Time Allowed : Three Hours      Maximum Marks : 250

Instructions : There are FOURTEEN questions divided in two Sections and printed both in Hindi and in English. All questions are compulsory. The number of marks carried by a question/part is indicated against it. Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to. Any page of portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.

Answer questions in NOT MORE than the word limit specified for each in the parenthesis. Content of the answer is more important than its length.


Q.1. (a) All human beings aspire for happiness. Do you agree? What does happiness mean to you? Explain with examples. (150 words) 10

Answer: Pursuit of Happiness has been enlisted as the most important goal of human life. It has been established for millennia that happiness brings all good to a person. Therefore, without doubt, all human being aspire for happiness.

However, happiness means different to different people. For a person who loves to paint, he may derive happiness by painting. A sport lover may be happy when he watches or plays sport. Person becomes happy at success and sad at failure. 

To me, happiness is a feeling of success and satisfaction in a field. It may be due to my volition or on its own. For example, if I am preparing for an exam, success and satisfactory grade in that exam is a matter of happiness. When I would be reading a book that I like, I would derive happiness from reading. Similarly, when my family and friends are happy, healthy, successful and satisfied, it becomes a cause of happiness for me. (Total 159 words)

(b) What does ethics seek to promote in human life? Why is it all the more important in public administration? (150 words)    10

Answer: Ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives and help them to do what is good for society and other individuals.

Honesty, uprightness, empathy, impartiality, accountability, etc., are some qualities of an ethical person.

Ethics is more important in public administration because a public servant has to deal with power, and as rightly said by Gandhiji that power can corrupt a human being and only an honest and upright person can use his power for public welfare.

Moreover, at times a public servant finds himself in dilemmas between his personal and public duties, e.g. accepting a transfer which can negatively affect his family.

Apart from that, a public servant has to remain unbiased and courageous at times when he is being pressured from outside forces.

Therefore, a public servant cannot serve his purpose without being ethical and this makes ethics indispensable in public administration. Thus, a public servant must always strive to remain ethical.     (Total 164 words)

Q.2. (a) In the context of defence services, ‘patriotism’ demands readiness to even lay down one’s life in protecting the nation. According to you, what does patriotism imply in everyday civil life? Explain with illustrations and justify your answer. (150 words) 10

Answer: (a) Patriotism is natural love and attachment a person has for one’s country, it reflects a cultural connect and sense of duty for working towards betterment of one’s country.

The patriotism of a soldier reflects from the fact that he/she always ready for supreme sacrifice and spend their youthful years in hostile terrain so that country remains safe.

But in civil life also a person can be patriotic by doing right things and by avoidingindulgence in selfish and evil things. A person should do all his civil duties by being aware ofthe constitutional spirit, casting vote in elections, taking pledge to not to litter in public places, paying taxes on time and by protecting our natural as well as cultural heritage.

Moreover, a person should never indulge in black marketing, hoarding, tax evasion,etc. But on the contrary, a patriotic person should always be ready to take up fight against people indulging in such activities.      (Total 157 words)

(b) What do you understand by ‘probity’ in public life? What are the difficulties in practicing it in the present times? How can these difficulties be overcome? (150 words) 10

Answer: (b) Probity is the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency. It involves practising values like integrity, uprightness, honesty and remain transparent and accountable.

Public servants are expected to maintain probity while performing their duties. Where probity is missing, corruption breeds.Public servants are beholders of public trust and public funds, they shall remain incorruptible.

However, practicing probity is becoming harder every day because of the following reasons:

   (a)       High headedness of public servants as noticed by second ARC.

   (b)       Decreasing moral values among politicians.

   (c)       Low awareness among public about their rights giving chance to public servants and representatives to remain apathetic about public needs.

   (d)       General decline in morality in public life makes it harder even for honest people to practice probity.

To overcome this difficulty, a person should always strive for probity on own end. Moral education and awareness can also increase probity in public life. When whole world is silent even one voice can make difference. (Total 157 words)

Q.3.(a) “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, but knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” What do you understand by this statement? Explain your stand with illustrations from the modern context (150 words)  10

Answer: (a) The above quote is stated by Samuel Johnson. It presents a very true relation between integrity and knowledge and how they are almost worthless without one another.

