SYNOPSIS [14th August,2020] Day 57: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)

  • IASbaba
  • August 17, 2020
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS [14th August,2020] Day 57: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)


1. “The true enemy of good isn’t evil, but fear. Evil will battle good, but fear will corrupt it”. Comment.

अच्छे का सच्चा दुश्मन बुराई नहीं है, लेकिन डर है। बुराई अच्छी लड़ाई लड़ेगी, लेकिन डर उसे भ्रष्ट करेगा टिप्पणी करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects candidates to write about how fear is the true enemy of good as evil can fight with the good but fear leaves greater impact on good by corrupting it. It also expects to write how overcoming the fear will help to supplement the good.


At the basic level fear guides our fight or flight responses and helps to keep us safe and alive. Fear heightens our senses and awareness; it keeps us alert and helps in better preparation. However, the other side of fear is that it holds us back from doing something positive.


Fear is a feeling or sense that imbibed in to the mind of a person due to certain danger of threat to his or her life or any other precious-valuable thing in his/her life.

  • When a person tries to do some good in the society he/she may have to face fear due to numerous problems. e.g. A person who runs an old age home and runs it through charity of people, might face fear due to demand of money by some local goons.
  • In this scenario the fear of survival if overpowered might lead to closure of old age home. This in turn has corrupted the good.
  • Fear to speak against corruption acts will not only question the moral standards of a person but it will also pose a question on the integrity of that person.
  • For instance, a civil servant is well aware of corruption in her/his department, but chose not to speak against it, in the fear that she/he might lose her/his job.
  • Fear to act against unjust will question the courage of the person and will pose a threat to the survival of good by corrupting it. e.g. Onlookers seeing a girls getting molested and acting in silence cowards who are fearful of speaking out.

Hence, it becomes imperative to overcome fear if we want  a free, fair and just society. Overcoming the fear will not only help to do good but also it will help it to save good from getting corrupted.

  • Martin Luther king jr. spoke against the racial discrimination and demanded an end to racial segregation in the USA, also asked for equality in jobs and civil rights. This mere act of speaking against injustice without fear has culminated in to good for the people of African origin in the USA.
  • Ashok Khemaka, IAS has been transferred 53 times, due to the fact that he spoke and stood up against the corruption in  various departments.  This mere act of courage shows the innate good nature of speaking against corruption without fear.
  • This act of speaking against corruption has helped in two ways, as it never let a person’s spirit down to act against evil and it also helped to have a greater impact for welfare of the disadvantaged sections of people.
  • Hence, overcoming fear will not only help to do good but it will also help to remove out the corruption in good.


While speaking about the fear Mahatma Gandhi has once said that all fear is the baseless fabric of our own vision. Therefore, Removing the fear from the minds and speaking-acting for good will help to have a harmonious societal life.

2. “You will never attain integrity if you lack the courage to stand up for what you believe is right”. Do you find this quote relevant for the civil servants? How? Substantiate your views

आप कभी भी सत्यनिष्ठा प्राप्त नहीं करेंगे यदि आप जो सही मानते हैं उसके लिए खड़े होने की हिम्मत की कमी है क्या आपको यह उद्धरण सिविल सेवकों के लिए प्रासंगिक लगता है? कैसे? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि कीजिये।

Demand of the question:

It expects a candidate to write about the importance of courage to attain integrity when a person stands up for what he/she believes is right.  It also expects to write about the relevance of courage for civil servants with relevant examples.


Having courageous integrity means being true to our values (or the values of the institution we belong to), even if that means overcoming the fear of the consequences for doing so.


Integrity constitutes adopting similar standards or moral principles in similar situations across time and interested parties. Whereas courage comes in to picture when one has the confidence to act or behave in accordance with one’s beliefs or ideologies, especially in the face of resistance, criticism, or prosecution.

  • For instance, Mahatma Gandhi believed in the value of Non-violence and stood for it even in the times of adversity. In result A strong movement rose in resistance to the oppressive British rule and culminated in to Independence for India.
  • This in turn ensured the integrity and courage to stand for it resulted in good for India.

