General Studies Model Test Paper-4 for IAS Mains Exam - 2013

General Studies Model Test Paper-4 for IAS Mains Exam - 2013

1. What are attitudes? How their knowledge is of use to the administrator for managing his work force? (20 marks, 250 words)


Attitudes are our evaluation of the social world. The knowledge of attitudes is of immense use for the administrator in his work force management due to the following reasons:
(a) Administrators know about work behaviour his/her subordinates are likely to display.
(b) The kind of self efficacy they possess which in turn will help him decide the kind of confidence they will manifest when challenged by the job they are entrusted with.
(c) What experiences are likely to provide job satisfaction to his workers.
(d) What measures can he adopt to discipline his workforce.
(e) The work goals he will set for his work force.
(f) Raise the morale and motivation of his workforce as and when the need arises.

2. “History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict victory is always with economics”.– Discuss. (15 marks, 200 words)


The above statement is correct because economic need satisfaction is likely to be gateway to physical pleasures and most people’s basic striving is only for physical pleasures. Further economic strength offers a visible control over environmental factors thus making the world a safe and secure place for the person. The basis for economic needs satisfaction is perceived judgement of an individual and therefore most people pursue it relentlessly and endlessly thus increasing the gap between haves and have-nots thereby leading to social conflict (rising inequality). It is therefore necessary that we lay strong foundation of ethics and morality in children through quality value education in schools and colleges. Further, we need to have stringent laws in place to prevent maximisation of economic resources in few hands and only then we can provide the basis for the creation of an egalitarian society.

3. Critically evaluate the factors that dampen the motivation of committed bureaucrats and suggest measures that prevent the onset of bureaucratic apathy. (15 marks, 200 words)

Ans. Factors that dampen motivation:

(1) Experience of powerlessness, stagnation and lack of purpose.
(2) Dilution of standards for performance and discipline.
(3) Emphasis on file movement, paper work and reports rather than on performing activities to have an impact.
(4) Relations are seen as hierarchical, impersonal and non-appreciative. Little feedback on developmental inputs is provided.
(5) No security of tenure.
(6) Subjective performance appraisal system.
(7) Lack of integrity among political bosses.
(8) Criminalisation of politics.
(9) No reward for risk taking behaviour.

Measures to prevent bureaucratic apathy:

(1) Safety for whistle blowers.
(2) Reward efficient, upright and outstanding civil servants.2
(3) Objective performance appraisal system.
(4) Culture of written order in decision making process.
(5) Security of tenure.
(6) Adequate transparency and accountability procedures.
(7) Measures to prevent unnecessary political interference.

4. Suggest the behavioural techniques that an administrator can use to win over the public that is resistant to accept a change directed at their welfare. (15 marks, 200 words)

(1) Social influence techniques.
(2) Fear and emotional appeal.
(3) Rational persuasion tactics.
(4) Legitimizing tactics.
(5) Group dynamics.
(6) Foot in the door.

5. “What I feel is right is right and what I feel is wrong is wrong”. How far are you in agreement with this statement? Explain your position with examples. (20 marks, 250 words)

6. Human values support humane treatment of everyone. As an administrator, however, there are situations when hard decisions have to be taken. In situations like these, do you think that the spirit of human values is defeated as there can be many people for whom the decision may not be conducive? (15 marks, 200 word )


a. Firstly, the basic point involved is that as an Administrator, you have to take decisions. Now, decisions cannot be taken with a fickle mind.

b. Another aspect involved is that all decisions cannot please everyone. There are bound to be some or the other section of people who will be dissatisfied or discontent with the decision taken.

c. So, a capable administrator has to ensure that whatever decision is taken, it is taken only after duly considering all the aspects of the situation at hand and without any kind of bias or fear/favour.

d. The Administrator should be himself convinced that:

i. He has adopted a holistic and comprehensive approach before arriving at any decision ,
ii. The decision was taken in Public interest
iii.The decision will positively impact the majority of the people
iv.The decision was a necessity to ensure equity and effectiveness.
v. The decision was taken without any malafide intention.

