Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude 2013: Paper Analysis and Solution "Section - A" (Part 2 of 3)


Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude 2013: Paper Analysis and Solution Section A (Part 2 of 3)


Section A

In the last article (Part 1 of 3) we discussed the first two questions of the Section A of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude paper 2013. We observed that it is unwise to go deep into the questions for this paper. A rational approach is to write to-the-point answers, given the word limit. This article deals with the next three questions of the paper.

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Question 3.- Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. (150 words) 10 Marks

Analysis-

The question pertains to the Objectivist-Subjectivist debate over values. Please note that the word limit is only 150, so you should write in a brief and to-the-point manner.

Solution-

Values are the yardsticks that help us to judge the things we see around us. Since the moral principles and ethical standards differ with different society, it is unjust to regard values as universal and eternal. Every society and individual sets different sets of values for himself. Thus, we see different things being appreciated or shunned in different society, to a varying degree. It might also be irrational to see values as universal and eternal, as our life goals have a tendency to change with time and circumstances.

On the other hand, there does exist certain values that are universally upheld by each society, though in varying degree. For instance, the value of human life and dignity is universally upheld.

As a conclusion, it might be argued that the conception of values cannot be held in a water-tight compartment. The acceptance of a value might be universally valid, but its nature in a particular society varies according to the times and needs of the society. The main purpose of the values is to guide the human beings towards happiness. Thus, the nature of values adapt with time to ensure this aim of the human society.


Question 4- What is 'emotional intelligence' and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions? (150 words) 10 marks

Analysis-

The question has two parts-

  1. it asks the candidate about the meaning of emotional intelligence and the means through which it can be developed in people. To deal with this part, you should just define the definition of emotional intelligence, and provide some ways in which it can be inculcated among the people.

  2. The second part is application based, asking the candidate to write down how emotional intelligence helps a person in taking decisions. Here, the candidate must use his mind and write down why one needs emotional intelligence to be able to make ethical decisions.

Please note that the word limit is only 150 words. Thus, again, you have to be to-the-point and brief in your answer.

Solution-

Emotional Intelligence refers to the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is the ability to understand the emotions of the others and act tactfully. An emotionally intelligent person can act rationally and effectively, even if he lacks in intellectual ability.

Emotional intelligence cannot be developed through formal instruction. Development of emotional intelligence requires training of the mind in making decisions in different types of situations. To be emotionally intelligent, one needs to develop a self-realization. It is very important to know oneself, and what affects us in different ways.

Next, it is important to have an exposure to the different emotional situations. By facing different kinds of emotional situations, we develop our an ability to face different kinds of people and circumstances. In this regard, it is important to have an empathetic attitude towards others. Only when we are able to understand and feel what others feel, can we communicate better.

Emotional Intelligence is one of the main factors that decide the effectiveness of our decisions. An emotionally intelligent person can take the decisions in accordance to the needs of time and circumstances. Moreover, a person, who is emotionally intelligent, is aware of his values and principles. Thus, such a person acts in an ethically just way, and acts in an empathetic way. Thus, he ensures that the rights of the others are not violated.
Such a person is moved by materialistic short-term goals. Rather, his decisions are guided by the broader concerns.


Question 5- a) What do you understand by the term 'voice of conscience'? How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? (150 words) 10 marks

(b) What is meant by 'crisis of conscience'? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such a crisis and how you resolved the same. (150 words) 10 marks

Analysis-

(a) this question was felt very confusing by many of the candidates, as they did not know what is the voice of conscience. What worsened the matter was that this topic was hardly covered by any coaching institute. Thus, it became a complex issue for the candidates. However, if you carefully read the question, it can be answered by common sense.

(b) while the first part of this question is theoretical. The second part of the question is highly subjective, where you need to write down an incidence from your life when you were faced with a crisis of conscience. You not attempt to fool the examiner by writing a 'filmy scene'. Rather be honest and write any of your experience. You effort shall be awarded appropriately.

Solution-

(a)

Voice of conscience is the suggestion of our true moral self, that guides us when we are faced with critical situations. A great significance is linked to the voice of conscience because it the pure ethical nature, inherent in the human soul. Our exterior nature might be misled by materialistic urges, however, our true self is never misled by the unethical urges of the body. Thus, the significance of voice of conscience lies in guiding our actions and behaviour on the right path. When our vision is narrowed by the compulsions of pleasure, it is our conscience that guides us to remain on an ethical course of action.

Human beings are necessarily moral-ethical beings, because their actions are motivated by long-term considerations of good of all. This is the source of the voice of conscience.

It is not every-time that we abide by our voice of conscience. However, in order to be ethical, it is necessary to abide by it. To do so, we must listen and reflect what is ethical for a given situation. We must not act in haste. Rather, we must reflect on our decisions, and evaluate why it is good/bad. One must never shun one's voice of conscience, as, by doing so, one suppresses one's higher self and degrades one's soul. Only a self-reflective person can heed to the voice of conscience.

(b)

Crisis of Conscience refers to the awkward situation when one's actions are contrary to one's beliefs and values. Sometimes, we are not able to act in the way that is in compliance to our value and principles. Either due to some external exegencies or material greed, we, sometimes, sideline our voice of conscience and act in a contrary way. This, if done for a material greed, degrades our human nature and suppresses our conscience. However, there are also circumstances when, due to some external reasons beyond our control, we are not able to act according to our beliefs. Such situations create a feeling of guilt and shame.

Incidence from Life- When I was a child, I took a few sweets from a shop, without paying for the same. However, the shop-keeper thought that the sweets have been taken by a poor person, who was standing besides me. He started beating him excessively. I got so scared that I did not speak to him the truth. Even though I wanted to save the person from the uncalled for misery, which was given to him because of my fault, I sidelined my voice of conscience due to the fear of getting beaten by him.

 

The Next article of the ETHICS SERIES would discuss the remaining question of the Section A of the Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude Paper.
 

In the Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us for any confusion and query.
 

We wish the aspirants All the BEST!!
 

Team UPSCPORTAL
 

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