Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
output themes

Aptitude without attitude is blind; and attitude without aptitude is lame. — Richard Marcel I.


  • It is one's ability to learn/acquire new skills. Ex. Start swimming after getting training
  • Aptitude is inborn and varies to different degrees in different individuals. Ex. Virat Kohli has an inborn skill to excel in Cricket.

Aptitude Categorization

  Physical Aptitude

  Mental Aptitude

  • Physical abilities required to effectively finish particular tasks. 
  • Ex. The military demands physical attributes, such as physical stamina.
  • Mental qualities are needed to complete some tasks efficiently. 
  • Ex. A civil servant must possess cerebral aptitude as well as magnanimity, reason, compassion, and other virtues.

Aptitude, Proficiency & Achievement

Aptitude, Proficiency & Achievement

Aptitude & Skill

Aptitude & Skill 1
Aptitude & Skill 2
Aptitude & Skill 3

Aptitude for civil services and its role

  • Innovation: IAS Rajat Bansal (Chhattisgarh) started “THINK- B” startup incubator for helping individuals/ companies to acquire talent to scale up businesses.
  • Leadership Skill:Harichandra DM Narayanpet(Telangana) started “Toilet on Wheel” to achieve ODF status.
  • Adaptability:Civil servants need to change as per modern technology. Ex. SVAMITVAScheme aims to use Drone Surveying
  • Professionalism: Ex. Debo Na Lebo Na, DM Cacher drops boxes outside all government officials to stop corruption.
  • Persuasive Skill:Kisan Naik use to visit the remotest part and persuade parents to get their children educated.
  • Inclusivity:Pawan Kadyan (DM Cooch Bihar) via waste management lucrative called Nirmal Cooch Bihar focuses on Women’s Mensural Health by providing sanitary napkins.
  • Communication Skills: Project Nidaanfor better implementation of Central schemes
  • Stewardship: Mission Nirmal CoochBihar to segregate Municipal Solid waste and convert them into VermiCompost from Biodegradable waste
Aptitude for civil services and its role

Foundational Values for Civil Services

Values & Foundational Values

  • Values are long-lasting beliefs that serve as the foundation for an individual to make a judgement. These preferences illustrate what is significant in a person's life. Human values are influenced by family, educational institutions, peers, role models etc.
  • Ex. Traditional values of Indians are – “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”, Universal brotherhood, Atithi Devo Bhava, Toleranceetc.
  • Foundational values are those that are fundamental in nature, define a civil servant's core identity, and are necessary to accomplish the objectives, such as compassion, integrity, etc.
  • Ex. As per 2nd ARC, foundational values for civil servants are Integrity, Objectivity, Impartiality, Dedication, Compassion, Neutrality, courage etc.

Need for Foundational Values

  • Public Interest:Civil servants should be guided solely by public interest in their official decision making. 
  • Ex. Smita Sabharwal alsoknown as people’s officers constructed many public utilities through the program of ‘Fund your city’
  • Effective Administration:The voids left by the legislation are filled by the administration and actions of bureaucrats, which improve administration.
  • Ex.Santha Sheela Nair is known as an administrator par excellence. She is credited with saving Chennai city from a water crisis.
  • Uphold Constitutional values:Civil servants are granted extensive and arbitrary powers, and in the absence of guiding principles, there is a risk that corruption and the misuse of authority would undermine the goals of the Constitution.
  • Ex.Values like Non-partisanship, Neutrality helps the Election commissioner to take action against candidates flaunting moral code
  • Ex. Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar visited areas of post-violence to entrust confidence among citizens
  • Shifting priorities:Work domain is being shifted due to a change in the priorities of work. Foundational values act as a guide to select the most appropriate work suited for the situation.
  • Ex. Values like innovation to facilitate DBT instead of subsidised products (Sugar, kerosene) 
  • Technological evolutions: Frequent use of Artificial intelligence has been changing technology of objects frequently. Values like adaptability, learning, innovative approach can help civil servants to adjust as per need.
  • Ex. Use of AI in criminal tracking, Intelligent Transport system of Mysore

