Test: Interpersonal Skills, Communication & Decision Making (2013-2011)


20 Questions MCQ Test UPSC Topic Wise Previous Year Questions | Test: Interpersonal Skills, Communication & Decision Making (2013-2011)


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QUESTION: 1

You are a teacher in a University and are setting a question paper on a particular subject. One of your colleagues, whose son is preparing for the examination on that subject, comes to you and informs you that it is his son’s last chance to pass that examination and whether you could help him by indicating what questions are going to be in the examination. In the past, your colleague had helped you in another matter. Your colleague informs you that his son will suffer from depression if he fails in this examination. In such circumstances, what would you do?

[2013]

Solution:

Extending a helping hand to someone for personal reasons while sitting in a responsible position is unethical and does not do justice to the trust and responsibility of the authority conferred on you by the authority. Your position and responsibility is far more greater than personal obligations.

QUESTION: 2

You are in-charge of implementing the Family Planning programme in an area where there is a strong opposition to the present policy. You want to convince the residents of the need for keeping small families. What would be the best way of communicating this message?

[2013]

Solution:

A place where there is a strong opposition for family planning, it is not easy to implement any programme quickly or hastily.  But persuasion and explanation can surely make a difference. So, by logically explaining the pros and cons of the programme, people can be persuaded better though it may take longer.

QUESTION: 3

There is a shortage of sugar in your District where you are the District Magistrate. The Government has ordered that only a maximum amount of 30 kg sugar is to be released for wedding celebrations. A son of your close friend is getting married and your friend requests you to release at least 50 kg sugar for his son’s wedding. He expresses annoyance when you tell him about the Government’s restrictions on this matter. He feels that since you are the District Magistrate you can release any amount. You do not want to spoil your friendship with him. In such circumstances, how would you deal with the situation?

[2013]

Solution:

This will make it very clear to him that doing small favours are not part of job. You are far more responsible for the position. The advise will show that you care for him and a direct approach to the allotting authority may work for him. This gives a lasting impression that you follow the rules.

QUESTION: 4

A person lives in a far off village which is almost two hours by bus. The villager’s neighbour is a very powerful landlord who is trying to occupy the poor villager’s land by force. You are the District Magistrate and busy in a meeting called by a local Minister. The villager has come all the way, by bus and on foot, to see you and give an application seeking protection from the powerful landlord. The villager keeps on waiting outside the meeting hall for an hour. You come out of the meeting and are rushing to another meeting. The villager follows you to submit his application. What would you do?

[2013]

Solution:

The next meeting can be put on  hold for a few minutes, but the person who has already, made lot of effort to reach the district magistrates office in anticipation of help should be heard first. This humane attitude towards common people and their problems will enhance the respect of the chair, the person and the district administration.

QUESTION: 5

While travelling in a Delhi-registered commercial taxi from Delhi to an adjacent city (another State), your taxi driver informs you that as he has no permit for running the taxi in that city, he will stop at its Transport Office and pay the prescribed fee of ₹ forty for a day. While paying the fee at the counter you find that the transport clerk is taking an extra fifty rupees for which no receipt is being given. You are in a hurry for your meeting. In such circumstances, what would you do?

[2013]

Solution:

One should not let go the wrong doer because that will set a wrong precedence. So if the spur of the moment is not rife to act, one must restrain and make a mental note instead. Complaint can be lodged later but an urgent meeting can't be ignored or spoilt just because of some unscrupulous  people. They can be taken to task later.

QUESTION: 6

You are the head of your office. There are certain houses reserved for the allotment to the office staff and you have been given the discretion to do so. A set of rules for the allotment of the houses has been laid down by you and has been made public. Your personal secretary, who is very close to you, comes to you and pleads that as his father is seriously ill, he should be given priority in allotment of a house. The office secretariat that examined the request as per the rules turns down the request and recommends the procedure to be followed according to the rules. You do not want to annoy your personal secretary. In such circumstances, what would you do?

[2013]

Solution:

When it comes to declining a request it is better to discuss the matter explaining your inability to favour your secretary who is very close to you in private.

QUESTION: 7

As a citizen you have some work with a government department. The official calls you again and again, and without directly asking you, sends out feelers for a bribe. You want to get your work done. You would...

[2012]

Solution:

(a) By giving a bribe you are accepting the situation for what it is. You are also inviting similar trouble in the future.
(b) If you behave as if you are ignorant of the feelers they will not stop. On the contrary the work will get postponed indefinitely.
(c) Going to the higher officer will not ensure that the matter will be looked into the higher officer may himself be corrupt and may also be involved in the matter.
(d) By sending in a formal complaint you can ensure that you will be given a hearing. The letter will reach the concerned authorities and can even be sent to the press.