e. Now comes the question of humane treatment. It has to be understood that while taking any decisions, the Administrator must not forget the human concerns involved and should take into account the genuine grievances as well, although they should be taken as an exception and not as the guiding principle of the decision.

f. Values have always held a central place in socil sciences. Values are structured in similar ways across culturally diverse groups. This suggests that there is a universal organization of human motivations. Although the nature of values and their structure maybe universal, individuals and groups differ substantially in the relative importance they attribute to the values. Thus, while humane treatment is certainly called for, it does not mean taking actions which are soft in nature, but weak in approach.  The principle of equality also suggests that equality implies that unequals should be treated unequally. To conclude, if it is in public interest and leads to the welfare of majority, strict decisions may be taken. However, at the same time it must be ensured that the deprived or the weaker sections are given due attention and their specific needs are taken care of as far as possible.

7. As the famous idiom goes ‘Practice before you preach’, do you think that it is feasible for a Civil servant to put the idiom into practice during the discharge of his day to day duties? (15 marks, 200 words)


This questions involves the basic skills of effective leadership and expected qualities:

a. To Walk the Talk [i.e. to act in accordance with what one says or talks about] is indeed easier said than done. However, it may be difficult, but not impossible to actually do it.

b. A leader or Administrator can command respect from his subordinates and make them follow his directions, without having to resort to using his ‘Authoritative position’, by actually doing what he preaches. Nothing kills credibility than not practicing what is being preached.

c. Actions speak louder than words and so instead of trying to make everyone follow what the Administrator believes in, it is better to actually do it and show it as an example.

d. Now comes the question of putting the idiom to practice during the discharge of day to day duties. A Civil servant has to basically carry out his actions in the interest of the masses while upholding the spirit of the law. So whatever he is going to ‘preach’ to his juniors is not going to be something out of the ordinary or something that is contrary to his own line of action.

e. Even if there are such situations when it actually becomes difficult to do what one believes in, the key here is that in such cases, the action expected is what the law demands the action to be. At such junction, what one believes in should not be preached, and rather what is ‘right’ as per the applicable statutes should necessarily be preached, and accordingly practiced. So, it is very much feasible for an efficient Civil servant to first get his act right and then expect his subordinates or the public to follow the line of action. Situations may be tough, but that is when the tough get going.

8. What are the objectives of Citizens’ Charter in relation to public service delivery? (10 marks, 150 words)


(1) It has been recognised world over that good governance is essential for sustainable development, both economic and social.

(2) The three essential aspects emphasised in good governance are transparency, accountability and responsiveness of the administration.

(3) ‘Citizens’ Charters’ initiative is a response to the quest for solving the problems which a citizen encounters, day in and day out, while dealing with the organisations providing public services.

(4) The concept of Citizens’ Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users. The concept was first articulated and implemented in the United Kingdom by the Conservative Government of John Major in 1991 as a national programme with a simple aim: to continuously improve the quality of public services for the people of the country so that these services respond to the needs and wishes of the users.

(5) The basic objective of the Citizens’ Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.

(6) Six principles of the Citizens’ Charter movement as originally framed, were: (i) Quality: Improving the quality of services; (ii) Choice : Wherever possible; (iii) Standards :Specify 4 what to expect and how to act if standards are not met; (iv) Value: For the taxpayers’ money; (v) Accountability : Individuals and Organisations; and (vi) Transparency : Rules/ Procedures/ Schemes/Grievances.

(7) Background in context of India: Over the years, in India, significant progress has been made in the field of economic development. This, along with a substantial increase in the literacy rate, has made Indian citizens increasingly aware of their rights.

(8) Citizens have become more articulate and expect the administration not merely to respond to their demands but also to anticipate them. It was in this climate that since 1996 a consensus had evolved in the Government on effective and responsive administration.

(9) In a Conference of Chief Ministers of various States and Union Territories held on 24 May, 1997 in New Delhi, presided over by the Prime Minister of India, an “Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government” at the Centre and State levels was adopted. One of the major decisions at that Conference was that the Central and State Governments would formulate Citizens’ Charters, starting with those sectors that have a large public interface (e.g. Railways, Telecom, Posts, Public Distribution Systems).

