SYNOPSIS [26th June,2020] Day 15: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)

  • IASbaba
  • June 26, 2020
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS [26th June,2020] Day 15: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)


1. What according to you is the most important human value? Why? Substantiate.  

Demand of the question:

It expects students to define human values and why are they important. Students should also write about one most important value with relevant examples.


Humankind is going through a new and unprecedented experience with the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic. A major challenge is to protect human health and dignity and to respect universal values in the current context.


Human Values are prioritized principles – ideas – traits which individual-society feels worthy to practice to guide their conduct and decisions.

  • Human values can be good or bad; 
  • Love, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, honesty, mercy, generosity, etc. are considered as good values.
  • While, hatred, ignorance, intolerance, disrespect. etc. are considered bad
  • Human values are influenced by family, society, educational institutions, peers, role models, etc.
  • However even so called bad values have relevance in certain situation.

Roy Disney claimed that, ‘It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.’ Thus, all values have great importance, but tolerance as a human value has special significance. 

Tolerance can be defined as ‘Harmony in differences’. 

World in very diverse, human life is diverse this diversity creates a wide scope for differences. Differences can be in ideology, culture, values, way of life, ambitious, etc. 

Tolerance helps to:

Encourage liberty, dignity, equality, equity, justice, fraternity, brotherhood.

Maintain peace and communal harmony.

Make friends

Communal harmony

Create ecosystem to develop consensus

Base for inclusive democracy

  • I could make some good lifelong friends irrespective of religion, caste, gender, etc. because of tolerance to each other’s differences and finding common grounds on which a trust based friendship could evolve. 
  • I can mix up with people of different age groups – as tolerance provides a realization of a certain mind-set that comes along with certain age. Small kids, teens, elders can be stubborn sometimes but with tolerant approach we can assist them in achieving mental stability.
  • As an administrator, tolerance can attract good-will, trust, faith of public and generate an inclusive framework for good governance.
  • A tolerant husband can compassionately acknowledge the aspiration of her wife and together they can overcome undue social barriers.


With determined practice of tolerance along with all other human values we can realize the goal of ‘Sabka Sath – Sabka Vikas and Vasudeva Kutumbakam’.

2. Is there a difference between a strong leader and strong leadership? Explain with the help of suitable examples

Demand of the question:

It expects students to define and differentiate between leader and leadership with relevant examples.


A strong leader is Primus inter pares (first among equals) by virtue of his ability while strong leadership is the quality of ability. Leadership is by virtue of his actions that deploy leader’s ability. 


Strong Leader Strong Leadership
Leader is entity with ability Leadership is qualitative ability of collective effort
Leader can be selected – elected Leadership has to be nurtured and cultivated
One can be leader by birth Leadership has to be by worth 
Leader must be brave, fearless, risk-taker Leadership needs empathy, compassion, inclusive nature.
A leader can be influential Leadership is using this influence to organize people toward an objective
A leader can be Visionary Leadership is to cast this vision on subordinates to achieve a set objective
Leader can be self-motivated. Leadership lies in motivating others
Leader should led from the front Leadership is leading from front
Leader recognises opportunity Leadership encashes the opportunity
Leader should have ability to make tough decisions Ability to implement tough decisions and be accountable for them is  leadership
Leader can go alone to make anything right Leadership takes every one along to  make anything right.
  • Muhammad Bin Tughlaq a medieval king was visionary, took innovative tough decisions of shifting capital, token currency, etc. but was not able to implement it efficiently. 
  • Democratic system gives birth to many leaders after every election but very few are able to create impact any sustainable impact through their leadership skills.

But, Leader and Leadership are not always different, only few good leaders are equipped with the leadership abilities.


  • Shivaji Maharaj was leader by birth but he also cultivated leadership and became worthy of title ‘Chatrapati’.
  • Former People’s President APJ Kalam was a visionary himself and gave that vision to a nation which now idealises that vision.

Many times people with leadership skills are not formally considered as leaders especially social reformers.

Example: Noble peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi generated a change in the lives of vulnerable children through his leadership skill. But such people require no formal tags to perform their duty.


Thus, integration of Leader and Leadership is needed to realize the true potential of an Individual and society.

3. Is it ethical for a political party to leverage political gains at the time of an external crisis? Critically comment.

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write about ethics in politics. Students should also relate ethics in politics with political ethics during external crisis and reveal both positive and negative aspects.


Political ethics is the practice of making moral judgments about political goals and political action. During external crisis the political goals and action of a political party are expected to be aligned with the national interest. 


Political ethics is divided into two branches:

  • One branch, the ethics of process (or the ethics of office), focuses on public officials and the methods they use.
  • The other branch, the ethics of policy (or ethics and public policy) concentrates on judgments about policies and laws.

In judging whether a political parties leverage for political gains is justified in external crisis, we should consider:

  • the importance of the goal of the leverage; 
  • the availability of alternative means for achieving the goal; 
  • the identity of the victims of the leverage (other officials, other governments, all citizens); 
  • the accountability of the political party (the possibility of approving the leverage in advance or discovering it later); 

Thus, it can be ethical for a political party to leverage political gains at the time of an external crisis:

  • Consequentialists object that if the action is justified, then the political party is not guilty of anything.
  • It is their democratic right to counter the views and measures of ruling political party, which applies even for external crisis.
  • It also makes ruling party accountable to opposition political parties and to its citizens
  • It helps to build a consensus for a unified response to external threat.
  • It represents a view of certain section of society, which needs to be considered for maintenance and development of inclusive democracy.

However, it may not be ethical for a political party to leverage political gains at the time of an external crisis:

  • Ethics requires political parties to avoid harming the innocent, external crisis have potential to harm socio-economic lives of citizens.
  • Deontologists object that if the action is truly wrong, the political party should simply not do it.
  • It should not push ruling party and nation towards an undue aggression like war, sanctions, etc.
  • It should not be done to create negative influence on society.
  • It should not misuse sentiments-emotions of the citizens.


To what extent does the end justify the means in politics? is a long pending question, hence, political parties are expected to take a balanced stand that protects universal rights of innocent citizens of both the parties involved in the external crisis that values life over death, love over hate and peace over threat.


TLP HOT Synopsis DAY_15  PDF

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