UPSC CSE Mains Model Questions: GS Paper 4 [50-Day HVAW Compilation]

This is a compilation of the GS Paper 4 model questions we provided as part of our 50-day Mains High Value Answer Writing (HVAW) Test Series in 2014. We will also be releasing the compilation of the GS Paper 4 model questions in the ClearIAS 30-day Mains Answer Writing Program(AWP) 2016 soon.

IAS Mains Model Questions: General Studies Paper 4

Model Questions for UPSC CSE Main Exam

  1. Compare and contrast the six systems of Indian orthodox philosophy?
  2. Distinguish between Deontological ethics and Teleological ethics. Can Utilitarianism be considered as a flawless philosophy? Explain with an example.
  3. You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards completion, the Junior Engineers have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications. However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunae which, in your opinion, are likely to affect the safety of the flyover. Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area. When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the project for completion in time. However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should not be left unaddressed. What will you do in such a situation? Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons. (250 words)
    1. Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.
    2. Make an exhaustive report of the situation bringing out all facts and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and seek for written orders from the chief Engineer.
    3. Call for explanation from the Junior Engineers and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.
    4. Highlight the issue so that it reaches superiors above the Chief Engineer.
    5. Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report sick.
  4. Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.
  5. Explain the philosophy behind Satyagraha? Can every non-violent method of conflict resolution be called Satyagraha? Explain the types of Satyagraha used by Gandhiji in his mass campaigns.
  6. Compare and contrast the following terms from each other: Ethics, Morals, Values and Virtues.
  7. What do you understand by Emotional Intelligence? Discuss the utilities and application of Emotional Intelligence in administration.
  8. What is meant by aptitude for Civil Service? List four fundamental values a civil servant should poses and explain the significance of each.
  9. E-governance and automation are the tools for ending corruption. Analyze.
  10. Supreme Court recently commented that charge sheeted MPs should not be appointed as ministers. Is Judiciary moving away from the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ doctrine? Analyze.
  11. What are Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life? Analyze the significance of each of them in detail.
  12. Analyze the position of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan among modern Indian Philosophers. Discuss his contributions in the field of philosophy and ethics
  13. Analyze Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a philosopher. List major philosophies of Gandhi and analyze if Gandhian philosophies are universal.
  14. What do you mean by Citizens charter? What is the relation between citizens charter and Sevottam model?
  15. What do you mean by conflict of interest? Give an example of conflict of interest in relation with personal and professional ethics.
  16. Considering the degeneration in Indian bureaucracy and politics, a code of ethics is essential. Comment.
  17. List out the determinants and consequences of Ehtics in human actions.
  18. Trace the ethical and moral aspects of Indian culture particularly in the background of our ancient texts including Manu Smrithi and Bhagavat Gita.
  19. What are the lessons that can be learned from the life of Rabindra Nath Tagore? Examine the importance of mysticism in Tagore’s life.
  20. Analyze if the public services values like impartiality and non-partisanship gets affected if judges of supreme court or high court takes up positions in executive after retirement.
  21. Who do you think as emotional intelligent? List out the characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person, and evaluate why is emotional intelligence necessary for public service.
  22. How important is attitude for a civil servant? Distinguish between moral and political attitudes.
  23. What are the nine types of intelligence according to Howard Gardner? In which type of intelligence, would you relate emotional intelligence?
  24. List out the major approaches that you can use to resolve an ethical dilemma?
  25. What are the implications of doing business without business ethics? Is it only a cost to the customers at the receiving end?
  26. Ethics as a field of study is known as moral philosophy. But ethics is beyond morals. Elaborate the dimensions of ethics.
  27. What do you understand by situational ethics? Comment on the positive and negative aspects of evaluating an act according to situational ethics.
  28. Distinguish between values and ethics. What are the values that can be learned from the life of (a) Swami Vivekananda (b) Mother Theresa.
  29. List and explain five important values you think as important each from the two major religious texts in India ie Quran and Bhagavat Gita.
