Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum


Syllabus: Ethics and Human Interface



Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example



Ethics is the set of principle led down by the society for human conduct.  Considering Ethics as the reference, society determines what is right or wrong in human conduct.


Example: Respect your elders.


Significance of Ethics

  1. If the human action is in conformity with the ethical norms, it is called ethical else unethical.
  2. At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives.
  3. Ethics is organic in nature, it keeps changing with place and time, it continues to guide human about the action they should take and the action they should avoid.

So, is it written somewhere?

No, its’ not written, we acknowledge and understands it gradually as we nurture in the society, like respect the elders, respect women, help the poor etc.  




Ethical Vs. Legal Debate

An Ethical action may or may not be legal. Just see below table.

Human Action


Legal/ Illegal

Eating beef (in Nagaland)



Same Gotra marriage in Haryana



Accepting dowry in Bihar



Consuming Alcohol in Gujarat




  1. Differentiate between Law and ethics. UPSC 2015


  1. “A mere compliance with law is not enough, the public servant also has to have a well-developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties.” Do you agree? Explain with the help of two examples, where (i) an act is ethically right, but not legally and (ii) an act is legally right, but not ethically. UPSC 2015






Set by State

Set by Society


Not written

Penalty for violation

No Penalty as such

More stringent

Less stringent.

Example: Pay your income tax before due date.

Example: Help the poor, Obey cultural practices.


Ethics as the torch bearer of decision: Ethics guide us in difficult situation. For example, I need some money for the medical treatment in my family but I do not have it. Someone came to bribe me with the required sum of money. I will not take the bribe as ethical values dictate me not to accept the bribe.

Ethics lead to the decision. The decision may be right or wrong depending upon the purity of ethical values.

  1. What is meant by ‘environmental ethics’? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one environmental issue from the viewpoint of environmental ethics. 2015.

Ans: The globally and locally accepted norms for ‘sustainable use’ of environment is environmental ethics.  Example: Plant more trees than you cut, abide waste disposal rules etc.

Importance Environmental Ethics ensures:

  1. Conservation of environment apart from meeting the human needs. Example: Plant more trees than you cut for infra projects.
  2. Environment friendly policy formulations and penal provisions for violation of environmental norms. NGT imposing fine on Delhi government for lapses in waste water treatment.
  3. Cultural integration of human with the nature. Example: Worship the Peepal Tree.
  4. Environment Friendly political executives. Example: Long Protest by the locals in Mumbai against cutting the trees for Metro project, Political Party in power had finally accepted the pro-environment demands.

Environment Issue: Should Tribal People be allowed to live in eco- sensitive zones of forest?

Yes, they should be allowed, because:

  1. They have been living in the forest for centuries and are quite dependent on the forest resources for their sustenance.
  2. They are friends of animals and plants and avoid irresponsible use of forest resources.

No, they should not be allowed, because:

  1. The kill the animal for economic gains and their habitat in the middle of jungle is a threat to animals living in forest.
  2. Tribal people are not aware of the government efforts to conserve the forest hence do not adopt measures to meet the intended environmental conservation efforts.


  1. Differentiate between Personal ethics and Professional ethics. UPSC 2015.


Personal Ethics

Professional Ethics

Derived from the norms of the society.


Each member of the society has to follow it.

Inculcated within us from the professional environment, derived from the norms of the organization.


Each employee in the organization has to follow these rules and they do not have any choice.

Violation leads social criticism.

Violation leads to loss to the organisation.

Wide impact

Impact limited to the company. 

Example: Adhere to the practice of non-violence.


Follow the practice of honesty.

Example: transparency, confidentiality, Recognition of good works and appreciation of good works of juinior employee.







Syllabus: Determinants of ethics

Determinants in Ethics are the set of factors in human behaviour that determine whether an action is good or bad.



Determinant of Ethics

Do not waste the Paper.

Wasting the Paper leads to more tree cut and ultimately loss to the environment. Here Determinant is to safeguard the Environment.

Do not throw Medical waste in Open.

Throwing the Medical Waste in Open will undermine the safety of common men. Here determinant is to advocate the safety of common men.


Syllabus: Consequences of Ethics in human actions

The consequences are the outcomes caused by an action. The quality of these consequences depend on how much good they contain. 

The consequences are defined by various theories; one such is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism evaluates consequences by how much happiness and suffering they contain.

The amount of pleasure and pain created by an action is really good way of showing that some consequences are better or worse than others.



Ethical Action


1.    Printing too much currency to counter economic slowdown.

1.    The consequence is high inflation and more hardship to common men.

2.    Promote Solar Power in Place of Fossil Fuel

2.    Reduction in Green House Gas emission in long run.


Syllabus: Essence of Ethics

The Ethics should have following essence:

  1. It should be clear and easy to understand so that even a common man can easily understand it.
  2. The Ethics should be framed under the light of Law in place. If one follows ethics, he must not violate the law.
  3. Ethics should be modified with time and place to meet the changing needs.
  4. Ethics should promote the brotherhood in the society and should be a cause of unity in society.








Syllabus: Dimensions of ethics

Meta Ethics: Meta Ethics is the “Ethics of Ethics”. Meta Ethics asks the cause behind the Ethics.

Example of Corporate Ethics

Meta Ethics

Coming late to the meeting is not good.

Why coming late to meeting is not good?


It is the test of basic thought process that sets the Ethics.


It asks about our understanding- how we interpret if a decision, action or a motive is good and bad.