QUESTION: 8

You are involved in setting up a water supply project in a remote area. Full recovery of cost is impossible in any case. The income levels in the area are low and 25% of the population is below poverty line (BPL). When a decision has to be taken on pricing you would...

[2012]

Solution:

(a) It would be practically not feasible to make the supply of water free of cost.
(b) A one time fee for taps can be easily afforded by the non – BPL families but not by the BPL families.
(c) This is again not a very feasible solution for it may lead to a lopsided usage of water.
(d) An extremely feasible option. This will at least ensure that the consumption of water is well regulated and the non – BPL families will not feel exploited.

QUESTION: 9

You are handling a priority project and have been meeting all the deadlines and are therefore planning your leave during the project. Your immediate boss does not grant your leave citing the urgency of the project. You would...

[2012]

Solution:

(a) A very negative approach. It could cost you your job.
(b) This is also a negative approach. Next time you are really sick and your leave may not be granted.
Your boss will definitely find it fishy.
(c) If you approach the higher authorities you will be spoiling relations with your immediate boss. Only a good understanding between your boss and you can ensure peace at work.
(d) This would be the best option. By discussing your problem directly with your boss you will both be able to resolve the issue and reach a compromise. This will ensure a better working relationship. The ice will be broken.

QUESTION: 10

You are the chairperson of a state sports committee. You have received a complaint and later it was found that an athlete in the junior age category who has won a medal has crossed the age criteria by 5 days. You would...

[2012]

Solution:

(a) Asking the screening committee for a clarification will make it a long drawn process.
(b) Strict action has to be taken so that such incidents do not take place in the future.
(c) This decision is based on the assumption that the athlete is telling the truth. It is not fair to all.
(d) Unless quick action is taken your authority as the chairman of the sports committee can also be questioned.

QUESTION: 11

You are handling a time-bound project. During the project review meeting, you find that the project is likely to get delayed due to lack of cooperation of the team members. You would.

[2012]

Solution:

(a) Warning the team - members for their non-cooperation would not yield much results. It is not so easy to change other.
(b) If we can look into reasons for their non-cooperation; we have a chance to rectify the situation.
(c) A negative approach. There is no guarantee that the next set of team members will be cooperative.
(d) This is slightly negative. Extending the time will not change the attitude of the team members.

QUESTION: 12

You are competing with your batch-mate for a prestigious award to be decided based on an oral presentation. Ten minutes are allowed for each presentation. You have been asked by the committee to finish on time. Your friend, however, is allowed more than the stipulated time period. You would.

[2012]

Solution:

(a) This would be the most positive approach to the whole situation. Moreover, one has to follow the protocol. So just lodge a complaint since the results are yet awaited.
(b) Taking an aggressive stand against the committee who are the deciding authority will only worsen matters.
(c) By withdrawing your name you are harming yourself. It is a negative approach.
(d) This is the most negative approach of all.

QUESTION: 13

You have differences of opinion regarding the final report prepared by your subordinate that is to be submitted, urgently. The subordinate is justifying the information given in the report. You would…

[2012]

Solution:

(a) It is only possible to change oneself not others.
Convincing the subordinate will not be easy because his ego will not accept that he is wrong.
(b) Here again the same argument will hold true. When he is not sure that he is wrong he may not reconsider the results so faithfully.
(c) It would be most advisable to revise the report on your own. It would involve effort but it would be the most peaceful and positive means.
(d) This would be the most negative way of approaching the matter. Dealing with the subordinated aggressively will only make him rebellions and quarrelsome. It would be better to avoid such a situation.

QUESTION: 14

You, as an administrative authority, have been approached, by the daughter-in-law of an influential person regarding harassment by her in-laws on account of insufficient dowry. Her parents are not able to approach you because of social pressures. You would

[2011]

Solution:

[TIP : In the type of question involving two parties the role of a peace maker. So you must play your cards in such a way that you do hurt the interest of either party]
(a) As an administrative authority one has to resort to the course of law. In this case the views of both parties must be taken into consideration before resorting to any action.
(b) Counselling the lady to adjust would be the most foolish thing to do. If she had been able to adjust she would not have come to you in the first place.
No woman in her senses would like to break her own home. Especially not a newly-wed bride.
(c) Her parents may not want to approach you at all.
They would not want to spoil their daughter's married life. Considering the amount of money that is spent in traditional Indian marriages. It is only natural that parents expect their daughters to adjust and do not want to approach any one for help.
(d) If she had to lodge a complaint with the police she need not have approached you. The idea is to arbitrate between both parties.

