UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Check out the detailed syllabus of UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-IV. The General Studies Paper-IV consists of Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude.

From 8 January, 2021, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will conduct the UPSC CSE Mains examination 2020. The Mains syllabus is vast and comprises of four General Studies (GS) papers, two Optional papers and one Essay paper. All the papers of Mains are descriptive in nature.

As discussed above that GS paper 4 is based on Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude and therefore tests the candidate’s aptitude and the problem-solving approach related to various issues including integrity, conflicts faced by him in dealing with society, etc. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

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Detailed Syllabus of UPSC CSE Mains Examination 2020 of GS Paper-IV is provided below:

The following broad areas will be covered:

1. Ethics and Human Interface

2. Human Values

3. Attitude

4. Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service

5. Emotional intelligence

6. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

7. Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

8. Probity in Governance

9. Codes of Ethics and Citizen’s Charter

10. Case Studies on the above issues

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-IV Detailed Syllabus

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 and educational institutions in inculcating values.


Content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour;

Moral and political attitudes

Social influence and persuasion.

Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service

Integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship,

Objectivity, dedication to public service,

Empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

Emotional intelligence

Concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

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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 the above issues.

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-IV Detailed Syllabus (Structure)

– General Studies Paper IV is the most unpredictable paper out of the four General Studies Papers and types of questions asked also vary from year to year.

– GS Paper-IV consists of 12 Questions, divided into two sections. In 2018, fourteen questions were asked in Ethics paper. Now the complexity has been increased with new changes and the number of questions has been reduced.

– GS Paper-IV is of 250 Marks. Questions asked are of 10 and 20 marks. For 10 mark question, the word limit is 150 and for 20 mark questions word limit is 250 words.

– Also, in UPSC Mains examination in GS Paper-IV, questions asked are of two types namely

– Direct concept related questions which are based on the understanding of the candidates related to ethical issues and concepts, aptitude, integrity, etc. It is of 125 marks.

– Other is Case studies which consist of the questions based on the application of the concepts to situations, etc. and is of 125 marks.

Check below:

UPSC CSE Mains 2020: GS Paper-I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society) Detailed Syllabus

UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-II (Governance, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)



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