UPSC MAINS MODEL ANSWER GENERAL STUDIES PAPER – 4
PAPER – 4
1.(a) Wisdom lies in knowing what to reckon with and what to overlook. An officer being engrossed with the periphery, ignoring the core issues before him, is not rare in the bureaucracy. Do you agree that such preoccupation of an administrator leads to the travesty of justice to the cause of effective service delivery and good governance? Critically evaluate. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Wisdom and Civil Servants:
- Wisdom is the ability to make sensible decisions, and judgments and prioritise them because of knowledge or experience.
- Civil servants must understand not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law.
- Objective: To fulfill the goal of the law and policy.
Preoccupation on Peripheral Issues is Injustice to Desired Goals of Governance:
- Good governance: When the government of a country performs its functions efficiently, effectively, and for the good of citizens.
- Prioritizing matters: Prioritising petty and superficial matters could lead to the travesty of justice to the cause of effective service delivery.
- Resource utilization: Limited resources available must be used most effectively by choosing the right priority and focusing on important public issues.
- Cumbersome policy formulations: To avoid loopholes, the process of upliftment schemes is made so cumbersome that often people find it difficult to access them (e.g., The requirement of many documents to access some small service).
- Robotic Approach: This process ends up becoming like a punishment to the public (negatively affects citizen satisfaction), whereas it should be objective, unbiased and use the best judgment towards the idea of good governance.
- Red Tapism: Prevents many from enjoying their rights due to delayed governance and delayed distribution of welfare measures (delayed wage payments under MGNREGA).
- Tax officers focusing on the big taxpayers and evaders.
- Police officers prioritize heinous crimes, gangsters, and notorious criminals, over petty crimes.
1. (b) Apart from intellectual competency and moral qualities, empathy and compassion are some of the other vital attributes that facilitate civil servants to be more competent in tackling crucial issues or taking critical decisions. Explain with suitable illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Intellectual Competency, Morality, Empathy & Compassion
- Intellectual competency: To understand the complex issues of public interest and provide the solution by the law.
- Moral Qualities: Civil servants must keep the public interest above the person’s interest. Hence, morality is an important quality of a civil servant.
- Empathy: Helps a civil servant to think from the point of view of all stakeholders by putting himself into their shoes. A good decision is one in which the concerns of all stakeholders are fairly accommodated.
- Compassion: Mere empathy is not enough unless the officer has compassion, which motivates the officer to take suitable action to solve the problem of aggrieved.
Empathy And Compassion: Two Vital Attributes of a Civil Servant:
- Empathy ensures that Civil servants select the right path in terms of what others want to see and hear.
- It is critical in the Civil Service since the service is all about people and their well-being. Civil servants work with the people; therefore, it is critical to instill this concept.
- Compassion is an active endeavor to relieve the suffering of others.
- Civil Service is all about possessing compassion towards members of the public, institutions, and laws of the land, and a sense of justice.
- Compassion can provide us with more public-centric policies.
- A stronger sense of compassion is needed to be displayed toward members of the depressed and vulnerable sections of the population. For example, members of the SC/ST/OBC, women, children, the elderly population, and minorities.
- An empathetic DM meets the members of different communities to create confidence. So, when s/he makes a decision, including the arrest of the culprit, people support him due to his empathy and fairness.
- An SP having compassion for the rape victim will do everything to ensure justice.
- Even though the population of differently abled is less, empathy and compassion drive civil servants to take effective steps for their social inclusion.
2. (a) The Rules and Regulations provided to all the civil servants are the same, yet there is a difference in the performance. Positive-minded officers can interpret the Rules and Regulations in favor of the case and achieve success, whereas negative minded officers are unable to achieve goals by interpreting the same Rules and Regulations against the case. Discuss with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Rules and Regulations as Ethical Guidance:
- Rules and Regulation act as a source of ethical guidance clarifying the values to be used and procedures to be followed.
- The rules and regulations are generic and the same for all. They need to be applied and implemented in specific situations as per the task and ground situation.