Inculcation of Foundational Values among Civil Servants

  • Ethical Training: Training on societal values, Personal and professional valueswill help in the inculcation of foundational values.It helps to develop values of tolerance, humanitarianism etc.
  • Ex. Yoga training, Workshops on administrative and management skills in Ramayana and Mahabharata
  • Field Posting: Working in the field among people encourages bureaucrats to experience the feelings in first-hand. 
  • Ex. Visit of Senior officials on their first posting and observing the changes made thus far will inculcate emotions and dedication in bureaucrats.
  • Rules book:Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and the All-India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 mentions values like integrity and devotion to duty. 
  • Ex.Deviation of conducts from the Rule books may lead to departmental enquiry and hence civil servants motivate to adhere to foundational values.
  • Role Modelling: The work of Successful civil servants may be used as a case study for the newly recruited civil servants. It will help them to imbibe good practices. 
  • Ex. Waste management and city transport of Indore started by Municipal Commissioner Manish Singh can be emulated by others

Evolution of Foundational Values among Civil Servants

  • Rules and Conduct manuals: The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules of 1964 and the All-India Services (Conduct) Rules of 1968 both make reference to virtues like loyalty to one's duty and integrity.
  • Legislative measures:The 2007 Draft Public Service Bill outlined principles such as 
      • Adherence to the Constitution's ideals, good governance as the main objective, 
      • Apolitical operation, objectivity, impartiality, accountability, and transparency in decision-making
      • Merit-based hiring of civil servants, avoiding wasteful spending, etc.
  • Committee recommendations:The Second Administrative Reforms Commission's 10th Report recommended values like the highest standards of integrity and conduct, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy and compassion towards the weaker sections, in addition to upholding the spirit of the Constitution.
  • Adoption of Best practices: Foundational values of civil servants also evolves with the best practices usedacross the world. Ex.
  • Foundational values mentioned in Nolan Committee 
  • Basawan Committee report on Civil service reforms
  • Best practices adopted by NITI Aayog

Foundational Values
Foundational Values

Antipathy, Apathy, Sympathy, Empathy & Compassion






Attempt to cause suffering and discomfort to target group

Negative emotions towards the target group, but not hate them

If a poor person comes to an administrative officer without adequate documents for PMAY, the authority just scold him instead of helping


Behaviour of indifference, disinterest with regards to the needs of others.

Absence of Attachment

The authority remains indifference to the person and does not show any will to look at the issues


It refers to acknowledging another person’s pain and providing comfort and assurance

Focus on Awareness,just feel Sorry and Pity

Ex. Ifa poor person comes to an administrative officer without adequate documents for PMAY, if the authority just shows his concern, it is sympathy


It is the ability to place oneself in another‘s position and understand feelings and experience and emotion.

Focus on Experience i.e. Putting one’s leg in other shoes

Ex. If authority consoles the person and tells him that he shares his agony and suffering, then it is empathy.


It refers to one step further, where a person not only feels empathetic but also desires to alleviate the suffering of the other person.

This is Action based i.e. Empathy + Action = Compassion

Ex. If authority not only shows his solidarity but also uses his discretionary powers to allocate him PMAY fund, it is compassion.

Quotes based on Compassion and Empathy

  • Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita - A devotee should feel universal empathy. He will be a perfect yogi, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress.
  • Compassion is at the root of tree called Dharma –HolyBhagavad Gita
  • The Eightfold path of Lord Buddha tells us to reach out to the weakest and the poorest in our societies. It is a path to a more sustainable planet.
Quotes based on Compassion and Empathy


  • Integrity is the practice of being truthful and demonstrating a consistent and unwavering dedication to ethical and moral excellence. 
  • A person with integrity will always be in harmony in their words, acts, and thoughts. This builds a person's strong character.
    • Ex. Swami Vivekananda
  • It indicates adherence to moral and ethical principles, as well as a code of ethics and conduct. It is the trait of being trustworthy and possessing high moral standards.

Examples -

  • The Great Mahabharata Warrior Karna didn’t compromise with his integrity, with his principles and sided with Duryodhana despite knowing the fact that the Pandavas were his own brothers, his own flesh and blood.
  • Second Covid wave hit street vendors hard but less than 1 in 5 defaulted on relief loans (Only 17.5%).
  • If a doctor does not have any integrity, he or she might be strongly influenced by drug companies that might recommend for getting tests or procedures which one doesn't need’.