(10)These Charters were required to include standards of service and time limits that the public can reasonably expect, avenues of grievance redress and a provision for independent scrutiny with the involvement of citizen and consumer groups.

(11)Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizens’ Charters.

(12)The Charters are expected to incorporate the following elements :-
 (i) Vision and Mission Statement;
(ii) Details of business transacted by the organization;
(iii) Details of clients;
(iv) Details of services provided to each client group;
(v) Details of grievance redress mechanism and how to access it; and
(vi) Expectations from the clients. Thus, apart from the above mentioned points, the broad objectives of Citizens charter
 To Set standards of service

  •  Be open and provide full information

  •  Consult and involve

  •  Encourage access and the promotion of choice

  •  Treat all fairly

  •  Put things right when they go wrong

  •  Use resources effectively

  •  Innovate and improve

  •  Work with other providers

  •  Involvement of consumer organisations, citizen groups, and other stakeholders in the formulation of the Citizens’ Charter is emphasised to ensure that the Citizens’ Charter meets the needs of the users.

  •  Regular monitoring, review and evaluation of the Charters, both internally and through external agencies

9. Is there a connection between civil service training and the quality of public service? Explain. (15 marks, 200 words)


(1) Enhancement of the skill set of an individual is definitely a precursor to expecting him to perform well. This is the precise reason why trainings are imparted across the globe irrespective of the level of placement of the individual, or whether it is Public sector or the Private sector.

(2) Although there are individual differences in terms of what one learns from the training schedules and how one actually puts to use what one has learnt, still the importance of imparting training cannot be belittled in any manner.

(3) The presence of an organized system of imparting different levels of trainings to different cadres is more relevant especially in the Public sector when the individuals who are selected in the Civil services are soon going to be holding positions having immense potential to impact the lives of many more people at large.

(4) The individuals selected through any system of examination, say Civil Services, have indeed been already tested on certain parameters, but still they need to be groomed to handle the actual work pressures and the diversified nature of their future jobs which are increasingly becoming complex and subject matter of greater Public scrutiny.

(5) The end of the century brought plenty of reforms, changes and novelties into the Public Administration sphere. Seeking to solve complicated problems of the country, main attention is focused on the increase of the effectiveness and usefulness of the state structures, the stability of the machinery of state, as well the improvement of professionalism and responsibility.

(6) So, not only Foundation level training is essential for the newly recruited Civil servants, but at the same time trainings for Continuous Professional Development [CPD] are relevant to keep the officers in sync with the changing demands of the people and the latest trends in International Public Administration.

(7) Thus, the strategy of civil service training is one of the measures of strengthening the efficiency of the public service. To ensure this, the following groundwork is essential:
(a) present condition of training and qualification improvement of civil servants should be described;
(b) training strategy of civil servants should be identified and formulated;
(c) the way of the implementation of the training strategy of civil servants which is able to allow the creation of continuous qualification improvement system should be presented;
(d) The evaluation (getting of the feedback) criteria should be chosen.

(8) The society sets ever increasing requirements for the public service and it is possible to satisfy them only by improving the skills of civil servants, as well as by changing their principles.

(9) Constant pressure of the society on the public service to prove its efficiency requires that civil servants should be able to efficiently plan their activity and think strategically. Lastly, the assessment of training effectiveness is performed by finding out to what extent it contributed to the implementation of activity goals and objectives of the institution/organisation. In accordance with this principle, investments into training, its impact on civil servants skills and attitude, application of the acquired knowledge must be assessed on all hierarchical levels of a civil service institution by finding out to what extent it contributed to the implementation of their activity goals and objectives.


