2023 GS4 Answer

Q. What really matters for success, character, happiness and lifelong achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ- not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.” Do you agree with this view ? Give reasons in support of your answer

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS4 Paper

Model Answer: 

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. It has been increasingly recognized as a significant determinant of success, character, happiness, and lifelong achievements. While cognitive intelligence (IQ) is important, it is not the sole determinant of success.

1. Emotional Resilience:

Emotional resilience, a component of EQ, is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Life is replete with ups and downs, and it is one’s emotional resilience that helps one navigate through tough times. For instance, in India, many students face immense pressure during board exams. Those with high EQ can manage stress better, thereby performing better.

2. Interpersonal Skills:

Interpersonal skills, another aspect of EQ, are crucial for success in personal and professional life. In India, where the joint family system is prevalent, high EQ is needed to maintain harmony among family members. In the professional world, those with high EQ can manage their teams more effectively, leading to better productivity and success.

3. Empathy:

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is a vital component of EQ. In a diverse country like India, where people from different cultures and backgrounds coexist, empathy is crucial for maintaining social harmony and mutual respect.

4. Self-Awareness:

Self-awareness, the ability to understand one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and drivers, is a key aspect of EQ. It helps individuals make better decisions, set appropriate goals, and take steps towards personal and professional growth. For example, a self-aware student would know his/her interest and aptitude and choose the right career path, leading to success and satisfaction.

5. Emotional Regulation:

Emotional regulation, the ability to manage one’s emotions in different situations, is a critical component of EQ. It helps individuals remain calm and composed during stressful situations, thereby enhancing their performance. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with high EQ were better able to manage their emotions and adapt to the new normal.


In conclusion, while cognitive abilities measured by IQ tests are important, they are not sufficient for success, character, happiness, and lifelong achievements. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a significant role in these areas. It is the ability to understand and manage emotions that truly sets successful individuals apart. Therefore, it is essential to foster EQ from an early age to ensure overall success and well-being.

More Questions:
UPSC Factory App
Get everything you need for upsc preparation with just one click! Install now!