Significance of Integrity for Civil Servants

  • Discretionary Power: Civil servants have huge discretion in decision-making
  • Ex. A district Magistrate has the authority of financial approval as well as an administrative authority
  • Ensure ethical standards: Civil servants follow of code of conduct and code of ethics in their actions. 
  • Ex. Doctors adhere to Medical ethics while prescribing medicines or doing the operation
  • Sense of justice: A person of integrity does his/her duties with a conscience. 
  • E.g. Policeman ordered to fire on unarmed peaceful protestors. Honest policemen will obey the order. A policeman of integrity will refuse to fire.
  • Public trust: Civil servants are the mirror of society, any corruption associated with them not only tarnishes the image but also breaches the public trust. 
  • Ex.The recent arrest of IAS Chaavi Ranjan by ED defames the image of bureaucrats.
  • Importance of good governance: Good governance can only be possible where integrity is upheld in letter and spirit. 
  • Ex. Countries which are low on the Corruption perception index also perform poorly in good governance.

Method to Inculcate Integrity

  • Training: Ethical training can help to uphold integrity while taking decisions.
  • Ex. Workshops based on ethical practices in the administration of our epics (The Ramayana, Mahabharata), Kautilya, Yoga etc.
  • Institutional guidelines: Laws, rules and regulations can help to inculcate integrity.
  • Ex. 2nd ARC recommends setting up a code of ethics for all departments of the government. Similarly, the speaker could monitor the disruption of the house and publish a report on this.
  • Random trials:Random officers can be tried to bribe to check their integrity.
  • Sharing experiences of senior officers: Officers who have upheld integrity in their careers can be chosen to provide training and guide new officers.
  • Ex. E. Shreedharan, Rajni Sekhri Sibal, D Subba Rao etc.
  • Technological intervention: Using of Camera, GPS, monitoring money transactions, digital transactions, self-declaration etc. can help to promote Integrity.
  • Practicing Emotional Intelligence: EI helps to take decisions and practice of EI can help to take action based on mandate and under the rules and laws.
      Method to Inculcate Integrity

Integrity in the words of Scriptures/ Institution/ Personality

  • 2nd RC - Integrity means that civil servants should be guided solely by the public interest in their official decision-making instead of financial or other consideration. 
  • “Sheelam Pradhanam Purushe” meaning character, or integrity, is the most important thing in man. - The Mahabharata
  • Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not. - Oprah Winfrey 
  • “Courage combined with integrity is the foundation of character.” - Brian Tracy
  • There is no integrity without courage and there is no leadership without integrity.
  • Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, but knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.

Types of Integrity
Types of Integrity


  • Honesty is defined as "truthfulness," or the absence of deception and fraud, as well as fair and straightforward behavior.

Difference between Honesty and Integrity



It refers to being truthful

Being honest consistently and sticking to the moral and ethical code

Honesty without Integrity is possible

Integrity without honesty is not possible

Telling what one thinks is true based on the available information and knowledge

Integrity is being honest not only for the sake of others but also for self-satisfaction

Ex.You are honest while driving; you stop at the red light. But you lack integrity when you exceed the speed limit when you are alone. 

Impartiality and Non- Partisanship


  • It asserts that judgments should be based on objective standards rather than biased or prejudicial.
  • According to the principle of impartiality, civil servants must make decisions only on the basis of merit when performing their official duties.
  • Ex. Judge cannot convict a person based on media trials
  • Non- Partisanship: It is non – disposition of civil servants towards any political party/entity, i.e. exhibit political neutrality regardless of his/her own political thoughts.
    • Ex. Non alignment Movement, India’s positions on Ukraine war


Non- Partisanship

Decisions based on merit only

Not to side with any group/parties


  • Kasturirangan report which restricted economic activities in Western Ghats because of damage of Ecology

Advice should be without any fear of backlash.

  • Ex. In the Mahabharata, Vidur used to maintain Non-partisanship while giving advice to Drishtrastra.

It is a type of behaviour in a particular situation

It is a kind of Attitude

Stakeholders for Civil servants are People as well as political executive

It deals mostly with Political executives

Significance of Impartiality 

  • To control disruptions: During riots/arsons impartial decisions of the Civil servants can control in a short span of time.
  • Ex. Recent migrant issues in Tamil Nadu were controlled through impartial views
  • Team spirit: Impartial value is crucial to build a competitive team
  • Ex. Selection of team for International matches
  • Appraisal of Subordinates: Seniors should uphold an impartial view while apprising annual performance reports of subordinates.
  • Ex. Career progression, Recruitment
  • Assist marginalised society: Thinking about the underprivileged as much as the wealthy helps to promote equality, liberty, and fraternity.
  • Ex. Same priority for the rich and the poor in the University.

