SYNOPSIS [30th OCTOBER,2020] Day 17: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)

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  • November 3, 2020
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Question Compilation, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS [30th OCTOBER,2020] Day 17: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)


1. What do you understand by the affective and cognitive components of attitude?

Explain with the help of suitable examples.


It expects student to write about two different type of components of attitude – in first part write about affective component of attitude and give it’s example – in second part write about cognitive component of attitude and give it’s example.


An attitude is a learned tendency to evaluate people, issues, objects or events in certain way. Such evaluations are often positive or negative, but they can also be uncertain / mixed at times.

Our attitude can vary in strength along both positive affect, and with negative affect, with ambivalence or with apathy and indifference. It usually implies feelings that are either positive or negative.


Affective component of attitude:

  • The affective component of attributes refers to your feelings or emotions linked to an attitude object. 
  • For Example: Suppose Abhishek has ophidiophobia (a phobia snakes). A snake is an attitude object. Whenever Abhishek is exposed to a snake – whether he sees one or thinks about one – he feels extreme anxiety and fear. This is only one component of this specific attitude 
  • An attitude that is stemmed from or originally created by an emotion is called an affectively-based attitude. Attitudes about hot-button issues – such as politics and religion – tend to be affectively-based, as they usually come from a person’s values. This type of attitude is used to express and validate our moral belief or value systems. 
  • E.g. I fear snakes (your feeling)
  • E.g. I hate cricket because all matches are fixed. (your feeling)
  • E.g. I dislike the idea of death penalty. (your feeling)
  • Some people have strong likes and strong dislikes for some object. When they face such object they may not remain rational.
  • Eg: Knowledgeable people smoking cigarette.

Cognitive component of attitude:

  • Cognition means knowledge. Knowledge about object helps in formation of attitude infact it’s the cognition which is most important factor. Simply because when a child is born he doesn’t have knowledge about object but by socialisation, he came to know about object.
  • The cognitive component of attitudes refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that we would associate with an object. Many times a person’s attitude might be based on the negative and positive attributes they associate with an object. 
  • How clear knowledge a person has about object will determine the strength of attitude specially in context of social relations, different symbols of society, culture, concept, laws etc.
  • For Example: We have already determined that Abhishek avoids snakes and is scared when he is exposed to them. But, what does he think about snake? It is likely he believes that all snakes are dangerous and gross. Beyond the physical and emotional reaction of his phobia, there is also the cognitive component of his attitude.
  • e.g snake is poisonous. (your belief)
  • e.g. cricketers play for money and not for nation.
  • e.g. death penalty should be removed because it doesn’t reduce crime rate. (your belief)


Attitude is acquired by people through process of socialisation which help in survival of people by reacting in a given situation in desirable manner. Nevertheless, attitude can be changed through formal and informal interventions. Right attitude is considered essential for not only individual but also for society and good governance. It reflects personality of individual.

2. What functions does attitude play in a person’s personal and professional lives? Discuss.  


As the directive of the question is discuss, here one needs to put forth various perspectives and logical arguments regarding the role of attitude in a person’s personal and professional lives. One can start by defining what is attitude and how it is imbibed in a person. In main body part one needs to write about the role played by attitude in personal and professional life of a person. In the end one can sum up by showing its importance and applicability in brief. To fetch more marks it is necessary to relate the ethical terms with the real life examples also one can use diagrams. 


Attitudes are views, beliefs, or evaluations of people about something (the attitude object). The attitude object can be a person, place, thing, ideology, or an event. Attitudes are often the result of social influence, experience or upbringing. Attitudes have a powerful influence over behaviour. While attitudes are enduring, they can change, resulting in a change in behaviour as well.


In simple words, Attitude is a way of looking at any situation and deciding either consciously or unconsciously – how we relate it to ourselves and others. Attitude pertains to our feelings, beliefs and behaviour predispositions directed towards people, groups, ideas or objects. 

