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SYNOPSIS [19th February,2021] Day 35: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Examine the factors that shape the aptitude of a person.
Candidates are expected to explain the term aptitude and then examine the factors that shape aptitude of a person.
Aptitude is a component of competency to do a certain kind of work at a certain level, which can also be considered talent. It is basically the ability to deal with aspects of environment and the natural ability to acquire skill in some specific field.
Aptitude is a natural talent or inborn ability that makes it easier for us to learn or do certain things/tasks. For instance, the ability to paint, produce music, or learn languages, ability to lead and perform administrative functions, etc. Learning some skills comes more easily to some people and others require greater effort and practice. When we say that someone is ‘gifted’ or has a talent, it means he/she has aptitude for that particular skill/action.
Let us examine the factors that shape the aptitude of person –
- Heredity: Some characteristics of our aptitude are genetic, which we inherit. Some of the traits like physical height, slimness, dexterity, intellectual capacity, ability to learn, logical power, etc. are also inherited. All these have a significant influence on person’s aptitude. For example Michael Phelps’ great swimming aptitude is a combination of skill, physical ability, and hard work. Many experts say that Michael’s body was designed for swimming. He has a very long torso, long arms, big feet, and short legs for his height.
- Family background: The socio-economic status of the family, education of the parents, and other family members also shape aptitude of individual to a considerable extent. In fact, family members themselves try to influence the behaviour of children in a desperate attempt to personify their own aptitude and skills.
- Nature of people with whom we interact and get inspired: People influence each other and such influences shape the personality. For this reason, we often say that one’s personality is constantly evolving and is shaped throughout one’s life. Great leaders and personality for example Dr. Abdul Kalam influence children’s to develop scientific aptitude and nurture and pursue there career.
- Culture: Culture shapes our personal values and predispositions. It is the unique characteristic of a social group. The values and norms shared by its member’s sets it apart from other social groups. The essence of culture is the collective programming of the mind. This social apparatus shapes our aptitude.
- Personal interest: Interest is something that attracts us without the need to have any particular skill for a thing. A person may be interested in a particular activity, job or training, but may not have the potential/aptitude to perform well in that particular area and achieve success. For example, one may have an intense interest in music, but not enough ability to succeed in a career as a performer.
- Innate intelligence: Intelligence is capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity. It is the ability to learn and apply skills. On the other hand, aptitude is specific ability of a person to master a skill. However, aptitude requires a degree of intelligence to do the job well.
- Skill set: Skill is the knowledge or ability to perform a given task with ease and precision, aptitude on the other hand, denotes the potential to get skilled if training is done. While skills are the abilities that can be acquired by way of reading, observation, practice, and training, aptitude is inborn and unique.
With the advent of the new public administration and increasing diversity in the administrative field, an administrator needs to adorn both physical and mental aptitude. He should have both General Mental Ability (basic thinking capacity and learning ability to perform any intellectual task) as well as desired value system of public administration to perform his duty, not only efficiently, but also effectively.
2. What do you understand by the term ‘bureaucratic red-tape’? Why is it an impediment to good governance? Explain.
Candidate is required to define bureaucratic red tapism with suitable examples and its effect in implementing effective governance. Some examples of good governance can be stated in the later part.
Red tape is a derisive term for excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to government, but can also be applied to other organisations like corporations.
RED tape generally includes the filling out of seemingly unnecessary paperwork, obtaining of unnecessary licenses, having multiple people or committees approve a decision and various low-level rules that make conducting one’s affairs slower and/or more difficult.
Where did red-tapism originate from?
- The English practice of binding documents and official papers with red tape was popularised in the writings of Thomas Carlyle protesting against official inertia with expressions like “Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.” To this day most barristers’ briefs are tied in a pink coloured ribbon known as red tape.
- The colorful term used to refer to the seemingly endless parade of paperwork that accompanies many official matters got its start back in old England. Thick legal documents were bound or tied with red cloth tape. So when someone spoke of cutting through the red tape, they meant it in a very literal sense.
- Despite its genuine economic progress, though, India remained a chaotic and impoverished place: largely divided by religion and caste, captive to the whims of corrupt local officials and power brokers, hamstrung by a parochial bureaucracy that was resistant to change.” These are the words of President Barak Obama about Indian red tape.
How red tape is impediment to good governance?
- Citizen satisfaction: Red tape indeed negatively affects citizen satisfaction. Citizens remain dissatisfied due to delayed government processing and cost associated with it. Most of the time citizen’s problems remain unresolved due to red Tapism, leading to a sense of loss of trust in the government’s process.
- Scheme implementation: Every new governmental scheme gets roadblocks in terms of red Tapism that eventually kills the larger objective by which it was launched. Delayed release of funds, lack of proper monitoring etc. are common associated issues attached to Red Tapism that make policies ineffective.
