The Civil Services Main examination is designed to know the aspirants personality and also his/her ability to present his/her knowledge in a comprehensible, consistent and descriptive manner. The IAS Mains Exam evaluates the overall intellectual quality of the candidates’ and his insights on different issues.

General Studies paper 4 is of  250 Marks and contains Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude in syllabus.  Click here for UPSC MAINS SYLLABUS 2021



Q1. Conflict  of interest in  the  public sector arises when
(A) Official duties.
(B) Public  interest, and
(C) Personal interest,
Are taking priority one above the other.
How can this conflict in administration be resolved? Describe with an example. (150 Words) 10 Marks

Q2. Examine the relevance of the following in the context  of civil service : (150 Words) 10 Marks
(A) Transparency
(B) Accountability
(C) Fairness and justice
(D) Courage of conviction
(E) Sprit of service

Q3.   Young people  with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join  active politics.
Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward. 
(150 Words) 10 Marks

Q4.   (a) One of the taste of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real  life example.  (150 Words) 10 Marks

(b) Corporate  social responsibility  makes companies  more profitable and sustainable. Analyse. (150 Words) 10 Marks

Q5.    (a)    "Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good  or very bad acts.
All depends on the principles Which direct them." -  Napolean  Bonaparte. 10 Marks
Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country.  (150 Words) 10 Marks

(b)    "if a country is to be corruption  free and become a nation of a beautiful mind,  I  strongly feel  there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the  mother and the techer." - A.P.J.  Abdul Kalam. Analyse.  (150 Words) 10 Marks

Q6.      (a)  how will you apply emotional intelligence  in administrative practice? (150 Words) 10 Marks
(b)  Strength, peace and Security  are considerd to be the pillars of  international relations. Elucidate . (150 Words) 10 Marks

Q7.       (a)  The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced  to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss. (150 Words) 10 Marks
(b)  Increased national wealth did not  result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some ‘’enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost the majority.’’ Justify. (150 Words) 10 Marks

Q8.      (a)    Discipline generally implies following the order and subordination.However it may be  counterproductive for the organisation. Discuss. (150 Words) 10 Marks
(b)   Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligation, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy  will function properly. (150 Words) 10 Marks
What do you understand by this statement? Explain with illustration in the contemporary times.


Q9. You are an honest and responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:

(a) There is a general perception that adhering to ethical conduct one may face difficulties to oneself and cause problems for the family, whereas unfair practices may help to reach the career goals.

(b) When the number of people adopting unfair means is large, a small minority having a penchant towards ethical means makes no difference.

(c) Sticking to ethical means is detrimental to the larger developmental goals

(d) While one may not involve oneself in large unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gifts makes the system more efficient.

Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits. (250 Words) 20 Marks

Q10. You are aspiring to become an IAS officer and you have cleared various stages and now you have been selected for the personal interview. On the day of the interview, on the way to the venue you saw an accident where a mother and child who happen to be your relatives were badly injured. They needed immediate help.

What would you have done in such a situation? Justify your action. (250 Words) 20 Marks

Q11. You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organisation. One day one of the workers died on duty. His family was demanding compensation. However, the company denied compensation because it was revealed in investigation that he was drunk at the time of the accident. The workers of the company went to strike demanding compensation for the family of the deceased. The Chairman of the management board has asked for your recommendation.

What recommendation would you provide the management?

Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendations. (250 Words) 20 Marks

Q12. You are the manager of a spare parts company A and you have to negotiate a deal with the manager of a large manufacturing company B. The deal is highly competitive and sealing the deal is critical for your company. The deal is being worked out over a dinner. After dinner the manager of manufacturing company B offered to drop you to the hotel in his car. On the way to hotel he happens to hit motorcycle injuring the motorcyclist badly. You know the manager was driving fast and thus lost control. The law enforcement officer comes to investigate the issue and you are the sole eyewitness to it. Knowing the strict laws pertaining to road accidents you are aware that your honest account of the incident would lead to the prosecution of the manager and as a consequence the deal is likely to be jeopardised, which is of immense importance to your company.

What are the dilemmas you face? What will be your response to the situation? (250 Words) 20 Marks

Q13. A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These labourers are migrants of different places. The government immediately announced cash relief to the aggrieved families and arrested the builder.

Give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence. (250 Words) 20 Marks

Q14. You are a Public Information Officer (PIO) in a government department. You are aware that the RTI Act 2005 envisages transparency and accountability in administration. The act has functioned as a check on the supposedly arbitrarily administrative behaviour and actions. However, as a PIO you have observed that there are citizens who filed RTI applications not for themselves but on behalf of such stakeholders who purportedly want to have access to information to further their own interests. At the same time there are these RTI activists who routinely file RTI applications and attempt to extort money from the decision makers. This type of RTI activism has affected the functioning of the administration adversely and also possibly jeopardises the genuineness of the applications which are essentially aimed at getting justice.

What measures would you suggest to separate genuine and non-genuine applications? Give merits and demerits of your suggestions. (250 Words) 20 Marks

The nature of questions in General Studies in civil services mains exam need answers that are relevant, consequential and synoptic . These questions are to test the candidate’s skill on assessing and taking a view on the diverging socio-economic goals and objectives.To get more tips on studies of UPSC mains  click here 

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