QUESTION: 15

You have taken up a project to create night-shelters for homeless people during the winter season. Within a week of establishing the shelters, you have received complaints from the residents of the area about the increase in theft cases with a demand to remove the shelters. You would

[2011]

Solution:

(a) If the residents make a police complaint. It can work against the interest of both parties. Bringing a third party into the dispute means creating a greater misunderstanding between the two of you.
(b) This is most positive step. By assuring residents of an enquiry into the matter you are taking the responsibility for your actions. This way the residents develop faith in your honesty and integrity.
(c) The residents will certainly not stay in the houses by considering the humanitarian efforts. They will be more concerned about the safety of their own lives as well as their belongings. That is a very natural human tendency.
(d) This is completely negative ign or in g th eir complaints you will be making then even more rebellious. The small waves will becomes a Tsunami one day and wash away your project.
What is the use of wasting time effort and money on a project that is of no use to the people it is intended for.

QUESTION: 16

You are the officer-in-charge of a village administering distribution of vaccine in an isolated epidemic hit village, and you are left with only one vaccine. There is a requirement of that vaccine from the Gram Pradhan and also a poor villager. You are being pressurised by the Gram Pradhan to issue the vaccine to him. You would

[2011]

Solution:

[TIP: In this type of question a positive, optimistic, empathetic and unselfish approach is required especially since it involves someone with whom you are interacting on a everyday]
(a) Not issuing a vaccine to either means incurring the wrath of the Gram Pradhan and the curse of the poor villager.
(b) This would mean that you are being partial to the Gram Pradhan just because he is a VIP.
(c) This would ensure that you are not partial to either of them.
(d) Your dealism is not going to work with the Gram Pradhan who is after all a human being. His ego will not be able to tolerate for you so called high-handedness.

QUESTION: 17

You have been made responsible to hire boats at a short notice to be used for an area under flood. On seeing the price mentioned by the boat owners you found that the lowest price was approximately three times more than the approved rate of the Government. You would

[2011]

Solution:

[TIP: This type of question calls for a certain amount of social awareness. An understanding of the victims situation and a practical approach]
(a) If you reject the proposal and call for a fresh price you will be taking matters into your own hands.
This is not advisable when there are so many people senior to you. You will also be antagonising the boat-owners to some extent.
(b) Since it is an emergency, it would be better to expedite the process.
(c) There is not so much time left as to refer the matter to the government and then wait for a reply.
(d) Threatening the boat owners means creating big trouble for you and your employers.

QUESTION: 18

You are an officer-in-charge for providing basic medical facilities to the survivors of an earthquake affected area. Despite your best possible effort, people put allegations against you for making money out of the funds given for relief. You would

[2011]

Solution:

(a) This is the most positive approach to the situation.
The very fact that you are open to an enquiry being conducted on the matter proves that you are honest. It reveals your willingness to cooperate with the authorities. Only a courageous person will be willing to undergo such a painful process.
(b) This is a negative option. Your asking for another person to be appointed that means your are being cowardly. You are seeking escape.
(c) If you ignore the allegations you are trying to escape the facts. The rumble will then become a roar one day. It is being cowardly and dishonest to yourself.
(d) If you stop undertaking any initiative till the matter is resolved it means you are over-reacting to the allegations. If that is the case then people will take advantage of the situation by making more such allegations.

QUESTION: 19

You have to accomplish a very important task for your Headquarters within the next two days. Suddenly you meet with an accident. Your office insists that you complete the task. You would

[2011]

Solution:

(a) A little negative. If the work is very urgent. The company may not be able to comply with your request. So you must be prepared for both a yes or a no. Not a very happy state of affairs for either of you.
(b) It is better to leave the decision to th e headquarters as to how the job should be done.
(c) The headquarters would like to take care of this themselves.
(d) This is a completely negative approach. You may even lose your job this way. Or even if you retain it you will lose the trust and faith that has been imposed upon you.

QUESTION: 20

A local thug (bad element) has started illegal construction on your vacant plot. He has refused your request to vacate and threatened you of dire consequences in case you do not sell the property at a cheap price to him. You would

[2011]

Solution:

(a) This is a little negative as you would be cowering before him. It would only make him all the more daring and proud.
(b) There is no need to buckle under pressure, one can always approach the law enforcing agencies for justice.
(c) Asking for help from your neighbours is positive.
But we wouldn't want to trouble them. They may not be interested. Self help is the best help.
(d) It would not be an easy task negotiating with a goon. It is impractical to throw one’s life is danger.

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