- Corruption: A World Bank study found that the higher the level of red Tapism, the higher the level of corruption. Bureaucracy invariably breeds corruption and lowers growth by complicating the normal flow of businesses. Paying a bribe to speed up the handling of the procedure is a typical example of Red Tapism associated corruption.
- Increased cost of doing business: Red tape is costly, not just in time and money spent filling out forms but also in terms of reduced productivity and innovation in business. This is particularly burdensome to smaller businesses and may even discourage people from starting up a new business.
- Governance: Due to Red Tapism variable enforcement of contracts and delayed administration lead to delayed justice, especially to the poor. The burden of red tape requirements prevent many to enjoy their rights due to delayed governance and delayed distribution of welfare measures. For example, delayed wage payments under MGNREGA impact timely benefits to poor.
How to reduce red tapism?
- Reforming laws: Reducing administrative burdens should be a part of making good laws. This objective also contributes to making administrative cultures more responsible and service-oriented. For example, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has helped in reducing Red Tapism regarding insolvency of a business unit, enhancing overall business sentiments. Further many redundant laws have been scrapped, making India achieving a 63rd spot in World Bank’s Ease of doing business.
- Reduce the paperwork: Computers have already made many of the government services faster. It is a way forward to decrease the red tape. Capacity building in IT and communications is required at all the levels of the government, top to bottom. For example, the government has launched National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency known as Invest India that helps investors looking for investment, to reduce red Tapism.
- Skill development: There are officials who are not skilled enough to make government processing faster. It is important to train them properly on the subjects and appoint skilled people.
- Incentives: A lot of government employees at the lower level (Group-C and Group D) are underpaid. They find no incentive to work efficiently. Efforts must be made to honour workers for their good work and punishing for not achieving timely efficiency.
Red Tapism hinders good governance and the country’s economic progress. It leads to a culture of corruption and inefficiency. Efforts must be made to make rules and regulations simple with emphasis on reducing delays in government work culture.
3. Explain the concept of integrity and its significance in civil services.
The question is asking you to explain it requires from you to give a clear account as to How/Why something happens.
Integrity requires a self-discipline and will power capable of resisting the temptation. Integrity requires self-discipline and will power capable of resisting temptation and compels us to be socially conscious and to welcome both personal and professional responsibility. Its values encourage us to be honest in all our dealings and committed to a lifelong search for truth and justice.
THE CONCEPT OF INTEGRITY –
Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles. Its priceless reward is peace of mind and true dignity. There’s one proviso, no one can guarantee that his or her particular version of integrity is actually sound and true, and not misguided.
Integrity includes Soundness of moral principles, Uprightness, Honesty and sincerity, Synchronization between one’s thought, speech and action and Loyalty to rational principles.
IT’S SIGNIFICANCE IN CIVIL SERVICES –
Integrity is the most applicable and most crucial quality to fight against all the corruptions in public administration. It is not only beneficial for the nations but also it ensures the civil servants’ sincerity towards their job. The types of actions they take and the way they deal with the corruption has a direct impact on the people of India. Its significance includes –
- Civil servants have to set out highest standards of integrity and morality. This requires self-sacrifice a concept that rises above individualism and ‘hedonism’ to create an environment of public duty among the civil servants. An exemplary civil servant is not simply one who obeys the laws and behaves within the confines of law but is also one who strives for a moral government.
- Integrity is also important because the civil servants are serving the people which requires the work to be done not only fairly but also efficiently and flawlessly.
- The civil servants are engaged in serving public and their affairs and comply with the law of the land too. They work to administer justice with integrity.
- Integrity requires in a civil servant to incorporate the values of honesty, sympathy empathy, compassion, fairness, self-control and duty so that a civil servant will be able to uphold high personal and professional standards in all circumstances. ‘Honesty’ requires ‘truthfulness’, freedom from deception and fraud, fair and straight forward conduct. Sympathy enables a person to be deeply affected and concerned about the well beings of others, to imagine their suffering and be moved by their experience of others especially people who need assistance compassion is a form of spirituality, a way of living and walking through life.
- To deal with public and their affairs fairly, efficiently and sensitively to the best of his abilities integrity in nature is important.
- It ensures that civil servant do not misuse his/her official position to further his private interest for instance taking bribe by police to file an FIR.
- It is important for good governance and to prevent failures which may occur due to resistance to accountability and transparency.
- A person of integrity does his/her duties with conscience. E.g., Policeman ordered to fire on unarmed peaceful protestors. Honest policeman will obey the order. Policeman of integrity, will refuse to fire.
Integrity in civil service is all about earning and sustaining the people’s trust by serving and working for them transparently and flawlessly. Achieving the goal and accomplishment of the mission effectively without committing any type of illegal activities should be the civil servants’ only goal. Thus, integrity is critical in civil services to ensure good governance and allow a civil servant to perform his/her duties with honesty and allow better administration. What is needed is to ensure integrity through training and proper vigilance.