As a person with integrity and without knowledge cannot produce and contribute to society even if he intends. Similarly, a person who has knowledge without integrity will end up producing undesirable results for himself and society.

Moreover, integrity requires accuracy in one’s action and behaviour, but without knowledge desired accuracy is impossible to achieve.

Similarly, a person with knowledge and no integrity becomes dangerous for society as they can hit bulls eye while making harm to society. For example,  a terrorist uses his knowledge of chemicals to produce a bomb, in this case the more he is accurate the more dangerous he becomes.

Thus, knowledge and integrity are balancing wheels of the same cart. One shows the right path and other provides willingness to take that path. (Total 154 words)

(b) “Human beings should always be treated as ‘ends’ in themselves and never as merely ‘means’.” Explain the meaning and significance of this statement, giving its implications in the modern techno-economic society. (150 words)

Answer: (b) The above statement highlights the philosophy given by Kant, where he highlights the fact that every person is independent being with own goals, respect, integrity and he must be treated in this way by others also. That is, no person shall be used by another person like a tool to serve a purpose. But every person must be respected for one’s intrinsic value as a human.

However, in present society where materialism is at its peak, people now value a person based on what he has and how other person can serve my purpose. This kind of behaviour is breeding greed and selfishness in society, which in turn is weakening our social fabric.

In this situation, the mentioned statement can serve as torchlight to guide our path towards harmonious society, where we value and respect every living being including nature. Moreover, by adhering to this principle, every person will get chance to show their talent and grow as a person, which will make world altogether a better place.          (Total 168 words)

4. (a) Which eminent personality has inspired you the most in the context of ethical conduct in life? Give the gist of his/her teachings. Giving specific examples, describe how you have been able to apply these teachings for your own ethical development. (150 words) 10

Answer: (a) Swami Vivekananda, is a great personality who has inspired and guided me to behave in ethical manner. His teachings about service, love, humanity and religion have deeply inspired me.

As through his teaching that “service to man is service to god” I came to know about true meaning of service. Moreover, Swamiji has inspired me, by making me aware of my weaknesses and guided me to get rid of them because swamiji believed one should not be weak as weakness is a sin.

Swamiji was a rationalist, thus rather than presenting supernatural image of god, he introduced world to true meaning of Vedanta and its philosophy which guides the humanity towards love and unity.

Most importantly, as a civil service aspirant, Vivekananda helped me in understanding my duty towards downtrodden, making me realise that we all are one i.e Parmatan and until we all are not happy everyone remains miserable.

Lastly, Swamiji was true patriot which reflects in Rabindranath Tagore’s comment “If you want to know India, Study Vivekananda”. (Total 170 words)

(b) There is a heavy ethical responsibility on the public servants because they occupy positions of power, handle huge amounts of public funds, and their decisions have wide-ranging impact on society and environment. What steps have you taken to improve your ethical competence to handle such responsibility? (150 words)        10

Answer: (b) Public servants in India enjoy wide discretionary power, they have been granted to use it for public welfare. In this process, they not only have to take care of public funds but also have responsibility to preserve the faith public bestowed on them to take decisions which affect their lives.

Thus, a public servant has to remain ethical in his/her conduct, for this, I have taken following steps to improve my ethical competence:

   (a)       I maintain integrity in my conduct.

   (b)       I am always ready to be held accountable for my actions.

   (c)       I try to remain honest in my public as well as private life.

   (d)       I try to remain conscious and empathetic about problems of others.

   (e)       I try to avoid conflict of interest.

   (f)       I do not use public resources for personal gains.

   (g)       I respect my colleagues and try to be aware about public needs. (Total 150 words)

Q.5. (a) The current society is plagued with widespread trust-deficit. What are the consequences of this situation for personal well-being and for societal well – being? What can you do at the personal level to make yourself trustworthy? (150 words)           10

Answer: (a) Trustworthiness, is one of the most essential and novel quality of human being. As trust makes a society work by making people believe on each other. However, sadly in present materialistic world, people lack belief on one another.

