ explains that a man can be described by the kind of thoughts he chooses. Thoughts can be either positive or negative. It can be good or bad, happy or sad. Since he thinks about it, he attracts it into his life.


  • Hitler – in the context of killings of Jews is influenced by his thoughts of Racial superiority.
  • Mother Teresa – Thoughts filled with Compassion and Empathy, served the people with leprosy.

Counter Argument: Just thoughts alone cannot make a person to become what he/she wants to be. Our actions too must be compatible with our thoughts as how we think and visualize it. If you want to become a cricket player in the future, you must not practice football now. If we want to become rich someday, we should not be lazy in the present moment. Thoughts should be backed by necessary actions.


  • All that we are is the result of what we have thought. (C2C/TLP OFFLINE (Phase 2) Test-5).

6 (c) “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (150 words) (10 marks)


In this quote Abdul Kalam has linked righteousness in the heart to multiple layers and finally to the peace in the world. An individual with righteousness in the heart can contribute towards global peace is the underlying theme of this quote.

Righteousness is the quality of being morally correct.

After defining righteousness, one must explain how righteousness in the heart will ultimately lead to peace in the world. In this regard, one can explain upon all the interconnections which will lead to a peaceful world.


  • K.Gandhi: Righteousness in the Heart made Gandhiji a strong character, where he never buckled under any pressure and always stuck to his principles of non-violence (Satyagraha), which in turn led to mass mobilization, creation of oneness’ in the country (bringing order in the nation) and he finally emphasized upon Sarva Dharma Samabhava to quell divisions that had begun to develop between Hindus and Muslims toward the end of the British Raj (bringing in peace)
  • Nelson Mandela: Righteousness in the Heart- gave equal right to the Whites in South Africa which has led to order in the nation contributing to world peace.


Case Studies:


Q7. You are heading the rescue operations in an area affected by severe natural calamity, thousands of people are rendered homeless and deprived of food, drinking water and other basic amenities. Rescue work has been disrupted by heavy rainfall and damaged to supply routes. The local people are seeding with anger against the delayed limited rescue operations. When your team reaches the affected area, the people there heckle and even assault some of the team members. One of your team member is even severely injured. Faced with this crisis some team member plead with you to call off the operations freeing threats to their life.

In such trying circumstances, what will be your response? Examine the qualities of a public servant which will be required to manage the situations. (250 words) (20 marks)


Subject Matter of the Case Study:

This case study shows you the challenges that an officer faces in Disaster Management process. This type of situation will be faced by majority of public/civil servants, as India is prone to frequent floods and droughts across the country.

Ethical Dilemma:

  •  Integrity, honesty, Compassion, and Commitment VS Self-protection.


Here you need to first understand the ground level situation and then take spontaneous action.

In the first part, you need to mention the steps you will be taking to bring the situation under control and then in the second part of the answer you need to list out the qualities that are required by the public servant in such situations.

Examples: Leadership capabilities like Emotional intelligence, Empathy, compassion, Sensitivity of the situation, Accountability, Respect for colleagues and protecting them etc.

Your answer here should be practical and not very idealistic or extremes. You need to show here your capacity and capabilities to handle such a situation and to prove why you can be a good civil servant.


  • You are posted in one of the worst flood-affected districts in a South Indian state. Thousands have got displaced by the floods and there is pressure from your political bosses to tackle the floods with better efficiency and deeper engagement with people. A notorious local leader is trying to provoke the affected people by spreading rumours that the administration is siphoning off the money allocated for flood relief. One day you receive information that some flood-affected villagers have become violent and they have assaulted a flood relief officer. The officer has been held hostage by the crowd and they are demanding your presence to release him. Your security officer suggests that you avoid going to the village as the angry villagers might assault you also. In fact, they might be doing so on the behest of the local leader. What decision would you take in this situation? How would you diffuse the prevailing tension? Discuss. (250 words) (20) (TLP plus/Offline Test-14)

Q8. Honesty and uprightness are the hallmarks of a civil servants. Civil servants possessing these qualities are considered as a back bone of any strong organizations. In line of duty, they take various decisions, at times some become bonafide mistakes. As long as such decisions, are not taken intentionally and do not benefit personally, the officer cannot be said to be guilty. Though such decisions may, at times, lead to unforeseen adverse consequences in the long term.

In the recent past, a few instances have surfaced where in civil servants has been implicated for bonafide mistakes. They have often been prosecuted and even imprisoned. These instances have greatly rattled the moral fiber of the civil servants.