Role played by attitude in a person’s personal and professional life: 

  • ‘Attitude defines life and life defines attitude’. For instance,  Dalai Lama said that If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.
  • Attitude makes a big difference in our lives. One may have high IQ and a sharp logical mind but without the right attitude, both are rendered useless. Without a right attitude, one will be like a misdirected rocket reaching the wrong destination. Our right attitude can empower us. 
  • For instance, despite being met with permanent disability Scientist Stephen Hawking lived a successful life with his major contributions to the science community and to the world. It’s all due to the fact that he developed such an attitude towards life that he survived more brilliantly than others. 
  • Hence, right attitude shapes the vision with which one looks towards her life. It also shapes the way in which one works in her professional life. 
  • Knowledge Function: Attitude is all about what a person likes or dislikes. Hence, whatever a person like she develops a positive attitude towards it. However, if a person doesn’t likes anything then she develops negative attitude towards it. 
  • For  instance, Satya Nadela earlier prepared for UPSC CSE due to his fathers wish. However, he had inclination towards Coding. After giving 4 failed attempts of UPSC he went back to coding and now he is the Chief executive officer of Microsoft, one of the biggest software company. It’s his attitude towards coding helped him to  achieve success in professional life. 
  • Ego-defensive Function: Not everyone can do everything. This is the truth. However, attitude (like/dislike), can mask this truth to protect your ego. For instance, you may not be able to play football like Messi. However, instead of accepting this truth, to protect your self-esteem you can say that you don’t like football, and you are interested only in intellectual activities.
  • Hence, Positive attitudes towards ourselves, just like the example above, have a protective function (i.e. an ego-defensive role) in helping us preserve our self-image. Otherwise, we might fall into depression.
  • Ego Expressive Function: The attitudes we express (what we like or dislike) helps to express who we are, what are our basic values, and what we stand for. This helps to communicate who we are and  may make us feel good because we have asserted our identity.  Self-expression of attitudes can be non-verbal too.
  • It also helps us to maintain our personal relationships in a neat and beautiful way. For instance, Attitude of Sudha Murthy and Narayan Murthy towards their selves and life helped them to have  a successful marriage life and successful professional life also. 
  • Instrumental Function: People develop positive attitudes towards objects associated with rewards, and negative attitudes towards those associated with punishments. For example, as tax-evasion attracts punishments, a person may not favour evading taxes, and start paying taxes properly.
  • Social Acceptance Function: If a person holds or expresses socially acceptable attitudes, other people will reward them with approval and social acceptance.
  • For instance, IAS Tukaram Mundhe’s attitude towards his profession and not to tolerate corruption is largely applauded by the people across the Maharashtra. 

It is evident that, attitude is the basic principle on which a person’s personal and professional life is shaped. It is the positive fruit of right attitude. However, there are negative fruits of wrong attitude which exist in society. 

  • Attitude of Patriarchal mentality towards women harms the development of not just women but of the whole household. For instance, when a woman moves forward the household moves forward. 
  • Recent example of killing of Nikita Tomar is an example of negative attitude towards women in the society dominated by men. Hence, attitude defines the personality of a person either in positive way or in  negative way. 
  • Attitude refers to feelings, beliefs and behaviour predispositions directed towards people, groups, ideas or objects. For instance, that if somebody has a supportive attitude towards taking dowry, then it’s a wrong attitude. 
  • Attitude also works as a value-expressive function, it helps in expressing our values. For instance, a person aspiring to be a civil servant has an attitude that corruption is fine then it harms her professional life. We have recent example of IAS B. Chandrkala who is now accused as a corrupt officer. 
  • There are presence of various social practices and human actions in modern educated society because of unconsciously acquired undesirable attitudes and values. Patriarchal mindset widely present in the Indian society subjugates the status of women in society. Caste based discrimination is also an undesirable attitude that gets influence by the social surroundings
  • The value of respecting and taking care of our elders is imbibed since childhood. Which in turn develops an attitude of respect against elders. However, if this attitude is not developed then it might hamper our personal relations within our family and our professional relations in the work atmosphere. For instance, increasing number of Old age homes is a concern due to such attitude. 


It is rightly quoted that ” Your attitude is like a price tag, it shows how valuable you are” i.e. It shows how we are valued in our personal and professional sphere. Hence, a negative attitude harms our personal and professional life. However, Positive attitude helps us to grow in our personal and professional life. Hence, attitude affects almost every component of a person’s personal and professional life like the title of book of Jeff Keller signifies that ‘Attitude is everything’. 