10. You have recently joined a government organization at a senior position. Upon joining, you find the presence of various factional groups in the organization which is impacting final performance. There is rampant mutual distrust with prejudices based on caste and gender lines. To make sure that the organization can perform the goals and objectives that are set for it, it is important for you to take some steps to make the atmosphere congenial for work. (20 marks, 250 words)

(a) What are the issues that need to be addressed in this particular case?
(b) Chart out a priority based roadmap that you can use for making the environment
congenial for work


(a) Issues to be addressed are:
(1) Removal of groupism and intergroup conflict.
(2) Removal of caste and gender based prejudices.
(3) Removal of trust deficit that has been developed between the members.
(4) Aligning people to organizational goals.
(b) My roadmap would include:
(1) Clearly and comprehensively stating the organizational goals to all concerned.
(2) Myself demonstrating an unbiased, impartial and objective approach in dealing with my subordinates.
(3) Bringing prejudiced members of different factional groups together and assigning them tasks that can be accomplished only by collective endeavour of all the members.
(4) Ensuring that the team works in a cohesive manner towards goal accomplishment. Regular ‘pep talks’ and effective communication can facilitate this.
(5) Rewarding the team on successful accomplishment of the goal and subsequent felicitation to be done publicly.
(6) Others who show the desire to be the part of the team to be encouraged to join so that a new team gets formed and it is given a new task.
(7) Isolation of all those who continue to hold reservation as they are now in minority. Fear and threat may be used to make them mend their ways.
(8) Establishing a norm of not allowing any factionalism any further and when a norm takes a shape its obedience is likely to be generated.

11. Mr. X is a young man, who is very poor and is uneducated. He thinks he can change his fortune only through athletics. He comes to know about a major marathon race with a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs. He is training very hard but so far he has never won a major race. A friend, who is a trainer, informs him that he has obtained a new drug that can dramatically improve the performance. Most importantly, the drug is not there on the list of banned drugs and it has been tested with no bad side effects. He also assures that it will not be detected through dope test. In return for giving the drug, the friend wants Rs. 50,000 but only if X wins the race, that is, if X does not win then X owes him nothing. Answer the following questions on the basis of above mentioned case:
(30 marks, 300 words)

(a) Do you agree with the view that there is nothing wrong in consuming the drug since it is not banned and, thereby, he will not v iolate any law as such?
(b) What, according to you, are the ethical issues involved in the above case?
(c) What would you do, if you are that athlete? Give moral justification in support of your position.

12. You are a newly recruited IAS Officer. You have a rural background, and obviously enough, have a soft corner for the villagers in general. One fine day, you are asked to take some stern action against some villagers who, while protesting against the Government’s compensation for their land acquisition, burnt down public vehicles including a police jeep.
(a) Do you think you will be able to do suitable justice to your duties?
(b) Do you recall any similar incident/instance from your own life/experiences?
(20 marks, 250 words)


(a) As a Civil servant I am expected to perform my duties unbiasedly, professionally and without any kind of fear or favour to any particular individual or section of society. So, during the discharge of my duties, I do not consider myself affiliated to any particular  religion, caste, colour, creed or background. At the time of discharge of my duties, I have only one religion- to perform my duty in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution envisages the principle of Equality of all. So it will be my earnest endeavour to ensure the Equal treatment of all, irrespective of their background or any other factor. In my eyes, the people approaching me are the Citizens of the nation whom I am expected to serve using the resources and powers entrusted in the post that I hold. So, in the instant case, when some people have indulged in arson and violence, they are simply individuals in violation of the tenets of law. So, the guilty must be apprehended and brought to justice. My first step will be to prevent the mischief creators from spreading any more violence and disturbance. The accused should be dealt with in accordance with the law of the land and immediate legal action should be taken against them. Although I understand the grievance they hold, yet the method they adopted to air their views was wrong. I will certainly also take steps to apprise the Government and my seniors of the grievances held by this particular section of society so that there is no unrest or feelings of alienation.

(b) Here the candidate will give an example from his own life or experiences so far relating to the issue.

