GS Paper IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Hello students! Welcome to BYJU’s classes. In this session we’ll be seeing the strategy how to crack and how to get more marks in the 4th paper and the most easiest paper in UPSC, i.e. Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. So to begin with what exactly should we read? Many toppers actually say that we gave less effort or we put less effort in ethics paper and we actually studies less for essay, but it is these two papers which actually gave us more marks than the other papers. And it is optionals, ethics and essay which determines. We understand the significance of Ethics paper. So in this strategy we’ll be seeing how to prepare specifically for Ethics. What all should be actually done while you’re preparing for Ethics. So, some study materials that you need to focus, some books that you need to refer, some practice test that you need to take, all these we’ll be discussing in this. But before I get into this, I just want to tell you that most of our students have actually got very good marks in Ethics paper. It is not that their preparation was different, it is just that their way of seeing the concepts are very different. So we understand that at the last minute it is very difficult for you to take, like you know, in the next two months I’ll become an ethical person, isn’t it? So we know that whatever is there within us we need to try to smart our thinking and whichever situation is given we need to fit our thinking to that particular thing. So, in our tablet program and also in the classroom program we actually tell to the students how to link the concepts that are given in the syllabus and understand it via case studies. Because until and unless you apply each and every concept that is given in the syllabus to the case studies you’ll not be having clarity. And unless you have clarity it will be very difficult for you to understand what exactly an administrator will be looking for.
Let me begin the session by giving a simple scenario to you. For example, Mr. A is chairman of TRAI, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and his son who has graduated with top marks from IIM, Ahmedabad has actually got a job opportunity in Airtel. He is well paid, and he has got the opportunity solely on his merit. So, in this particular case should he accept the job offer given by Airtel or should he wait for the government to give permission for it? So if such questions come, as a laymen or if we step into the shoes of the person who is getting the job we actually think that is, he should have the right to get the job. Why? Because he is meritorious and based on his merit Airtel has given him job. But, think, you’re looking at Mr. A from outside. You’re a common man. You observe that Mr. A is TRAI chairman and his son is actually getting job in Airtel. I don’t know the background of his son. Case study it is being mentioned, but for a common man if I see what will he think? He thinks that Mr. A is TRAI’s chairman and if his son is getting a job in Airtel, then definitely there will be nepotism, that is, Mr. A would have asked Airtel to give his son the job. This will be the general thinking, so this is what UPSC sees. Ethics and morals, there is a difference in it. It is not morals integrity and aptitude, but it is ethics, integrity and aptitude. Morals, at the end, depends upon you. If you believe what you’ve done is right or wrong. So morality is for you. You’ll say this act is morally correct and this act is morally wrong. Ethics, your actions will be actually judged by others. So in public administration, Mr. A, if he does anything, it is not Mr. A who is going to be in trouble but it is the image of TRAI that the TRAI body has been misused by Mr. A. The question which comes is all about TRAI and not about Mr. A. In an environment where you see that corruption is prevailing and every common man actually knows that in India corruption exists. If we are living in such society where there is a common belief that in government institutions corruption is common and if these kind of incidence happen, definitely it will be seen as nepotism and not of this. That is the reason, usually when you take case studies, you’ll observe that in few case studies UPSC will use – you are District Collector. Whenever they say ‘you’, that is whenever they want to focus on you then usually they expect morality and ethics to go together, i.e. the action that you do should be morally correct to you and it should be morally correct for others. So here, you should be very careful. But whenever they say Mr. A, Mr. B, like this, try to see not just by stepping into his but from outside as well. So for the example that I gave, if you take the shoes of Mr. A, his son is getting it logically, right? So, he should be allowing his son to go. If you are observing from outside, you usually see that for outsiders it looks the institution is corrupt, or the institution is misused. So these are some of the examples. You may ask me immediately – “Sir, how do you know this should be the correct answer for that?” Isn’t it? You may ask me, “Sir, UPSC it all depends upon my argument and the way I give”. Ethics is not what you tell is correct. Ethics may be different for different people. This is a simple argument which I get always. You’re 100% correct when you say ethics varies from one person to another person. But you are not reading ethics from NGO point of view. You are not reading ethics from a doctor point of view. Let me take two examples to clarify. The first thing is let me take biotech community. On the other hand, let me take and NGO which is actually fighting for freedom or rights of animals. Okay? So now, you have a biotech, a pharmaceutical guy who has produced a medicine and he wants to test this medicine in rats, rabbits, dogs before introducing it to human beings. So his medical ethics says that before introducing it to human beings you need to test in other