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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 JUNE 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

General Studies – 1

Topic: urbanization – their problems and their remedies

1) Evaluate whether air pollution is the biggest challenge to urbanization? Discuss measures to tackle the menace of air pollution in Indian cities?(250 words) 

Indian express


Why this question

Recently, we saw AQI of Delhi reach alarming levels. AQI levels of our cities are constantly off the roof, which is now creating various challenges for urban spaces. Clean Air is a basic necessity and has become one of the most elusive resource in our cities. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out why air pollution is a huge challenge for urbanization – bring out the economic impacts, societal impacts, health impacts etc. Examine the causes behind air pollution in cities and measures to address the same.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight some cases of air pollution in urban areas and point towards its severity.


  • Discuss impact that air pollution has in urbanization under various heads like economy, society etc
  • Provide your view on whether it is one of most difficult challenge for Indian cities – take help of WEF study and others to substantiate your point.
  • Analyze the causes behind air pollution and suggest measures to tackle the same

Conclusion – Highlight the importance of dealing with this issue and the way forward.


Background :-

  • The WHO global air pollution database report that ranked 14 Indian cities among the 15 of the world’s most polluted, in terms of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 concentration, received great attention in India

Air pollution is biggest challenge to urbanisation:-

  • Economical:-
    • Cities provide 60 per cent to 65 per cent of India’s GDP and 45 per cent to-50 per cent of our consumption.
  • Cities are often the primary avenue that allow people escape out of poverty, especially from traditional agriculture.
  • Now with high air pollution people in cities would also be affected with respiratory diseases .This can push people to move away from cities leading to threatening of industrial growth.
  • Air pollution often plagues industrialized cities, particularly during their early development. Episodes of high levels of sulfurous smogkilled or sickened thousands. Other cities primarily in the industrialized regions of the United States and Europe—also suffered from notoriously bad air quality. 
  • At the same time it will help peripheral and rural areas develop further so that people will stop migrating to major cities.

Air pollution in India :-

  • India’s urban pollution as measured by PM 2.5 level is already about 40 per cent above the global safe limits across major Indian cities. If we disaggregate urban pollution, we find 70 per cent to 80 per cent of it (as measured by PM 2.5) comes from vehicular emissions, domestic activity, construction activity, industry activity and road dust. 

How to tackle air pollution in India :-

  • Need to speed up the journey towards LPG and solar-powered stoves.
  • Addressing vehicular emissions is within India’s grasp but requires a multi-pronged approach. It needs to combine the already-proposed tighter emission norms (in form of BS VI), with a push for shared mobility and public transport and adoption of alternate mobility technologies. While shared mobility can moderate the demand for individual vehicle ownership and usage, technology solutions today can allow for a sharp reduction in emissions per vehicle. 
  • Incentives for adoption of alternate mobility technologies:-
    • India might need to consider pushing for battery localisation. Cell investments would need a long lead-time to materialise
  • Restrictions on elements that contribute negatively to strategic objectives (such as congestion charges on polluting technologies):-
    • London imposes congestion charges during working hours on weekdays to vehicles entering the city centre.
    • All these disincentives to traditional cars help in the push for electric vehicles.
  • Enabling infrastructure.:-
    • There is an early need to standardise charging infrastructure/equipment to ensure interoperability and make it widespread. 
  • Stubble burning issue in North India need to be looked into seriously.
  • Attention to non-technological aspects such as urban planning, to reduce driving, and to increase cycling, walking, and use of public transport are needed.

General Studies – 2

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments,
significant provisions and basic structure.

2) Preamble is the philosophical key to the Constitution. Examine(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question expects us to examine the reasons why preamble is considered to be the philosophical key to the constitution and the impact that it has on the interpretation of constitution.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that SC has held that preamble is the key to understanding the minds of the constitution makers.

Body – first of all, examine the opinion of SC  on the nature of preamble, wherein, earlier preamble was considered not to be a part of the constitution, but thereafter, SC realised that preamble is key to understanding the minds of the constitution makers. Mention that preamble in a succinct manner conveys the aims and objectives of Indian state by emphasizing on qualities like justice, equality etc

Bring out how SC has interpreted several provisions of the constitution in light of the preamble.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the importance of preamble and the importance of upholding the values mentioned therein.


