Syllabus ( as per UPSC)

Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas may be covered.

Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society

Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes;

* Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non‐partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion;

Emotional intelligence‐concepts, and their utilities and application;

Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

Case Studies on above issues.


Ethics: Introduction

  1. What is ethics?
    • What is ethics?
    • use of ethics 
    • What are the approaches to study of Ethics?
    • What is Morality?
    • What is the difference between Ethics and Morality?
    • What are the approached to Ethics?
  2. What are the determinants of Ethics?
  3. What are the dimensions of Ethics? (Meta, Normative, Applied)
  4. Indian perspective vs Western Perspective
  5. Why are Ethics important? ( Consequences of Ethics )
  6. Why should human beings be ethical?
  7. What are the determinants of Ethics?
  8. What is the relationship between Ethics and Religion?
  9. What are the approaches to study ethics?
  10. What are the determinants of Ethics?
  11. Ethics in private relations vs Ethics in Public Relations
  12. Need for Code of Ethics for Public Servants
  13. Need for Code of Ethics for Politicians / Ministers
  14. Role of family, society and education institution in inculcating values
  15. Private Ethics vs Public Ethics

Applied Ethics

  1. Ethics of War
  2. Abortion vs Contraception
  3. Marital Rape
  4. Ethics in Media
  5. Surrogacy
  6. Ethical Issues in Child Labour
  7. Ethics and Biotechnology
  8. Ethics and Globalisation
  9. Animal Ethics – The problem of anthropocentric approach
  10. Juvenile Justice
  11. Ethics in Sports
  12. Mercy Killing / Euthanasia
  13. Honour Killing
  14. Homosexuality

Human Values

  1. What are “human” values?
  2. What is the need for Human Values?
  3. Are ethical values temporal or eternal?
  4. Can values be unethical?
  5. Examples of values of different societies and times
  6. What are the universal values?


  1. What is Attitude?
    1. What are the content/components of Attitude?
    2. CAB Model and
    3. MODE Model
    4. What is the function of Attitude?
    5. How does Attitude influence thought and behaviour?
  1. Does thought and behaviour influence attitude?
  2. What is Moral Attitude?
  3. What is Political Attitude?
  4. Can attitude me modified/changed? If so, how?
  5. The attitude of Public Servants?



  1. What is aptitude?
  2. Is Aptitude innate or cultivated?

Foundational Values of Civil Services

  1. What are the foundational values of Civil Services?
  2. Gandhiji’s Seven Sins
  3. Nolan Committee’s 7 Qualities
  4. Basic values/qualities needed
    1. Impartiality
    2. Integrity
    3. Neutrality
    4. Non-Partisanship
    5. Objectivity
    6. Dedication
    7. Empathy, Sympathy, Apathy
    8. Tolerance
    9. Compassion

Emotional Intelligence

  1. What is Emotional Intelligence?
  2. What is its importance?
  3. Why is EI especially important for Public Servants
  4. EI vs IQ / Intelligence
  5. What is human emotion?
    1. Happiness
    2. Joy
    3. Anger
    4. Pride
  6. How can EI be cultivated in people?
  7. How can E.I help in ethics?

Public Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration

  1. Ethical Framework for Public Servants
  2. Ethical Framework for Public Representatives
  3. Legal Framework in Public Administration
  4. Institutional Framework in PA
  5. How to promote these values in Public Administration
  6. What is an ethical dilemma?
  7. How does an ethical dilemma differ from dilemma?
  8. Laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as Sources of ethical Guidance
  9. Accountability vs Responsibility
  10. How to inculcate accountability in (a) citizen (b) public servant (c), a political class

International Ethics

  1. Foundational Values of International Ethics
  2. How far is might is right valid in International Ethics?
  3. Ethics in International Funding

Corporate Governance

  1. What is Corporate Governance?
  2. What are the principles of Corporate Governance?
  3. What steps have been taken / can be taken to promote Corporate Governance?
  4. Examples of Good Corporate Governance
  5. Gender Issues in Corporate Governance

Probity in Governance & Public Service

  1. What is public service?
  2. What is probity in governance?
  3. Why is it essential in public service?
  4. Probity in private organisation?
  5. Transparency in Governance
  6. Right to Information
    1. Provision of the Act
    2. Criticism and Lacunae
    3. Recommendation for improvement in RTI
  7. Code of Ethics
  8. Code of Conduct
  9. Citizen Charter
    1. What are the Citizen Charter?
    2. Government Initiative in bringing in Citizen Charters
    3. Formulating a Citizen Charter
    4. Critical Analysis
  10. Work Culture
    1. What is Work Culture?
    2. Why is work Culture Important?
    3. Private Work Culture vs Public Work Culture
    4. How to improve organisational work culture?
  11. Quality of Service Delivery
    1. Problems in QoS Delivery in India?
    2. Measures to improve the quality of Service Delivery
  12. Utilization of Public Funds
    1. Issues of public fund utilization
    2. Public Oversight over Public Funds Utilization.
  13. Challenges of Corruption
    1. What is Corruption?
    2. Corruption in India – An Overview
    3. Reasons for Corruption in India
    4. Legal Framework for Corruption
    5. Institutional Framework for Corruption
    6. Ethical Framework for Corruption
    7. Approaches to solving the problem of Corruption




Lessons from the lives of Great Men

  1. Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Rabindranath Tagore
  3. Mother Teresa
  4. Nelson Mandela
  5. Martin Luther King
  6. Jawahar Lal Nehru
  7. Sardar Patel
  8. Swami Vivekanand



Contemporary Persons

  1. E. Sreedharan ( Metro Man )

Case Studies

Ethics in Governance: Report by Second Administrative Reforms Commission (Summary)

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