Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 15th April-2021

Q) “Discuss different kinds of aptitude for a civil servant. Also examine the relationship of aptitude with other qualities.” 


Aptitude is the combination of abilities and other characteristics, whether native or acquired, known to be indicative of an individual’s ability to develop proficiency in certain particular area. It refers to the capacity or ability to acquire skill or knowledge in a particular area, on basis of which future performances can be predicted.

Different kinds of aptitude for a civil servant

  • Leadership:
  • Holders of public office should promote and support the principles of public life by leadership and example.
  • For eg. Lal Bahadur Shastri used to fast every Monday to save grains for poor people of the country and he gave a call for the nation to follow it. Thus exhibiting a true example of how leaders should lead from the front.
  • Maxim of integrity
  • While undertaking any administrative action, an administrator practices utmost honesty and never uses his power, position and discretion to serve his personal interest. It ensures that public servants work with the honesty of highest standards.
  • Maxim of compassion
  • Compassion for the poor, the disabled and the weaker segment of the society is the highest virtue. It actually determines how successful you are as an administrator. In fact, all great administrators and leaders of society have been a compassionate person which is why they could connect to the masses.
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Civil servants make all their decisions in a transparent manner. Transparency leaves no room for ambiguity. Civil services aspirants show utmost transparency in all their deeds. this increases the credibility and public trust on the public services.
  • For eg. Vikram Sarabhai accepted the failure of ISRO first mission without actually putting it on the mission head (APJ Abdul Kalam). Thus taking full accountability for the failure of his team.
  • Objectivity
  • A nation having law-abidance citizens always grow and prosper so it becomes utmost essential for law enforcers to follow the law and rules to govern and guide. A civil servant has deepest respect for the law and its enforcement.
  • Principle of Justice
  • Administrators must observe principles of equity, equality, impartiality, fairness and objectivity.
  • Humility
  • the actions must not be high-handed and should be free of any vanity
  • Responsiveness and resilience
  • Responsiveness and resilience are among the most sought-after and must-have skills. Responsiveness helps you connect with people and pare down communication gap, the right response at the time, sometimes, can help avert awkward situations. Likewise, being resilient means you are ready to face down all the challenges of future with great finesse.
  • Commitment for work
  • A committed and a dedicated person excel and bring incredibly noticeable results wherever he puts his efforts. There is no substitute of hard and committed work. So an aspirant of UPSC examination must be a committed worker.
  • Ensuing excellence in the work
  • Determination to give nothing but the best instils in our heart courage to get the better of all agonies and problems and taste success. While striving for excellence, many seen and unseen problems are wiped out and we are on the way of giving optimal performance.
  • Principle of utilitarianism
  • An administrator counts on the principle that all his decisions should lead to the greatest good of the greatest number. Relying on the principle means that an administrator’s reach is to most powerful as well as underprivileged classes of the society as well. After deciding to do maximum good for the society, all the decisions already become rational.
  • National Interest
  • A nation’s prestige comes first and is above everything. A civil servant like a selfless soldier always measures the impact of his action on his nation’s strength and prestige.

Relationship of aptitude and other qualities

Aptitude and Interest

  • People have interests in many things, but this does not imply they have the aptitude for that. One may like cricket very much – but playing it on field is much different that a watching it on television. One may have the aptitude for good commentary or writing skills and then one may choose a profession where his/her interests and aptitude match- such as becoming a commentator or a sports journalist.

Aptitude & Ability

  • Aptitude is often considered to represent specific subsets of mental ability which provides useful information on an individual’s potential, particularly with regards to education and employment. Ability is much closer to intelligence. It is concerned with present. It is the combination of skills, habits and powers that an individual now has which enable him to do something. Aptitude indicates what an individual will be able to learn/do and ability presents evidence of what the individual is able to do now (or in future without additional training). From a practical standpoint, it is impossible to measure aptitude without the degree of training which an individual has already had. It is assumed that individuals have been exposed to certain experiences which enhance their aptitude when it is measured.

Aptitude and Intelligence

  • Aptitude is innate potential to do certain task in future, provided appropriate training is provided to the person. Intelligence’s key component is the ability to think rationally, act purposefully and deal effectively in one’s present environment. Intelligence has a wider scope as in it refers to general mental ability. Aptitude on the other hand has narrow scope- it is specific to work. It breaks down intelligence into several characteristics, referring to a specific ability of a person to do a task in future. Thus, aptitude is not same as intelligence. Two people with same intelligence quotation (IQ) may have different aptitudes e.g. one to become scientist and another novelist.

Aptitude and Attitude

  • Aptitude is innate potential to do certain task in future, provided appropriate training is provided to the person. An attitude is a lasting, general evaluation of people (including oneself), objects or issues. It is a predisposition to behave in certain ways i.e. a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation Attitude can be changed in certain ways, but aptitude can’t be developed if is not there, because it is innate potential.

Aptitude and Values

  • Values are different from aptitude in that, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live. Though values may be “positive” or “negative”, like empathy towards weaker section is positive while regarding one’s own caste to be highest is negative. But generally, they are taken for positive and desirable values. Thus, they deal with right conduct and living a good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action may be regarded as ethically “good”, and an action of low in value, or somewhat relatively low in value, may be regarded as “bad”. Hence, values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. “Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representative of values.

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