  • No reading of any Constitution can be complete without reading Preamble from the beginning to the end .It is the Preamble wherefrom the Constitution commences. Hence, the significance of the Preamble.

How is preamble philosophical key of the constitution:-

  • It will be seen that the ideal embodied in the Objectives Resolution in 1947 is faithfully reflected in the preamble to the Constitution, which as amended in 1976 summarises the aims and objects of the Constitution.
  • The importance and utility of the preamble has been pointed out in several decisions of our Supreme Court. Though by itself, it is not enforceable in a court of law, the preamble to a written Constitution states the objects which the constitution seeks to establish and promote and also aids the legal interpretation of the constitution where the language is found to be ambiguous.
  • For a proper appreciation of the aims and aspirations embodied in Indian constitution, therefore India must turn to the various expressions contained in the preamble
  • A preamble helps in interpreting the provisions of the constitution.
    • It can be looked at when some article is ambiguous.
    • It also explains the object of the constitution. While summing up, it can be said that a preamble is introduction of an enactment.
    • Although it is not an integral part of the constitution, it explains introduction, reasons, intent and scope of the constitution.
    • The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives direction and purpose to the Constitution .It outlines the objective of the whole Constitution.
  • The Preamble contains the fundamentals of constitution. It serves several important purposes, as for example:-
    • It contains the enacting clause which brings the Constitution into force.
    • It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to be established in the country.
    • It declares the great rights and freedom which the people of India intended to secure to its entire citizen.
    • It throws light on the source of the Constitution, viz., the People of India.
    • The Preamble can also be used to shed light on and clarify obscurity in the language of a statutory or, constitutional provision. 
    • The preamble acts as the preface of the constitution of India and lays down the philosophical ideas.
    • It also states the objects which the constitution seeks to establish and promote.
  • Preamble as Projector of ‘Desired Established State’
    • The Preamble proclaims the solemn resolution of the people of India to constitute India into a ‘Sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’. 
  • Preamble as Interpreter of Legislation and statutes:
    • The Constitution of India starts with a preamble which contains the spirit of the constitution. Every legislation framed is in conformity with the spirit of the preamble and thus the constitutionality and objects of the statutes are tested.


  • Preamble of the Constitution of India is one of the best of its kind ever drafted. Both in ideas and expression it is a unique one. It embodies the spirit of the constitution to build up an independent nation which will ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3) Discuss the organizational structure, aims and mandate of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.(250 words)




Why this question

Recently India and Pakistan attended the SCO meet for the first time, after their formal accession last year. This event will have significant impact on the peace, development and prosperity of not only the sub-continent, but also the entire Eurasia. The issue is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Key demand of the question.

The question simply wants us to write at length about the organizational structure of the SCO, what are its aims and what is its mandate.

Directive word

Discuss- As an all-encompassing directive, the question directs us to write in detail about the key demand of the question- organizational structure and mandate of the organization.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention the year of formation and preferably enlist the members of the SCO.

Body-  Take the help of the articles attached to the question in order to frame your answer.

  • Discuss the organizational structure of SCO. Preferably, draw an illustrative diagram to make a better presentation.
  • Discuss the activities/ mandate of SCO.

Conclusion– Form a fair and a balanced opinion on the overall potential of SCO and briefly discuss the scope for India.

Shanghai cooperation organization:-

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan founded in Shanghai in 2001.
  • Originally formed as a confidence-building forum to demilitarize borders, the organization’s goals and agenda have since broadened to include increased military and counter terrorism cooperation and intelligence sharing.
  • The SCO has also intensified its focus on regional economic initiatives like the recently announced integration of the China-led Silk Road Economic Belt and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.


  • One of the organization’s primary objectives is promoting cooperation on security-related issues, namely to combat the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
  • The organization adopts decisions made by consensus, and all member states must uphold the core principle of non-aggression and non-interference in internal affairs.
  • The SCO’s objectives are centred around cooperation between member nations on security-related concerns, military cooperation, intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism. It is mainly aimed at military cooperation between the members and involves intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.


