UPSC Mains Ethics Paper 2019

UPSC Mains 2019 Ethics Paper General Studies Paper – 4

Section A

150 Words

1 a) What are the basic principles of public life? illustrate any three of these with suitable examples. (150 words)

1 b) What do you understand by the term ‘public servant’? Reflect on the expected role of public servant. (150 words)

2 a) Effective utilization of public funds is crucial to meet development goals. Critically examine the reasons for under-utilization and mis-utilization of public funds and their implications. (150 words)

2 b) Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption”. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer. (150 words)

3 a) What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality? (150 words)

3 b) What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience’?  How does it manifest itself in the public domain? (150 words):

4 a) Explain the basic principles of citizens charter movement and bring out its importance. (150 words)

4 b) There is a view that the Official Secrets Act is an obstacle to the implementation of Right to information Act. Do you agree with the view? Discuss. (150 words)

5 a) What do you understand by probity in governance? Based on your understanding of the term, suggest measures for ensuring probity in government. (150 words)

5 b) Emotional Intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you instead of against you”. Do you agree with this view? Discuss. (150 words)

  1. What do each of the following quotations mean to you?
  • 6 a) An unexamined life is not worth living”. – Socrates (150 words)
  • 6 b) “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”  M. K. Gandhi (150 words)
  • 6 c) “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is a harmony in the home there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Section B

250 words

7) You are heading the rescue operations in an area affected by severe natural calamity Thousands· of people are rendered homeless and deprived of food, drinking water and other basic amenities. Rescue work has been disrupted by heavy rainfall and damage to supply routes. The local people are seething with anger against the delayed limited rescue operations. When your team reaches the affected area, the people there heckle and even assault some of the team members. One of your team members is even severely injured. Faced with this crisis, some team members plead with you to call off the operations fearing threats to their life.

In such trying circumstances, what will be your response? Examine the qualities of a public servant which will be required to manage the situation. (250 words)

8) Honesty and uprightness are the hallmarks of a civil servant. Civil servants possessing these qualities are considered as the backbone of any strong organization.  In line of duty, they take various decisions, at times some become bonafide mistakes. As long as such decisions are not taken intentionally and do not benefit personally, the officer cannot be said to be guilty. Though such decisions may, at times, lead to unforeseen adverse consequences in the long-term.

In the recent past, a few instances have surfaced wherein civil servants have been implicated for bonafide mistakes. They have often been prosecuted and even imprisoned. These instances have greatly rattled the moral fibre of the civil servants. How does this trend affect the functioning of the civil services? What measures can be taken to ensure that honest civil servants are not implicated for bonafide mistakes on their part? Justify your answer. (250 words)

9) An apparel manufacturing company having large number of women employees was losing sales due to various factors. The company hired a reputed marketing executive, who increased the volume of sales within a short span of time. However, some unconfirmed reports came up regarding his indulgence in sexual harassment at the work place.

After sometime, a woman. employee lodged a formal complaint to the management against the marketing executive about sexually harassing her. Faced with the company’s indifference in not taking cognizance of her grievance, she lodged an FIR with the Police.

Realizing the sensitivity and gravity of the situation, the company called the women employee to negotiate. In that she was offered a hefty sum of money to withdraw the complaint and the FIR and also give in writing that the marketing executive is not involved in this case.

identify the ethical issues involved in this case what options are available to the women employee? (250 words)

10) In a modem democratic polity, there is the concept of political executive and permanent executive. Elected people’s representatives from the political executive and bureaucracy forms the permanent executive. Ministers frame policy decisions and bureaucrats execute these.

In the initial decades after independence, relationship between the permanent executive and the political executive were characterized by mutual understanding, respect and Co-operation, without encroaching upon each other’s domain.

However, in the subsequent decades, the situation has changed. There are instances of the political executive insisting upon the permanent executive to follow its agenda. Respect for and appreciation of upright bureaucrats has declined. There is an increasing tendency among the political executive to get involved in routine administrative matters such as transfers, postings etc. Under this scenario, there is a definitive trend towards ‘politicization of bureaucracy’. The rising materialism and acquisitiveness in social life has also adversely impacted upon the ethical values of both the permanent executive and the political executive.