3. What sort of political attitude should a civil servant possess? Substantiate your views.

Approach – A straightforward question where in you need to highlight the kind of political attitude a civil servant should have while also substantiating your views. 


In India, the relationship between political executive and civil servants is based on the principle of civil service anonymity and ministerial responsibility. The civil servants are the backbone of our country and are expected to be partners who work and carry out the policies of the government.  It is a combination of lay politician and politically neutral and permanent civil servants.


  • The nature of a civil servant’s role is such that a civil servant must maintain a reserve in political matters, in order to ensure confidence in the political impartiality of the Civil Service. 
  • They are selected impartially and given orientation to be politically neutral with the people, and are expected to evince a spirit of service to the community. The power is exercised through elected representatives who hold ministers accountable and in turn, civil servants are accountable to Ministers.
  • The restrictions placed on civil servants in relation to politics and political activity are designed to ensure that a civil servant does not do anything that could give rise to a perception that his or her official actions are in any way influenced or capable of being influenced by party political motives.
  • The civil servant should possess a political attitude such as which helps him in the following:
  1. To uphold constitutional values – like empathy and compassion towards weak, respect for women, protection of environment. 
  2. Practice civil service values – Objectivity – A secretary who has negative attitude towards reservation if asked to prepare a report on the same must be able to do it objectively. Responsive – Civil servants are accused of showing resistance to power sharing and decentralization. They must change their attitude to respond to aspirations of people.
  3. Professionalism – Recently government had to introduce biometric to bring punctuality in public servants. Punctuality should rather be their attitude and come from within and this develops when there is neutral political attitude.
  • The role of civil servant is to effectively implement the policies irrespective of rightist, centrist or leftist government and whether it is NREGA or Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. If he is too vocal about his views, he may not be able to implement the policies of the party he does not favour with the same level of zeal and motivation.

Neutrality as the political attitude of civil servant:

  1. Neutrality depicts that public officials are not slaves to either the politicians or any other authority other than the moral authority of the Constitution.
  2. Bureaucracy should be neutral in terms of ideology and politics. So that there will not be an affinity to a particular class or ideology. Even in the post-retirement period, public officials could make significant interventions for more noble purposes underlying the good society even without joining a particular brand of formal politics.
  3. If bureaucracy won’t be neutral then it cannot lend its whole-hearted support to the existing political system, and to the economic and political system if any radical changes are introduced.
    Without neutrality, there can be a close nexus between bureaucracy and large-scale enterprises which could further lead to crony capitalism.


The civil servant has a critical role to play in the development of the society. In that sense, he has a lot of responsibility and accountability towards public for which people should have trust in civil servants. Attitude and emotional intelligence are two very important qualities of a civil servant which helps him to remain neutral in all matters, which is required for the healthy functioning of a democracy.

4. It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.


It expects students to write about the attitude in the introduction, analyze the correlation between the attitude and task in the hand at the beginning stage. And highlight how attitude influence the task orientation and its successful outcome. 


Attitude is psychological tendency. It is a relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioural tendencies towards socially significant objects, decisions, events or task. Attitudes are a construct of internal beliefs and value systems. It determines How people arrive at correct judgment, how they’ll perform a given task.


How your attitude at the beginning of any difficult task affect process:

  • Negative attitude: When we have negative attitude, we are adding an extra roadblock to your path to success because we now have to overcome our own mindset in order to reach your goals. We aren’t going to give our all in a situation when we are already telling yourself that I am probably going to fail. At the beginning of any difficult task. We entrench and infringe ourselves with the successful and fair outcome.
  • Positive attitude: The positive attitude gives you the opportunity to push past obstacles. You’re more likely to maintain your motivation to succeed because you feel that the outcome will be worth the hard work. You can visualize yourself reaching your goals, so you’re going to give your all to make sure it happens. That’s why it’s so important to consider your attitude as you go into any situation—it can determine the outcome.

