General Studies Paper 4 – Full Syllabus

GS Paper 4 - Answer Writing

IAS Junior Mains Answer Writing June-Sep 2019 Schedule (Click Here)


General Studies Paper 4



  1. a) Highlighting the attributes of leadership, analyse why it is important for a civil servant. 10M

b) A civil servant needs to be objective as well as empathetic. What do you understand by objectivity? Discuss its relationship with empathy. 10M


  1. a) Expand upon the concept of ‘business ethics’. Discuss its significance in a capitalist world. 10M

b) For achieving success, attitude is equally, if not more important than ability. Discuss with the help of examples from your daily life. 10M


  1. a) With rapidly increasing use of information technology, what according to you is the role of ethics in cyber space? 10M

b) Transparency in government organisations is an essential pre-condition for good governance. Elucidate. 10M


  1. a) Should consequences of an action determine its ethicality? Critically comment. 10M

b) When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts. Comment. 10M


  1. Given below are quotations of moral thinkers/philosophers. Bring out what they mean to you in the present context:

a) A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones – Nelson Mandela. 10M

b) The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence – Rabindranath Tagore. 10M


  1. a) Hasn’t the role of a 21st century family greatly diminished in shaping the character of an individual? What are its implications? Analyse. 10M

b) The core of high Emotional Intelligence is self-awareness. If you don’t understand your own motivations and behaviours, it is nearly impossible to develop an understanding of others. Discuss with the help of appropriate examples. 10M


7. Describe the significance of following in administration. 10M

a) Probity                                                                                                                                                   

b) Spirit of service                                                                                                                                         

c) Non-partisanship                                                                                                                               

d) Discretion



  1. A world famous heart surgeon is about to perform a critical heart surgery on a popular politician who might become the leader of the country one day. His life is critical for his political vision as well as for the country. There is too much pressure on the surgeon to perform the surgery successfully. The surgeon, with his years of experience and expertise, is quite confident to operate the heart without any glitch. In fact, he has performed this type of a surgery at least a hundred times. However, just a day before the scheduled surgery, the surgeon gets a call from a terrorist organisation which has kidnapped her daughter. They don’t want any money in ransom. They simply want him to let the politician die while performing the surgery, else they will kill her daughter. What should the surgeon do in this situation? What alternatives does he have? Discuss. 20M


  1. India signed a defence deal with another country for fighter aircraft. The opposition party has been accusing massive irregularities in the deal, alleging that the government is procuring each aircraft at a very high rate. It has also alleged that the government is involved in corruption and crony capitalism through the deal. Repeated demands for the information on the process of decision making in the deal and on the price of the aircraft, are made in Parliament and outside.

Per contra, the government has refused to disclose the price of the aircraft and share any details of the deal, citing a secrecy clause of a pact between the two countries and national security as the reason. The Supreme Court also refused to order an independent inquiry into the deal.  

Hence, the three pillars of the democracy-the legislature, the executive and the judiciary have failed to provide any relevant information on an issue of great importance for the public interest. Now, the general public is eyeing on the 4th pillar of democracy that is the media to take the responsibility of providing relevant information regarding the deal.   

Suppose you are the Chairman of one of the leading news publishing groups and the other news publishing groups are insisting you to lead the matter on their behalf in the public interest. Given the situation, the following are some of the options available to you-

  1. Do not interfere in the matter considering national security.
  2. Get access of the secret documents through investigative journalism and publish the documents in the newspaper.
  3. Initiate a media campaign to gain public support for pressurizing the government to disclose the relevant information in the public domain.

Evaluate all of them and suggest the best course of action, giving reasons for it. Suggest any other possible option(s). 20M


  1. You are posted as the Superintendent of Police (SP) in a district of a state where alcohol prohibition has been imposed recently. The District Excise department has conducted many raids and seized liquor in large quantities, for which it has received state-wide public appreciation. A few months later reports surface in the media that in this district, hundreds of seized bottles of illicit liquor are missing from the government malkhanas or stores. As a result, the government is left red-faced. You are asked by the DM, who is the overall in-charge of the district excise setup, to investigate the matter. Upon investigation, you unearth a nexus of politicians and government officials who smuggled seized liquor and sold it through spurious means both inside and outside the state.

In this context, evaluate these options:

  1. Report your findings to the DM and seek instructions for further actions, stating clearly the criminal offences committed prima facie.
  2. Charge all accused under legal provisions and let the law take its own course.
  3. Being aware of the seriousness of the matter, discretely put the detailed investigation report in the public domain and expose the nexus.

Also, suggest, without restricting yourself to the given options, the final course of action that you would prefer. 20M


  1. Once you went to market with your mother for festive shopping. There you found that most of the shopkeepers have employed children as attendants and were behaving very harshly with them. You get very touched by seeing all this and started arguing with one of the shopkeeper on this issue. Your mother told you to stop and asked you that if you argue like this, he will remove the child and child may have no earning source for family. 20M

a) What will you do in consonance to your moral quality in this situation?                                           

b) Discuss limitations of various possible actions that you are suppose to take.                                   

c) Among the available options, which may yield the desired result in consonance to your moral Quality? 


  1. You are a resident of a remote tribal district, where there is high incidence of malnutrition. As a remedial measure, the District Magistrate has initiated a programme to promote millet cultivation, especially on the lands currently lying fallow in the district.

However, this well-intentioned move of the officer receives flak from the local tribals as this may not only change their age-old food habits, but also alter their traditional agricultural practices. They further cite lower remunerative prices of millets as another reason for continuing with their existing crop production pattern.

As a civil servant aspirant, who has a keen interest in development of tribal areas, answer the following questions: 20M

a) What according to you are the key issues and challenges involved in the above situation

b) Identify the key stakeholders and their respective interests.                                                     

c) Suggest a course of action that the District Magistrate can take keeping in mind the larger tribal interests.


  1. Since recent past, there have been huge migration of youth from rural areas to urban areas in search of better economic opportunities. As a consequence of this, their parents, senior citizens, mostly farmers, are compelled to live alone in the villages. Without support of their children, when they need it the most, these senior citizens are facing difficulties not just on economic front but also social, emotional etc. 20 M

a) Analyse the different aspects involved in the issue.                                                                                 

b) Suggest strategy to tackle the problem.



Students should write the answers and mail to for free evaluation.

Answer synopsis shall be provided in the respective student portals.


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