Here we are providing Question Discussion (video) and Hints (PDF) for the UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 4 Examination, 2022 that can be utilized by the aspirants and appeared candidates for various purposes.
Candidates of the UPSC Mains 2022 can use these hints and discussion to get an outline of the required answers and compare it with what they have written during the examination. Other aspirants of the Union Public Service Commission examination can use this as a learning aid for practice and analysis of this year’s papers.
Discussion will provide an approach to the answer and detailed analysis of the questions along with the theme and trend of the paper. We hope this contributes to your understanding and preparation of Union Public Service Commission Mains examination.
1. (a) Wisdom lies in knowing what to reckon with and what to overlook. An officer being engrossed with the periphery, ignoring the core issues before him, is no rare in the bureaucracy. Do you agree that such preoccupation of an administrator leads to travesty of justice to the cause of effective service delivery and good governance? Critically evaluate. (Answer in 150 words) 10
1. (b) Apart from intellectual competency and moral qualities, empathy and compassion are some of the other vital attributes that facilitate the civil servants to be more competent in tackling the crucial issues or taking critical decisions. Explain with suitable illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10
2. (a) The Rules and Regulations provided to all the civil servants are same, yet there is difference in the performance. Positive minded officers are able to interpret the Rules and Regulations in favour of the case and achieve success, whereas negative minded officers are unable to achieve goals by interpreting the same Rules and Regulations against the case. Discuss with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10
2. (b) It is believed that adherence to ethics in human actions would ensure in smooth functioning of an organization/system. If so, what does ethics seek to promote in human life? How do ethical values assist in the resolution of conflicts faced by him in his day-to-day functioning? (Answer in 150 words) 10
3. (a) Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.’-Potter Stewart . (Answer in 150 words) 10
3. (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." – Abdul Kalam. (Answer in 150 words) 10
3. (c) "Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it." Dalai Lama. (Answer in 150 words)
4. (a) What do you understand by term ‘good governance’? How far recent initiatives in terms of e-Governance steps taken by the State have helped the beneficiaries? Discuss with suitable examples. (Answer in 150 words)
4. (b) Online methodology is being used for day-to-day meetings, institutional approvals in the administration and for teaching and learning in education sector to the extent telemedicine in the health sector is getting popular with the approvals of the competent authority. No doubt it has advantages and disadvantages for both the beneficiaries and system at large. Describe and discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of online method particularly to vulnerable section of society. (Answer in 150 words)
5. (a) Russia and Ukraine war has been going on for the last seven months. Different countries have taken independent stands and actions keeping in view their own national interests. We are all aware that war has its own impact on the different aspects of society, including human tragedy. What are those ethical issues that are crucial to be considered while launching the war and its continuation so far? Illustrate with justification the ethical issues involved in the given state of affair. (Answer in 150 words)
5. (b) Write short notes on the following in 30 words each :
(i) Constitutional morality
(ii) Conflict of interest
(iii) Probity in public life
(iv) Challenges of digitalization
(v) Devotion to duty
6. (a) Whistle blower, who reports corruption and illegal activities, wrongdoing and misconduct to the concerned authorities, runs the risk of being exposed to grave danger, physical harm and victimization by the vested interests, accused persons and his team. What policy measures would you suggest to strengthen protection mechanism to safeguard the whistle blower? (Answer in 150 words) 10
6. (b) In contemporary world, corporate sector’s contribution in generating wealth and employment is increasing. In doing so, they are bringing in unprecedented onslaught on the climate, environmental sustainability and living conditions of human beings. In this background, do you Responsibility (CSR) is efficient and sufficient enough to fulfill the social roles and responsibilities needed in the corporate work mandated? Critically examine. (Answer in 150 words) 10
7. Prabhat was working as Vice President (Marketing) at Sterling Electric Ltd., a reputed multinational company. But presently the company was passing through the difficult times as the sales were continuously showing downward trend in the last two quarters. His division, which hitherto had been a major revenue contributor to the company’s financial health, was now desperately trying to procure some big government order for them. But their best efforts did not yield any positive success or breakthrough.
His was a professional company and his local bosses were under pressure from their London-based HO to show some positive results. In the last performance review meeting taken by the Executive Director (India Head), he was reprimanded for his poor performance. He assured them that his division is working on a special contract from the Ministry of Defence for a secret installation near Gwalior and tender is being submitted shortly.
He was under extreme pressure and he was deeply perturbed. What aggravated the situation further was a warning from the top that if the deal is not clinched in favour of the company, his division might have to be closed and he may have to quit his lucrative job.
There was another dimension which was causing him deep mental torture and agony. This pertained to his personal precarious financial health. He was a single earner in the family with two school-college going children and his old ailing mother. The heavy expenditure on education and medical was causing a big strain to his monthly pay packet. Regular EMI for housing loan taken from bank unavoidable and any default would render him liable for severe legal action.