Determinant of Positive attitude which help in producing successful outcomes:

  • Self Confidence: Self-confident in the people seem at ease with themselves and their work. They invite trust and inspire confidence in others. Self-confidence is understanding that you trust your own judgment and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what others may believe about you.
  • Perseverance: Produces commitment towards goal. Additionally, it enhances the goal’s value for you and intensifies your motivation level. It leads you to wonderful findings, and broadens your knowledge about yourself and your goals. 

For example, Manipur, IAS officer Armstrong Pame taken task of building 100km road without government funds. For connectivity local used to walk for hours or swim. Armstrong Pame’s right attitude of self-confidence and perseverance at the beginning of task helper build ‘The people’s road’.

  • Forgiveness: Forgive others and forgive yourself for mistakes made along the way. Helps to learn from the past mistakes and build more effective task orientated person.
  • Work ethic: A strong work ethic is an important part of being successful in your task. Work ethic is a set of values based on the ideals of discipline and hard work which help in build positive attitude towards any task.
  • Practice gratitude and good gesture: Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive, whether tangible or intangible. Doing so will help you go through your days with greater appreciation. 

For example, Osmanabad district collector Kaustubh Diwegaonkar sat on floor along with Divyang citizen who was unable to sit on chair to listen his grievance. It shows a empathic liaison and attitude towards weaker section of society to solve problems for positive outcome. 

  • Retain a sense of purpose: It’s important at trying times to keep your life as normal as possible and to focus on what you can control. If you’re between job look for volunteer opportunities that would benefit from your professional skills. Appreciating your ability in fulfilling a task.
  • Emphasize the positive: Winnowing out and focusing on the positive aspects of a situation are key factors in acquiring resilience—the ability to bounce back from bad times in the process of task completion.

For example, Malegaon in Maharashtra was facing communal divide during COVID19 but SP Sunil D. Kadasne knowledge of multiple languages Arabic and Madari Jaban (a local dialect of Malegaon) helped him establish a bridge between the people and the administration. With aptitude, it’s emotional quotient and our attitude to emphasize on positives and sense of purpose which help in accomplishing the task in successful manner.


Your talents and your skills are important, but they’re not the only things that affect your ability to succeed. Your attitude plays a big role in what you’re able to accomplish. Positive attitude is a state of mind that envisions and expects favourable results. Attitudes arise from an inner framework of values and beliefs, developed over time. 

5. People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. Comment.


It expects student to write about – give meaning of attitude, explain the first and second part of quote and give relevant examples. – in end you can mention how this is applicable to civil servant.


Attitude is the bent of mind that predisposes one to react positively or negatively towards an object, person, situation etc. An attitude is “a relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioural tendencies towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols” “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavour”


  • John C Maxwell, an evangelical Christian author, was right when he said, “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude”. Your attitude combined with the words you utter, results in an action. 
  • When you speak about your dreams and goals in life, people do not just listen to the content of your speech but they also focus on the passion and determination with which you utter those words. 
  • Your attitude towards your goals and life can be felt in your words and seen in your eyes, which is why communication specialists stress the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • One of the most powerful speakers in the world is US President Barack Obama, who not only speaks with conviction but with passion to change the lives of Americans. His determination to improve the lives of middle and lower income families in the US by making healthcare and education affordable can be felt in his speeches, and this is one of the reasons why the people of US re-elected him as the president for another term. 
  • In India, we had a powerful speaker who is in hearts of millions of people. Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, was one of the best speakers we has in the country because he used to spokes from the heart. The words that he utters touch the heart of every Indian because he was able to connect with the public on an emotional level. 
  • A speech comprises two parts – the content of the speech and the attitude of the speaker. The content reaches the listener’s brain whereas the attitude reaches his heart. 
  • Powerful speakers are able to capture the minds and hearts of the audience because they not only utter the right words but speak with the right attitude.


Civil servant has a position of authority and responsibility. He is representative of the government and hence trust in the public office. Many a times civil servant is required to persuade people about some issue. This requires communication. For effective communication, a civil servant will need right attitude, conviction, compassion otherwise people may not believe in what Civil servant has to say. Civil servant reflecting same attitude through his action and his words will be able to maintain good work culture.

TLP HOT Synopsis Day 17 PDF

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