UPSC Mains 2015 GS4 Question Paper

Instructions: Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.

Note: The number of marks carried by a question/part is indicated against it.

Section A

1 (a) What is meant by ‘environmental ethics’? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one environmental issue from the viewpoint of environmental ethics. (150 words) (10)

(b) Differentiate between the following (10 marks) (200 Words)

  • (i) Law and ethics
  • (ii) Ethical management and management of ethics
  • (iii) Discrimination and preferential treatment
  • (iv) Personal Ethics and Professional Ethics

2) 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 strong.” (10) (150 words)
  • (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” (10 marks) (150 words)

3) (a) “A mere compliance with law is not enough, the public servant also have 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. (10 Marks) (150 words)

(b) How do the virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude get manifested in public service? Explain with examples (10) (150 words)

4) (a) Social values are more important than economic values. Discuss the above statement with examples in the context of inclusive growth of a nation. (150 words) (10 Marks)

(b) Some recent developments such as introduction of 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. Analyse the situation in detail and suggest how the dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimised. (150 words) (10 Marks)

5) Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public servants towards their work have been identified as bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude. (10 Marks) (150 words)

(a) Distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and demerits.

(b) Is it possible to balance the two too create a better administration for the faster development of our country?

6) Today we find that in-spite of various measures of prescribing codes of conduct, setting up vigilance cells/commissions, RTI, active media and strengthening of legal mechanism, corrupt practices are not coming under control. (10 Marks) (150 words)

  • (a) Evaluate the effectiveness of these measures with justifications
  • (b) Suggest more effective strategies to tackle this menace

7) At the international level, bilateral relations between most nations are governed on the policy of promoting one’s own national interest without any regard for the interest of other nations. This lead to conflicts and tension between the nations. How can ethical consideration help resolve such tensions? Discuss with specific examples. (10 Marks) (150 words)

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8) Public servants are likely to confront with 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 by public servants? If faced with the conflict of interest situation how would you resolve it? Explain with the help of examples. (10 Marks) (150 words)

Section – B

9) A private company is known for its efficiency, transparency and employee welfare. The company though owned by a private individual has a cooperative character where employees feel a sense of ownership. The company employs nearly 700 personnel and they have voluntarily decided not to form union.

One day suddenly in the morning, about 40 men belonging to political party gate crashed into the factory demanding jobs in the factory. They threatened the management and employees, and also used foul language. The employees feel demoralized. It was clear that those people who gate crashed wanted to be on the payroll of the company as well as continue as the volunteers/members of the party.

The company maintains high standards in integrity and does not extend favours to civil administration that also includes law enforcement agency. Such incident occur in public sector also. (20 Marks) (250 Words)

  • (a) Assume you are the CEO of the company. What would you do to diffuse the volatile situation on the date of gate crashing with the violent mob sitting inside the company premises?
  • (b) What can be the long term solution to the issue discussed in the case?
  • (c) Every solution/action that you suggest will have a negative and a positive impact on you as (CEO), the employees and the performance of the employees. Analyse the consequences of each of your suggested actions.

10) You are the Sarpanch of a Panchayat. There is a primary school run by the government in your area. Midday meals are provided to children attending the school. The headmaster has now appointed a new cook in the school to prepare the meals. However, when it is found that cook is from Dalit community, almost half of the children belonging to higher castes are not allowed to take meals by their parents. Consequently the attendance in the schools falls sharply. This could result in the possibility of discontinuation of midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down the school. (20 Marks) (250 Words)

  • (a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right ambiance.
  • (b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambiance for accepting such changes?
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11)One of the scientists working in the R&D laboratory of a major pharmaceutical company discovers that one of the company’s bestselling veterinary drugs has the potential to cure a currently incurable liver disease which is prevalent in tribal areas. However, developing a variant of the drug suitable for human being entailed a lot of research and development having a huge expenditure to the extent of Rs. 50 crores. It was unlikely that company would recover the cost as the disease was rampant only in poverty stricken areas having very little market otherwise.

If you were the CEO, then (20 Marks) (250 Words)

  • (a) Identify the various actions that you could take
  • (b) Evaluate the pros and cons of each of your actions

12) There is a disaster prone state having frequent landslides, forest fires, cloudbursts, flash floods and earthquakes, etc. Some of these are seasonal and often unpredictable. The magnitude of the disaster is always unanticipated. During one of the seasons a cloudburst caused a devastating floods and landslides leading to high casualties. There was major damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges and power generating units. This led to more than 100000 pilgrims, tourist and other locals trapped across different routes and locations. The people trapped in your area of responsibility includes senior citizens, patients in hospitals, women and children, hiker, tourist, ruling parties, regional presidents along with his family, additional chief secretary of the neighboring state and prisoners in jail.

As a civil services officer of the state, what would be the order in which you would rescue these people and why? Give Justifications (20 Marks) (200 Words)

13) You are heading a district administration in a particular department. Your senior officer calls you from the State Headquarters and tells you that a plot in Rampur village is to have a building constructed on it for a school. A visit is scheduled during which he will visit the site along with the chief engineer and the senior architect. He wants you to check out all the papers relating to it and ensure that the visit is properly arranged. You examine the file which relates to the period before you joined the department. The land was acquired for the local panchayat at a nominal cost and the papers showed that clearance certificates are available for the two of the three authorities who have to certify the site’s suitability. There is no certification by the architect available on file. You decide to visit Rampur to ensure that all is in the order as stated on file. When you visit Rampur, you find that the plot under reference is a part of Thakurgarh fort and that the walls, ramparts, etc., are running across it. The fort is well away from the main village, therefore a school here will be a serious inconvenience for the children. However, the area near the village has potential to expand into a larger residential area. The development charges on the existing plot, at the fort, will be very high and question of heritage site has not been addressed. Moreover, the Sarpanch, at the time of acquisition of the land, was a relative of your predecessor. The whole transaction appears to have been done with some vested interest. (25 Marks) (250 Words)

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(a) List the likely vested interest of the concerned parties.

(b) Some of the options for action available to you are listed below. Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the options:

  • (i) You can await the visit of the superior officer and let him take a decision.
  • (ii) You can seek his advice in writing or on phone.
  • (iii) You can consult your predecessor/ colleagues, etc, and then decide what to do.
  • (iv) You can find out if any alternate plot can be got in exchange and then send a comprehensive written report.

Can you suggest any other option with proper justifications?

14) You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue of sending girls to schools.

The elders of the village feel that many problems have come up because girls are being educated and they are stepping out of the safe environment of the household. They are the view that the girls should be quickly married off with minimum education. The girls are also competing for jobs after education, which have traditionally remained in boys’ exclusive domain, adding to unemployment amongst male population.

The younger generation feels that in the present era, girls should have equal opportunities for education and employment, and other means of livelihood. The entire locality is divided between sexes in both generations. You come to know that in Panchayat or in other local bodies or even in busy crosswords, the issue is being acrimoniously debated.

One day you are informed that an unpleasant incident has taken place. Some girls were molested, when they were en route to schools. The incident led to clashes between several groups and a law and order problem has arisen. The elder after heated discussion have taken a joint decision not to allow girls to go to school and to socially boycott all such families, which do not follow their dictate. (250 words) (25 Marks)

  • (a) What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?
  • (b) How would you manage and mould patriarchic attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter- generational relations?

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