How does this trend affect the functioning of civil services? What measures can be taken to ensure that honest civil servants are not implicated for bonafide mistakes on their part? Justify your answer. (250 words) (20 marks)


Subject Matter of the Case Study:

This case study throws light on the day to day functioning of the civil servant and the consequences of their actions taken during the performance of their official duties. We have several officers who in spite of being honest, have got jail terms for mistakes they did not commit or benefit out of it.

Ethical Dilemma:

  •  Integrity, Honesty and Accountability VS Decision making.


You need to bring out how this trend will affect their functioning, like for instance, they are going to be defensive by not taking timely decisions, obstructing to clearing files, etc. Also u can give examples like former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and two other serving government officials – K.S. Kropha and K.C. Samaria (Coal Scam Case)

Then mention the measures that can be taken. For example, take decisions on the merit of the case and take account of expert and Professional advice. Provide information and advice including the advice to ministers on the basis of evidence and accurately present opinions and facts. Decisions based on merits and facts.

Then you can end by saying Decision making becomes difficult when everything can be questioned and motives attributed. If everybody is playing safe, it leads to status-quo.


  • Why is it important to have high ethical standards in civil services? Examine-in the light of the current bureaucratic discourse. (TLP phase-II GS compilations).
  • Upon entering the civil services, an honest person is often left with two alternatives. On one hand, one can keep a tight vigil on all the happenings in the system and make sure that no corrupt or illegal practices are perpetrated by an individual. The idea is to cleanse the system and make it corruption-free. On the other hand, one can maintain personal integrity while turning a blind eye toward everything else. Most of the civil servants start with the first option, get demotivated midway due to the stubbornness of the system to change and finally reconcile themselves with the second alternative. What are your views in this regard? What would you do when you enter the civil services? Comment. (250 Words) (25) (C2C/TLP Offline Test-10)
  • Why certain values are considered fundamental for civil services?  Substantiate. (150 words) (10) (C2C/TLP Offline mains Test-10)

Q9. An apparel manufacturing company having large number of women employees was losing sales due to various factors. The company hired a reputed marketing executive, who increased the volume of sales within a short span of time. However, some unconfirmed reports came up regarding his indulgence in sexual harassment at the work place.

After sometime a women employee launched a formal complaint to the management against the marketing executive about sexually harassing her. Faced with the companies’ indifference, in not taking cognizance of her grievances, she lodged an FIR with police.

Realizing the sensitivity and gravity of the situation, the company called the women employee to negotiate. In that she was offered a hefty sum of money to withdraw the complaint and the FIR and also give in writing that the marketing executive is not involved in the case.

Identify the ethical issues involved in this case. What options are available to the women employee? (250 words) (20 marks)


Subject Matter of the Case Study:

Try to identify the basic theme of the case study. Failing this you will keep beating around the bush. This case study focuses on sexual harassment at workplace for women. Here you need to identify the ethical issues involved and options available for the victim to get justice and how to prevent them in future.

Ethical Dilemma:

  •  Self-interest vs societal interest
  • Means vs Ends


  •  Write down the issues involved and values at stake in the case.
  • Address all points of the case; ignoring some of them will not fetch you full marks.
  • List down the options available along with merits and demerits and what is the course of action she should take.
  • Write the solutions, immediate and long term.
  • Also, address any backlash/side effects of your proposed actions and address them.


  • The company you work for has really stringent rules and regulations against sexual harassment. However, you notice something worrisome. One of your female colleagues is being constantly harassed by one of her superiors. On one hand, he is giving her inducement for promotion and on the other hand, threatens to fire her from the job if she doesn’t give in to his demands. You tried convincing your colleague to speak up but she is quite hesitant. She has a family to support and in no way she can afford to take a chance with her job. What can be the best course of action in this situation? Suggest. (250 words) (20) (C2C/TLP Offline 2019 Test-15)

Q10. In a modern democratic polity there is a concept of the political executive and permanent executive elected people’s representatives forms the political executive and bureaucracy forms the permanent executive. Ministers frame policy decisions and bureaucrats execute these. In the initial decades after independence, relationship between the permanent executives and the political executives were characterized by mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation, without encroaching upon each other’s domain.

