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
(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
(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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
(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
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
(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
(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
SECTION – B
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
(b) Chart out a priority based roadmap that you can use for making the
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
(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
(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
(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
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
Courtesy : Facebook Group