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GS Paper 4

GS Mains Paper 4

GS Paper 4 Syllabus:


General Studies- IV: 250 Marks

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

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. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered :

• Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

• Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

• Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

• Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

• Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

• 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.

• 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 Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

• Case Studies on above issues.

How to Prepare GS Paper 4: 

General studies paper - 4

Know the syllabus very well.   Read them twice before marking important lines. Mark lines and make short notes. See all previous year papers. Theories of thinkers are significant  such as  John Locke, Weber, Rawls social justice theory etc.  Answer writing play  a major role in   Ethics. Know the best answer writing structure and technique for both section-A and case studies. Quote   examples from current, social issues, professional life, everyday life. Examples form the core of   your answers. Draw diagrams and flow charts in Ethics. This will give you an edge over others.

  • ETHICS paper is designed to assess the ‘ethical competence‘, but not the ‘knowledge about ethics‘.
  • One should be able to express terms mentioned in syllabus  in simple words and minimal possible words.
    • For example ,  Ethics signifies  what is  right or wrong; Transparency means the provision of access of government information to the public; Accountability means holding a person answerable or accountable  to his/her acts
  1. ARC 4th report
  2. Ethics in Public Administration - Patrick Sheeran
  3. NCERT Psychology book Class XI & XII : Selected chapters.
  4. Citizen Centric Administration - ARC Report
  5. Good Governance (2013), Inclusive Governance (2013), Reforms in Public Administration (2014) Yojana issues.

Biographies & other books

  1. Experiment with Truth - Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Verghese Kurien autobiography
  3. Swami Vivekananda - Karmayoga and his biography
  4. Selected articles by Immanuel Kant, Aristotle etc. There is a BBC website also on ethics.
    • Videos

      1. 12 Harvard lectures by Michael Sandel (They are really good)

How to prepare GS Paper 4?

GS Paper-4, comprises of Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude, which was introduced in the part of mains syllabus of civil services examination in 2013.

The GS Paper 4 is subdivided into following two sections which consists of 125marks each:

  1. Section A covers theoretical kind of questions which are of applied nature.
  2. Section B comprises of case studies.

To prepare well for GS paper 4 following are the tips:

  1.   Get abstract and well understanding and clarity of topics within the information. And follow the syllabus prescribed by UPSC for the paper.
  2. To further grasp the subject and have more knowledge check out the Code of Conduct, citizen’s charter, RTI, integrity in governance reports.
  3. To prepare well for ethics portion of the syllabus read Ethics in Governance reports.
  4. Go through previous year question papers. Solve all the past year papers and analyze them properly to have a thorough understanding.
  5. Try to solve the CSAT decision-making queries. Through this practice it will become easier to solve questions in the final exams.
  6. In addition to this identify the key words within the information and apply it in your writing.
  7. To get a good score in the final exam include the thinkers’ quotes and apply them to the prevailing state of contemporary affairs.
  8. Instead of referring several books it’s always better to read one book persistently.

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