  • To implement the goals and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, the following bodies shall operate within the Organisation:
    • The Council of Heads of State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. This council meets at the SCO summits, which are held each year in one of the member states’ capital cities.
    • The Council of Heads of Government is the second-highest council in the organisation. This council also holds annual summits, at which time members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation. The council also approves the organisation’s budget.
    • The Council of Foreign Ministers also hold regular meetings, where they discuss the current international situation and the SCO’s interaction with other international organisations.
    • The Council of National Coordinators coordinates the multilateral cooperation of member states within the framework of the SCO’s charter.
    • The Secretariat of the SCO is the primary executive body of the organisation.
      • It serves to implement organisational decisions and decrees, drafts proposed documents , function as a document depository for the organisation, arranges specific activities within the SCO framework, and promotes and disseminates information about the SCO. 
      • The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evilsof terrorism, separatism and extremism.


·         Cooperation on security

o   The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism.

o   Organisation is also redefining cyberwarfare, saying that the dissemination of information harmful to the spiritual, moral and cultural spheres of other states should be considered a security threat.

·         Military activities

o   Over the past few years, the organisation’s activities have expanded to include increased military cooperation, intelligence sharing, and counterterrorism.

o   The SCO has served as a platform for larger military announcements by members. During the 2007 war games in Russia, both China and Russia used the occasion to announce that Russian strategic bombers would resume regular long-range patrols for the first time since the cold war.

·         Cultural cooperation also occurs in the SCO framework.


  • The geographical and strategic space which the SCO entails is of great importance for India. India’s security, strategic, geopolitical, and economic interests are deeply intertwined with developments in the region. 
  • The chronic presence and increasing challenges of terrorism, radicalism, and instability still pose a grave threat to the sovereignty and integrity not only of India, but also of countries in its broader neighborhood. India’s participation in the SCO will be helpful for fighting against these problems.
  • India’s getting a full membership in the SCO creates a win-win situation for the organization, for Central Asia, for China, and for Russia, as well as for India. 
  • Now, SCO has a huge potential to play a more substantive role in promoting peace, security, connectivity, economic development, trade, energy security, and investment within the region and beyond.

General Studies – 3

Topic – Indian Economy – Issues

4) Discuss the controversies associated with the proposal of imposition of a sugar cess? Suggest some long term measures to deal with the problems of sugar industry?(250 words)

Financial express


Why this question

The primary purpose of GST is to create one nation, one tax, one market. All forms of cesses, surcharges  etc were supposed to be subsumed under it. In this situation, talks of imposition of sugar cess raises several questions which needs to be examined.

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to bring out the various issues – constitutional, from perspective of separation of power, economic etc associated with imposition of sugar cess. Thereafter, it expects us to provide alternatives to resolving the crisis in the sugar sector.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the proposal of introducing sugar cess and mention what cesses are and its status under the GST regime.

Body – Discuss the various issues under heads like constitutional, economic etc. Analyze the case from both for and against perspective. Bring out issues like the basis of cess in GST regime, the authority of GSTN to impose cess etc. Post that, discuss the long term solutions to the crisis in sugar sector.

Conclusion – provide your view and way forward.



  • The domestic sugar industry with its 530 operational sugar mills that produce 25 million tonnes (MT) of sugar and in the process pays  Rs 65,000 crore as sugarcane price to 50 million Indian farmers every year, is not in the pink of health.
  • Recently a tax proposal was mooted by the GST Council (Council) proposed the imposition of a sugar cess within the GST regime in light of the present situation.