In the above backdrop, he was hoping for some miracle to happen. There was sudden turn of events. His Secretary informed that a gentleman Subhas Verma wanted to see him as he was interested in the position of Manager which was to be filled by him in the company. He further brought to his notice that his CV has been received through the office of the Minister of Defence.
During interview of the candidate-Subhash Verma, he found him technically sound, resourceful and experienced marketeer. He seemed to be well-conversant with tendering procedures and having knack of follow-up and liaising in this regard Prabhat felt that he was better choice than the rest of the candidates who were recently interviewed by him in the last few days.
Subhash Verma also indicated that he was in possession of the copies of the bid documents that the Unique Electronics Ltd. would be submitting the next day to the Defence Ministry for their tender. He offered to hand over those documents subject to his employment in the company on suitable terms and conditions. He made it clear that in the process, the Sterling Electric Ltd. could outbid their rival company and get the bid and hefty Defence Ministry order. He indicated that it will be win-win situation for both-him and the company.
Prabhat was absolutely stunned. It was a mixed feeling of shock and thrill. He was uncomfortable and perspiring. If accepted, all his problems would vanish instantly and he may be rewarded for securing the much awaited tender and thereby boosting company’s sales and financial health. He was in a fix as to the future course of action. He was wonder-struck at the guts of Subhash Verma in having surreptitiously removing his own company papers and offering to the rival company for a job. Being an experienced person, he was examining the pros and cons of the proposal/situation and he asked him to come the next day.
(a) Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case.
(b) Critically examine the options available to Prabhat in the above situation.
(c) Which of the above would be the most appropriate for Prabhat and why?
(Answer in 250 words)
8. Ramesh is State Civil Services Officer who got the opportunity of getting posted to the capital of a border State after rendering 20 years of service. Ramesh’s mother has recently been detected cancer and has been admitted in the leading cancer hospital of the city. His two adolescent children have also got admission in one of the best public schools of the town. After settling down in his appointment as Director in the Home Department of the State, Ramesh got confidential report through intelligence sources that illegal migrants are infiltrating in the State from the neighbouring country. He decided to personally carry out surprise check of the border posts along with his Home Department team. To his surprise, he caught red-handed two families of 12 members infiltrated with the connivance of the security personnel at the border posts. On further inquiry and investigation, it was found that after the migrants from neighbouring country infiltrate, their documentation like Aadhaar Card, Ration Card and Voter Card are also forged and they are made to settle down in a particular area of the State. Ramesh prepared the detailed and comprehensive report and submitted to the Additional Secretary of the State. However, he has summoned by the Additional Home Secretary after a week and was instructed to withdraw the report. The Additional Home Secretary informed Ramesh that the report submitted by him has not been appreciated by the higher authorities. He further cautioned him that if he fails to withdraw the confidential ort, he will not only be posted out from the prestigious appointment from the State capital but his further promotion which is due in near future will also get in jeopardy.
(a) What are the options available to Ramesh as the Director of the Home Department of the bordering State?
(b) What option should Ramesh adopt and why?
(c) Critically evaluate each of the options.
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ramesh?
(e) What policy measures would you suggest to combat the menace of infiltration of illegal migrants from the neighbouring country?
(Answer in 250 words)
9. The Supreme Court has banned mining in the Aravalli Hills to stop degradation the forest cover and to maintain ecological balance. However, the stone mining to still prevalent in the border district of the affected State with connivance of certain corrupt forest officials and politicians. Young and dynamic SP who was recently posted in the affected district promised to himself to stop this menace. In one of his surprise checks with his team, he found loaded truck with stone trying to escape the mining area. He tried to stop the truck but the truck driver overrun the police officer, killing him on the spot and thereafter managed to flee. Police filed FIR but no breakthrough was achieved in the case for almost three months. Ashok who was the Investigative Journalist working with leading TV channel, suo moto started investigating the case. Within one month, Ashok got breakthrough by interacting with local people, stone mining masia and government officials. He prepared his investigative story and presented to the CMD of the TV channel. He exposed in his investigative report the complete nexus of stone mafia working with blessing of corrupt police and civil officials and politicians. The politician who was involved in the mafia was no one else but local MLA who was considered to be very close to the Chief Minister. After going through the investigative report, the CMD advised Ashok to drop the idea of making the story public through electronic media. He informed that the local MLA was not only the relative of the owner of the TV channel but also had unofficially 20 percent share in the channel. The CMD further informed Ashok that his further promotion and hike in pay will be taken care of in addition the soft loan of 10 lakhs which he has taken from the TV channel for his son’s chronic disease will be suitably adjusted if he hands over the investigative report to him.
(a) What are the options available with Ashok to cope up with the situation?
(b) Critically evaluate/examine each of the options identified by Ashok.
(c) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ashok?
(d) Which of the options, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Ashok to adopt and why?
