UPSC CIVIL SERVICES MAINS EXAM 2017: General Studies Paper – 4 (Part - 1) (Download PDF)


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Q1. Conflict of interest in the public sector arises when: (a) official duties, (b) public interest, and (c) personal interest: are taking priority one above the other. How can this conflict in administration be resolved? Describe with an example. (150 Words, 10).

  • Actions being influenced or to influence individuals’ private interests
  • Disclose life outside work in managed and planned manner
  • Conflict can be personal (managed at individual level) or it can be group (managed at the organizational level)
  • E. g. , pass a contract from my department being provided by one of my relatives (avoid personal interest and focus on quality) – cannot do wrong on official duty.
  • Asked to set paper for NET exam – cannot disclose
  • Secret missions like Buddha Muskare – Pokharan Nuclear Test; Demonetization Announcement
  • Strong determination
  • Probity
  • Moral conduct
  • Time management
  • Empathy
  • Sympathy
  • Ethical values and its utilization

Q2. Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service: (150 Words, 10)

(a) Transparency

(b) Accountability

(c) Fairness and justice

(d) Courage of conviction

(e) Spirit of service

Transparency – fairness (demonetization, GST)

Accountability – being called for one’s actions (taking responsibility)

Justice – rightness – Ayushmaan Bharat

Fairness – judge others without reference to one’s feelings

Courage – without fear (mob lynching)

Conviction – formal dedication or commitment to work (firm belief) – attitude formation

Sprit of service – Hanuman’s service to Rama; NGOs; Disaster relief camps and activities

Q3. Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward. (150 Words, 10)

Image of politics is considered as corrupt, immoral and unethical.

But people in politics have authority to bring changes and requires people with good moral conduct.

Joining politics you can lead millions and bring light to lives of many – example Ayushman Bharat, Ujjawala scheme.

Q4. (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real life example. (150 Words, 10)

Compromise is a deviation from path due to need or compulsion and can lead to unethical judgements

If you anticipate and work around something you might be compromised.

Example – political leaders during election – for sake of vote bank compromise religion, caste and other issues.

Compromise vanishes the integrity of an individual

(b) Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyze. (150 Words, 10)

Refer -

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Corporate Social Responsibility: How to Write a Good Answer?

Dr. Manishika Jain explains How to Write a Good Coherent Answer - for Corporate Social Responsibility (Ethics - GS Paper 4) - An important contemporary topic.

  • Spend 2 % profit on social service

Q5. (a) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country. (150 Words, 10)

Hitler (dictatorship and racial cleansing) versus Gandhi

Mussolini (vice or bad acts)

Nelson Mandela

Against education vs. liberation - Malala Yousafzai

Animal cruelty vs. Maneka Gandhi

Social Reformers in India and globally

Transformation of Ashoka

Ambition is a two edged sword and should be used rationally by applying principles of benevolence, emotional intelligence, integrity etc. to serve utilitarianism.

Strong desire to achieve and requires hard work and dedication

(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 father, the mother and the teacher. ” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse. (150 Words, 10)

Parents - Inculcating honesty, empathy, truthfulness, compassion towards fellow living beings. Avoiding jealousy, envy, hatred etc. , cleanliness, beliefs and values (refer NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 6)

Example – child’s friend succeed in exam should be taken as positive and not as a jealous behavior.

Mother wakes up late, child learns (mother watches a lot of TV, child learns)

Set examples – 1st school is child’s home – imitates behavior

Teacher – inspire, curiosity, foster creative ability and bring out latent talent and passions, encourage interaction, imbibe disciple

Aristotle and Alexander, Kautilya and Chandragupta to Dronacharya & Eklavaya’s thumb

Example – being punctual, solving problems by referring text


Story telling

Setting examples

Honest actions

Encouragement to good work

Q6. (a) How will you apply emotional intelligence in administrative practices? (150 Words, 10)

Refer -

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Emotional Intelligence: The Basics & 4 Approaches

Dr. Manishika Jain explains the topic for emotional intelligence.

  • Child going to school for the 1st time
  • Trustworthiness
  • Optimism
  • Drive and zeal
  • Group dynamism
  • Versatility
  • Communicability
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Value reorientation
  • Moving society from equality to equity (equal rights to Dalits and minorities)
  • DBT model for PDS

(b) Strength, peace and security are considered to be the pillars of international relations. Elucidate. (150 Words, 10)

Strength – not in terms of weapons but stability and security (nuclear disarmament, non-aligned movement) – Wassenaar Arrangement

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Wassenaar Arrangement, NPT, CTBT

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Wassenaar Arrangement, NPT, CTBT and 4 nuclear suppliers group

  • Peace – way to prosperity (in Mid East Asia) – address terrorism, climate change - unrest in African nations
  • Security – border issues (resolved) - foreign policy (India has never attacked any country in history of last 10,000 years – Vasudev Kutumbhakam
  • ASEAN, Panchseel (fathers of the movement were Josip Bros Tito of Yugoslavia, Sukarno of Indonesia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Jawaharlal Nehru from India. )
  • Strong, secure, peaceful world.

Reference -

Q7. (a) The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss. (150 Words, 10)

NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 6 (Refer YouTube video)

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NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 6: Attitude and Social Cognition

Dr. Manishika Jain in this video explains Attitude and Social Cognition. It is part of NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 6

  • Actor-observer effect – (my good is internal and luck is external; my friend’s good is due to external effect)
  • Priority to materialistic lifestyle – joy in short term but sorrow in long life
  • Preference to shortcuts
  • Good job or career
  • Promote cultural or religious sentiments
  • Fear over goodwill (election ticket to criminals)
  • Favoritism prevails over merit

(b) Increased national wealth did not result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some “enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost of the majority. ” Justify. (150 Words, 10)

  • Wealth is created by all but some gets the benefit of it
  • 60 % GDP goes to 1 % population
  • Richest 10 % holds 370 times the share of wealth by the poorest
  • Increasing gap between haves and havenots
  • Work towards inclusive growth – Ayushman Bharat
  • Inequalities are because of:
  • Lack of responsibility
  • Irresponsible governance
  • Lack of compassion
  • Ignorance
  • Exploitation
  • Polarization effects
  • Focus areas – rural urban divide; hills, tribals and NE; slum dwellers, jobless growth

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- Published/Last Modified on: September 27, 2018

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