Another Example: This dress for the girl is not right: Khap Panchayat (Ethics of the region)

Meta Ethics: Why this dress is not right? On what parameters you are saying so?

Prescriptive Ethics: Study of ethical action, it extensively investigates questions which ask whether the action one implements is actually right or not.

Perspective Ethics do not raise question on the healthiness of Ethical principles. Here, Ethics is considered as sacrosanct/ standard and human action is evaluated based on these standards/ norms.

Prescriptive ethics are also known as normative ethics.

Example: Principle set by the orthodox society where a man is not free to question the correctness of Ethical norms, he is supposed to just follow it.

  1. Differentiate between Ethical management and management of ethics. UPSC 2015.


Ethical management

Management of Ethics

Human action in accordance with the ethical norms.


Example: Adopt the practice of transparency in administration (an example of ethical governance).

Changing or managing ethical standards in accordance with the changing socio, economic, cultural situation.


Example: Allow the practice of inter-caste marriage.

Example of prescriptive ethics.

Example of Meta Ethics.

Society will praise the efforts.

You will face the resistance of society or company at times.


Descriptive Ethics: Descriptive Ethics is the empirical (observational) study of the moral beliefs and practices of different peoples and cultures in various places and times.

It seeks information on how people live and draw general conclusions based on these observations.

So is it correct to say that Descriptive Ethics is the study of Ethical norms from the lens of Research Scholar?

Yes, it’s correct, in descriptive ethics we take a bird eye view in the ethical norms without discussing about the healthiness of these norms.

Example: In the Magadh empire led by Ashok,

Applied Ethics: Applied ethics refers to the practical application of moral considerations. It deals with the rightness or wrongness of social, economical, cultural, religious issues.


  1. Is the practice of child labour correct?
  2. Should abortion be allowed?

This branch of ethics is most important for professionals in different walks of life including doctors, teachers, administrators, rulers and so on.

Example of Business Ethics: It is the duty of employee to stay loyal to their employers.

Example of Medical ethics: It is the responsibility of doctors to inform the Organ donor about the possible future consequences on health.


Approaches of Ethics

  1. Utilitarian Approach: This approach of Ethics differentiates right from wrong by focusing on outcomes.

Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.

For instance, ethical warfare is trying to curb terrorism for the greater good by killing and destroying the terrorist organisations.

Example of Utilitarian Approach: Kill the Terrorist to save the society (Focus on the end result of Saving the society at large at the expense of Life of few terrorists)

Kill the birds infected with Bird flu to save healthier one (Outcome based Ethics/ Utilitarian Approach)

Limitation of this approach: We cannot predict the future, it’s difficult to know with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad (although the intended outcome is good).

Case Study: Assume a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver.

If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of one life.

This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number (Isn’t it?). But few would consider it an acceptable course of action.

So, although utilitarianism is arguably the most reason-based approach to determining right and wrong, it has obvious limitations.

  1. Rights based Approach: The rights approach follows the belief that individuals have the ability to make their decisions freely.


It believes that if it does not respect everyone’s moral rights, it is wrong to act.


  1. Fairness/Justice Approach: First described by Aristotle, this approach propagates the idea of equality. It promotes the course of action treats everyone the same, except where there is a morally justifiable reason not to, and does not show favoritism or discrimination?


Example: Is caste based reservation good?


This approach gives the individual the opportunity to reflect if the action is fair to the people.


  1. Common Good Approach: Which course of action advances the common good? This question helps drive our choice to decide if the action taken will be good for ourselves and the community. It opens the door to other questions related to the type of society we want to become and how to achieve that.


  1. Virtue Approach: Which course of action develops moral virtues? It adheres to the fact that ethical actions are supposed to be consistent and at par with certain ideal virtues that provide for the holistic development of our humanity.


Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity and tolerance are some of the examples of virtues.


  1. The Egoistic Approach: This is the ethics of self- interest. In this approach, an individual often uses utilitarian calculation to produce the greatest amount of good for him or herself.
  2. Differentiate between Discrimination and preferential treatment. UPSC, 2015.



Preferential treatment













Ethical Vs. Moral debate

Ethics also denotes to moral philosophy, i.e., a discipline of critical analysis of the meaning and explanation of moral beliefs. Along with law and etiquette, they prescribe human behaviour as obligatory, prohibited, or permissible. There is considerable overlap between ethics and law, and ethics and etiquette. Much of the law exemplifies ethical principles: respect for basic rights to life, property, and the right of citizens to participate in political life. It is usually unethical to violate the law. A breach of etiquette can also be immoral if it is done intentionally to offend someone simply for one’s own enjoyment.

Ethics goes beyond etiquette, though, to include matters that nearly every human society considers significant. Ethics is often used in connection with the activities of organisations and with professional codes of conduct. Actions such as lying, breaking a promise or killing someone are more serious than social faux pas. Ethics also has to do with human character and motivation, which in many cases are immaterial to etiquette and law. And law and etiquette can sometimes be disapproved on moral grounds. Morality is used in connection with the ways in which individuals conduct their personal, private lives, often in relation to personal financial probity, lawful conduct and acceptable standards of interpersonal behaviour (including truthfulness, honesty, and sexual propriety).

Question: What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality? (150 words) 10 Marks, UPSC 2019.




Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example



Things considered to be important by an individual or an organization.

Example: Courage, fear, honesty, freedom, innovation etc.


Example of Value of the Organization:

  1. The core value of BHEL (a maharatna company) is to ensure customer satisfaction.

Can you just think why ‘to ensure customer satisfaction’ is the core value of companies like BHEL?