13. With stars in your eyes, you have recently cleared your probation and are posted as the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Delhi. The first task allotted to you is to check drunk driving especially at night time. You accordingly form teams comprising of officials of several departments and instruct them to do their best to bring the offenders to book without any sort of fear or favour. In the first week itself you get more than a dozen calls from your subordinates where they were threatened of dire consequences when they tried to apprehend the drunkards especially those driving luxury cars. When you discuss the case with your team, they too advise that those with ‘connections’ can be pretty harmful especially for an officer like you who has just completed his probation. They even narrate instances where young officers like you were given so called ‘penalty postings’ when they apprehended relatives of politicians.

(a) What do you tell your subordinates to do in such a situation when they look to you for advice?
(b) What will be your course of action to tackle the menace and at the same time boost the morale of your force? Explain.
(20 marks, 250 words)


(a) First of all, my directions to my subordinates will be clear on one aspect that they should take all necessary steps to bring the guilty to justice and uphold the Law of the land at all costs, under any condition whatsoever.
The persons engaging in anti-social and illegal activities may be influential, but then it is our duty as the Upholders of the law to bring them to book. Their position, status or ‘contacts’ has no value in the eyes of Law.
So, my brief to my subordinates shall be to take necessary steps to prevent violations of traffic rules and deter them from endangering not only their own lives, but lives of other citizens as well.

(b) Now comes the part of practicing what I am preaching. If any of my subordinates is pressurized by way of any contact or favour, it will be my duty to stand by him and do all
that is possible to ensure that he does his duty free from any fear or favour. I will also involve my Seniors in the process and brief them about the issues at hand that how the Morale of the force is at stake and if allowed to go unchecked, how the crimes can actually spiral leading to lethal consequences. My priority will not be to ‘retain’ my present posting, but to retain my self-respect and conscience by acting in accordance with the spirit of the law.

14. ABC Ltd. is a leading Public Sector Undertaking [PSU] of the country. You have been recently appointed as the Assistant Director [Administration] responsible for the overall management of the internal affairs of the enterprise. One day you get requests from two Officers serving in the department about giving them postings at places different from where they have been recently transferred. The rules stipulate that the individual requests are not to be entertained for postings except under two circumstances- the first being when the Officer has already served for more than three years at the same station, and the second when the Officer is faced with some genuine exigency justifying his request. The Director [Administration] has the final say in such cases. The concerned officials approach you in the matter and apprise you of their problems. One of the officers, Officer X, claims to be close to the Director, and says that he wants the posting of choice because he feels that the place where he has been transferred is not ‘suitable enough’. He even subtly hints that in case his request is not accepted, he will approach the Director and inform him about your ‘inappropriate behavior’. The second officer, Officer Y, informs you of the deteriorating health of his mother and produces a number of medical records to back his claims. He requests for leniency on the ground of his mother’s ill health since he being the only child is responsible for the upkeep of his aged, widowed mother.
(a) How do you plan to handle the cases of the two officials?
(b) Give suitable logic for your course of action. (20 marks, 250 words)


In this question, there are two very practical issues involved: One, that there is an official who wants a prize posting using his connections and has no genuine ground for getting his present posting changed. Secondly, there is an individual who despite not fulfilling the norms of transfer under normal circumstances, still claims leniency on supposedly valid grounds. Now, as efficient administrator, it is my duty to indeed go by the rule book and uphold the spirit of the laws applicable to the organization, yet at the same time, I am also expected to treat ‘unequals’ unequally and take the genuine grievances of people under consideration. So, as regards the application request of Officer X, I will put up on my noting that since the officer has not yet served for more than three years at the particular place, and has no genuine grounds for seeking the change, his request may not be accepted as per the prevalent rules being followed in the organization.

 So, anyone choosing to differ from the Rule position as mentioned in the noting, will be doing so at the risk of his own job since that would be in clear violation of the laid down rules. Now as regards Officer Y, who has requested for a change in posting on grounds of his mother’s ill health and he being the only child to look after his mother who is aged and widowed, his request can be favourably considered. His case will be put up as a valid exception that is allowed under the extant rules and regulations after taking into account all the facts and getting them verified as far as possible on basis of evidences under consideration.

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