organisms. Before manufacturing it in large scale you should actually test in few people. So if you see improvement in few people then based on the positives and negatives you should suggest to the general public. On the other hand, the NGO is saying that you should not kill even one innocent person, even while testing. So the NGO says “Why are you killing rats? Why are you testing it in rats, rabbits? What if it dies? It has a life. We need to fight for it”. So here there is a confusion. Whose ethics is correct? Medical ethics should I follow to protect lot of people? On the other hand, should I follow the NGO ethics which actually says that you need to protect the life at any cost? If you stand neutrally, both will be arguing right. But, when you enter into their shoes, you understand what should be the ethical argument of an NGO and what should be the ethical argument of a biotech guy or a pharmaceutical guy. So this is what we say. You’re writing ethics to become a public administrator. The ethics for public administrator is different from ethics for media. Ethics for public administrator is different from ethics for NGO’s, civil society, common man. Why? You have a right to protest if there is something wrong in the society. You have to question the government because you form the governments. On the other hand, it is the duty of the police and the administrator to maintain law and order. So, as an administrator he has to ensure law and order but as a common man, the common man criticizes the administrator for stopping such acts. So you usually observe in society these differences. UPSC understand that once you enter the shoe of a public administrator it is very important for you to maintain neutrality, objectivity and all, but along with this you should be sensible and you should do the work which is ethical. The information which I told about Mr. A and his son, these are explained properly in the reports. We have to take those reports and we have to read them carefully. There is code of conduct for civil services, there are code of conduct for government officers, where majority they take it lightly. But every year, I have seen two, two questions coming from that itself. And when you can identify such questions directly, it is easy for you to understand. That’s why we actually focus, like you know, the tablet program, where you would have actually observed these kind of questions. We have tried to complete each and every topic in detail. The theoretical part is clearly done. At the same time, we are telling you to follow the same theoretical part in applying for the case studies. So if one can follow this, especially the students who have followed it, you would have felt comfortable already with ethics but now it’s your duty to ensure that you will apply these concepts properly. And in this session I’ll try to tell you which areas you get studies and which areas, what type of questions are expected and how to go about with it. So, I would expect you to finish the basics from the tab and the lectures that are provided to you. And then I would suggest you to follow the lecture in detail again and again so that every word that we mention here may be usefully applied in the examination hall.
So if you see the syllabus, first see the instructions that are given to you. This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. They are asking, in everyday life, when you face issues as a public administrator what do you do? As a common man in a family? As a man in a society? So you have a train, on one you have Prime Minister, on the other you have a kid. Whom do you protect? These are not the questions which are usually asked. People when they talk about ethics they usually get confused with this. Please first have clarity on the syllabus. Ethics is not the stuff which you read. It is not moral science. It is ethics in public administration. How do you treat, how do you solve problems. What is your attitude towards women? What is your attitude towards a migrant? What is your attitude towards a refugee? These are the stuffs which being a public administrator you need to develop proactively and that is tested in UPSC. So please be careful. Don’t get trapped into wrong strategies of preparation and end up scoring very low marks. Because minimum 110 to 120 should be your aim and you should get anywhere above this. Fine? So let me begin with the points that are given.
Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. So they will give you case studies, they will put you in a particular case and ask you, how do you solve this particular issue. So, this is not case studies which are similar to the MBA case studies. These case studies are different from MBA case studies. There it is management, money, economy issues more. Here you are an administrator running the government. So it is rules and regulations which are more important than money there. So you should be very careful in differentiating these case studies also. So to begin with let me say the first thing that the syllabus talks is ethics and human interface. What does it mean? How do ethics helps us in actually relating ourselves in a better way to the society in which we live. That is, ethics, our ethics, what ethics, how we inculcate it and how do we deal with human beings in society. We need to see essence, determinance and consequences of ethics in human actions. That is how do you see whether and action is ethical or not. What are the principles that you keep to ensure whether the action is ethical or not. Dimensions of ethics. Ethics in private and public relations. So this chapter is important. So here the first portion, i.e. ethics and human interface, and till dimensions of ethics, comes in first 125 marks. If I take paper, paper is of 250 marks – 125 marks theory, another 125 marks case studies. So I’ll call it part 1, and I’ll call case studies as part 2. So first I would ask you to see part 1 and part 2. I’ll tell which is part 1 and which is part 2.
