UPSC included the Ethics, Integrity, and aptitude paper in 2013 as part of the mains exam. The key reason why the Ethics Paper was incorporated in the Civil Service Review was the need to instil an ethical sense among civil servants.

Contemporary society has seen a decline in the standards of ethics and honesty among civil servants. Decreased ethical principles have had a negative impact on society. The negative effect of corruption is felt in every field of government and society.

The launch of the Ethics Paper has therefore come as an effort to reshape the younger breed of civil servants. You will be getting to know the ethics syllabus for UPSC, ethics UPSC notes, and much more. Stay tuned!

Ethics Syllabus for UPSC

This paper would contain questions to test the applicant’s attitude and approach to issues related to ethics, integrity in real life, and his problem-solving approach to different issues and disputes encountered by him in dealing with society. Questions can use the case study approach to evaluate these aspects.

The ethics syllabus topics are listed below:

List of Syllabus Topic on Ethics

  • 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.

  • 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, 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.

Also Read: Check this to Understand Dimensions and Branches of Ethics

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.

Some Books You would Want to Read for Ethics Paper

To study the above syllabus topics, you would obviously require ethnic books. So here is a list of the most recommended books:

  • Experiment with Truth – Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Ethics in Public Administration – Patrick Sheeran.
  • Swami Vivekananda – Karma Yoga and his biography.
  • Ethics, Integrity, and aptitude – McGraw-Hill education – M.Karthikeyan.
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – Santosh Ajmera & Nanda Kishore Reddy

Apart from these books, check out some more books here. 

Ethics Note for UPSC

When you will prepare ethnic notes for UPSC, you can include these points in your preparation to help you in the long run:

  • Try to describe all the topics and definitions in your own phrases and in clear sentences. Don’t race around the heavy meanings of books. They’re going to sound bookish.
  • Try to prepare examples for every concept and subject. Try to include examples from your personal life, a few examples from Indian politics or independence struggle, or even examples from our mythology or culture. If you can you can incorporate current foreign affairs too.
  • There might be times when you cannot find examples from real life then you can turn to internet sources or quotes and keep your example brief, short and straightforward.

In order to gain more clarity about ethnic notes, check out this.


To score well in ethics is the only way to make it to the final list in the prelims mains and to get the service you want. With far less effort, good marks can be scored. The detailed preparation of this paper also leads to the incorporation of a moral dimension to the answers in GS Paper papers one two and three and in the essay paper as well. It also enables one to come across as a person who has the ideal qualities of a civil servant in the personality test.

Also Read: Here’s the Ethics Preparation Strategy for UPSC that You were Looking for

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Ethics Syllabus for UPSC: A complete Guide to Ethics GS Paper 4 Mains
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Ethics Syllabus for UPSC: A complete Guide to Ethics GS Paper 4 Mains
Not sure how to study for an ethics paper. Don’t worry! Find syllabus topics and the most popular ethnic books as well. Tips to remember while note-taking mentioned in this article as well.
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UPSC Pathshala
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