Wednesday, August 14, 2013

UPSC releases sample paper on “ethics”. Want to try it out? Full Paper here

UPSC Headquarters
FROM this year, IAS aspirants will have to take a compulsory paper on “Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude” in civil services (mains) examination. And on Tuesday, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that conducts the exam has uploaded in its website a sample paper (Paper V) so as to give an idea of the nature of questions that may be asked in the exam. In the backdrop of…
erosion of ethical standards in the society at large and power corridors in particular, the introduction of this paper is expected to help the selectors pick up not just intelligent and hard-working administrators, but those who could remain honest despite being highly powerful. After all, one of the questions in the sample paper is like this: “In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent?” The paper also includes three interesting case studies for the candidates to solve. Here is the entire sample paper as uploaded in Maybe, the senior bureaucrats would like to spare two hours and try the answers.

Candidates may please note that the sample questions below are indicative but not exhaustive. The range and depth of questions that would be asked may differ.
What do you understand by “Ethical Human Conduct”? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent?
What do you understand by the following terms? Point out their specific relevance in public service;
(i) Intellectual integrity
(ii) Empathy
(iii) Perseverance
(iv) Spirit of service
(v) Commitment
Indicate two more attributes which you consider very important for public servants. Justify your answer.
Which great Indian personality has inspired you the most as a role model and how have you been able to benefit in your own life by such an inspiration?
You have been working with your team for almost a year. One of your subordinates Mr A is very effective and hard-working, he takes responsibility and gets things done. However, you have heard that Mr A makes loose comments about women. Mrs X who is working under A, comes to you, she is visibly disturbed. She tells you that Mr A has been making undue advances towards her and has even asked her to go out for dinner with him. She wants to give a written complaint seeking action against Mr A. What would you do and why?
You have grown up with X, who has been your best friend since childhood. You have shared your joys and sorrows and have been each other’s confidante. Both of you are in your final year graduation and writing your final exams. In the exam you notice that your friend is copying and cheating a lot. What would you do and why?
You are posted as the Medical Superintendent of a District level Govt Hospital which caters to the need of poor patients from surrounding rural areas along with the local people from the district town. As such the hospital has very good infrastructure and adequate equipment to cater to this need. It also receives sufficient funds to meet the recurring expenditure. In spite of this there have been repeated complaints particularly from the patients which include the following
(i) Very poor maintenance and un-hygienic conditions in hospital premises.
(ii) The hospital staff frequently demanding bribes from the patients for the services rendered.
(iii) The negligent attitude of the Doctors resulting in times of casualties.
(iv) Siphoning of a substantial stock of medicine by the staff and selling it out.
(v) Strong nexus between the senior Doctors of the hospital and the owners of local private nursing homes and testing labs as a result of which the patients are strongly misled and dissuaded from availing the hospital facilities and rather compelled to purchase costly medicines from market and get medical tests and even operations done from private medical houses.
(vi) There also exist a notorious employee union which puts undue pressure and resents any reformative step by the administration.
Ponder over the situation and suggest effective ways to tackle each of the above mentioned problem.


  1. It should be helpful if you try to provide some solutions too

  2. This is plain ridiculous! More so, if UPSC wants to make it a compulsory paper, whose marks will be considered for preparing the selection merit list. The coaching shops will now bring out BOOKS and GUIDES with the first chapter being 'Meaning and Scope of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude'! The aspirants will simply mug up the politically correct answers. If UPSC believes introducing such a paper in a highly competitive exam will inculcate moral values in 21-plus Indian youth, it is grossly mistaken. It is a highly subjective domain and, I wonder how the examiner will give marks for the CORRECT answers. Moreover, it is a sad commentary on our training system and the high-sounding civil services academies that they are unable to inculcate these values in the probationers. A better idea would be to improve the training system, rather than introducing such a vague and subjective paper. But then, we continue to suffer in a master-slave, not a teacher-taught, system!

  3. moral development starts from mother's womb. family. neigbourhood, school, society and mass media also plays its role in shaping attitude to ethics of an individual. ROLE MODELS ALSO PLAY THEIR ROLE IN SHAPING ATTITUDE TOWARDS ETHICS. AT EXTREME END A COMPETITIVE EXAM PAPER ON ETHICS CAN HOW FAR CHANGE ATTITUDE OF YOUTH TOWARDS ETHICS POSITIVELY IS A MOOT QUESTION.

  4. A great initiative! At least some serious thoughts will be given on the subject and will definitely sit in the subconscious mind of the aspirants. At least mind will be steered to ponder on the subject.
    Cheers on this initiative! Will go a long way and qualitative results may be seen with time to come

  5. The sample paper is a good read. All I can say is "well-crafted nonsense".