Just because this value is important for the company to get more orders from customer and ultimately to increase turn over and maximize its profit.

  1. Core value of Civil Services: Integrity, Empathy

Now, guess why Integrity, Empathy are core value of Civil Services?

Value = Degree of Importance of Something/ some action.

Values are the beliefs of an individual or a social group about what is held important. That motivates people to act one way or another. “Equal rights for all”, “Merit above all else”, “Dignity of labour” etc are representatives of values.

Values have a major influence on a person’s behaviour and attitude.




  1. “Social values are more important than economic values.” Discuss the above statement with examples in the context of inclusive growth of a nation. 2015.

Ans: Inclusive Growth: The growth model with the assurance that the fruits of growth are enjoyed by one and all.

Social Value

Economic value

Important for taking social decisions like Integrity, Courage etc.

Important for economic benefits of self, organization, country etc. Like  Transparency, Audits etc.

Why Social values are more important than the economic value?

  1. Social value makes sure that the benefits of economic growth reaches to the most backward section of the society. Like Integrity, Honesty. It helps to achieve the inclusive growth.

Why economic values are more important than the social value?

  1. Without bread one may not be honest, hence the supply of bread (economic value) more most basic value compared to social value.



Values (What is Important?) vs. Ethics (What is Right?)



What is important for an individual to achieve his personal goals.

Example: For a student the core value is to avoid wastage of time.

What is right when viewed from the eyes of society.

Example: Take care of parents in their old age.

It may differ from person to person. It may differ from organization to organization.


Differs from region to region, changes with time.

Example: Beef eating is social evil in Maharashtra but allowed in Nagaland.  

It motivates individual/ organization to take action.

It puts limits on the action of individual.



Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example





Integrity means being honest and right conduct even when nobody is watching.


Example: Stopping at a red light signal at 3 am in the night, even when the entire road was clear. This is an example of my integrity.


Syllabus: Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information

Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example

Right to Information

RTI is the master key to Good Governance” – 2nd ARC


  1. Some recent developments such as introduction of RTI Act, media and judicial activism, etc., are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. However, it is also being observed that at times the mechanisms are misused. Another negative effect is that the officers are now afraid to take prompt decisions. Analyze this situation in detail and suggest how this dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimized. UPSC 2015.


The main aim behind bringing the RTI Act was to improve transparency in public affairs through legal right to access government records by a common citizen of the country.

So far, RTI act has fulfilled this mandate and been the basis of exposure of various scams like VYAPAM Scam of Madhya Pradesh, Irregularity in MGNREGA works in Bihar etc.

However, there is a darker side as well, like:

  1. Government machinery is already under the pressure of work load and providing the information in time bound manner becomes difficult.
  2. Government servants refrain from taking the proactive steps for the welfare of the people.
  3. The information sought at times are intended to blackmail the officials.

So, what is the solution?

  1. The government records should be digitalized and should be made available online so that individuals need not file the RTI applications.
  2. More time should be allotted to officials to prepare the reply.

Ways to mitigate the negative impacts:

  1. Proper training to be provided to officials to deal with the RTI application.
  2. Training to be provided to digitalize the records for easy and faster access.
  3. Penalty should be imposed on RTI applicants for asking unnecessary information.


Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example






Leadership is the act of motivating a group of people towards achieving a common goal.


Leadership provides inspiration, motivation and a vision for the future.


Example: Mahatma Gandhi showed exemplary leadership to unite the country in the fight for independence.







Syllabus: Lessons (Values) from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

Name of the Leader

Values  taught



Mahatma Gandhi




1.    Ahimsa

2.    Non-Violence

3.    Truth

4.    Dignity of labour


Question: What do each of the following quotations mean to you?

  1. “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” – M.K. Gandhi (150 words) 10 Marks, UPSC 2019.

Model Answer:

My thought guides by action.

My action guides by Habits.

My habits guide my character.

My character guides my identity.

I am “My identity”. Hence, ultimately I am a product of my thoughts.

Example: Bhagat Singh was having radical thought against the English rule in India from his childhood.

This thought guided him to join revolution against the British and Bhagat Singh became a revolutionary.

Apart from the individual thoughts that shapes the identity of human like the society he lives in, food he eats, books he reads etc.

Example: Modern day food habits of consuming lots of junk food, spending more time on live screen is making the youth violent.

Still, thoughts of the individual largely shapes his success or failure in social and personal life.





Name of the Leader

Values taught



Jawaharlal Nehru

1.    Promotion of democracy

2.    Institution building

3.    consensus building

4.    socialism

5.    secularism


Name of the Leader

Values  taught



Babasaheb Ambedkar




1.    Social Justice

2.    Human Rights


Name of the Leader

Values  taught



JRD Tata




1.    Ethical Capitalism

2.    Philanthropy


  • Nelson Mandela: What he valued – service, dignity, self-belief, equality of the human race, freedom, fairness, justice,  etc.
  • Abraham Lincoln: What he valued – humanism, equality of the human race, integrity, idealism, honesty, freedom etc.
  • Martin Luther King Jr: What he valued – self-belief, equality of the human race etc.
  • Raja Rammohan Roy: What he valued – social equality, equality of the human race, women empowerment, scientific thinking etc.
  • Swami Vivekananda: What he valued – self-belief, equality of the human race, patriotism, compassion etc.
  • B R Ambedkar: What he valued – self-belief, equality of the human race, radical thinking, compassion etc.
  • Mother Teresa – What she valued – compassion, altruism, helpfulness, kindness, cleanliness, determination.
  • Verghese Kurien – What he valued – self-belief, co-operative societies, entrepreneurship, innovation, farmer welfare etc.
  • M.S. Swaminathan – What he valued – sustainable development, green revolution, poverty alleviation, farmer welfare etc.
  • Sam Pitroda – What he valued – self-belief, dreaming big, entrepreneurship, policy making, innovation etc.
  • E. Sreedharan: What he valued – punctuality, self-belief, integrity, high-quality standards etc.

