Why Ethics Paper was Introduced?

Why Ethics Paper was Introduced?

The Union Public Service Commission have made far reaching changes in the examination pattern of the civil services examination. While major changes were made in the year 2011, in the form of introduction of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), the year 2013 witnessed a major change in the pattern of the Mains examination.

While the Optional Subjects were restricted to only One; the weightage of compulsory subjects of General Studies (GS) significantly gained in size and proportion. The main 'hue and cry' maker, in this new pattern of the Mains examination has been the GS-4 Paper, entitled- 'Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude'.

Many of us wonder, why did UPSC introduce a subject of this kind? The whole framework of the Ethics paper has been based on values and ethical principles, that guide the actions and behaviour of an administrator.

The Need for Ethics in Civil Services = The Need for Ethics Paper

The main reason that ethics paper was introduced in the civil services examination was the long felt need of inculcating an ethical sense among the civil servants. And what can be better than making one's ethical ideas as one of the grounds for choosing the future IAS, IPS and IFS.

The contemporary society has witnessed a declining standards of ethics and integrity among the civil servants. The falling ethical standards have led to disastrous impact on the society. The adverse impact of corruption is felt in every aspect of administration and society. Thus, the introduction of ethics paper has come as an attempt to revamp the new generation of civil servants.

The Structure of the Ethics Paper = Theory Weds Practice

The ethics paper has been divided into two parts-

  • Theoretical Part, which expects the candidate to have a grasp of various concepts and issues of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. Thus, a candidate needs to be comfortable with the various issues related ethics and integrity. The weightage of this section, in the paper, is worth 125 marks, that is 50% of the paper.

  • Situation Based Questions- this part deals with a series of situation based questions, which present the candidate with hypothetical situations. The candidate is expected to provide a response to the given situation. Here the candidate is judged for his decision-making skills, along with the presence of mind and personal integrity. Again, the weightage of this part of the paper is worth 125 marks, that is 50% of the paper.

The Evaluation of Your Performance

In the context of the Ethics Paper, it should be specially noticed that, the evaluation of the ethics paper is not done on traditional pattern. Rather, the purpose of the ethics paper is to evaluate your integrity and decision-making ability. The paper seek to judge your ability to take decisions in the complex situations.

Sometimes, the civil servants fail to take firm decisions, in the wake of complex situations. This leads to their ineffectiveness, inspite of being appointed on the basis of merit.

Lately, there has been a realization of the importance of the ability to take decision in crucial situations. Thus, the Ethics paper has been introduced as a practical exam, to judge the decision-making ability and moral-ethical standing of the candidates.

How to tackle the Ethics Paper?

Ethics paper needs to be tackled with a different strategy. This paper needs less of the 'bookish gyaan', and more of internalizing the concepts and issues. Thus, you cannot rely completely on the textbook material, to deal with the Ethics paper. Rather, you need to internalize the idea, and write what is ethical.

UPSCPORTAL is starting with a short course in Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude, to help the candidates in learning about the various concepts and issues of the Ethics paper. We would be providing an overview of the paper, along with the analysis of the Ethics paper of 2013.

This course has been designed to guide the aspirants to learn the various ethical issues involved in the administration. We would also help you to understand the various thinkers/philosophers, that are crucial from the perspective of the exam.

Given the unavailability of quality material on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude in the market, we have put a dedicated team to develop quality and concise notes from the exam point of view.

So, please wait for our upcoming articles, and feel free to comment below regarding your problems and confusions. We are always happy to help.

We wish the candidates All the Best!!