However, in the subsequent decades the situation has changed. There are instances of the political executive insisting upon the permanent executives to follow its agenda. Respect for an appreciation of an upright bureaucrats has declined. There is an increasing tendency among the political executive to get involved in routine administrative matters such as transfers, posting etc. Under this scenario, there is a definitive trend towards ‘politicization of bureaucracy’. The raising materialism and acquisitiveness in social life has also adversely impacted upon the ethical values of both the permanent executive and the political executive.

What are the consequences of this ‘politicization of bureaucracy’? Discuss.  (250 words) (20 marks)


Subject matter of Case study:

This case study throws light on political interference in bureaucracy and the effects of the same on bureaucrats’. You need to mention the consequences of ‘Politicization of Bureaucracy’ and also how to move forward.

Ethical dilemma:

  • Integrity, Accountability and Transparency VS Code of conduct, Upholding Oath of office.


Your answer should include both positive and negative consequences. Example: Partisanship: Bureaucrats might start favouring certain people/group over others with a long-term plan, Politics: They might start favouring/help particular political party in exchange for the ticket in future, Nexus: It might create an illegal and unethical nexus between elected and permanent executives and affect democratic principles in the longer run.


  • If read Ethics VAN of ILP and Mock questions– this question could be easily solved.

Q11. In one of the districts of a frontier state, narcotics menace has been rampant. This has resulted in money laundering, mushrooming of poppy farming, arms smuggling and near stalling of education. The system is on the verge of collapse. The situation has been further worsened by unconfirmed reports that local politicians, as well as some senior police officers, are providing surreptitious patronage to the drug mafia. At that point of time a woman police officer, known for her skills in handling such situations is appointed as superintendent of police to bring the situation to normalcy.

If you are the same police officer, identify the various dimensions of the crisis. Based on your understanding, suggest measures to deal with the crisis. (250 words) (20 marks)


Subject matter of Case study:

This case study highlights the issues related to rampant narcotics abuse by the citizens of the country and its associated issues. Your approach to addressing the issue should be to first identify the various stakeholders who are involved and the risks involved here. Then you need to identify the root cause for the rampant narcotics abuse and how will you tackle the issue and bring the situation to normal.

Ethical dilemmas involved:

  • Honesty, integrity and Moral values VS professional ethics, Code of conduct for politicians and Public servants.


  • Identify the various stakeholders in this case: You as a police officer, Drug Mafia, Politicians, Senior policers.
  • Identify the various dimensions of the case and its links to one other like Narcotics menace, which is supporting Money laundering and arms smuggling thereby stalling the education.
  • In the next part, how you will deal with the situation and measures that you would be taking. For instances, you will talk to village elders and NGO’s, involvement of Media in crackdown of godowns and mushrooming poppy fields etc.


  • If read Ethics VAN of ILP and Mock questions– this question could be easily solved.

Q12. In recent times, there has been an increasing concern in India to develop effective civil service ethics, code of conduct, transparency measures, ethics and integrity systems and anti-corruption agencies. In view of this, there is need being felt to focus on three specific areas, which are directly relevant to the problems of internalizing integrity and ethics in the civil services. These are as follows:

  1. Anticipating specific threats to ethical standards and integrity in the civil services,
  2. Strengthening the ethical competence of civil servant and
  3. Developing administrative processes and practices which promote ethical values and integrity in civil services.

Suggest institutional measures to address the above three issues. (250 words) (20 marks)


This case study throws light on the issues being faced by bureaucracy and the need for civil service reforms. The case study itself has identified the issues and is asking you to focus on three specific areas which need urgent attention.

Here you need to pick up each of the areas and come out with institutional measures to address them individually.

For example, you can talk about the implementation of recommendation of 2nd ARC committees, Periodic and Independent Evaluation of the Quality of civil servants etc.


  • If read Ethics VAN of ILP and Mock questions– this question could be easily solved.

END NOTE: You can discuss and comment below to have more inputs from fellow aspirants. Paper 3 will be published soon.


TLP Connect 2020: Prelims + Mains+ Interview Mentorship Based Programme (OFFLINE and ONLINE)

Important timelines in the Video:

Initial 10 mins – about IASbaba and Team

13 minutes onwards – Philosophy behind TLP and Details about TLP Connect Mentorship programme

35mins, 30 Sec onwards – Art of Answer Writing

1:14:25 (hr:min:sec) onwards – Live Demo of Answer Writing

1:37:30 onwards – Ethics Strategy

2:19:45 onwards – Right Attitude for UPSC Preparation







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