Ethics Vs. Morality



Morality is a code of behavior usually based on religious tenets.

Example: Killing animal for food is immoral as per Jainism.  

What is right when viewed from the eyes of society.


Example: Take care of parents in their old age. You will be unethical if you do not follow this ethics.

It may differ from person to person. It may differ from one religion to other religion.

Example: Polygamy is moral in Islam but Immoral in Hinduism. 

Differs from profession to profession.

Example: Corporate Ethics, Business Ethics, Medical Ethics etc.

Morals come from within. One’s own internal compass.

Ethics are more extrinsic rule sets to guide us all.

An Ethical act may be immoral.

An immoral act may be ethical.


  1. What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality? (150 words) 10 Marks, UPSC 2019.


Syllabus: Role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values

Role of Family in inculcating values

The family is the earliest and without question the most influential agent of socialization. Socialization via the family goes from cradle to grave. The father, mother, siblings, and grandparents become the immediate agents of socialization.

Children pick up behavioral traits from all those who are in his/her immediate environment. Values are imbibed by children by observing what parents do (and not just what parents say).

The power of the family is strongest during infancy and toddler years. During the teenage, the influence of peer group and media usually overshadows the power of the family. However, the family returns as a predominant agent of socialization during the adult years with the roles of marital partner and parents becoming prominent.

There can be differences in values between family to family based on their socio-economic statuses.

Role of Educational Institutions in inculcating values

Schools and Colleges are important agencies in the process of socialization and thus can help a lot in inculcating values.

  • School is the first place where the individual values get compared with the larger value system of the society.
  • The curriculum imparts the values of accepted behaviour.
  • A school student learns not only from the official curriculum but also from the social curriculum of peer groups. Values are also imbibed from the hidden curriculum (Eg: don’t talk while a teacher is taking the class).
  • This is the place where one learns the values of punctuality and discipline.
  • Values education is an explicit attempt to teach about values. There are five basic approaches to values education: inculcation, moral development, analysis, action learning, and values clarification.

Role of Society in inculcating values

Society can also inculcate a lot of values in people. The elements of the society who have great influence in people include:











Syllabus: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance

Term of the Syllabus

Definition with Example

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI), refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions of self and that of others.



Role of Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence has prominence in organizational effectiveness. It is defined by psychological theorists as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situation.







Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence:

Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence


1.    Understanding Emotion.


Your father knows you were having a bad day at the office even before you speak anything.



2.    Managing Emotion

Managing emotions: People who have ability to cope with adverse or distressing emotions can stay calm in adverse situation.

They suppress anxiety feel resourceful even in tough situation.

3.    Recognizing emotions in others

People with the ability to recognise and use the emotion of others has the ability to create the desirable outcome.



Does it affect our relationship/ success in profession?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage our own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

Don’t you think, Maharashtra Government hinges on good emotional Intelligence among top leaders. 

Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals.

Can a teacher guess if the student has digested his lessons by looking into the eyes of students?

If yes, she is Emotionally Intelligent.


Syllabus: utilities and application of Emotional Intelligence in administration and governance.

Self-Benefit (Public Servant)

Benefit to Public

Helps in controlling anger/anxiety. 

Feels good to meet, stronger belief in Public Officials.

Self Confidence boosts

Confident administrator can be a good manager. Public Trust gets boosted.


Motivates subordinate officials for better service delivery.


Application of emotional intelligence in administration and governance:

Many administrative officers are extremely talented, conceptually brilliant and have a very high IQ. They excel in computers, science and mathematics. But they have problem in making social relationships. Many of them are antagonistic and ruthless in their response to the outside world. They have little or no feeling for people around them. They feel physiologically uncooperative in their relationships and have no social graces or even a social personal life.

Bulk of studies has demonstrated that Emotional intelligence is enumerated through deep listening to oneself and listening to others. People who are high in emotional intelligence recognize how to listen to their emotions and control their intensity so they are not influenced by others.


Emotionally intelligent people know how to keep troublesome emotions in check. Emotionally intelligent people sense the effect their emotions have on others. Emotionally intelligence people know how to use their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. Emotionally intelligence people listen to other people’s emotions and can understand with them. Emotionally intelligent people act morally and build trust through honesty and consistency.







266/ laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance


Definition with Example



Part of your mind that tells you whether what you are doing is morally right or wrong.


Example: Consider a situation where you are in a party and your close friends are insisting you to share the glass of wine, your inner conscience will tell you not to share the drink.


Why conscience is of importance?

Because, if we pause and listen to our conscience we often get answers for the questions which troubled us and answers based on conscience are generally ethical.


Crisis of Conscience

Crisis of conscience is a situation in which it is very difficult to decide what the right thing to do is. The term is also used when someone is worrying because they think that they have done something unfair or morally wrong.

It is a case of ‘ethical dilemma’, but often in a stronger sense. When there is a crisis of conscience, the individual fear that his action may be against the ‘voice of conscience’ and hence ethically wrong.