Controversies associated with imposition of sugar cess are :-

  • Constitutional:-
    • Cesses imposed by the Centre for ‘specific purposes’ are not shared with the state governments on account of Article 270.
  • By design, the sugar cess appears to be a cess with the characteristics of a tax (cess tax). The earmarked purpose is to compensate the farmers who are the beneficiaries, but the bearers of the burden will be the public.
  • In preparation for GST, a number of commodity / industry specific cesses such as sugar cess, tea cess, and jute cess were repealed. To re-introduce sugar cess is not just going against the grain of the GST law, but could lay a wrong precedence for other sectors to introduce such levies.
  • States have a vested interest in securing the interests of the local industry, which could lead to divisive and polarised voting in the Council
  • Legal:-
    • Powers of the GST Council to impose any special rates, in addition to the GST, are circumscribed in Article 297A(4)(f): only to the event of a natural calamity or disaster.
    • While the Council has power to advise on ‘any other matter’ within its own discretion, the residuary power cannot include the already contemplated power to levy additional rates.
  • Dilemma posed by federal structure:-
    • Owing to a carve out in Article 270, proceeds from the proposed sugar cess would not form part of the divisible pool. If union is to impose such a levy and control the funds it leads to increased dependence of the state governments on the Union Government for the disbursal of funds.
  • Sugar cess was collected between 1982 and 2017 and a separate fund called the sugar development fund was created for managing the funds. The accounts of the fund, as available in the public domain, reveal that, as of June 30, 2017, 3,000 crore are lying unutilised in the Consolidated Fund of India.

Problems of sugar industry:-

  • The surplus production of sugarcane has led to a downward spiral in the price of sugar. Mill owners are in need of financial assistance, causing them to default on dues to farmers.
  • The glut in production over the last few years have thrown farmers and mill owners into a financial crisis. Since mills have been unable to pay arrears to farmers, their debt in the 2017-18 season had crossed Rs 23,000 crore across the country, with UP accounting for almost a half.
  • Monoculture of sugarcanee. lack of crop rotation in some areas, leads to deletion of nutrients in soil and adversely affect cane productivity.
  • Post harvest deterioration in cane quality on account of staling and delayed crushing contributes to low sugar recovery.
  • An irregularity in availability of water is other major issue in cultivation of sugarcane crop.
    • As many states have sufficient irrigation facility with regular raining season (like South India) while others have poor irrigation facility with even raining season (like Uttar Pradesh).
  • Inadequate availability of quality seed of new sugarcane varieties and poor seed replacement rate adversely affect the realization of potential cane yield of varieties.
  • Further reduction in yield of sugarcane due to rise in temperature is significant.
  • The technology used by sugar mills is obsolete and old which make sugar mills economically unviable and due to this farmers benefit get affected. 
  • The small crushing season last only for 4 to 6 months especially in North India due to lesser availability of water or occurrence of frost, etc. 
  • The political ownership or their large share in cooperative sugar mills cause delays in payment to farmers. The corruption due to political ownership further cause higher price and poor productivity in sugar mills.

Long term solutions required are:-

  • The states have to launch their own initiatives to come up with agricultural models specific to the soil and weather conditions of the region.
  • The sugar industry could be made to shift from the current control and protection mode to a contract farming mode under the new Model Contract Farming (Promotion and Facilitation) law. 
  • Government can also state clearly that sugar exports will not be banned as part of agri-export policy, thereby giving a stable export regime.
  • If the Centre still needs funds, it may consider shifting ethanol to a lower rate structure from 18% within the GST as a long-term measure to mitigate pricing issues
  • The Rangarajan committee, constituted by the previous UPA government:-
    • Had even laid out a mechanism that could streamline farmers’ compensation to provide a minimum guaranteed price within a very short time and a market-linked bonus at a later stage. However, no state government has accepted it in its entirety.
    • suggested making actual payment for cane dues in two steps, where the first would include payment of a floor price (FRP) from mills to farmers and the balance payment would depend on the final sugar price that mills sell at.
  • Reduce the dependence of companies on sugar production. Depending on the demand situation, they should be in a position to convert sugarcane into ethanol. But to make it a sustainable and attractive alternative business proposition, there needs to be predictability in the country’s ethanol policies and pricing.
  • Instead of export subsidy the government should incentivise sugar consuming industries to increase the domestic consumption of sugar.


