IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2 – ENGLISH & हिंदी): UPSC Mains Answer Writing – General Studies Paper 4 FULL Length MOCK Questions[3rd SEPTEMBER,2020] – Day 74

  • IASbaba
  • September 3, 2020
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Question Compilation, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, Today's Questions
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There are 14 questions. All questions are compulsory.

Marks and word limit have been indicated against each question.

The duration for the test is 180 minutes. 

Content is more important than the number of words.

Calm down, take deep breaths before you start writing your answers.  


Q1. (a) Describe ‘Kant’s Deontological Theory’.                         (150 words) (10)

(b) Define the following virtues and describe their significance in civil services:

                                                                                                         (200 words) (10)

    1. Goodwill
    2. Altruism  
    3. Dispassion 
    4. Objectivity    

Q2. Given below are two quotations. For each of these, bring out what it means to you in the present context: 

(a) “We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal”.”

                                                                                                                 (150 words) (10)

(b) “Many emotions are products of evolutionary wisdom, which probably has more intelligence than all human minds together.”                                     (150 words) (10)

Q3. (a) What do understand by ‘conflict of interests’? How can conflict of interests be managed? Suggest a strategy.                                                                 (150 words) (10)

(b) What do understand by ‘cooling off period’ in the Indian administrative context? How does it help in reducing corruption? Discuss.                           (150 words) (10)

Q4. (a) What are the changes to public services in the contemporary era?

                                                                                                                 (150 words) (10)

(b) Probity is a much broader concept than merely ‘honesty’ or ‘financial rectitude’. Do you agree? Substantiate.                                                                         (150 words) (10)

Q5. Given below are two statements. Bring out their significance in the present context.                                                                                                                        (150 words) (10)

(a) “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.

(b) “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”

Q6. What are the institutional mechanisms available in India to ensure proper utilisation of public funds? Discuss.                                                   (150 words) (10)

Q7. Don’t you think a legal and not an ethical compliance mechanism for corporate governance is more suited in the India case? Critically comment. (150 words) (10)

Q8. Define attitude and expand upon the tri-component model of attitudes. (150 words) (10) 



Q9. Your younger brother has got influenced by a radical religious outfit that promotes hatred for the minority and aspires to build a nation based not on territoriality but on religion. You have tried to make him understand the fallouts of such thinking and even reprimanded him for joining such groups. However, the conviction with which he debates and counters your arguments has forced you to rethink about your own notions. He presents gory details of the atrocities committed in the past by the minority community and also gives an account of the appeasement policy pursued by various governments since independence. He argues as to why can’t the majority assert its identity in its own country. He seems perturbed by the fiction that the minority community is trying to outnumber the majority in the near future by exploding a population bomb and also through forced conversions. You get to realise that even though his fears are real, their basis is rather absurd and illogical. In a situation like this, how would you convince your brother to abandon the path of radicalism?

                                                                                                                 (250 Words) (20)

Q10. You are posted as the block development officer in a district. Menstruation is a taboo in one of the villages of the district and people hardly talk about it. In fact, menstruating women aren’t even allowed to enter temples and are forced to sleep on the floor. Women use clothes as they can’t afford sanitary napkins or are too shy to buy it from the general store. When a renowned NGO attempted to spread awareness towards hygiene during menstruation by talking to the local women, the villagers created ruckus and forced the representatives of the NGO to leave. Further attempts by the NGO to approach the women was thwarted by the Gram Panchayat. The women of the village have been warned by their family members to stay away from such discussions and maintain their dignity. 

The NGO brings the issue to your notice and asks for your support. Now answer the following questions:

(i)What in your opinion is is the main reason behind villagers protesting? 

(ii)What steps would you take to address the issue? (250 Words) (20)

Q11. You have just been posted as the SP of a district known for its rich mineral resources. However, the abundance of natural resources also invites illicit trade and associated crimes. On the very first day of your induction, you are told by your superiors that the local mining mafia is really powerful there and you must be careful in your dealings with them. As disturbing the scenario in the district might be, you are more perturbed by the fact that no one seems to come up with a solution. You start getting the sense that the wrongdoings of the mining mafia largely go unnoticed as many senior bureaucrats and politicians are hand in gloves with them. The mafia enjoys heavy clout in the political circles as they are the prime source of electoral funding for the political parties. Similarly, bureaucrats enjoy their cut in the money that is extorted by the mafia from various stakeholders. Government regulations and institutional control don’t seem to exist in your district. Environmental norms are flouted, innocent and honest people are targeted if they don’t comply and crime is on the rise as the nexus of lawlessness and money power breeds criminals. 

Being the determined officer you are, you start tightening the noose around the mafia. You start streamlining the systems hitherto kept in abeyance by your predecessors. You start a consultation process with the local landholders whose rights have been compromised to get a close view of the ground reality. You get to know that the youth in your district is largely jobless and gets infatuated by the money on offer by the mafia and take to criminal activities easily. Hardly any of the miners possess a valid license to operate and yet mining activities continue unabated. Immediately, you start a closure drive on the illegal mines and within a week, only licensed and authorised mine operators are running the mines in your district. You also convince the youth to stay away from criminal activities and rather participate constructively in the drive launched by the police to make the district a safer and better place. The local newspapers are praising your courage and dedication. There doesn’t seem to be a problem and you start wondering- why was it so difficult in the past?