So, then, what is voice of conscience?

Voice of Conscience

Voice of conscience corresponds to an inner voice that judges your behavior. Voice of conscience is the source of ethical decision making for many. A famous example is Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi says: “The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.”


Syllabus: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and

relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political

attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

Attitude: Attitude is the inclination of mind that decides one to react positively or negatively towards a situation.

Attitudes are views, beliefs, or evaluations of people about a situation, phenomena, person.

 (the attitude object). The attitude object can be a person, place, thing, ideology, or an event. Attitudes can be positive or negative.

Attitude in internal while the behavior is external. It is possible to change the attitude and thus behaviour.

How Attitude affects the Behavior?

Attitudes are often the result of social influence, past experience or upbringing. Attitudes have a powerful influence over behaviour. While attitudes are enduring, they can change, resulting in a change in behaviour as well.

For example – Only if the citizens of a country have a positive attitude towards cleanliness, campaigns such as Swatch Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission) will succeed. Here, by various campaigns (advertisements), the government is trying to change the attitude of citizens, and hence to stop their behaviour of throwing wastes in public, open-defecation etc.

How Attitude is formed?

Positive Attitude

Negative Attitude

I love men with clear voice.

I hate men with long hair.




What do you like/dislike?

Example: I like hard working employee.

I like to stay at hill Station.

I fear from street dogs.

What is important for you? Example: I should not disclose my annual income to family members.

People should be free to choose the life partners.  

Attitude is our belief/view.

Value is also our belief/view.

Superset of values

Subset of Attitude

Influence our day to day action. Not directly linked with the personal goals.

Helps us to achieve the long term goals.


So, can the Attitude be changed?

Yes, the attitude can be changed.

But, How?

For this we should understand how our Attitude has formed?

  1. Attitude gets shaped by our past experiences. Example: I have seen a man killed by the snakebite, Attitude: I fear of Snakes.
  2. Attitude is shaped by our teachers and Parents during our child hood.

The theories of learning, persuasion, or dissonance can be used to bring an attitudinal or behavioral change.

Social Influence and Persuasion can change the attitude or behaviour of people.

Examples of Attitude Change: Read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiosaki and this will change your attitude towards money. 

Attend Seminar, Read Newspaper Editorial, this will change your attitude.

Example: If you ask a person from Central/ South India about Patna. He will tell that it is not a safe place to visit. The crime rate in Patna is very high. Although he has not visited Patna in past but, he holds a “negative attitude” towards the Place.  This attitude has largely been formed by Newspaper clippings in the past.

In reality, the crime rate in other Parts of the country like Delhi, Noida is quite more

Structure of Attitudes/ ABC Model

Attitudes structure can be described in terms of three components.

  • Affective component: this involves a person’s feelings/emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”.
  • Behavioral component: It influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one”.
  • Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief/knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous”.


This model is known as the ABC model of attitudes.  The three components are usually linked. However, there is evidence that the cognitive and affective components of behaviour do not always match with behaviour.

Implicit and Explicit attitude

Implicit Attitude

Explicit Attitude

If a person is aware of his attitudes and how they influence his behaviour, then those attitudes are explicit.

If a person is unaware of his attitudes (beliefs) and how they influence his behaviour, then those attitudes are implicit.

Occurs subconsciously

Conscious decisions

The result of old experiences

The result of recent experiences

No Cognitive

Has a cognitive component

i.e. the cognitive component of attitudes refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that we would associate with an object.



The Functions of Attitudes

Attitudes can serve following functions for the individual.

  • Knowledge: This allows us to predictwhat is likely to happen, and so gives us a sense of control. Knowing a person’s attitude helps us predict their behaviour. For example, knowing that a person is religious we can predict they will go to Church.

(ii)     Self / Ego-expressive: The attitudes we express (1) help communicate who we are and (2) may make us feel good because we have asserted our identity.  Self-expression of attitudes can be non-verbal too: think bumper sticker, cap, or T-shirt slogan.  Therefore, our attitudes are part of our identity and help us to be aware of the expression of our feelings, beliefs, and values.

(iii) Adaptive:  If a person holds and/or expresses socially acceptable attitudes, other people will reward them with approval and social acceptance.  For example, when people flatter their bosses or instructors (and believe it) or keep silent if they think an attitude is unpopular.  Again, the expression can be nonverbal [think politician kissing baby].  Attitudes then, are to do with being a part of a social group and the adaptive functions help us fit in with a social group. People seek out others who share their attitudes and develop similar attitudes to those they like.

Attitude Measurement

Perhaps the most straightforward way of finding out about someone’s attitudes would be to ask them. However, attitudes are related to self-image and social acceptance (i.e. attitude functions). In order to preserve a positive self-image, people’s responses may be affected by social desirability. They may not well tell about their true attitudes, but answer in a way that they feel socially acceptable. Given this problem, various methods of measuring attitudes have been developed.  However, all of them have limitations.  In particular, the different measures focus on different components of attitudes – cognitive, affective and behavioural – and as we know, these components do not necessarily coincide.

(IV) Ego-defensive: The ego-defensive function refers to holding attitudes that protect our self-esteem or that justify actions that make us feel guilty.  For example, one way children might defend themselves against the feelings of humiliation they have experienced in P.E. lessons is to adopt a strongly negative attitude to all sport.  People whose pride has suffered following a defeat in sport might similarly adopt a defensive attitude: “I’m not bothered, I’m sick of rugby anyway…” This function has psychiatric overtones.  Positive attitudes towards ourselves, for example, have a protective function (i.e. an ego-defensive role) in helping us preserve our self-image.