Relevance for civil servant:

  • Creates credibility : It helps a civil servant to be trustworthy and get lots of respect in the career because honest and courageous people who stand up with integrity are really trusted by others.
  • Leadership: This principle is articulation of the same idea as I referred in the context of Mahatma Gandhi’s Experiments with Truth. 
  • A true leader will always lead by own example. If a leader is courageous and stands up for what she/he believes in then the vibes created percolate down the hierarchy, cleansing the system that she/he controls. By bringing transparency in the system and standing against corruption.
  • A civil servant is required to implement the orders of government without bias, with honesty and without fear or favour. 
  • It is precisely in this area that a degree of a difference of opinion begins to emerge between the political executive and the civil servants. But if that civil servant stands up in courage for what he/she believes is right then it will ensure integrity not just for him/her but in the system too. 
  • For instance, Retired IAS officer Mahesh Zagade once met with such a situation while signing the tenders for new road construction. Where after analysing all facts he came to conclusion that it will be an unnecessary expenditure of public money on the well built roads. It led to conflict between him and some regional political leaders, but he stood firm courageously on the value on avoiding unnecessary expenditure of public money and rose victorious.
  •  It Improve work culture and motivate subordinate officers to be courageous and stand up for what they believe.
  • It helps in taking bold decision: For instance,  Whistleblowers need courage of conviction to disclose information.


Courage to stand up for what one believes is of great importance  for civil servant in governance as it  would have a major impact on the everyday lives of the people and it ensure integrity by continuation of policy of honesty in the governance.

3. Who is your favourite contemporary moral thinker/ philosopher? How do his/ her ideas impact you? Explain.  

आपके पसंदीदा समकालीन नैतिक विचारक / दार्शनिक कौन हैं? उसके विचारों का आप पर क्या प्रभाव पड़ा है? स्पष्ट करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects candidates to write about their favourite contemporary moral thinker/ philosopher. It also expects to write about the impact of those ideas on to you.


The world has witnessed some amazing people, who not only challenged the way of life of the contemporary society but stood for their own values and brought miraculous change in the society. One such name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi i.e. Mahatma Gandhi, our beloved ‘Bapu’. 


The greatness of Mahatma Gandhi lies not only in his heroic struggle for India’s freedom, but also in his struggle to live with his own ideas of truthfulness such as Non-violence, Sarvodaya etc.  Mahatma Gandhi propounded some amazing ideas in the times of chaos, stood for them and yielded better result for Indian society and world. His following ideas have a greater impact on me.

  • Ethical Conduct: Mahatma Gandhi believed that as human beings, men can never reach the perfection of divine virtues. Still, they should strive with all their strength to follow the virtues of truth, love, nonviolence, tolerance, fearlessness, charity and service to mankind.
  • Truth: Mahatma Gandhi equated God with truth and designated his religion as religion of truth. He used to say God is Truth, which he later changed to “Truth is God”. However, his idea of truth was not taken from epistemology or theory of knowledge. Rather, he viewed truth in the form of an ideal of human conduct. He regarded that Indian struggle for freedom stands for truth and represents a just struggle for national and individual autonomy.
  • Service to Society: Service to the Society was another way in which Mahatma Gandhi’s concept underpins his practical actions. He believed that “only way to see God is to see him through his creations and identify oneself with it”. This is possible through service to humanity. He maintained that there is no escape from social service to those in search of God.
  • Cleanliness: Gandhi emphasised on internal (mental) and external (physical) cleanliness. There was no litter or dirt or filth in his Ashrams and surroundings. He said: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness“.
  • Ends and Means: Mahatma Gandhi believed that Men should adopt only good means to attain noble objectives. As per him: “No good can follow from bad deeds, even if they are well intentioned.”  
  • Ahimsa: Gandhi’s Ahimsa was not only refraining from killing but also show love for the whole mankind and all living beings. He believed that Man can only realize God by pursuing Ahimsa. 
  • Satyagraha: Mahtam Gandhi’s later work rested largely on a spiritual principle of satyagraha that he developed while working in South Africa..

These innovative ideas left a miraculous impact on me in following ways:

  • The value of ethical conduct teaches us to be ethical while acting in day to day life, as it will ensure the good for all.
  • Mahatma Gandhi equated truth with god. Being an aspirant for civil services, the value of truth teaches me to act truthfully in day to day life. As  it is the core value and symbol of right way of life.
  • The value of Ahimsa i.e. Non-violence has tells us that we should not resort to violent means to attain our goals. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly pointed out that truth and non-violence are inseparable and truthfulness and fearlessness is prerequisite for a pursuit of Ahimsa.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s conception about the Ends and means tells us that we should always look for good path to attain what we want. As attaining bad path to get what we want is wrong.
  •  Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts about cleanliness aware me about my responsibility towards environment. It helps me to act as a more responsible citizen.
  • Through the value of service to society Mahatma Gandhi tells us to serve the society in every possible way. A small act of kindness can also be a service to society.


In the field of moral thinking Mahatma Gandhi is considered as epitome of moral thinking. His ideas are not just relevant today but they act like a beckon of light in the times of darkness for us and will continue to act in the same way for future generation.

TLP HOT Synopsis DAY_57 PDF

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