This is the result of decreasing moral values like brotherhood, selflessness, love and replacement of these values vices like enmity, jealousy, selfishness and lust. Resultantly, the social fabric is being torn apart, which does not only affect our personal sphere but also our professional sphere. As trust is the most basic need of doing business, trust deficit is also harming our economy.

Reducing trust propel fear in minds of people which is not good for an individual, as a fearful person can never achieve full potential. Trust deficit between government and citizens results into corruption. This is weakening our democracy.

To make myself trustworthy, I will always remain truthful and honest so that we can create a harmonious society based on trust. (Total 160 words)

(b) It is often said that poverty leads to corruption. However, there is no dearth of instances where affluent and powerful people indulge in corruption in a big way. What are the basic causes of corruption among people? Support your answer with examples. (150 words)        10

Answer: (b) The notion that poverty breeds corruption is entirely wrong because it is the greed and absence of morality which propels corruption.

Corruption in public sphere means using public resources and position for private gains. Moreover, the scope of corruption increases with increase of power and position. Thus, poverty has no connection with corruption.

Further, some specific breeders for corruption are:

   (a)       Lack of transparency in system which acts as shield for corrupt people. i.e. if there is no information about government scheme, babus can demand bribe.

   (b)       Lack of punitive measures provide confidence to people indulging in corruption.

   (c)       Instability in government also provides chance for corruption by floor changing.

   (d)       Personal desire for unfair advantage push individuals in indulging in embezzlement, bribery and nepotism.

   (e)       Unfair incentive structure and lack of job security encourage people to make money by corrupt means.

But such acts are inexcusable, because corruption makes country hollow,they should be condemned at every level and in every situation.     (Total 164 words)

Q.6. What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society, contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes? (150 words)     10

Answer: The pre-determined behaviour or reaction of a person toward another person, thing or situation is known as attitude. The attitude of a person is shaped by various factors like upbringing, prevailing condition in society and personal experience throughout the life.

Caste system divides our society in different strata (jatis).

However, we can notice contrasting attitude in our society for caste system because of the following factors:

   (a)       People who belongs to forward castes in urban areas are educated because of the opportunities they got by virtue of their caste. People from these castes now support merit based system and caste boundaries in these people are now starting to blur.

   (b)       Whereas forward castes of villages want the strict stratification as this will allow them to maintain their hegemony.

   (c)       On the contrary, now people from backward class want to maintain caste system as it provides benefits through affirmative actions.

With increasing education level the caste system is waning but still there is long way to go to make India a casteless society.       (Total 170 words)

Q.7. What does ‘accountability’ mean in the context of public service? What measures can be adopted to ensure individual and collective accountability of public servants? (150 words)

Answer: Accountability in public service means taking responsibility of one’s action and decision and being responsive to the needs of entity from which public servant derives authority.

A public official has to remain transparent and answerable to maintain accountability. One of the most important aspect of accountability is to make information assessable to public so that public can remain aware and public trust could be created.

Moreover, following mechanisms can be followed to ensure accountability of public servants:

   (a)       In every department, internal accountability mechanism should be placed.

   (b)       RTI act must be strengthened, public disclosure should be encouraged.

   (c)       Good work culture should be created by making every member of organisation aware about goals of organisation.

   (d)       Role of every person in hierarchy must be clearly defined.

   (e)       Lokpal should be made functional.

   (f)       Fast track courts must be set up for speedy disposal of the cases related to corruption.

   (g)       System of check and balance must be established in every department, so that corruption can be stopped. (Total 168 words)

Q.8. We are witnessing increasing instances of sexual violence against women in the country. Despite existing legal provisions against it, the number of incidences is on the rise. Suggest some innovative measures to tackle menace. (150 words)

Answer: It is disheartening that even after 70 years of independence females remain unsafe in our society. The main problem is deep rooted patriarchal mind set which is impending our country in achieving her full potential.

Some suggestions for creating a safer environment for woman are mentioned below:

   (a)       India must ratify all global and regional treaties which concerns safety women. It will increase pressure on government to take this matter at utmost priority.