The basic idea behind the functional approach is that attitudes help a person to mediate between their own inner needs (expression, defence) and the outside world (adaptive and knowledge).



Sub Topic: Attitude: Social influence and persuasion

Persuasion is one form of social influence.

Social Influence

Social influence refers to the ways people influence the attitudes, values, beliefs, feelings, and behaviour of others. Each day we are bombarded by countless attempts by others to influence us.

Consider our daily exposure to radio and television adds, newspaper ads, direct requests, influence attempts by salespersons, politicians, and so forth.

Forms of Social Influence – conformity, compliance, and obedience. The key difference between them is as below.

  1. Conformity – Behavior change in response to real or imagined social pressure.
  2. Compliance –  Behavior change in response to an explicit request to perform some action.
  3. Obedience – Behavior change in response to an Extreme pressure demand to perform some action.

Social influence varies according to how much pressure is involved. Imitation involves no pressure, conformity involves peer pressure, compliance involves an explicit request to perform some behaviour, and obedience is a response to a direct order to perform some action.

In other words, Imitation is the behaviour change in the absence of social pressure. The pressure for a behavioural change increases from Conformity → Obedience. Obedience the most direct form of social influence, Conformity is the most indirect form of social influence; compliance is in-between the two.

Social Persuasion

Persuasion refers to an active attempt to change another person’s attitudes, beliefs, or feelings, usually via some form of communication. Typically, persuasion is treated as a form distinct from that of the other three forms of social influence. As you can rightly guess, it is more related to conformity and compliance.

Persuasion is an active form of influence and is internal in its focus. Change in people’s beliefs or feelings is the goal of such influence.

Systematic persuasion is the process through which attitudes or beliefs are leveraged by appeals to logic and reason. Heuristic persuasion, on the other hand, is the process through which attitudes or beliefs are leveraged by appeals to habit or emotion.

Probity in Governance: Probity literally means a complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles. Probity in Governance is defined as adherence to ethical and moral values like honesty, Integrity, rectitude, uprightness etc. It is the presence of procedural integrity with high standards of ethical behaviour. It is vital for executing the governance system and socio-economic development.

Probity in Governance seeks to fulfil the following purposes:

  • It preserves public confidence in Government processes
  • It maintains integrity in public services
  • It ensures accountability in governance
  • It ensures compliance with processes
  • It seeks to avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption

Measures for ensuring probity in government:

  1. Moral education:Moral education is a must to ensure probity in governance. To make an individual high on integrity, it is necessary to provide him with ethical training that will inspire him to improve governance. The moral education will surely ensure that this takes place. For example, training on the importance of avoiding bribes.
  2. Accountability:Accountability reduces chances of malpractices in governance. When an individual is expected to give answers to higher authorities, he/she avoids performing acts that will reduce his/her position. This will translate into good governance. For example, Social audits ensures accountability and thus lead to probity.
  3. Information Sharing and Transparency in Governance: Sharing information and transparency are indispensable pillars of good governance that compel the state and civil society to focus on results, seek clear objectives, develop effective strategies, and monitor and report on performance.
  4. Access to information: Many laws were enumerated to bring probity in governance for sharing information to the public by putting information in the public domain and which includes the following:
  • Right to information Act.
  • Ombudsman Office in the local/state level.
  • Accountability bill for disclosure of Income and Assets.
  • Records Management laws.
  1. Grievance redressal: Easy access of government officials to the public is important for grievance redressal. It can be ensured through:
  • Availability of Contact numbers of senior servants to Public
  • Details in Departmental websites
  • Facilitation counters for citizens
  • Assessment and Monitoring
  1. Code of conduct: Probity is maintained by formulating and employing model code of conduct for ministers, bureaucracy, judiciary, and civil society groups.
  2. Institutional reforms:Introducing public delivery of service agreements by executive agencies for ensuring accountability, objectivity and transparency. Allowing stakeholders like citizen committees to participate in various decision making processes and encouraging and facilitating public participation through the following:
  • Public Hearings.
  • Citizen Advisory Boards.
  • Government Contract Committees.
  • Public Watchdog Groups.
  • Independent Anti-Corruption Agencies.
  • Capacity building of citizens and civil society groups.

Probity is a crucial feature of governance which endows government to act ethically and perform its duty as per the norms only. It is significant for the government to follow the rules and regulations as well as adopt policies of impartiality, to gain confidence from the public. When government becomes its system streamline as well as transparent, then the public and government employees concerned to it follow the same criterion. Hence, no corruption, fraud, and irresponsibility will happen.


  1. Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public servants towards their work have been identified as the bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude.

(a) Distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and demerits,

(b) Is it possible to balance the two to create a better administration for the faster development of our country? UPSC 2015



Syllabus: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems

Term in Syllabus

Definition with Example



Public Administration

It is the government in action, the part of the government affects public life from cradle to grave.


It translates all plans and programmes of the government into implementable actions.


Example: Post of SDM is a part of administration.