So the first topic which is being given can be seen in part 1. So lot of questions actually come from part 1 only. Next thing that you need to see is human values. What is human values? So, lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators. This is first point. How does human beings acquire values? So majority of us acquire values when we read the people of that stature. Freedom fighters is one who actually give us lot of values. But what happens when I see some notes which students usually read, they actually take, for example, Mahatma Gandhi and read his date of birth, like you know, when he died, if you take Plato, Aristotle and all, they see where he was born, his parents’ names. Do you think in an ethics paper UPSC is interested in giving you these type of things? That where did Aristotle, write something about Aristotle, will they give like that? Two types can be expected. One is statement. They will give sayings of thinkers and they will ask you to apply to the present context. What does this mean? I’ll take Gandhi ji’s statement and I’ll ask you to apply it in the present context. So, you have to first explain in 100, you have 100 words, this is for 100 words. In first 25 to 30 words you need to explain what it means to say and next in 70 to 80 words you need to write a particular incident or present society and try to apply the same. If you talk about industrialization or something which Gandhi had told and if you are talking today, see in the present “Make in India” context where the focus is on industries of something you can actually say and ensure that it, more focus should be given for the cottage industries or something. That is where they actually analyze that, yes, thinkers have said something. I will tell you what thinkers has told you. Can you analyze, use it, and apply it to the present societal context, is what UPSC tries to accept from you. So, in this section what students have to do is they have to take different saying of different people and it is not a common statement. Take something which can be applied to the society and take few examples. If it is about corruption, try to use it to the present context. So then you try to give examples of politicians or anyone which you want to comment upon. So that can be done easily with human values. So please don’t get trapped again and start reading the philosopher’s books. Many people suggest philosopher’s books to be read. I would say take 5 to 6 thinkers whom you like, 3 from the west, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates is enough, and in India you take Gandhi, Ambedkar and whoever you like. Regionally also if you want you can take. And try to see what they preached in ethics. So if you can do that that is more than enough.
The next thing is role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values. From where does human beings get values? From where does they acquire values? The first thing is family, second is society, third is educational institutions. So, for role of family and society, I would say, sit and try to make words. What all you can write? If there is a general question, what is a role of family in inculcating values in human beings? What is the role of society in inculcating values in human beings? So if you have to solve these kind of questions I would just request you to put some points in the paper and try to make a story out of it, or try to write it in points. 8-10 points, 10 marks should be more than enough. Families should give honesty, family should inculcate the law for human kind. So something like this. Truthfulness. All these are some of the values which family has to imbibe in the child. So, for our students we have these specifically dealt for role of society, role of family, what points need to be put is already discussed in the tab and also in the class. Just ensure that you revise it again and again and try to use the words that are mentioned. So that will be helpful.
Third, you need to see attitude. The most important concept where you may get a question either in part 1 or part 2. That is, you may get it in theory or in case studies. What kind of case study? Let me take the case – Narendra Modi Government want to bring Swachh Bharat Abhiyan successfully. So you are a district administrator in a particular district and in that district you see half of the villages doesn’t use toilets and there are half of the villages which use toilets. So what type of measures do you take to change the attitude of the people? Attitude is a most important concept which is used by media a lot, films a lot. Right? So how do you change the attitude? You have three types – affection based, cognitive based and behavioral based, ABC model. So you go through each and everything. You try to think a case study on each and whenever you give any solution, try to include it to that. Last year, UPSC had actually talked about the migrant population from village to urban areas. Why does this happen and that question was completely based on attitude. People would have given or would have written attitude in their answers would usually get more marks than others in that particular question at least. So, attitude is very important. The first part – content structure function, its influence and relation is important for part 2. Moral and political attitudes, social influence and persuasion is important for part 1. So just ensure these two are done carefully. Yeah.
Next you have aptitude and foundational values for civil service. What does this mean? I was telling you you’ve to use few ethical words. Which are these ethical words? You’ve integrity. You should know what is integrity? What is the definition of integrity? One for part 1, they may give you 5 marks each, 5 words they can give you and ask you to write about 50 words on each. So that is one type of question. Second there may be case studies based on this. So you should be ready for both. So the first thing is integrity. Whenever you’re writing any answer you can use these words in your answers to increase the language. To improve your language and score more marks. Integrity, you have impartiality, and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service. Say what is integrity? Not compromising anything. Someone will give you money, will you compromise? Your duty for money? Impartiality – don’t show nepotism, either for political parties or for common man based on relatives and all. Non-partisanship, specifically don’t show biasness for different political parties. Objectivity – be neutral, don’t bring your thinking. I am from a particular religion. Something is happening to your particular religion or of mine, so I have to act in a particular way. That should be removed. Dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, compassion towards the weaker section. If you see first five, integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service. These are universal administrative values. Empathy, tolerance and compassion towards weaker section is most important. If you see the first five, it is important for every civil servant throughout the world, but empathy, tolerance and compassion towards weaker section is required especially for a person who is in a developing country where there is inequality a lot. So the weaker sections, how do you treat with them? That is the reason in few case studies you’ll see that there is a 90 year old woman who is coming. There is a guy who would’ve walked for 100 kilometers, like you know, he has taken bus, cycle, different routes to come to your place. They try to give this, to use these words. So please be careful. You should know the difference between the two, right? So, in this aptitude and foundational values for civil society, this is available in Ethics in Governance, especially the meaning for these five words are clearly given. Nolan Committee Recommendations are there which are there in Ethics in Governance books. Please try to read it and try to use the same words in your examination hall. If someone can replicate those words, if someone can understand, they can replicate easily and if someone can replicate the meaning of those words, the marks you get will be more in these papers.
