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Ethics Questions for UPSC Mains

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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeephttps://www.getcooltricks.com/
Editor at GetCoolTricks.com. Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.

The UPSC mains exam is written (subjective) in nature.

Here We Provide Ethics subject Questions Yearwise.

Ethics

2021

1. (a) Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix.
(b) Identify ten essential values that are needed to be an effective public servant. Describe the /ways and means to prevent non-ethical behaviour in public servants.

2. (a) Impact of digital technology as a reliable source of input for rational decision-making is a debatable issue. Critically evaluate with suitable examples.
(b) Besides domain knowledge, a public official needs innovativeness and creativity of a high order as well, while resolving ethical dilemmas. Discuss with a suitable example.

3. What does each of the following quotations mean to you?
(a) “Every work has got to pass through hundreds of difficulties before succeeding. Those that persevere will see the light, sooner or later. —Swami Vivekananda (b) “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until and unless we obtain peace within ourselves.” – Dalai Lama
(c) Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that it is better for us all.” -Erik Erikson’s word

4. (a) Attitude is an important component that goes as input in the elopement of humans How to build a suitable need for a public servant?
(b) In case of a crisis of conscience does emotional intelligence help to overcome the same without compromising the ethical or moral stand that you are likely to follow? Critically examine.

5. (a) “Refugees should not be turned back to the country where they would face persecution or human rights violation.” Examine the statement with reference to the ethical dimension being violated by the nation claiming to be democratic with an open society.
(b) Should impartial and being non-partisan be considered as indispensable qualities to make a successful civil servant? Discuss with illustrations.

6. (a) An independent and empowered social audit mechanism is an absolute must in every sphere of public service, including the judiciary, to ensure performance, accountability and ethical conduct. Elaborate.
(b) “Integrity is a value that empowers the human being.” Justify with a suitable illustration.

2020

1. (a) Discuss the role of ethics and values in enhancing the following three major components of Comprehensive National Power (CNP) viz. human capital, soft power (culture and policies) and social harmony. (150 words) 10
(b) “Education is not an injunction, it is an effective and pervasive tool for all round development of an individual and social transformation”. Examine the New Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) in light of the above statement. (150 words)10

2. (a) ‘Hatred is destructive of a person’s wisdom and conscience that can poison a nation’s spirit. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer. (150 words)
(b) What are the main components of emotional intelligence (EI) ? Can they be learned? Discuss.(150 words)

3. (a )What teachings of Buddha are most relevant today and why? Discuss. (150 words)
(b) ‘The will to power exits, but it can be tamed and be guided by rationality and principles of moral duty.’ Examine this statement in the context of international relations. (150 words)

4 (a) Distinguish between laws and rules. Discuss the role of ethics in formulating them. (150 words)
(b) A positive attitude is considered to be an essential characteristic of a civil servant who is often required to function under extreme stress. What contributes a positive attitude in person.? (150 words)

5. (a) What are the main factors responsible for gender inequality in India ? Discuss the contribution of Savitribai Phule in this regard. (150 words)
(b) ‘The current internet expansion has instilled a different set of cultural values which are often in conflict with traditional values.’ Discuss. (150 words)

6 What do each of the following quotations mean to you?
(a) “Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand do so. If not fold your hands, bless your brothers and let them go their own way.” – Swami Vivekanand (150 words)
(b)”The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others .” Mahatma Gandhi(150 words)
(c) “A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” – Socrates. (150 words)

2019

1. (a) What are the basic principles of public life? Illustrate any three of these with suitable examples.
(b) What do you understand by the term ‘public servant’? Reflect on the expected role of public servant.

2.(a) What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality? (b) What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience’? How does it manifest itself in the public domain?

3.(a) Explain the basic principles of citizens’ charter movement and bring out its importance. (b) There is a view that the Official Secrets Act is an obstacle to the implementation of Right to Information Act. Do you agree with the view? Discuss.

4.(a) What do you understand by probity in governance? Based on your understanding of the term, suggest measures for ensuring probity in government. (b) “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you instead of against you”. Do you agree with this view? Discuss

What do each of the following quotations mean to you? 5.(a) “An unexamined life is not worth living”. – Socrates (b) “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” – M.K. Gandhi (c) “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

6.(a) Effective utilization of public funds is crucial to meet development goals. Critically examine the reasons for under-utilization and misutilization of public funds and their implications. (b) “Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption”. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.

2018

7. (a) Suppose the Government of India is thinking of constructing a dam in a mountain valley bound by forests and inhabited by ethnic communities. What rational policy should it resort to in dealing with unforeseen contingencies? (b) Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration

8. What do each of the following quotations means to you in the present context? (a) “The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more evil than good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of government policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.” – Abraham Lincoln. (b) “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” – Mahatma Gandhi. (c) “Falsehood takes the place of truth when it results in the unblemished common good.” – Tirukkural

9. (a) State the three basic values, universal in nature, in the context of civil services and bring out their importance. (b) Distinguish between “Code of ethics” and the “Code of conduct” with suitable examples.