However, within a week, you and your family start receiving death threats from the mafia. Calls start pouring in from senior bureaucrats and politicians to turn a blind eye to the situation in your district. In fact, your office stops receiving the monthly allowance to maintain the police force. You are forced to spend from your pocket to fund the diesel that goes into patrolling the disturbed areas of your district. The situation turns worse when your salary is stopped for a frivolous reason. All of a sudden, you find yourself alone. Everyone is against you- the colleagues in the department, the political masters and of course the mafia. You start thinking about the safety of your family and send them to your parents in your home state. All your good work has been rewarded with threats and fear. 

Now, answer the following questions: 

(i) Does there remain any motivation for you to work for the betterment of the society?

(ii) Don’t you think such things happen in reality? How do you suggest one deals with  it?
(iii) Can a person single handily change a system? Critically analyse.

                                                                                                              (250 Words) (20)

Q12. As an agent of the secret service of the armed forces, you have the responsibility of spying over the enemies and pass on vital strategic information to the government of your country. You have been trained and nurtured in a manner that you won’t even hesitate to kill an innocent person if he/ she becomes an obstacle in your duty even unknowingly. For you, your country comes first and you regard your duty as the foremost service one can render to one’s motherland. 

One one occasion, you intercept a message that the enemy country is planning to bomb the pilgrimage base camps stationed at various locations in the bordering state. In fact, troops have been mobilised to give effect to the plan and it is a matter of hours that heavy bombings would start. It is not even possible to launch a counter offensive at such a short notice as major battalions of the army have already been sent to provide relief in the flood hit areas of the country. Waiting for the army to take command would mean severe loss of lives in the base camps. 

When your commanding officer comes to know about the scenario, he chalks out a plan and deputes  you to give shape to it. However, you are shocked to know his plans. In order to avoid the bombings, he wants you to immediately bomb a school in the enemy territory which lies in close proximity to the border. By doing this, the attention of the enemy would get diverted to the school and they might divert their troops to the school for immediate relief. This would buy some time for the armed forces of your country and they would be able to evacuate the base camps and also take positions to retaliate in case of eventual bombings. 

What options do you have in this situation. Which one would you choose and why? Examine the pros and cons of each of the alternatives.                     (250 Words) (20)

Q13. It is said that a doctor performs the noblest profession. Doctors are considered God by many in different parts of the world. You were always attracted to this profession and wanted to become the best doctor in your area so that you also could save lives and feel good about it. You were lucky that your parents supported your aspirations. With their support and your hard work, you cracked the medical entrance examination, attended one of the most reputed medical colleges in the country and finally became a doctor. You joined a government hospital and it was nothing less than dream come true for you. You were ready to serve the people with all those life saving skills that you had learnt in the college. Meanwhile, you got married to a beautiful girl and had two lovely kids with her. 

Work- life balance was going smooth until one day, the news of a new viral strain spreading in the southern most coastal state of the country broke out. The strain was so severe that even many doctors and nurses had succumbed to the infection and died. The situation had become so worse that no doctor was ready to treat the dying patients. 

This troubled you a lot and you felt that the time had come to serve the people in the truest sense. You decided that you would visit the state and render your services to the ailing patients. However, your parents, wife and children are strictly against this decision. They fear that even you would get affected by the virus. You tried to convince them by telling them that the foremost duty of a doctor was to save lives no matter what and if you didn’t go, the guilt of turning your back towards the needy would haunt you forever. But your family members aren’t ready to let you go. After all, you are the sole breadwinner and caretaker of the family. How can they simply let you be in danger? They love you so much and can’t afford to lose you. 

Now, you were in a complex situation that demanded a reasoned yet moral action from you. What would you have done in this situation? Examine the alternatives available to you and comment on the pros and cons of each one of them. Also, which alternative you would have chosen and why?                                                                (250 Words) (25)

Q14. You are the founding member of a political party that was born out of an agitation against corruption in the country. Even though you and your partners never wanted to contest elections, the circumstances were such that you were forced to enter the very same political system that you abhorred for its disconnect and corruption. But then, someone has to cleanse the system after all. 

Your decision to form a political party has been welcomed by many and your supporters are eagerly waiting to witness the transformation that your party would bring about in the political discourse. However, as the days pass by, reality dawns at you and your partners. It is getting difficult to run the party and pursue its agenda without adequate money. Donations have thinned and the party workers are demotivated. A sense of despondency has creeped in wherein everyone believes that it is impossible to bring about a change without money and muscle in Indian politics. 

While you are deeply worried about the party and its followers, a business tycoon accompanied by a  famous media honcho visits your party office. They have an offer. If you agree to twist the tender and procurement rules in the favour of the businessman after you come to power, they are ready to fund your party and become a mouthpiece of your ideology and agenda through various media. 

This appears to be an offer that you can’t resist. What are you going to lose? Literally nothing! Rather a symbiotic relationship with the gentlemen would ensure the revival of your party and also a genuine shot at power. Your partners and party workers are infatuated by this offer and they insist that you accept it. Even though it would mean a compromise with the fundamental ideals of your party, sometimes stepping down from the moral plank can give you enough leeway to fulfil your aspirations. 

Now answer the following questions:

(i) What options do you have in this situation?

(ii)Of all the options available to you, which one will you choose and why? Elaborate.                                                                                                                           (250 Words) (25)


All the Best 🙂

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