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

5) Critically analyze the need to promote the emerging slew of shared mobility options and app-based ride providers in India.(250 words) 

The hindu

Economic times


Why this question

Even though the governments, including the central and the state governments have tried to

increase and improve the public transport system, the efforts have not been successful in weaning people away from private transport and traffic woes continue. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to dig deep into the emerging shared mobility options and app-based ride providers and analyze the advantages offered by them and problems faced by them.

Directive word

Critically analyze- We have to scrutinize and look into the details of the issue. We have to identify the key aspects of the question, have a discussion on each one of them and form a personal opinion on the issue in the end.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the increase in number of motor vehicles in India from 5.4 million in 1981 to 210 million in 2015. Also mention the emerging shared mobility options and app-based ride providers and give some examples like Zoom car etc.


  • Discuss briefly the meaning of shared mobility.
  • Discuss its advantages vis a vis public transport system. E.g. it provides end-to-end mobility, more customized services, complements well with self-driving technology,  on-demand availability, the flexibility to choose vehicle type as per need and freedom from parking hassles. It also cuts down costs related to car ownership, such as maintenance, service and insurance etc.
  • Discuss the problems faced by such shared mobility services e.g they don’t fall within the ambit of stage carriages or contact carriages, regulatory issues related to pricing etc.

Conclusion- mention how —electrification, shared mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving— will drive the future of mobility and transportation and form a balanced, fair and a concise opinion on the issue.


  • India is the world’s fastest growing oil consumer .This consumption and dependence on oil is unsustainable. As India strives to break free of this reliance on oil, different mobility options, which are also green and sustainable, become more attractive.

Shared mobility:-

  • Ride-sharing, or shared mobility, is definedas an “innovative transportation strategy that enables users to gain short-term access to transportation modes on an as-needed basis.”
  • Shared mobility, which includes all forms of shared transportation such as public transport, car pools and radio taxis, is an increasingly attractive and cost-efficient mobility option worldwide.
  • India offers all the right ingredients to be one of the largest shared mobility markets in the world as it has large population clusters, a young demographic that is well connected to the internet and rising real incomes. 

Why India needs to promote emerging slew of shared mobility options and app based ride providers:-

  • Sustainable mobility is the need of the hour as India strives for self-sufficiency in oil and battles vehicular pollution on its streets. Shared mobility, gas-powered vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs) are all potential solutions in India’s quest for sustainable mobility.
  • Shared transport, such as app-based shared cabs, help the environment by reducing the number of vehicles adding to carbon emissions on the streets.
  • Ridesharing apps, can help avoid some of the pitfalls of today’s transportation system like
    • Public intercity transportation infrastructure (including trains and local buses) in India have been slow to ramp-up
    • Traffic congestion is an unfortunate and inevitable feature of life in large cities across the nation.
  • Shared Mobility Principles for Liveable Cities aim to work towards prioritising people over vehicle, support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land, engage with stakeholders, promote equity, lead the transition towards a zero-emission future and renewable energy. 
  • Shared mobility could remain a convenient and economical alternative to taxis and other public transport.
  • These new players have read the market well and offer the conveniences that commuters are looking for, from door-to-door services to on-demand availability.
  • They allow commuters to travel independently or share the ride with other passengers to save costs.
  • There are a variety of vehicle types to suit individual trips and passenger preferences, ranging from two-wheelers and three-wheelers to cars of different sizes and mini-buses.
  • Ridesharing will also be a critical part of our longer term transportation future: self-driving vehicles. Research has shown that self-driving technology could drastically improve mobility, while also improving road safety. 
  • Car-sharing provides a solution to individuals and households who normally would not have been able to afford either owning a car or using a taxi service as their primary mode of transport.



  • However, ride sharing or cab pooling was estimated to be less than 0.5 percent of Indian market primarily due to three factors.
  • Regulatory limitations affect the profitability of the business model such as the absence of a clear policy for ride sharing charges and tax implications for private vehicles operating as shared vehicles, and the lack of more incentives such as parking privileges and tax breaks.
    • App-based mini-buses do not find favour with regulators. They are neither stage carriages nor contract carriages under the Motor Vehicles Act which makes it difficult for them to secure permits. 
  • Many customers avoid cab sharing due to safety concerns about travelling with a stranger. This links with the third factor the Indian mindset, which is only gradually growing accustomed to ride-sharing as a mode of transport.
  • Trust, in particular, has been one of the most concerning issues for both riders and drivers.
  • Female drivers and riders have been on the receiving end of the abuse, bringing greater societal issues into the ride-sharing picture.