How to ensure non-partisanship 

  • Professional relations: Maintaining contact only at a professional level with industrialists, builders, NGOs, politicians etc.
  • Avoid gift culture: Regulate gifts and pprivileges from stakeholders. 
  • Transparency: Ensuring transparency via a website for the departments where all decisions and reasons for taking the decision will be uploaded on a real-time basis. 
  • Time-bound work: Ensuring accountability by assigning time-bound tasks to officers and monitoring the progress. 
  • Guidelines issued by the government: In accordance with the Central Civil Services Conduct Rules, 1964, and the All India Services Conduct Rules, 1968, civil servants are required to uphold non- partisanship. 

Neutrality and Objectivity


  • Neutrality refers to not being biased in providing facts, feedback, opinions etc. to the political executives.
  • Political neutrality deals with the relationship between the civil servants and the political executives.

Challenges of Neutrality

  • Lack of independent institutions: There is a lack of independent institutions for transferring, posting, and other service conditions. As a result, the civil servants align with one or the other political party to get their favourite postings and other perks. 
  • Secrecy: Secrecy in official functioning, as a result there develops nexus between the political executive and civil servants to fulfil their illegitimate gratifications. 
  • In-service and intra-service rivalry: In each government service, there are various factions based on language, religion, caste and region. To gain promotion and perks for their faction, they’d bend to the wills of politicians. 
  • Illegitimate Political agendas: Wrong notion of committed bureaucracy, where the civil servants try to fulfil the political agenda of a particular political party. 
  • Election and corruption: Ministers need a lot of money to finance election campaigns, so they prefer a convenient subordinate. Many don’t like an officer who gives free and frank advice.

Significance of Political Neutrality

  • Promotes cooperative Federalism: Ex. Roles of Governor
  • Upheld Constitutional values: Ex. Decisions of the Speaker in the House
  • Institution integrity: Ex. Chief Secretary giving advice to the Chief Minister
  • Public trust: Ex. Development works initiated by the Public Representative in areas where he/she does not have voters
  • Rule base order: Ex. SP of a city taking action based on rules instead of political vendetta


  • It deals with decisions based on established facts and figures instead of personal opinion or bias.  Objectivity promotes a scientific approach and rational thinking.
    • Ex. DGCA gives clearance to flights based on a checklist instead of years of operations.

Significance of Objectivity

Significance of Objectivity

  • Consensus building among stakeholders. Ex. Wearing of Mask during Covid - 19
  • Minimise interference of emotions in decision-making. Ex. Selection of candidate for election.
  • Corruption-free appointment: It facilitatesimpartiality and integrity among personnel.Ex.Merit-based recruitment 
  • Accelerate the process, as litigation is minimised as the decision is facts based. Ex. Distribution of government benefits, land acquisition for expressway

Method to Inculcate Objectivity

  • Training: It ensures that the individual is aware of procedures and updated with new changes.
  • Ex.Training for Tax officers after the implementation of GST
  • Transparency: It ensures that facts—not whims and fantasies—are used to make the decisions.Ex.Right to information act
  • Accountability: Within judicial/administrative procedure, there should be a mechanism for the appellate board to review the decisions of the authorities. 
  • Ex:Taxation, land acquisition etc. 
  • Critical thinking: It acts as a checklist and facilitates balanced decisions.
  • Ex. Lack of critical thinking led to gold hunting by ASI in Uttar Pradesh
  • Information management system:Decisions could not be taken in the lack of adequate information.
  • Ex.Transparent Taxation - Honouring the honest platform” to provide fearless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayer charter


  • Tolerance refers to a permissive attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, religion and nationality, etc., differ from one’s own. 
  • Tolerance accommodates people in society irrespective of their sexual orientation
  • Ex. Acceptance of LGBTQ community

For Examples

  • Rohingya Persecution in Myanmar &Atrocities, curtailment of rights for minorities
  • Communal tensions in Nigeria lead to economic repercussions
  • Public officials need to be secular in outlook. To do this, the value of tolerance is necessary. 
  • Ex: All India services call upon civil servants to serve culturally different people. A Punjabi civil servant may find it difficult to serve in South India if he does not have aptitude of tolerance
  • Tolerance also means being open to diverse views which is fundamental in our constitution.
  • Ex. The constitution through articles 25 -30 upholds the secular principle entailed in the preamble accommodating the diversity of different communities and religions.