What are the consequences of this ‘politicization of bureaucracy’? Discuss. (250 words)

11) In one of the districts of a frontier state, narcotics menace has been rampant. This has resulted in money laundering, mushrooming of poppy farming, arms smuggling and near stalling of education. The system is on the verge of collapse. The situation has been further worsened by unconfirmed reports that local politicians as well as. some senior police officers arc providing surreptitious patronage to the drug mafia.

At that point of time a woman police officer, known for her skills in handling such situations is appointed as Superintendent of Police to bring the situation to normalcy.

If you are the same police officer, identify the various dimensions of the crisis. Based on your understanding, suggest measures to deal with the crisis. {250 words)

12) In recent times there has been an increasing concern in India to develop effective civil service ethics, code of conduct, transparency measures, ethics and integrity systems and anti-corruption agencies .In view of this ,there is a need being felt to focus on three specific areas, which are directly relevant to the problem of internalizing integrity and ethics in the civil services. These are as follows:

  1. Anticipating specific threats to ethical standards and integrity in the civil services
  2. Strengthening the ethical competence of civil servants and
  3. Developing administrative processes and practices which promote ethical values and integrity in civil services.

suggest institutional measures to address the above three issues (250 words)


UPSC Civil Services Mains 2019 GS 3 Question Paper

Answer in 150 Words

  1. Enumerate the indirect taxes which have been subsumed in the goods and service taxes (GST) in India.Also, comment on the revenue implications of GST introduced in India since July 2017.
  2. Do you agree with the view that steady GDP growth and low inflation have left the Indian economy in good shape? give reasons in support of your arguments.
  3. How far is integrated farming system (IFS) helpful in sustaining agricultural production?
  4. Elaborate the impact of national watershed project in increasing agricultural production from water stressed areas?
  5. how was India benefited from the contributions of Sir M. Visvesvaraya and Dr. M.S.Swaminathan in the fields of water engineering and agricultural science respectively?
  6. what is India’s plan to have its own space station and how will it benefit our space program?
  7. Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyze the impact of sand mining along the lndian coasts,Citing  specific examples.
  8. Vulnerability is an essential element for defining disaster impacts and its threats to people. How and in what ways can vulnerability to disasters be characterized? Discuss different types of vulnerability with reference to disasters.
  9. The banning of ‘Jamaat-e-Islami’ in Jammu and Kashmir brought into focus the role of over-ground workers (OGWs) in assisting terrorist organizations. Examine the role played by OGWs in assisting terrorist organizations in insurgency affected areas. Discuss measures to neutralize influence of OGWs.
  10. What is CyberDome Project? Explain how it can be useful in control internet crimes in India.

Answer in 250 Words

  1. It is argued that the strategy of inclusive growth is intended to meet the objectives of inclusiveness and sustainability together. Comment on this statement.
  2. The public expenditure management is a challenge to the Government o f India in the context of budget making during the post-liberalization period. Clarify it.
  3. What are the reformative steps taken by the Government to Make food grain distribution system more effective?
  4. Elaborate the policy taken by the Government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector. 
  5. how is Government of India protecting the traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies?
  6. How can biotechnology help to improve the living standards of farmers?
  7. define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region?
  8. .disaster preparedness is the first step in any disaster management process explain how hazard zonation mapping will help disaster mitigation in the case of landslides
  9. Indian government has recently strengthened the anti terrorism laws by amending the unlawful activities (prevention) act (UAPA)1967 and the NIA act.Analyse the changes in the context of prevailing security environment while discussing the scope and reason for opposing the UAPA by human rights organisations.
  10. Cross-border movement of insurgents is only one of the several security challenges facing the policing for the border in North east India .Examine the various challenges currently emanating across the India Myanmar border.Also discuss the steps to counter the challenges.

UPSC Essay Paper Mains 2019

Hello Friends, this is the UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2019 , You can Find the previous UPSC papers here. We encourage you to write essay on these topics and post PDF in our Daily AWP group or mail to and we will be more than happy to give feedback on the same. Please remember Scanned PDF format only !

Section A
Write any one of the following essays in 1000-1200 words (125 marks)

  • Wisdom finds truth
  • Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be
  • Best for an Individual is not necessarily best for the society
  • Courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success


Write any one of the following essays in 1000-1200 words (125 marks)

  • South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and identities.
  • Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness
  • Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy
  • Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling.

We encourage you to write essay on these topics and post the answers in our Daily AWP group for Feedback and suggestions.