The UPSC mains GS - 4 paper of Ethics is one of the major components of UPSC syllabus. A whole paper of 250 marks is dedicated to this subject. the reason of includng this subject is to make the aspirants aware of the ethical behaviour which is needed for good governance, as administrative job requires one to be ethical and moraly apt for the decisions he takes for the society. Many a timed an officer might face a ethical dilemma and may need to take right actions in his/her proffessional career. By studying this subject it becomes easier for the UPSC aspirants to understand the imortance of Ethics Subject


  • What is Ethics ?
  • Ethics as per Indian Culture
  • Need and Importance of Ethics
  • Morals
  • Difference between Ethics and Morals


What are ethics?

Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, It is also known as moral psychology,

As per Indian Culture :

In Indian culture, the phrase morality and ethics is 'dharma'. Dharma originates from "dhr", which means to hold together. And thus the function of dharma is to hold the human society together for its stability and growth. Precise conduct is indispensable for the existence of the human society. The dharma in Hinduism is co- extensive with morality.

Need and importance of Ethics

Ethics is the theoretical exposition which studies human behaviour and attempts to determine- right or wrong in human action. It is also called moral philosophy. The significance of ethics is obvious. Since prehistoric period, man has always sought to know how to lead a good life and to draw up rules of conduct. Philosopher of all cultures tried to explain in what this 'good' life consisted and, especially, why precisely it was 'good'. It is not so much that traditional moral values are questioned but more radically still, that-the very 'meaningfulness' of an unchanging and universally valid morality is brought into question.

Ethics help us navigate the area between what is absolutely right and what is morally wrong. They provide the structure that helps us make a decision we can be proud of in the context of our societal, familial and personal value structures.


Morality is used in connection with the ways in which individuals conduct their personal, private lives, often in relation to personal financial probity, lawful conduct and acceptable standards of interpersonal behaviour (including truthfulness, honesty, and sexual propriety).

Difference between Morals and Ethics



Reasoning Involved Adhere to what is described
Beyond rules Hard and Fast Rule
Usually Considered Universal Related to Culture
For the Survival of the Society According to Individual
Eg. Codes of Cunduct of the Society Eg. Personal Thouughts over


Therefore - Ethics = Morals + Reasoning

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