Quotes/ Constitutional provisions

  • We may have different religions, different languages, and different coloured skin, but we all belong to one human race - Kofi Annan 
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the perfect present for the test of our civilisation - Mahatma Gandhi 

Other Important Values


  • Courage is the virtue that enables a person to restrain fear in the face of danger, difficulty, hardship, or uncertainty. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
  • Ex. Sam Manekshaw during 1971 War. 
  • People with courage may accept harsh repercussions for their deeds. 
  • Ex.Hindenburg disclosure on the corporate governance of MNCs across the world. Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden often pay a heavy price for disclosures. 
  • Without courage, it is difficult to exhibit traits like leadership which entails laying out roadmaps for the future amidst uncertainty. 
  • Ex.Afghan youth scolding Ex-army chief of Pakistan Paris
  • Non-violence of Gandhiji against the oppressive colonial regime 
  • It motivates people to make certain decisions and try things they have never done before. 
  • Ex.Investments made by Angel investors in new-era tech startups
  • Without courage, a number of personal, social, and professional achievements are impossible.
  • Ex. Raja Rammohan Roy would not have battled Sati if he lacked bravery.
  • Courage is more than just heroic acts of violence.  Life provides daily opportunities and instances of courageous acts like 
  • Director, of Primary Education Rajuni Sibal withstood pressure from the government and exposed the JBT recruitment scam
  • Raising voices against injustice, and supporting cleanliness in public places.


  • Prudence is the ability to govern one’s behaviour by the use of reason, insight, wisdom and knowledge.
  • Ex. Recent, RBI monetary policy decision to halt the increase in rate as inflation is coming down
  • Fact-check any information before taking action
  • It is often associated with wisdom, insight and knowledge. Prudence avoids extreme actions and focuses on a middle path as suggested by Buddhism.
  • Ex. During Covid -19, when people were losing their jobs and getting impacted by severe pay cuts, IAS Dr Adarsh used the time to generate for migrants returning to their homes. 

Relevance for Civil Servants

  • Prudence is the mother of all virtues.  It is essential for directing and controlling the other virtues.
  • Prudence is care, caution and good judgement as well as wisdom in looking ahead.Ex.
  • Strengthening of the embankment before the onset of Monsoon in Kosi areas by the Dm of the district
  • IAS Shalini Agarwal tackled the Varsha Kal Nidhi scheme to tackle the shortage of water by an ingenious solution of setting up rainwater harvesting.


  • It is described as voluntary self-control or restraint. This involves Restraining oneself –
  • From retaliation tofollowing forgiveness and nonviolence
  • Ex.Buddhism advocates always choosing the middle course
  • From arrogance to adhere modesty and humility
  • Ex. Dhoni’s response after winning the IPL titles five times
  • From extreme rage to desire for something and maintaining composure and self-control 
  • Ex. Response of Police during farmers’ Protest


  • It refers to retaining or keeping secret certain facts and matters from the public eyesight in the interest of the larger public interest. Ex.
    • Caste data of Socio - Economic Census has not been made public to avoid division of society on region, caste, religion base
    • Preparation of Annual budget

Difference between Privacy and Confidentiality





  • The principle of not being interrupted or invaded by the public is known as privacy. 
  • Every person has the right to privacy in his or her personal affairs

*It refers to a state when it is intended or expected from someone to keep the information secret.

Relates to

  • Privacy talks about a person.

It relates to information

  • Privacy restricts the public from accessing the personal details of a person


Breach of personal data of women from Zivame company
  • Data theft from CoWIN platform
  • Confidential report submitted by Safety commissioner on Balasore Rail accident 

Essential for

  • Medical Reports
  • Public bathrooms
  • Cloth changing rooms
  • Personal data stores in mobile/laptop
  • Chat messages
  • Cabinet decision
  • Doctor – Patient relationship
  • Bank details and Banks
  • Aadhar card data provided to the UIDAI