UPSC Mains General Studies Paper IV (GS-IV) is about Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. UPSC GS-IV paper is one of the nine papers of Mains Examination of the IAS Exam. This article gives details on the strategy, structure and syllabus of General Studies Paper IV of the UPSC Civil Service Mains Examination.
Candidates can refer to strategy, syllabus, and structure of GS-I, GS-II, and GS-III from the links mentioned below:
|UPSC Mains GS-I Strategy, Structure & Syllabus|
|UPSC Mains GS-II Strategy, Structure & Syllabus|
|UPSC Mains GS-III Strategy, Structure & Syllabus|
Table of Contents:
|IAS Mains General Studies-IV
|Strategy for UPSC Ethics for Mains:|
|Ethics Syllabus – Detailed Syllabus of Mains GS Paper 4|
|GS-IV Trend Analysis
|Must-Read Important Topics in Ethics Paper for UPSC
|IAS Exam Pattern|
IAS Mains General Studies-IV
The General Studies Paper IV covers the following main areas:
This paper tests the candidate’s approach to the issues of integrity and probity while dealing with public life. It also tests the candidate’s approach to problem-solving and conflict resolution.
This paper may have a slight overlap of topics with Governance and Social Justice Subjects from General Studies II in the Civil Service Examination mains papers but is largely independent of the syllabus of other GS papers.
If candidates are targeting UPSC 2020, they may check the linked article.
Focus Areas in GS IV Ethics Paper
|1.||Ethics and Human Interface|
|6.||Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world|
|7.||Public or Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration|
|8.||Ethical issues in international relations and funding corporate governance|
|9.||Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; information|
|10.||Codes of ethics & Citizen’s Charters|
Tips to Prepare
|Ethics and Human Interface||Aspirants should learn:
Note: Questions may be asked in the part I section
|Human Values||Aspirants should focus on:
|Attitude||Candidates should focus on Attitude:
Note: Question may be asked either in Part 1 or Part 2 i.e. either in theory or case study
|Aptitude||Important list of words that a candidate should embed in their answer in order to enhance their answer and score high:
Integrity: not compromising on anything if someone offers your bribe will you compromise
● Impartiality: Don’t show nepotism either for political parties or common man
● Nonpartisanship: no biases for different political parties
● Objectivity: be neutral
● Dedication to public service
● Compassion towards weaker section
Note: Candidates can refer to the ‘Ethics in Governance’ to cover this area as it gives a clear definition of the last five words or concepts including Nolan Committee Recommendations.
|Emotional Intelligence||Here as an administrator, one has to follow the three procedures of Emotional Intelligence and they are:
● Understand your emotions and control them
● Understand others emotion and control them
● Then, act according to solve the issue genuinely and effectively
Note: Questions may be asked in both Part 1 and Part 2
|Ethical issues in international relations||
Note: Questions may be asked Part 2 i.e. case study
|Sharing and transparency in government, Right to information, codes of ethics, codes of conduct||Candidates can refer to CCS, 1964 – The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, which is of 300-400 pages|
|Citizen’s Charters, Work Culture, Quality of Service delivery, utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption||
Let us see in a nutshell how to go about preparing for the Ethics paper:
- Get conceptual clarity of topics in the syllabus.
- See Code of Conduct, citizen’s charter, RTI, Probity in governance reports.
- Read Ethics in Governance reports and book by Ramesh K Arora (Ethics in Governance)
- Go through previous year question papers.
- Try to solve the CSAT decision-making questions.
- Identify the keywords in the syllabus and apply it in your writing.
- Don’t forget thinkers’ quotes and apply them to the prevailing situation.
- Read a single book many times rather than many books.
Questions from each of the above-mentioned topics are asked in general studies 4 paper. To get the topic wise GS 4 questions in UPSC Mains, you can check the linked article. These questions can help aspirants devise a strategy to prepare for each of the GS-II topics.
The table below mentions the important Ethics Books for UPSC:
Ethics Books for UPSC
|1.||Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – G Subba Rao & P N Roy Chowdhury|
|2.||Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for IAS General Studies Paper IV – Niraj Kumar|
|3.||Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – Santosh Ajmera & Nanda Kishore Reddy|
|4.||Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – M Karthikeyan|
|5.||Ethics in Governance: Innovations, Issues and Instrumentalities – Ramesh K Arora|
GS 4 Structure
The following are the important features of the UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV – Structure/ General Studies IV paper:
- The paper consists of twelve questions with these divided into two sections. Before 2018, there were fourteen questions, though now the complexity has been increased and the number of questions has been reduced.
- All the questions are compulsory.
- The questions are of 10 marks and 20 marks depending on the length of the answer required. The 10 marks questions need answers within 150 words while the 20 marks questions need answers within 250 words.
- The total marks allotted to this paper are 250 marks.
- The questions are of two types:
- Direct concept related questions which test the candidate’s understanding of ethical issues and concepts related to integrity and aptitude (125 marks)
- Case studies which test the candidate’s application of those concepts to situations involving the candidate and other stakeholders such as politicians, pressure groups, the public and other people (125 marks)
- This paper is the most variable of the four General Studies Papers and the nature of questions differ widely from year to year. Candidates should familiarise themselves with the syllabus, and the last few year’s patterns as well.
UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV Ethics Syllabus
The following is the detailed Syllabus for General Studies IV Paper in the UPSC Mains Examination:
|Ethics and Human Interface||
Check the links mentioned at the bottom of the article to read about Attitude.
|Contributions of Thinkers and Philosophers||
|Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration||
|Probity in Governance||
After knowing the GS-IV syllabus for civil services examination, candidates must also know the UPSC GS-IV Strategy which they may check in the linked article.
Mains GS IV Trend Analysis
Here, we are giving the GS 4 trend analysis for the year 2018 and 2019. UPSC candidates can read the detailed trend analysis of UPSC Mains GS Paper 4 from 2013 to 2016 in the linked article.
The following table gives the total marks asked in each broad category in GS 2 in 2018 and 2019:
|Basics and thinkers||60||40|
|Family and society||10||40|
|Work and office||20||0|
Now, we analyze each broad category by classifying them into subtopics:
The following graph indicates the worth of the total mark of questions asked from each subtopic in 2018 and 2019:
IAS aspirants can check the UPSC Prelims Subject-Wise Weightage 2011-2019 in the linked article.
Must-Read Important Topics in GS-IV for UPSC
Candidates can read about the topic, ‘Attitude’ (Part-Wise) related to GS 4 – Ethics, from the links mentioned in the table below:
|Attitude:||Difference between Ethics and Values|
|Difference between Democracy & Dictatorship||Difference Between Ethics & Morality-|
|Difference Between Democracy and Monarchy||Difference Between Communism, Capitalism and Socialism|
IAS Exam Pattern
UPSC IAS Exam
Pattern of IAS Exam
Candidates can understand the complete UPSC Exam Pattern from the linked article.
The key takeaway from this paper is that it tests the candidate’s honesty and integrity along with their problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
This paper relies heavily on case studies which are the most scoring parts of the paper. The candidates should be able to analyze their own reactions to various situations and apply concepts dealt with in this paper on their actions and reactions to various situations while dealing with their social circle.