10. (a) What is meant by conflict of interest? Illustrate with examples, the difference between the actual and potential conflicts of interest. (b) “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they do not have the first, the other two will kill you.” —Warren Buffet What do you understand by this statement in the present-day scenario? Explain.

11. (a) “In doing a good thing, everything is permitted which is not prohibited expressly or by clear implication.” Examine the statement with suitable examples in the context of a public servant discharging his/her duties.(b) With regard to the morality of actions, one view is that means are of paramount importance and the other view is that the ends justify the means. Which view do you think is more appropriate? Justify your answer.

12. (a) What is meant by public interest? What are the principles and procedures to be followed by civil servants in public interest? (b) “The Right to Information Act is not all about citizens’ empowerment alone, it essentially redefines the concept of accountability.” Discuss

2017

13. (a) The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss. (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.

14. (a) Discipline generally implies following the order and subordination. However, it may be counterproductive for the organisation. Discuss. (b) Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly. What do you understand by this statement? Explain with illustration in contemporary times.

15. 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

16. Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward.

17. (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real life example. (b) Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse.

18. (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. (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.” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse.

19. (a) How will you apply emotional intelligence in administrative practices? (b) Strength, peace and security are considered to be the pillars of international relations. Elucidate.

20. Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service: (a) Transparency (b) Accountability (c) Fairness and Justice (d) Courage of Conviction (e) Spirit of service

2016

21. Our attitudes towards life, work, other people and society are generally shaped unconsciously by the family and the social surroundings in which we grow up. Some of these unconsciously acquired attitudes and values are often undesirable in the citizens of a modern democratic and egalitarian society. (a) Discuss such undesirable values prevalent in today’s educated Indians. (b) How can such undesirable attitudes be changed and socioethical values considered necessary in public services be cultivated in the aspiring and serving civil servants?

22. Anger is a harmful negative emotion. It is injurious to both personal life and work life. (a) Discuss how it leads to negative emotions and undesirable behaviours. (b) How can it be managed and controlled?

23. “Max Weber said that it is not wise to apply to public administration the sort of moral and ethical norms we apply to matters of personal conscience. It is important to realize that the state bureaucracy might possess its own independent bureaucratic morality.” Critically analyse this statement.

24. (a) Explain how ethics contributes to social and human well-being. (b) Why should impartiality and non-partisanship be considered foundational values in public services, especially in the present-day socio-political context? Illustrate your answer with examples.

25. (a) What do you understand by the terms ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’? (b) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s Concept of seven sins.

26. (a) Analyse John Rawls’s concept of social justice in the Indian context. (b) Discuss the Public Services Code as recommended by the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission

27. (a) “Corruption causes misuse of government treasury, administrative inefficiency and obstruction in the path of national development.” Discuss Kautilya’s views. (b) How could social influence and persuasion contribute to the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?

28. Law and Ethics are considered to be the two tools for controlling human conduct so as to make it conducive to civilized social existence. (a) Discuss how they achieve this objective. (b) Discuss how they achieve this objective.

2015

29. (a) What is meant by ‘environmental ethics’? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one environmental issue from the viewpoint of environmental ethics. (b) Differentiate between the following: Law and Ethics Ethical management and Management of ethics Discrimination and Preferential treatment Personal ethics and Professional ethics

30. Given are two quotations of moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these, bring out what it means to you in the present context: (a) “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” (b) “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light

31. (a) “A mere compliance with the law is not enough, the public servant also has to have a well-developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties.” Do you agree? Explain with the help of two examples, where (i) an act is ethically right, but not legally and (ii) an act is legally right, but not ethically. (b) How do the virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude get manifested in public service? Explain with examples

32. (a) “Social values are more important than economic values.” Discuss the above statement with examples in the context of the inclusive growth of a nation. (b) Some recent developments such as the introduction of the RTI Act, media and judicial activism, etc., are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. However, it is also being observed that at times the mechanisms are misused. Another negative effect is that the officers are now afraid to take prompt decisions. Analyze this situation in detail and suggest how this dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimized

33. Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public servants towards their work have been identified the bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude. (a) Distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and demerits, (b) Is it possible to balance the two to create a better administration for the faster development of our country?

34. Today we find that in spite of various measures like prescribing codes of conduct, setting up vigilence cells/commissions, RTI, active media and strengthening of legal mechanisms, corrupt practices are not coming under control. (a) Evaluate the effectiveness of these measures with justifications. (b) Suggest more effective strategies to tackle this menace.

35. At the international level, the bilateral relations between most nations are governed by the policy of promoting one’s own national interest without any regard for the interest of other nations. This leads to conflicts and tensions between the nations. How can ethical consideration help resolve such tensions? Discuss with specific examples.

36. Public servants are likely to confront the issues of ‘Conflict of Interest’. What do you understand by the term ‘Conflict of Interest’ and how does it manifest in the decision-making of public servants? If faced with a conflict of interest situation, how would you resolve it? Explain with the help of examples.

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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeephttps://www.getcooltricks.com/
Editor at GetCoolTricks.com. Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.

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