Syllabus: Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions


# Ethical Principles that should be followed in Public Office

  1. Legality and Rationality: A public official should fund within the limits of law and decision should be based on rationality rather than personal beliefs.
  2. Responsibility and Accountability: An administrator should be committed to his duties.
  3. Utilitarianism:While making policies and decisions, an administrator should ensure greatest good (happiness, benefits) of the greatest number.
  4. Responsiveness: Respond effectively to demands & challenges from outside as well as, from within organisation.
  5. Compassion to weaker & vulnerable sections (to have empathy)
  6. National Interest
  7. Maintain Transparency
  8. Ensure Integrity


# Potential sources of ethical dilemmas in Private institutions

  1. Company rules over personal morals: For ex: An honest person facing dilemma over carrying out a dishonest company pitching knowing that it is not as beneficial as exhibited. Imagine the situation where an honest doctor is forced by the higher management of the hospital to refer most of the patients for costly health checkups.
  2. Personal job security over wrong dismissal of colleague: For ex: When an employee knows his/her colleague has not done the mistake he/she has been blamed for by the upper level management, but does not speak up because of fear of losing job. Another scenario is where the person knows the upper level employee is guilty but he/she does not complain because of fear of being fired.
  3. Personal job security over wrong dismissal of colleague: For ex: When an employee knows his/her colleague has not done the mistake he/she has been blamed for by the upper level management, but does not speak up because of fear of losing job. Another scenario is where the person knows the upper level employee is guilty but he/she does not complain because of fear of being fired.
  4. Professional duty and personal life: When you have to honour confidentiality of patients, clients etc. but know a controversy or crisis is going to be caused.
  5. Societal dilemmas: For ex: When you know someone is being unfairly treated but continue staying silent over the matter because of societal impression and acceptance.


Principles to be used in Solving Dilemmas


  1. Follow Rule of Law: Act should always be within the rules of law. Hence, if competing choices are such that one is within the ambit of law and other outside law, then one must go with law.
  2. Objective Analysis: To solve the dilemmas, one should always act objectively based on rational thinking & facts and figures.
  3. Society above Personal Interest: In solving these dilemmas, one should place society and nation above personal interests
  4. Follow Code of Conduct : Always follow Code of Conduct in such cases because main aim of giving exhaustive Code of Conduct are to resolve these situations in best way
  5. Use Gandhi’s Talisman
  6. Choose the higher value among competing values: In case dilemma involves competing values, choose the higher value. E.g. Openness is higher value from secrecy (unless Security and Integrity of nation is at stake)
  7. Use Conscience: But conscience is not always correct and often leads us in wrong ways.




Ethical Dilemma

Situations in which there is a choice to be made between two competitive options guided by different ethical dimensions. 




Morality in World Politics

Morality and fairness should certainly play a role in world influential or aware, encourages businesses to proactively engage with and respond to those that are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized. Businesses should give special attention to stakeholders in areas that are underdeveloped & should resolve differences with stakeholders in a just, fair and equitable manner.

Businesses should respect and promote human rights: The principle recognizes that human rights are the codification and agreement of what it means to treat others with dignity and respect. Over the deca des, these have evolved under the headings of civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights. The principle imbibes its spirit from the Constitution of India, which through its provisions of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy, enshrines the achievement of human rights for all its citizens. The principle is in consonance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the formation of which, India played an active role. It takes into account the “Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights”, as referred in the United Nations “Protect. Respect, Remedy” Framework.


Topic of the Syllabus: accountability and ethical governance


Definition with Example







It is the state of being answerable. The accountable authority is obliged to report, explain and justify the problem.


Example: A than in charge is accountable for rising theft cases in the area. 


The management of the company is accountable for missing the estimated revenue target.


CAG is accountable to the parliament for audit works.







Cannot be shared with others.

Can be shared.

Fixed after completion of a project/ work.


Example: The Coal Secretary was held accountable for the revenue loss due to inefficient auction process. 

Usually fixed before start of a task.

Example: The responsibility to carry out free and fair election lies with the Election Commission of India.

Authority is expected to give justification for the mistakes.

Empowers an authority/ agency to deliver services.



Definition with example



Good governance

It is value based governance which makes public administration open, transparent, accountable, participative, effective and rule based.


Do you think that Right to Information act, 2005 is a step forward in good governance in India?


Definition with example

Ethical Governance

The practice of governance keeping the values above the regulations.


It requires that public officials adhere to high moral standards while serving others.



Features of Ethical Governance:

  1. In ethical governance, the public servant is considered to be active agent to recognise the emotions and needs of people, apart from compliance of regulatory frameworks.
  2. In ethical governance the public officials have to keep social good above the individual good.
  3. It is necessary for public authorities to not only satisfy the obligations laid down by law, but, in addition, their conduct must be inspired and be guided by principles of ethics and good conduct which have not yet been expressly stated in the regulations.

Example of Ethical Government: Suppose you are the Collector of a district and an old man comes to you asking the Old age pension benefits. He does not have the age certificate and other required documents.

You have two choices with you

Act as per good governance

Act as per ethical governance

Ask the old men to bring the required document first.

Ask the fellow officials to arrange the age certificate and other required documents proactively, regularize the pension once required documents are ready.

You have acted within the ambit of Law.

Acted within the ambit of Law.


So, can ethical governance cross the boundary of guidelines or laws?

No, ethical governance is actually a part of Good Governance and the authority has to function within the domain of the laws.

Syllabus: strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance


Topic if the Syllabus: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service,



Definition with Example





An aptitude is the competence to do a certain kind of work at a certain level.


Example: Virat Kohli has the aptitude to play cricket.


Outstanding aptitude can be considered “talent.” An aptitude may be physical or mental.