Next you see, emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence concepts, most important one, again you may get in part 1 or part 2. That is they may ask you, “Have you undergone emotional intelligence anytime? How have you overcome it?” So meaning is important, their concepts are important and how do you apply them in administration? Let me think, you have thousands of people who have come to protest in front of a district administrator’s office. How do you deal with them? Even though they are wrong, they have come to protest. How do you deal with them? So this is what emotional intelligence is all about. Emotional intelligence is not only controlling yourself. It has 3 stages – understand your emotions, control them, understand the emotions of other people and control them and act, which will actually help to solve the issue genuinely. That’s why they told in the beginning what is required, how does he solve the problems effectively is what they are going to test. Contributors, or contributions of moral thinker and philosophers from India and the world. Human values and this contributions one we can merge and we can read it under one sub-heading. Now public or civil service values and ethics in public administration as I have told you, you can read this directly from Ethics in Governance and for the topic laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance. This, there is IGNOU material available. In that this particular chapter you can actually see once. Ethical issues in international relations and funding. Nepal earthquake we were actually seeing how funding actually aid. There is politics of aid. You’ve to see this. You can get it in case study. Corporate governance. You have corporate social responsibility and all. So, the governance and ethics is not only required for public administrator but also in the corporate offices, private offices. So in that spaces how do you do? Sexual harassment cases are related to corporate governance. So these are again part of case studies. Probity in governance, concept of public service, philosophical bases of governance and probity. Information sharing and transparency in government. If you see from here till right to information, you should read, code of ethics, read from Ethics in Governance. Codes of conduct, just type CCS code of conduct for civil services 1964, you get a report, read it. It is almost 350 to 400 pages. And for our students we have already given the gist. We have applied the case studies also on this. But people who are reading on their own, I would suggest please ensure that you would go through it and imagine what type of case studies can come. Every year two, two case studies comes from this. Citizen’s charter – they may ask you to make citizen charter. You may get questions directly on citizen’s charters. You should know how to frame citizen charter. What are the rules and regulations before thinking of framing citizen charter? So for this if someone has actually visited banks, post offices and all, there citizen charter would be there, you need to observe. But for the students we have already dealt these and even we have seen case studies which can come on citizen’s charter. So please be prepared with that perspective as well. Work culture, like you know, in what kind of environment you should be there. Quality of service delivery. This is most important because you take PDS and all. How do you deliver that to the people is important. Utilization of public funds and challenges of corruption. So, these are either covered in Ethics in Governance or you can take each one separately and try to see what are the different methods that are used and apply it in the case studies. So this portion I would say is completely case studies region. And it says at last case studies on above issues.