4. In your opinion, what should be the key indicators for measuring the professional excellence of a civil servant? Discuss.
Students are expected to mention the major assessment aspects to judge the performance of the civil servant. He should prioritize each indicator based on his understanding and how the parameter adds up to infuse excellence in the performance of the Civil Servant. Main parameter’s like transparency, accountability and strict adherence to rule of law are some key indicators.
The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadership. A civil servant is a person employed in the public sector by a government department or agency or public sector undertakings. Civil servants work for central government and state governments, & answer to the government, not a political party. The extent of civil servants of a state as part of the “civil service” varies from country to country. Civil servants must follow certain norms, rules and As an administrator, one should make sure that the highest standard of quality in governmental decisions and activities and not negotiate with values just for others convenience or satisfaction.
Key indicators for measuring the professional excellence of a civil servant –
- Utilitarianism is a general ethical theory that marks the point of right and wrong completely based on the consequences of one’s action or policy. Furthermore, it can also be considered as the action or policy has taken into account the interests of others. Hence, a civil servant should follow the Principle of Utilitarianism and ensure that the decisions taken should lead to the greatest good for the country and its maximum people.
- Being a part of the governmental machinery, a civil servant should be resilient and adapt to any changes in the system, operation, or structure yet endure the ethical norms of conduct. There would be tricky circumstances during the tenure that needs to be solved within limited time limits. Under these situations a civil servant should act shrewdly and should be decisive in approach that needs quick thinking, analysing all available possibilities and potential outcome of them and should act accordingly after a general consent.
- The civil servant is in a unique position — he or she is bound by the machination of a political master. He has to deliver to unknown faces. One has to see through the veils, as there are many masks people wear. For a public servant, this is very important — that they understand which mask they are speaking to. If you understand that, it solves a lot of mysteries and heartbreak. The next steps are imagination, hard work, teamwork and an open mind.
- Seeing the big picture is about having an in-depth understanding and knowledge of how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives and the wider public needs and the national interest. For all staff, it is about focusing your contribution on the activities which will meet Civil Service goals and deliver the greatest value. For leaders, it is about scanning the political context and taking account of wider impacts to develop long term implementation strategies that maximise opportunities to add value to the citizen and support economic, sustainable growth.
- Effectiveness in this area is having a strong focus on continuous learning for oneself, others and the organisation. For all staff, it’s being open to learning, about keeping one’s own knowledge and skill set current and evolving. For leaders, it’s about investing in the capabilities of our people, to be effective now and in the future as well as giving clear, honest feedback and supporting teams to succeed. It’s also about creating a learning and knowledge culture across the organisation to inform future plans and transformational change.
- Transparency is known as the right and means to observe the process of decision making. When it comes to administration transparency means of holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption. As a civil servant, he should function should be transparent that it is easy to see what actions are performed. As a civil servant having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way with the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that do not waver. He requires firm adherence to a code of particular moral or artistic values, incorruptibility, soundness, and quality or state of being complete or undivided.
Civil Servants are the bedrock of the entire country, therefore the most effective way of the civil servant is to be honest, transparent and accountable at all stages during the course of his tenure. Even more important is to be resilient, decisive and kind to the public at large. With a mature head on the shoulders, it is important that the civil servant holds forte over his values, consolidates them and manages his team well to perform and serve with excellence. There is a strong need for a robust performance management system to be introduced in the government covering all organizations and different levels of functionaries. Time has also come to look at a paradigm shift in ensuring accountability by introducing concepts like service agreements and bringing in the tools of social accountability to involve the citizen also in appraising the performance. The alignment between individual performance and organizational goal is also of utmost importance by introducing an appropriate set of performance indicators. Measuring performance is useful only when it translates into action. Performance management tools by themselves do not create sustained high performance. It is important to create an environment conducive for effective and efficient performance with a system of rewards and punishment, besides building capacity at all levels of government to get results.
5. Examine the concept of ‘internationalism’? Why is it important in the current global context?
We need to define both the concept of ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’. Further, we need to list down differences between them through various dimensions and also provide suitable example to mentioned dimensions.
Nationalism and patriotism both show the relationship of an individual towards his or her nation. Mostly they are used interchangeably and are considered similar. However, there is a vast difference between nationalism and patriotism.
Nationalism is taken in negative sense in today’s times however; it is needed in healthy amount to sustain pride, confidence, etc. of a nation. Absence of nationalism made certain Indian people think everything Indian is inferior. While, sometime patriotism is considered as symbol of weakness, where nation is influenced by others due to its inability assert itself.
Only few countries can possibly survive and prosper without some degree of nationalist and patriotic feelings among their people. A love of country and shared pride bring the people together and help them in enduring challenges.
TLP HOT Synopsis Day 35 PDF