Lecture 1

    • Studying Ethics is all about how you interpret question in behavioural term. Let it be any question from General Studies mostly Social issue, History and Polity think in behavioural terms to build up some ethical standards in your mind which will help you to write any answer that come across in Ethics paper
    • For Example, take the question from 2016,
      • How could social influence and persuasion contribute to the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?
      • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan we generally come across while reading for General Studies, here in this question the behavioural terms are social influence and persuasion which will bring the major changes to the people behaviour in implementing this scheme in greater sense. I’m just highlighting the behavioural terms which is required for Ethics preparation. Similarly most of the questions
    • Mostly the case studies that are given in the paper will revolve around the following issues:
      • Child labour
      • Gender issues
      • Caste and Communal prejudice
      • Environment based issues
      • Mob Violence
    • So the interrelation that we should bring between various subjects while studying for Ethics. They are:
      • Ethics and Laws
        • RTI, Civil code of conduct etc
      • Ethics and Biology
        • Like Surrogacy, Passive Euthanasia etc
      • Ethics and Economics
      • Ethics and Religion
      • Ethics and Environment
    • For every issue the Change in people’s mind set or in the society or in law is centric
    • On answer writing:
      • Remember again for every answer writing, ‘change’ is Centric, like change in people’s behavioural which will be possible only when right values are ingrained (will come across it while we talk about subject in details), change in present laws etc
      • There always be 3 directional approach in answer writing based on question triggered
        • Institutional approach – framing of laws and its implementation in proper way


  • Societal approach – Social Norms (may or may not be against institutional)
  • Individual approach – which may be of you involving in the situation that posted for you or intentions of actors involved, like you as collector or you as RTO etc


  • Questions in Ethics can be classified in the following:
    • Question based on definitions and their interrelation
      • Eg: What do you understand by the term Empathy and how it it related to Compassion?
    • Conceptual questions that call for reading in  between the lines
      • Eg: When public administrators invest in social capital the outcome is good governance. Discuss?
      • Note: Governance is relationship between Govt representative and Public
    • Quotation based Questions:
      • Two types:
        • Interpret quotation in contemporary context
        • Explain it in standard context
      • Eg: Relativity applies to Physics but not to Ethics. Discuss
        • Quote by Einstein
        • Relativity may be correct or wrong, opposite to absolutism
      • Morals cannot be a matter of convenience
      • Whenever there is a conflict between Ethics and Economics it is the economics that wins. Evaluate?
        • Hint: Sound Ethics makes good economics
      • Where Law ends Ethics begins
        • Hint: Law cannot be made on every aspect of human life
        • Law stifle creativity
        • Law : State enforcement; and Ethics: self enforcement
    • Open ended questions calling for the use of personal anecdotes to support the point
      • Eg: What do you understand by the term happiness. Illustrate it with the help of examples drawn from personal life
        • Hint: Happiness is subjective wellbeing, In subjective there will be individual differences
          • Physical happiness
          • Emotional
          • Mental
          • Spiritual
          • Economic
            • Protestant Ethics: Work hard and earn money for well being
        • Happiness changes with time, happiness is all about not judgemental, and Combination of Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness
  • Case Study Answer writing (based on the following)
    • Deontological Approach
      • Where this is absolute and applicable universally, which means the element is right at any circumstances also called Absolutism
    • Teleological Approach
      • Consequences decide whether it is right or wrong also called Consequentialism
    • Constitutional Approach
      • This comes above all the ethics of the individual and societal norms
  • In the next lecture I’ll discuss  the main elements of ethics i.e., Values, Ethics, Morals and Attitude and how they are related to each other and how they are formed.
  • Thank you, Jai Hind…

2 thoughts on “Lecture 1

  1. Nice… Rather try to post questions, approach to answer and model answer… It will be of great help to peer aspirants… We can anyway take these points in insights or some other Subarao book


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