So, what did we understand from the syllabus? The first takeaway from the syllabus is that many concepts have not yet explored in the UPSC. So initially for the first 2-3 years they may give you easy questions. Let’s hope it happens this year also. But there are many untouched areas which UPSC has not asked. So that is the reason you see most of the people they get either very less marks, or they would be on top with the toppers. The reason, they understand the concepts. Every word, the meaning of that should be clear and whenever you are writing your answers, just ensure that you are utilizing those words in that. So, what all we should do and how to move ahead? So, first if you take, syllabus, every word you see get 100-150 words on that, have conceptual clarity of it, first thing. Second, see code of conduct, citizen charter, RTI, probity in governance, reports to improve your understanding. Third, read Ethics in Governance report and there is also book, right, Ethics in Governance, Arora. Please read that book. That is good, very good. Then you see fourth one, take public administration related case studies and apply. Theek hai. You should actually not do the other way around. Please don’t take ethical or moral case studies and apply. That is the wrong strategy to do. You may ask me, “Sir, where do I get case studies?” right? Two things. One, I would suggest please see previous year papers, previous year mains paper. If you are able to answer well that is well and good. Second, you take prelims CSAT paper and see decision making questions. Decision making questions and try to solve them. Because decision making questions they are also similar to ethics. If you read ethics properly you will understand that every questions in decision making was from ethics. You will actually feel I should have read it. If UPSC give any decision making questions it is ethics which I have to read first. So once ethics got introduced, the number of questions on that also started reducing until now you don’t get any decision making questions at all. So this is one stuff that you need to follow. Second thing is, one week before exam try to repeat the words and write answers. What type of words I told you? Say integrity, what is probity, impartiality, right? Truthfulness. I want you to know each and every word of it. And how to apply compassion, empathy, sympathy, everything is fine. How do you apply? So not just understanding the words and applying is also important. Next, you take quotes and apply them. Fourth, read 6-7 philosopher and their teachings. Enough. Don’t read more. You won’t be having time. See, when I say quotes, they would say a quote and they will give you quote and the person who has actually said that. I would say UPSC will not expect you when did this person actually said this quote and which context did he tell this quote is not required. They will only give the name. So don’t by heart the name and quotes. You should just apply it to the context. So you should explain what the quote actually means to say and how do you actually apply to the present context. So, one, after reading the traditional portion I want you to apply, quotes you need to practice, and practice the philosophers 6-7 and try to use them in your answers. And remember in the examination hall what to do is more important. 250 marks and I told you 125 marks is case studies. Please ensure that you begin with case studies. One and half hours, 1 hour 30 minutes, you have to focus only on case studies. Because it has equal weightage. Let me just take, you started from the first. At last you had a case study. Okay? You have only 10 minutes. Okay? Only one case study is left. By the time you read case study you analyze and then you write it will take lot of time. So avoid this particular strategy. First, if you finished and if you have 10 minutes left, you can definitely answer 2 theoretical questions, in 10 minutes. But you cannot answer 1 case study because case study needs more time. And if you have 20 marks or 25 marks in case studies it is easy to get 15-16 in case studies than getting 7 out of 10. So please ensure, case studies you give more priority and first complete case studies and then take the first 125 theoretical one.
So the next thing is many people ask me, sir, in case studies they’ll give what are the options available to him and which one should he follow. The third thing they actually come back to is analyze each one. Right? That is, what are the options available to you? Which one do you choose and why do you choose one. So here what you should do, first we would suggest you to make an outline. You won’t be having time to make outlines. So I would say as soon as seeing the case study, take 4 points and write 4 options available to him. After writing the 4, start with 1, write merit of that and demerit of it. Second merit-demerit. Third, merit-demerit, Fourth merit-demerit. At last you tell why did you choose to, because of the merit it has and the demerit. You need to counter merit and demerit. So if you do something there will be demerit for sure. So you see how do you counter the demerit by using the merit. For example, if you say I will not take bribe. So the demerit of that option is that you’re not monetarily benefited but when you actually say I am not going to take bribe, my option is one, you can actually say that than monetary benefit my ethical conscience is more important for me. So when you use such words you actually try to say that what is your priority over what. So to use such things you can actually go for merit and demerit. This is one way to write. Why I say this is when you differentiated 4 points, merits-demerits, merits-demerits, so for the first 4 points he may give you 5 marks, and for next he may give you 10 marks, and for choosing he may give you 5 marks, isn’t it? So that’ll actually benefit you. That is the only reason why I am actually asking you to do that. Else, you can actually stick to the way. Now, you can take question paper of previous years’ and see what type of questions came that will be within the structure what we told and you should actually ensure that you have prepared to those in an ethical way. You should actually understand what is the ethics behind it for an administrator. So, for the students who are preparing on their own my suggestion is, ensure each and every word, material is available you can actually go through. And for your students, my simple suggestion is everything that you need to work, the effort that you need to put, is simplified and it is given you in a simple format. Want you to go through it properly and apply it. We have told you where to apply and how to apply also. Just follow those instructions carefully. And whenever a specific word is there and whenever we have told if you see this word you need to write these words just recollect it and write. So, I think with this basic analysis and how to go ahead it would be easy for you to get more marks. For me more marks actually means somewhere above 120. Right? So you should be able to get it easily if you put these efforts. Don’t think others have not put. I am also not going to put. If they have got 95, you try to get 125 by putting 1 week effort on this. You can easily finish this in 1 week so my sincere request and suggestion to the students is that don’t get trapped. In the name of ethics people actually teach moral sciences. At the age of 21 and above, I don’t think you need moral science. You need to know what is ethics for a public administrator and you should try to draw a line between ethics for public administrator and for others. So if you have done that I am quite confident that you’ll get more than what you actually expect. Fine? Thank you and all the best.