Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – Feb 21

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, Feb 21:

  1. What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience’? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such a crisis and how you resolved the same.(GS 4)

SourceUPSC Previous Year Mains Question Paper


  • Conscience is the part of a person’s mind that tells them whether what they are doing is morally right or wrong.
  • In short, conscience is a term which people use to denote the inner mind.
  • Answers based on conscience are generally ethical.The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.

Crisis of conscience:-

  • It is a situation 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 more strong 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.



Any example is fine which shows that the conscience has been in a dilemma and then ultimately you did the right thing..

2.The good of an individual is contained in the good of all.” what do you understand by this statement? How can this principle be implemented in public life? (GS 4)

SourceUPSC Previous Year Mains Question Paper



  • The genesis of this statement has been from the sarvodaya concept in the Indian philosophy which  means ‘universal uplift’ or ‘progress of all’.
  • The same concept can be visible in  the sustainable development as well where individual can benefit when society as a whole gets an advantage.


  • If a good person gets involved in the development process it ultimately helps the society as a whole.
    • For instance in the implementation of government programmes like sanitation will be successful when there is overall societal participation.
  • Individual gain or success might lead to arrogance, disparity, inequality, and social gap, whereas good of all will increase compassion, increase growth, develop society and ultimately a happy and content nation.
  • In the current scenario the manifestation of rise in Inequality​,crime are because of the concentration of the needs of the particular segment of the society which alienated and frustrated the other communities.
    • For instance the recent BREXIT poll,Arab Spring.

This principle can be implemented in the public life in the following ways:

  • The public servants need to be taught about the Nolan principles and have emphasis on integrity,selflessness,openness etc.
  • Emotional intelligence with characteristics like empathy,compassion need to be developed .As in public life, every decision or action of a person affects the someone else, he must be, therefore, sensitive towards other emotions and needs.
  • There need to awareness beyond religion,caste,region and strive towards equality.
  • Strictly adhering to code of ethics
  • Making governance more participatory and service oriented

3.What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service?

3.Spirit  of Service
4. Commitment
5. Courage of Conviction (GS 4)

SourceUPSC Previous Year Mains Question Paper


  • Integrity means earning and sustaining public trust by:
    • Serving the public interest
    • Using powers responsibly, for the purpose and in the manner for which they were intended
    • Acting with honesty and transparency, making reasoned decisions without bias by following fair and objective processes
    • Preventing and addressing improper conduct, disclosing facts without hiding or distorting them
    • Not allowing decisions or actions to be influenced by personal or private interests.


  • Perseverance corresponds to persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. It is the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.
  • The recent success of ISRO successive launches despite initial failures shows the commitment and perseverance.

Spirit of service:

  • Quality of being committed to public service without any self motives.
  • There are many examples like mother Teresa,Kalam and others who strived to serve the people without any self motives.


  • The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
  • Civil servants are committed to the needs of the public and try to implement the government programmes successfully..

Courage of conviction:

  • The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger or fear with self-possession, confidence and resolution.
  • The term defines one form of courage or bravery, which makes one to take strong decisions without any fear of repercussions. Courage of conviction makes one to admit his mistakes and denounce other’s false actions.
  • Whistle blowers have the courage of conviction to act in public interest.




Print Friendly