   (b)       Women helplines should be made operational round the clock. New mechanisms like Himmat app of Delhi police is a welcome step.

   (c)       Women must be financially empowered by providing necessary education, skills as well as financial support for starting business.

   (d)       Specialized fast track courts should be set up to punish perpetuators and provide sense of closure to violence survivor women.

   (e)       Police stations must be made gender sensitive.

Finally, awareness about equal rights of women in society is must. It is not only responsibility of government and police but is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe environment for women.        (Total 174 words)


In the following questions, carefully study the cases presented and then answer the questions that follow.

Q.9. Now-a-days, there is an increasing thrust on economic development all around the globe. At the same time, there is also an increasing concern about environmental degradation caused by development. Many a time, we face a direct conflict between developmental activity and environmental quality. It is neither feasible to stop or curtail the developmental process, nor it is advisable to keep degrading the environment, as it threatens our very survival.

Discuss some feasible strategies which could be adopted to eliminate this conflict and which could lead to sustainable development. (250 words)           20

Answer: Development and environmental protection should go hand in hand. There are countries which have maintained this balance. Scandinavian countries have promoted technology and industry but at the sometime not damaged their environment.

We need to take a proper estimation of the proposed project for development. Environmental Impact Assessment should be taken very seriously and pros and cons of a project should be weighed in appropriate balance. Only if the resulting benefits are much greater than environmental degradation, the project should be implemented.

Every project should remedied the nature more than it harms. Therefore an environmental fund should be created by each company and that should be used to create green cover, promote efficient and green technology as well as protect other aspects of environment.

Government can make provisions for tax benefits for taking care of environment and penalty for violating rules related to protection of it.

As far as possible, we should use alternative sources of energy for new industries. Alternatives to a proposed project should always be explored and only that option which is most suitable to conservation of environment should be permitted for implementation.

Green Fund should be created, promoted and used for giving funding and subsidies to environment friendly technology, innovations and projects.

Environmental should not be taken for granted by any government or corporate bodies if we want to maintain proper balance in our economic growth and sustainable development.

We have already damaged environment beyond repair. Any further damage will make us vulnerable. Therefore, we need to implement our environmental laws very strictly.  (Total 257 words)

Q.10. Suppose one of your close friends, who is also aspiring for civil services, comes to you for discussing some of the issues related to ethical conduct in public service.

He raises the following points:

   (i)       In the present times, when unethical environment is quite prevalent, individual attempts to stick to ethical principles may cause a lot of problems in one’s career. It may also cause hardship to the family members as well as risk to one’s life. Why should we not be pragmatic and follow the path of least resistance, and be happy with doing whatever good we can?

   (ii)      When so many people are adopting wrong means and are grossly harming the system, what difference would it make if only a small minority tries to be ethical? They are going to be rather ineffective and are bound to get frustrated.

   (iii)     If we become fussy about ethical considerations, will it not hamper the economic progress of our country? After all, in the present age of high competition, we cannot afford to be left behind in the race of development.

   (iv)     It is understandable that we should not get involved in grossly unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gratifications and doing small favours increases everybody’s motivation. It also makes the system more efficient. What is wrong in adopting such practices?

Critically analyse the above viewpoints. On the basis of this analysis, what will be your advice to your friend?20

Answer: (i) The person who follows the path of least resistance will remain ethical but whenever situation comes, he would also take advantage or bend for the progress of career and personal interest. Such person has no personal moral, ethical code or virtue. He is no different from others. I would not follow this advise and would not advise my friend to follow this option.

(ii) People who are adopting unethical path cannot be compared with minority who follows ethics. Numbers do not matter but conduct matters. This minority is an example for new entrant in civil services. They should continue to follow their standards. There is no frustration as they know their path is correct. Their career and personal satisfaction are completely independent of each other.

(iii) There is no reason that a country cannot achieve economic progress by following ethical means. For example, if a tender is floated, it can be passed with full ethical way, without compromising with requirements. It will just not benefit some corrupt officers and contractors. But the system will certainly be benefited by it. Therefore, adopting to ethical ways does not mean remaining behind in economic growth.