Attitude Vs. Aptitude Debate



It is your positive/negative feelings towards a person, object, event, idea, environment etc.

It is the competence to do a certain kind of work.

Examples of Attitudes

·         Confidence

·         Integrity

·         tolerant


Examples of aptitude

·         Quantitative aptitude

·         Verbal aptitude

·         Convincing Aptitude

Only mental

Both physical and mental








Syllabus: Foundational values for Civil Service

Nolan committee (UK): The Seven Principles underpinning Public Life

  • Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest.


  • Integrity: Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work.


They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

  • Objectivity: Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  • Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  • Openness: Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  • Honesty: Holders of public office should be truthful.
  • Leadership: Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code word to remember is LOHA SIO (for Nolan Committee).

  1. What are the basic principles of public life? Illustrate any three of these with suitable examples. UPSC 2019

Ans: A public official has to keep the interest of public in mind while discharging her duty.

Basic Principles of Public Life: According to Nolan committee of UK, a public official must possess following quality.

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

Integrity: The quality of being trustworthy, a public official should be a man of high integrity. He should enjoy the trust of the public being served. He must not use the power of chair for his personal gains. Example: Durga Shakti Nagpal, IAS did not accept the favour of Sand Mafia and stopped illegal mining.

Accountability: The quality of holding oneself accountable for public action. Example: Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from the post of Rail minister taking the accountability of Rail Accident.

Leadership: The quality of leading with example and acting as the torch bearer for the junior officials.

A public official should lead the administration or governance with his examples.

Example: E. Shreedharan led the DMRC and acted as the icon for the employee of DMRC.

  1. How do the virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude get manifested in public service? Explain with examples. UPSC 2015

Ans: Trustworthiness: The quality of public official to win the confidence of the public at large.

Fortitude: The ability to show the patience in difficult situation.

Ways to manifest the trustworthiness and fortitude in public services:

  1. Recruit the public official with high integrity through efficient recruitment procedure.
  2. Reward the officials with clean service record and punish one with dishonest past records.
  3. Provide regular training to the officials to augment the ethical and moral standards during service delivery.
  4. Revise the service manual to make the service delivery more inclined towards ethical governance.
  5. Officials must maintain proper transparency in work.
  6. Official should directly meet the common citizens, people will remain aware of government and this will strengthen the trust of people in government.

Example: Surprise checks of DM, Haridwar in the open public has boosted the trustworthiness of citizens in the administration.



Honesty Vs. Integrity debate



Truthful to the actions, thoughts and behavior.


An honest employee will acknowledge his mistakes done in the organisation.

To do the duties in sync with the conscience.


A man of integrity will never undermine the value of chair for his personal gains.





How to inculcate integrity?

  • Through Training.
  • Reward the good and punish the bad (carrots and sticks approach.
  • 2nd ARC recommends setting up code of ethics for all departments of the government.  It’ll have broad principle- that all participants have to follow and its reports will be given and evaluated by the HoD.
  • Integrity testing: select random sample (officer) and try to bribe him. This is not same as CBI/ACB raid, they want to flush out corrupt people. But integrity testing is done to establish honesty.   CBI raid is done once in a while, but integrity testing done more frequently. (as in New York police department. Hence deterrent value high because all officers afraid they’ll be subjected to it.)
  • If young recruit’s first posting is made under honest officer, then he’s more like to remain honest for the rest of his life because of mentoring by a good role model.

But, what price officers pay in India for holding high integrity?

Remember Satendra Dube.




The quality or character of being objective: lack of favoritism toward one side or another (freedom from bias)









Definition with example







Dedication to public service

As a Police Officer in the subdivision, your prime objective is to ensure the safety and security of citizens residing in the area, and you must remain dedicated to ensure it.


Example: Imagine yourself as the in charge of a Polling Station, you must remain dedicated for free and fair election at your booth.











Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.


Empathy helps us understand others’ emotion, therefore empathy required to increase your emotional intelligence.











Empathy Vs. Objectivity



Targeted towards individual

Targeted towards masses.


Syrian refugees have been flooding Turkey and EU since many months, but only after  a child (Aylan Kurdi) is drowned and images appear in main-stream media, all EU nations have became attentive. Because empathy of people towards an “individual child.”



Her objective was to safeguard the public property.

Lack of empathy leads to

lack of compassion towards animals, environment, poor, minorities, women and children.




Definition with Example


Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves.






Sympathy towards the beliefs or practices conflicting with one’s own.




Impartiality is treating everyone equal.

Non-partisanship is not being biased towards any particular ideology or political group.

Essential foundational values for civil services.

Essential foundational values for civil services.

It ensures equality without any bias and prejudices in the general.


Example: Role of Election Commission as the agency to prepare the electoral roll.

Ensures a neutral approach in politics and a solid commitment to the government.


Example: Role of Election Commission during the election procedure.


Syllabus: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

Aristotle: He was a Greek philosopher; he was taught by Plato. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, together with Socrates and Plato, laid much of the groundwork for western philosophy.

Aristotle founded his own school, the Lyceum, in Athens, where he spent most of the rest of his life studying, teaching and writing.

Aristotle enrolled in Plato’s Academy, Greek’s premier learning institution, and proved an exemplary scholar.


Aristotle maintained a relationship with Greek philosopher Plato, himself a student of Socrates.

The golden mean: Aristotle also defined what he called the “golden mean.” Living a moral life, Aristotle believed, was the ultimate goal.


  1. Given are two quotations of moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these, bring out what it means to you in the present context.

(a) “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

(b) “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”