Way forward:-

  • To safeguard investments in public transport and to ensure that app-based services don’t compete with them on price, a floor price could be set for these services. This would mean that these services can charge more than a certain base price but not less.
  • The regulation must, therefore, consider embracing technology-based services for the larger benefit.
    • Regulators must consult CCI to ensure that policies on licensing, vehicle standards and pricing are not anti-competitive  .They must not act as a barrier to entry for drivers looking to join taxi aggregators.
  • The government, along with other stakeholders, must first agree on general principles to govern the ride-sharing industry before adopting any regulation
  • It is important for entrepreneurs to continue pushing the boundaries in creating new solutions to shape the future of transportation


General Studies – 4

TOPICAttitude: 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.

6) Discuss the difference between aptitude and attitude. What do you think is more important of the two, in relation to civil services. Comment.(250 words) 




Why this question

Both aptitude as well as attitude are important as far as civil services are concerned. However,there is a large difference between the two and people have diverging views on which is more important for civil services. The question is related to GS 4 syllabus under the following heading-

Attitude: 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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss in detail about the differences between attitude and aptitude. It then wants us to deliberate upon, which one is more important as far as civil services are concerned.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive. It directs us to write in detail about the difference between the two concepts.

Comment- We have to express our understanding of the issue and then finally present our opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Give a definition of attitude as well as aptitude.


  • Discuss the difference between the two. E.g Attitude is more related to behaviour than aptitude etc. (refer to the book, lexicon for ethics, integrity and aptitude and do a perusal of both the terms and frame your answer accordingly.
  • Discuss, which one is more important of the two, vis a vis civil services. You can hold your opinion based on your understanding and convictions. But you have to support your answer with sufficient and proper arguments/ examples.

E.g attitude is more important than attitude because aptitude can be increased/ improved much easily than aptitude, attitude guides our behaviour in difficult circumstances etc. Take the help of the articles attached with the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Based on the above discussion, form a fair and a balanced opinion on the issue.


An aptitude is a component of a competency to do a certain kind of work at a certain level, which can also be considered “talent”. Aptitudes may be physical or mental. Aptitude is not knowledge, understanding, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to achievement, which represents knowledge or ability that is gained.Where as attitude is the positive or the negative feeling towards a person, object, event, idea etc.

Differences between attitude and aptitude:-

  • Attitude is related to existing abilities and skills with certain perceptions while aptitude is the potential ability to acquire skills, abilities and knowledge.
  • While attitude is positive or negative or  indifferent feeling towards a person, object, event or idea; aptitude is a competency to do certain kind of work. Both attitude and aptitude can be nurtured.
  • While attitude is associated with character or virtues; aptitude is associated with competence.
  • While attitude underpins the character, virtues and moral values; aptitude determines if the person would develop desired skills to do a task.
  • While attitude is only mental; aptitude is both mental and physical.
  • Once aptitude is adopted it is difficult to change it which is not the case with attitude.


Civil servants need a certain aptitude which is the amalgamation of these three aptitudes :-intellectual, emotional and moral aptitude. A civil servant who has the aptitude of having good negotiation skill set, ability to take quick and quality decisions ,logical ability, reasoning  etc would be efficient .

However presence of aptitude alone may not suffice. Aptitude needs to be conditioned, and often reinforced by the right attitude (of compassion, honesty, public mindedness etc). A technically brilliant civil servant who lacks the right attitude may turn out to be self serving and apathetic(absence of compassion), or even corrupt(weak attitude towards integrity and honesty).

Attitude and aptitude often reinforce each other. A person lacking one is often driven to supplement the other. A civil servant should be high on both of these vital parameters in order to fulfill his mandate of public welfare.