(iv) Any officer who compromises his integrity once, is susceptible to frequent compromising. It would lead to unethical behaviour and there will be no reason for him to differentiate between small gratification and large scale corruption. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that such practice will improve the system.

Therefore, my advice to the friend would be to remain upright ethical and never compromise with Code of conduct and integrity for whatever reason.          (Total 266 words)

Q.11. You are a no-nonsense, honest officer. You have been transferred to a remote district to head a department that is notorious for its inefficiency and callousness. You find that the main cause of the poor state of affairs is the indiscipline of a section of employees. They do not work themselves and also disrupt the work of others. You first warned the troublemakers to mend their ways or else face disciplinary action. When the warning had little effect, you issued a show cause notice to the ringleaders. As a retaliatory measure, these troublemakers instigate a woman employee amongst them to file a complaint of sexual harassment against you with the Women’s Commission. The Commission promptly seeks your explanation. The matter is also publicised in the media to embarrass you further. Some of the options to handle this situation could be as follows:

   (i)       Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action.

   (ii)      Ignore the Commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action.

   (iii)     Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly.

Suggest any other possible option(s). Evaluate all of them and suggest the best course of action, giving your reasons for it. (250 words)    20

Answer: Evaluation of the options given in the question:

(i) Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action.

I have to give explanation to the Commission but going soft is an option which can be taken for the time being. But it will certainly encourage the trouble maker gang. If I surrender in this manner, they will continue with their nasty behaviour and stall the office work. Therefore, I would not go with this option.

(ii) Ignore the Commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action.

As the commission has statutory status, I cannot ignore the commission and have to file a reply. However, proceeding firmly against the trouble maker gang is at my option. The Commission can be explained in detail and be informed about the reasons for such false complaint. It will make them understand the real issue.

(iii) Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly.

This option seems to be the most appropriate. If I take my seniors into confidence, they will cooperate with me to tackle with the problem. They can guide me as how to deal with the current situation. I can prepare a draft according to their suggestions to send my reply to the Women’s Commission. This can be endorsed by my senior officers. They can vouch about my behaviour with opposite sex. Seniors can also help me to transfer the trouble makers.

Other Options:

First I can brief seniors and take them into confidence to deal with the problem.

Then I can draft a reply and send it to the Commission.

Then I can call media and give my explanation and make them aware of the reality. I am sure when they will know the actual problem, they will cooperate with me in the interest of good governance and administration.     (Total 267 words)

Q.12. Suppose you are the CEO of a company that manufactures specialised electronic equipment used by a government department. You have submitted your bid for the supply of this equipment to the department. Both the quality and cost of your offer are better than those of the competitors. Yet the concerned officer is demanding a hefty bribe for approving the tender. Getting the order is important both for you and for your company. Not getting the order would mean closing a production line. It may also affect your own career. However, as a value-conscious person, you do not want to give bribe.

Valid arguments can be advanced both for giving the bribe and getting the order, and for refusing to pay the bribe and risking the loss of the order. What those arguments could be? Could there be any better way to get out of this dilemma? If so, outline the main elements of this third way, pointing out its merits. (250 words)          20

Answer: (1) Arguments in favour of giving the bribe for getting the order:

As the order is important for my company, I should pay the demanded bribe and get the order.

If I do not pay, someone else may pay and get the order.

To keep my conscience, I can supply better quality goods.

Other bribe giver may even not supply good quality of goods.

Ethics can be managed practically in terms of performing my duties well, but I cannot teach the bribe demanding officer to be ethical.

(2) Arguments in favour of not giving the bribe for getting the order:

If I give bribe, I will compromise with my conscience and business ethics.

I can get some other good order than giving bribe.

Temporary loss in business should not discourage me from maintaining my ethos.

(3) Arguments in favour of third option:

I can inform the vigilance department about demand of bribe and ask them to advise me for cooperating to catch the officer red handed.

If they give me numbered currency note to give to the officer as bribe, I would do so.

Otherwise I can complain against the bribe demanding officer to his senior.

I can produce all relevant document and under right to information get relevant document of others as well. This can be used to show that my tender was the most eligible.

I can appeal to higher authorities for giving me order.

