What do you understand by aptitude? What kind of aptitude is considered important for civil services? What measures have you taken to make yourself fit for being a civil servant? (150 W)

Mentor’s Comment:

Introduction should mention the definition of aptitude and some types of it.

The main body should discuss the qptitude/qualities needed by a civil servant to be effective. Like Physical Aptitude, Mental Aptitude etc.

Further mention what measures you have taken to make yourself fit. Keeping oneself physically fit, developing value aspects through various means and continuous learning, thinking actively and being aware etc.

Next bring conclusion. Talk about rewarding yourself when doing good in maintaining aptitude.


Model Answer:

Aptitude is an innate set of characteristics, regarded as symptomatic of an individual’s ability to acquire, with adequate training, some knowledge, a set of skills, like the ability to produce music, or ability to perform administrative functions etc. Aptitudes may be physical or mental. Aptitude is not developed knowledge, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to achievement, which represents knowledge or ability that is gained through learning.

Following are some of the characteristics of aptitude:

  • Aptitude refers to some future potentiality.
  • Aptitude is innate capability.
  • Aptitude implies fitness or suitability for activities in question.

Broadly, there are two types of aptitude required for civil services:

  • Physical Aptitude: It is physical and physiological fitness for efficiently performing one’s duty. It is more relevant for those services, which require field work.
  • Mental Aptitude: It includes those qualities, which have  to do with the psychological or cognitive processes. It  is  regarded  as  important  for  all  types  of  services,  more  so  for  civil  services.  It  may further be classified as under­:

– General Mental Ability: It is the basic thinking capacity needed for any intellectual task. It is the foundation on which lie the other components of aptitude.

–  Appropriate Value System: It is the combination of the desired values, like empathy, objectivity, impartiality, commitment, compassion etc. For civil services this component of aptitude is most important for performing one’s job, not only efficiently, but also effectively.

As an aspirant of civil services, I have taken the following measures for making myself fit for the same:

  • Since, healthy mind resides in a healthy body; therefore, for keeping myself physically fit I perform physical workout regularly.
  • While, the general mental capacity remains almost constant throughout one’s life, value aspect can be developed through various means, like­ learning the teachings of great moral, philosophical and administrative thinkers;  changing  one’s  peer  group,  which  are  more  deserving  and  fit  for  civil services,  because  we  learn  through  observation  (Bandura);  performing  some  activities  which  are required to be performed by a civil servant, like to be empathetic to others, to uphold standards of morality/ethics, adhering to the law of the land etc.

Though, these things are easier said than done and it is very difficult for anyone to always follow and practice them. Therefore, to keep myself motivated to do them, I reward myself whenever I do any of the  above­mentioned  things.  Some  of  the  other  methods  to  develop  appropriate  attitude  include reading books, meeting civil servants and talking about their experiences, interacting with people from all walks of life to understand their perspective and ideas on issues etc.

Since,  aptitude  is an  innate  potentiality,  therefore, one  cannot  develop  an  aptitude  if  it  is  completely absent from one’s psycho­physical system. However, one can enhance his/her abilities if one is blessed with them.



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