  30. Is mercy killing ethical in your opinion? Analyze the ethical aspects of euthanasia in detail.
  31. Is legalization of prostitution an ethical action in your opinion? Analyze the ethical aspects of prostitution and problems faced by sex-workers in detail.
  32. Is capital punishment an ethical action in your opinion? Analyze the ethical aspects of death penalty in detail.
  33. The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said that corporate governance failures have been cited as contributors to the financial crisis. What is your opinion about this statement?
  34. Who do you think as your role model? Briefly explain the reasons for the same.
  35. Analyse the significance of Parliamentary committee on ethics.
  36. Distinguish between attitude and aptitude for civil services. What are the qualities that reflect in the right attitude of a civil servant?
  37. What is ethical hacking? What is the significance of ethical hacking in terms of internet security?
  38. Distinguish between Public Administration and Public Mangement. What are the criticisms about New Public Management?
  39. Compare the working style, ethics and contributions of Verghese Kurein (man behind Amul) and E. Sreedharan (man behind Delhi metro). What values do you find as reasons for their success?
  40. Key topics in contemporary bioethics are richly addressed in Greek thought both within Plato’s corpus and through his critical engagement. Comment.
  41. “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be”. Examine this statement in the background of the life of Socrates.
  42. “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival – Aristotle”. Examine the importance of power of contemplation in Aristotelian philosophy.
  43. Jiddu Krishnamurti constantly emphasised the right place of thought in daily life. What is your opinion on the importance of thought? Analyse in the backdrop of J. Krishamurthi’s philosophical thoughts.
  44. You as an administrator is responsible for implementing a major infrastructure project in a locality. Considering the development needs of the locality, this project was long overdue. But at the same time, there are also environmental concerns regarding this project. The highest bidder for the project, a reputed firm XYZ,is run by a friend of you. He has already spend lakhs of rupees for campaigning and creating public awareness about the benefits of the project. While you are almost ready to give sanction to XYZ, you get a letter from the an NGO that this project will badly affect the ecosystem of the area if implemented. They have also threatened of mass protest, if you go ahead with the project. Considering this situations,
    1. What are the options available to you?
    2. Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.
  45. Raju, an ordinary citizen working in a small private company got transfer to a remote village. He wants to get a new electric connection in his house. He inquired about the new connection, but the officer in charge at the electricity office replied that it will take at-least one month for the same, if applied through proper channel. Raju felt disappointed, as living without electricity in such a hot place is very tough. Localities advised him to pay bribes to the corresponding officer to get a new connection in two days or less. They also hinted about the nexus between the officer and local goondas and advised against any legal battle or police complaint. They are of the opinion that there is high corruption in the government circles, and this is the only way to get things done in that village. Considering this situations,
    1. What are the options available to Raju?
    2. Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which Raju should adopt, giving reasons.(300 words)
  46. Ramu is an IAS officer. Ramu’s father is law is a leading contractor. Ramu always cherished the family relations. His father in law never troubled him with any illegal requests, but today he came toRamu’s office asking for a favour. While analysing the file on the case, Ramu found that the request from his father in law is illegal at the date mentioned in the file. But Government has recently passed a bill, making the things mentioned in the file legal, though there is no retrospective application of the same. Ramu when presented his dilemma before his wife, she told him to make minor change in the date, so that everything will be legal. Ramu though an honest and ethical officer, he is still in a dilemma as he don’t want to make an action against the wishes of his loving wife and father in law. Considering this situation,
    1. What are the options available to Ramu?
    2. Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which Ramu should adopt, giving reasons.
  47. Comment on the philosophical basis of governance and probity.
  48. Explain a situation where you showed tolerance and compassion towards weaker section.
  49. Social influence and persuasion are two factors which can affect our attitude – positively or negatively. Explain a situation where social influence and persuasion affected your attitude.
  50. Explain the role of family in inculcating values in a person. Highlight two examples of noted personalities.

Practice Full Length UPSC Mains Mock Tests – GS4

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