Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This section largely focuses on the latest syllabus of ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE paper of UPSC Civil Services Examination. Since the UPSC syllabus on Ethics is quite comprehensive, the articles published here will benefit general readers as well.

At the outset, please be confident that Ethics is a wholly exciting and interesting area of study and one that all of us should be learning to become a better human being. Ethics is concerned with our actions, and being aware of what we do and why we do certain actions can make a whole lot of difference in how we do things. Ethics lets us discover ourselves in some positive way. Don’t you want to venture in a journey of self-awareness/self-discovery?

You don’t find it exciting? Well, you need to score good marks in the CSE Mains examination and you need to study Ethics to do that. It will help you in the interview level as well. I suppose you are ready now!!

Fun aside, if you regularly follow the articles as updated here, you will definitely get a good hold onto the Ethics paper which would reasonably equip you to score big in the mains examination.

Required case studies for each topic will be posted if you guys want it. (Let me know in the comments below).

You can download the Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude syllabus in pdf: ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE SYLLABUS

If you have a query or anything to suggest, feel free to share it in the comments below.

Last updated: 10 March, 2018.


This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.

1. Ethics and Human Interface


  • An Introduction to Ethics
  • Essence, Determinants, and Consequences of Ethics in Human Actions
  • Dimensions of Ethics
  • Ethics in private and public relationships
  • Ethics in private relationships
  • Ethics in public relations

Case Studies

Human Values (read along with section 5)

  • An Introduction to Human Values
  • Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators
  • Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values

Case Studies

2. Attitude

  • An Introduction to Attitude
  • Content, Structure and Function of attitude
  • The influence of attitude and its relation with thought and behavior
  • Moral and political attitudes
  • Social influence and persuasion in a person’s attitude

Case Studies

3. Aptitude and Foundational values for civil services

  • Integrity, Impartiality and non-partisanship, Objectivity, Dedication to public service, Empathy, Tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

Case Studies

4. Emotional intelligence (EI)

  • An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
  • Concepts of EI
  • Utilities and application of EI in administration and governance

Case Studies

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

  • Ethics in the Western Philosophy
  • Ethics in the Indian Philosophy
  • Ethics in Contemporary Philosophy

Case Studies

6. 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

Case Studies

7. Probity in governance

  • Concept of public service
  • Philosophical basis of governance and probity
  • Information sharing and transparency in government
  • Right to Information
  • Code of Ethics
  • Code of Conduct
  • Citizens’s Charters
  • Work culture
  • Quality of service delivery
  • Utilization of public funds
  • Challenges of corruption

Case Studies

Download Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude syllabus in pdf: ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE SYLLABUS


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