General Studies

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The UPSC Ethics paper falls under the General Studies Paper IV of the Civil Services Mains examination. The official syllabus for the UPSC Ethics paper is as follows:

General Studies Paper-IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidate’s attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life, and his/her problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him/her while dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered:

1. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

2. Attitude: Content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

3. Emotional Intelligence: Concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

4. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

5. Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Probity in Governance: Concept of public service: philosophical basis of governance and probity; information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, citizen’s charter, work culture, quality of service delivery, utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.


7. Case Studies on above issues.

Please note that the syllabus is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics related to ethics, integrity, and aptitude in the context of public administration and governance. Candidates are expected to have a deep understanding of ethical principles, their application, and the ability to analyze real-life scenarios using ethical perspectives.

Preparation for the Ethics paper should involve studying ethical theories, case studies, and practicing solving ethical dilemmas. It’s also important to be aware of current ethical issues and debates to provide relevant and well-rounded answers.

Prince Luthra (UPSC CSE AIR 577)

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