Preparing for Ethics – Bhavesh Mishra(IAS)

Ethics paper was first introduced in CSE 2013. Since then the paper has gone a lot of transformation in terms of quality of questions and marking pattern. Initially no one had any idea about how to prepare for this subject as there was no reading material or standard syllabus.

However, things have stabilized now. UPSC has now increased the toughness level of questions and it is difficult to score good marks without studying thoroughly and having a good grasp over the subject.

There are students who still manage to get 100+ marks without even preparing for it. But I would not recommend this strategy.

Here is how I prepared for it. I got a decent 113 marks in the paper.


  1. ARC 4th report
  2. Ethics in Public Administration – Patrick Sheeran
  3. Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude: G. Subbarao
  4. NCERT Psychology book Class XI & XII : Selected chapters.
  5. Citizen Centric Administration – ARC Report
  6. Good Governance (2013), Inclusive Governance (2013), Reforms in Public Administration (2014) Yojana issues.

Biographies & other books

  1. Experiment with Truth – Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Verghese Kurien autobiography
  3. Swami Vivekananda – Karmayoga and his biography
  4. Selected articles by Immanuel Kant, Aristotle etc. There is a BBC website also on ethics.


1. 12 Harvard lectures by Michael Sandel (They are really good)


  1. Learnt famous quotations from Goodreads and used them wherever possible.

The above will cover theoretical aspect of the exam. 50% of the paper comprises of case studies.

We will discuss about tackling case studies in next blog article.

You may also like...