If it works out, I will get the order and will also do the duty of a whistleblower. (Total 255 words)

Q.13. Rameshwar successfully cleared the prestigious civil services examination and was excited about the opportunity that he would get through the civil services to serve the country. However, soon after joining the services, he realized that things are not as rosy as he had imagined.

He found a number of malpractices prevailing in the department assigned to him. For example, funds under various schemes and grants were being misappropriated. The official facilities were frequently being used for personal needs by the officers and staff. After some time, he noticed that the process of recruiting the staff was also not up to the mark. Prospective candidates were required to write an examination in which a lot of cheating was going on. Some candidates were provided external help in the examination. Rameshwar brought these incidents to the notice of his seniors. However, he was advised to keephis eyes, ears and mouth shut and ignore all these things which were taking place with the connivance of the higher-ups. Rameshwar felt highly disillusioned and uncomfortable. He comes to you seeking your advice.

Indicate various options that you think are available in this situation. How would you help him to evaluate these options and choose the most appropriate path to be adopted? (250 words)20

Answer: Rameshwar has seen the actual vices and malpractices in services and system. He is facing the situation that he never expected in civil services.

I think the following rational and reasonable options are available to Rameshwar.

Option 1: Prepare a report of the situation and send it to senior hierarchy up to the Chief Secretary and mark copies to concerned Minister’s office.

Options 2: He may not write it directly, but can encourage the affected parties to write a complaint to higher authorities.

Options 3: He can look for any other officer who is ethical and wants to raise voice against current practice. Both or all such officers can write a joint application to the higher authorities.

Options 4: Listen to his senior’s advise and ignore all the malpractices and happenings.

All other options would finally lead to either raising voice against the current system or keeping quiet.

If Rameshwar decides to oppose the practice, he has first three options in which he can either directly or through others affected parties or with other officers can bring the matter to the notice of higher authorities and if required, can bring the matter to political or judicial authorities.

However, this may endanger his career and in some situation even his physical safety and life may be in danger. Therefore, Rameshwar must be careful while raising voice against the system.

But if he decides to keep shut, he will have guilt throughout his life and he cannot forgive himself for it. So I would suggest that best option for Rameshwar is mixture of Option 2 and 3. (Total 265 words)

Q.14. In our country, the migration of rural people to towns and cities is increasing drastically. This is causing serious problems both in the rural as well as in the urban areas. In fact, things are becoming really unmanageable. Can you analyse this problem in detail and indicate not only the socio-economic but also the emotional and attitudinal factors responsible for this problem? Also, distinctly bring out why?

   (a)      educated rural youths are trying to shift to urban areas;

   (b)      landless poor people are migrating to urban slums;

   (c)      even some farmers are selling off their land and trying to settle in urban areas taking up petty jobs.

What feasible steps can you suggest which will be effective in controlling this serious problem of our country? (250 words) 20

Answer:Urbanisation in India has increased at faster pace in this century. Rural youth are attracted to urban areas for white collar and blue collar jobs. Non remunerative jobs in rural areas, including that of agriculture is a reason for migration from rural to urban areas.

As the attitude of a person who has come from rural area is much different from that of the person who was born and brought up in urban areas. Similar is the matter of emotional mismatch between them.

(1) Reasons for educated rural youth trying to shift to urban areas are better job opportunities, better educational facilities for their children, better avenues and scope for progress. They find all lifestyle enhancing amenities in urban areas.

(2)Landless poor people are shifting to urban slums because in rural areas there are less opportunities of employment while in urban areas even unskilled people can get manual jobs. They hope that at least their children will make better future in urban world. Industrialisation has increased in urban places which opens up more avenues for job.

(3)Even some farmers are selling their land and trying to settle in urban areas because due to lack of irrigation, credit, and better pricing mechanism, agriculture has become non-remunerative job and has indebted many farmers. Rather than continuing in loss making agricultural practice, they find it better option to engage in non-risky employments in urban areas where they can get enough to sustain their families.

To counter these problems, we need to provide better job opportunities, facilities in the field of education, health care, services and entertainment, in rural areas.           (Total 270 words)

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