(e)In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for police officers posted to such districts where stone mining illegal activities are rampant? (Answer in 250 words)
10. You have done MBA from a reputed institution three years back but could not get campus placement due to COVID-19 generated recession. However, after a lot of persuasion and series of competitive tests including written and interview, you managed to get a job in a leading shoe company. You have ageur parents who are dependent and staying with you. You also recently got married after getting this decent job. You were allotted the Inspection Section which is responsible for clearing the final product. In first one year, you learnt your job well and was appreciated for your performance by the management. The company is doing good business for last five years in domestic market and this year it is decided even to export to Europe and Gulf countries. However, one large consignment to Europe was rejected by their Inspecting Team due to certain poor quality and was sent back. The top management ordered that ibid consignment to be cleared for the domestic market. As a part of Inspecting Team, you observed the glaring poor quality and brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander. However, the top management advised all the members of the team to overlook these defects as the management cannot bear such a huge loss. Rest of the team members except you promptly signed and cleared the consignment for domestic market, overlooking glaring defects. You again brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander that such consignment, if cleared even for domestic market, will tarnish the image and reputation of the company and will be counter-productive in the long run. However, you were further advised by the top management that if you do not clear the consignment, the company will not hesitate to terminate your services citing certain innocuous reasons.
(a) Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a member of the Inspecting Team?
(b) Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.
(c) What option would you adopt and why?
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by you?
(e) What can be the consequences of overlooking the observations raised by the Inspecting Team?
(Answer in 250 words)
11. Rakesh was working as a Joint Commissioner in Transport department of a city. As a part of his job profile, among others, he was entrusted with the task of overseeing the control and functioning of City Transport Department. A case strike by drivers’ union of City Transport Department over the issue of compensation to a driver who died on duty while driving the bus came up before him for decision in the matter.
He gathered that the driver (deceased) was plying Bus No. 528 which passed through busy and congested roads of the city. It so happened that near an intersection on the way, there was an accident involving the a middle-aged man. It was found that there was altercation between the driver and the car driver. Heated arguments between them led to fight and the driver gave him a a blow. Lot of passerbys had gathered and tried to intervene but without success. Eventually, both of them were badly injured and profusely bleeding and were taken to the nearby hospital. The driver succumbed to the injuries and could not be saved. The middle-aged driver’s condition was also critical but after a day, he recovered and was discharged. Police had immediately come to the spot and FIR was registered. Police investigation revealed that the quarrel in was started by the bus driver and he had resorted to physical violence. There exchange of blows between them.
The City Transport Department management is considering of not giving any extra compensation to the driver’s (deceased) family. The family is very aggrieved. depressed and agitated against the discriminatory and non-sympathetic approach of the City Transport Department management. The bus driver (deceased) was 52 years of age, was survived by his wife and two school-college going daughters. He was the sole earner of the family. The City Transport Department workers’ union took up this case and when found no favourable response from the management, decided to go on strike. The union’s demand was two fold. First was full extra compensation as given to other drivers who died on duty and secondly employment to one family member. The strike has continued for 10 days and the deadlock remains.
(a) What are the options available to Rakesh to meet the above situation?
(b) Critically examine each of the options identified by Rakesh
(c) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Rakesh?
(d) What course of action would Rakesh adopt to diffuse the above situation?
(Answer in 250 words)
12. You are appointed as an officer heading the section in Environment Pollution Control Board to ensure compliance and its follow-up. In that region, there were large number of small and medium industries which had been granted clearance. You learnt that these industries provide employment to many migrant worker. Most of the industrial units have got environmental clearance certificate in their possession. The environmental clearance seeks to curb industries and projects that supposedly hamper environment and living species in the region, But in practice. most of these units remain to be polluting units in several ways like air, water and soil pollution. As such, local people encountered persistent health problems.
It was confirmed that majority of the industries were violating environmental compliance. You issued notice to all the industrial units to apply for fresh environmental clearance certificate from the competent authority. However, your action met with hostile response from a section of the industrial units, other vested interest persons and a section of the local politicians. The workers also became hostile to you as they felt that your action would lead to the closure of these industrial units, and the resultant unemployment will lead to insecurity uncertainty in their livelihood. Many owners of the industries approached you with the plea that you should not initiate harsh action as it would compel them their units, and cause huge financial loss, shortage of their products in the market. These would obviously add to the sufferings of the labourers and the consumers alike. The labour union also sent you representation requesting against the closure of the units. You simultaneously started receiving threats from unknown corners. You however received supports from some of your colleagues, who advised you to act freely to ensure environmental compliance. Local NGOs also came to your support and they demanded the closure of the polluting units immediately.
(a) What are the options available to you under the given situation?
(b) Critically examine the options listed by you.
(c) What type of mechanism would you suggest to ensure environmental compliance?
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas you faced in exercising your option?
(Answer in 250 words)
Verifying, please be patient.