Exam Name: UPSC IAS Mains Exam
Subject: Paper-V: General Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Time Allowed: 3 Hours
Q1. What do you understand by ‘Values’ and ‘Ethics’? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent?
Q2. (a) What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service?
3. Spirit of Service
5. Courage of Conviction
(b) Indicate two more attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer.
Q3. Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification.
Q4. What is ‘emotional intelligence’ and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions?
Q6. Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means to you in the present context:
(a)“There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed.” -Mahatma Gandhi
(b)“Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln.
(c)“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.” – Aristotle
Q7. “The good of an individual is contained in the good of all.” what do you understand by this statement? How can this principle be implemented in public life?
Q8. It is often said that ‘politics’ and ‘ethics do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with illustration.
A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other employees also who were party to these decisions. Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.
The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but his particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed, turned out to be wrong. He comes to you for advice.
The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the option:
You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards completion, the Junior Engineers have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications. However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunae which, in your opinion, are likely to affect the safety of the flyover. Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area. When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the project for completion in time. However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should not be left unaddressed.
What will you do in such a situation? Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons.
1. Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.
2. Make an exhaustive report of the situation bringing out all facts and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and seek for written orders from the chief Engineer.
3. Call for explanation from the Junior Engineers and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.
4. Highlight the issue so that it reaches superiors above the Chief Engineer.
5. Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report sick.
Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is known for its manufacturing clusters on firecrackers and matches. The local economy of the area is largely dependent on firecrackers industry. It has led to tangible economic development and improved standard of living in the area.
So far as child labour norms for hazardous industries like firecrackers industry are concerned, International Labour Organization (ILO) has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India, however, this age is 14 years.
The units in industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and non-registered entities. One typical unit is household-based work. Though the law is clear on the use of child labour employment norms in registered/non-registered units, it does not include household-based works. Household-based work means children working under the supervision of their parents/relatives. To evade child labour norms, several units project themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside. Needless to say that employing children saves the costs for these units leading to higher profits to the owners.
On your visit to one of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has about 10-15 children below 14 years of age. The owner tells you that in his household-based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that several children smirk, when the owner tells you this. On deeper enquiry, you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to satisfactorily establish their relationship with each other.
(a) bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.
(b) What would be your reaction after your above visit? (300 words) 25 marks
You are heading a leading technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an interview panel shortly under your chairmanship for selection of the post of professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the Personal Secretary (PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your intervention in favor of the selection of a close relative of the functionary for this post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the long pending and urgent proposal of our institute for grant of funds for modernization, which are awaiting the functionary’s approval. He assures you that he would get these proposals cleared.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.
As a senior officer in the Finance Ministry, you have access to some confidential and crucial information about policy decisions that the Government is about to announce.
These decisions are likely to have farreaching impact on the housing and construction industry. If the builders have access to this information beforehand, they can make huge profits. One of the builders has done a lot of quality work for the Government and is known to be close to your immediate superior, who asks you to disclose this information to the said builder.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options which you would adopt, giving reasons.
You are the Executive Director of an upcoming InfoTech Company which is making a name for itself in the market.
Mr. A, who is a star performer, is heading the marketing team. In a short period of one year, he has helped in doubling the revenues as well as creating a high brand equity for the Company so much so that you are thinking of promoting him. However, you have been receiving information from many corners about his attitude towards the female colleagues; particularly his habit of making loose comments on women. In addition, he regularly sends indecent SMS’s to all the team members including his female colleagues.
One day, late in the evening, Mrs. X, who is one of Mr. A’s team members, comes to you visibly disturbed. She complains against the continued misconduct of Mr. A, who has been making undesirable advances towards her and has even tried to touch her inappropriately in his cabin.
She tenders her resignation and leaves your office.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options you would adopt, giving reasons.
Verifying, please be patient.