Civil Services General Studies Paper-4 Analysis

Union Public Service Commission in 2013 decided to make a change in the Civil Services Mains Syllabus by removing one optional and bringing four General Studies papers including the exam of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.

The moot idea behind the inclusion of this paper was not to multifold the syllabus for the aspirants but to inculcate a sense of responsiveness to different, dilemmatic and abstruse circumstances. Life can never go smooth, it is a mosaic of multi-faceted challenges which bang the door when most unexpected. The intensity of tension rises when an administrator must fight with the existing as well as new challenges to serve the public. Civil Services, at no cost means to be carried away by the power and prestige associated with the post. It is about the service, an extension of assistance to the distressed and visioning a change for society.

After analyzing, plunge in moral values amongst the civil servants, an idea was mooted to include a full-fledged General Studies exam aiming at enhancing the personality of the candidates who are at the verge of becoming civil servant. Therefore, the questions asked in this exam should be dealt differently by focusing as how would ‘you’ as an individual will respond to a given situation or what is ‘your’ perspective about a topic.

In this year’s question paper, the questions tend to know the aptitude of the candidate through such questions as, “What are the basic principles of Public Life?”, “What do you understand by the term public servant? Reflect on the expected role of public servant?”

If we decode the demand of the question, we can surely hit the bull’s eye by reaching next to accuracy. As in the question stated above, an aspirant must be clear with the simple concepts as what the meaning of public life is and how a public servant can perform those functions which are dedicated for welfare of the masses. Expecting great marks by answering in a non-conspicuous manner will yield less marks. Questions can seem simple, easy, non-complicated, general but, they test the ability of the candidate on specific lines therefore the approach should be concrete and consolidated.

Question regarding the ‘non-performance’ of the duty is not about the meaning of non-performance of duty rather it seeks to know, what does the term ‘corruption’ mean to a civil services’ aspirant. One needs to understand the specific purpose as why this question has been asked and to which extent knowledge should be spewed in it.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” – M.K.Gandhi, this was a statement based question which required the knowledge of Gandhian Philosophy. But candidates who have mentioned the application part of this philosophy in daily lives would fetch more marks than the one who would have only written the philosophical aspect.

Also, with respect to handling of the case studies, there must be an integrated approach to handle them with practical solutions backed by philosophies of great leaders, mentors, and administrators.

Therefore, it is suggested to learn and understand the content of this paper through unconventional lenses which require a unique understanding as if how to overcome challenges, unleash potential and bring a difference in the lives of many.

All the Best!
Sherry A Singh
Senior Editor- Acquisition Test Prep