Recommended Readings – General Studies – IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Recommended Readings – General Studies – IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Irrespective of your educational background (whether you’ve done your graduation in science, arts or commerce), please look for these resources and choose what you’re comfortable with.

  • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude in Governance – by Ranvijay Upadhyay (SAGE Publications 2017)
  • Ethics in Governance: Innovations, Issues, and Instrumentalities – Ramesh K Arora (Aaalekh Publishers 2008). Dr Arora has worked as professor, head and dean at the University of Rajasthan.
  • You must go through the reports published by the Administrative Reforms Commission (especially the summary of the reports and the Second ARC Report on ethics in governance). You can get Second Administrative Reforms Commission : Reports (15 reports and summary in pdf format) here
  • Yojana Issues- Good Governance (2013), Inclusive Governance (2013), Reforms in Public Administration (2014).
  • Ethics Moments in Government  – Cases and Controversies – by Donald C. Menzel (Routledge 2009). You don’t have to buy a hard copy of this expensive book. Look for a digital copy. This book “examines how to identify, assess, and resolve the ethical issues and dilemmas that often confront those who govern the cities, counties, states, and federal agencies throughout America.” Extremely useful to understand what is going on in India as well.
  • Michael J. Sandel is a rock-star professor in the famous Harvard University Law School. His course JUSTICE was the university’s first course to be made freely available online. In this series of videos, He talks about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship. His videos are found here.
  • Ethics Management for Public and Non-profit Managers: Leading and Building Organizations of Integrity – by Donald C Menzel (Routledge 2016). You don’t have to buy a hard copy of this expensive book. Look for a digital copy. This book takes a managerial ethics approach to building and leading ethical public organizations. This is a primarily US-centric book, but useful for the GS Paper IV.
  • Case Study Handbook – by William Ellet (Harvard Business Review Press 2018). Ellet presents “a potent new approach for efficiently analyzing, discussing and writing about cases. Early chapters show how to classify cases according to the analytical task they require (making a decision, performing an evaluation or diagnosing a problem) and quickly establish a base of knowledge about a case”.
  • The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide – by Carol W. Lewis and Stuart C. Gilman (Jossey-Bass 2012). You don’t have to buy a hard copy of this expensive book. Look for a digital copy.
  • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for Civil Services Examination: Awdhesh Singh Top (Wisdom Tree 2020). Dr. Awdhesh Singh is a former IRS officer.
  • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by G Subba Rao & P N Roy Chowdhury
  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by Niraj Kumar
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – by Santosh Ajmera & Nanda Kishore Reddy
  • Ethics in Public Administration – by Patrick J. Sheeran (Rawat 2007)

(What the syllabus says –

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 utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.)

  1. 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.
  2. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Social Psychology – by Nyla R. Branscombe, Robert A. Baron and Preeti Kapur (Pearson Education 2017)
  • Exploring Social Psychology – by David G. Myers and Jean M. Twenge (McGraw Hill 2020)
  • Social Psychology – David G. Myers  (McGraw Hill Education 2017)
  • Social Psychology – by Arun Kumar Singh (PHI Learning 2019)
  • NCERT Psychology – Class XI (chapters 8 & 9 ) & Class XII (chapters 6 & 9)
  1. 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.
  2. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  3. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  4. 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.
  • IGNOU – Master of Arts (Public Administration) – Relevant chapters
  1. 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,
  • The New Public Service: Serving, Not Steering – by Janet V. Denhardt and Robert B. Denhardt (Routledge 2015). You don’t have to buy a hard copy of this expensive book. Look for a digital copy.
  • Public Service Values – by Richard C. Box (Routledge 2014). You don’t have to buy a hard copy of this expensive book. Look for a digital copy.
  1. Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Combating Corruption in India – by Arvind Verma and Ramesh Sharma (Cambridge University Press 2019)
  • Corruption in India: The DNA and the RNA – by Bibek Debroy (Konark Publishers 2010)
  • Corruption in India – by N. Vittal (Academic Foundation 2003)
  1. Case Studies on above issues.
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1 Comment

  1. S Dev September 4, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion and guidance. The book by Ranvijay Upadhyay is breakthrough in conceptual understanding of the topics of Ethics paper. The only drawback is lack of case studies but yes a checklist approach is given in the book to develop case studies


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