- Here comes into play the mindset of the civil servants.
As per United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); ethical public officers promote socio-economic development and unethical behaviors threaten development and loss of trust in public institutions.
The difference in Approach: Niyati Vs Niti:
- The intention (Niyati) of the civil servant is often more important than the rules (niti).
- Good officers (positive-minded) interpret the law to provide justice and deliver the result most efficiently.
- Bad officers (negative-minded) find loopholes in the law and exploit them for personal benefits, and delay the matter to show their power, please their bosses, or make illegal money.
- Positive-minded officers use their discretion to help the people, while negative minded officers use their discretion to harass the people.
The approach of a Positive Minded Officer:
- Provide solutions that can meet halfway with the beneficiaries.
- Making sure that the implementation of the scheme is not halted and is carried out successfully and in the proper way, ensuring all the legal and moral protocols are followed.
- Worrying less about the administrative aspect of the implementation of the scheme but rather the aspect that ensures that the scheme is carried out for the purpose it was created.
- It leads to ethical maximalism.
The approach of a Negative-Minded Officer:
- Too focused on the implementation of the scheme, even being insensitive to the issues that may arise while implementing the scheme.
- Making the situation worse by going absolutely by the book.
Example: Denying food grains in ration shops (to a valid ration card holder) because the thumbprint is not connected to the database due to connectivity issues.
2. (b) It is believed that adherence to ethics in human actions would ensure the smooth functioning of an organization/system. If so, what does ethics seek to promote in human life? How do ethical values assist in the resolution of conflicts faced by him in his day-to-day functioning? (Answer in 150 words) 10
Ethics and smooth functioning of system/Organization
Ethics is often called moral philosophy and represents the values and customs of society. It educates society to know right and wrong from society’s perspective.
- If all members of a society become ethical, the society would progress and everyone would reap the benefits of its development.
- Ethical society ensures peace, love, and compassion in all its members because the personal values of the people are aligned with the social values.
- People’s trust in government is maintained through public administration. If public administration is devoid of ethics, a society and a nation are bound to fail.
Some of the ethical values that should be adhered to and observed in day to day human lives are Transparency, Responsibility and Accountability, Work Commitment, Compassion, honesty and Integrity among others.
Ethical values help in conflict resolution
- An unethical person resolves the conflict based on what is beneficial to him, rather than what is good for society.
- An ethical person resolves the conflict by law, justice, love, and compassion in the best interest of all concerned parties.
- Empathy and compassion ensure that conflict resolution creates a win-win situation for all and not a win-lose situation.
- Forgiveness: Ethics teaches us to forgive rather than hold grudges against each other.
- Anger Management: Reacting to our anger, our mind stops functioning and we give up on our temper. Ethics helps us to stay cool.
- Persistence: The value of persistence helps an individual to follow a ‘never give attitude’. The person does not stop trying despite many difficulties of the process.
Hence, the decisions of ethical people are acceptable to all stakeholders due to trust and impartiality.
3. (a) Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.’ – Potter Stewart. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Ethics are developed from an individual or group’s beliefs, values and morals, which vary from person-to-person and can often be in direct conflict and opposition to another’s. To address these differences and to avoid conflict, communities often adopt a code of ethical standards which they agree to abide by while serving in a public capacity for the common good of a community. This practice provides a clear understanding to officials and the public they serve as to expected conduct etc.
The law provides clear responsibilities and limits to officials and other individuals responsible for the planning of communities, there is a great deal of flexibility where individuals or groups must make judgment decisions in the best interests of their community, and being guided by strong ethical principles ensures that the best decisions are being made etc.
Difference between ‘Right to do’ & ‘What is right to do’
- ‘Right to do’ points to the freedom we and like others have or entitled whereas ‘What is right to do’ points to the actions or choices which ought to be taken by us.
- Right to do can be understood as choices or opportunities whereas What is right to do is awareness or limitations on random choices.
- Right to do can be individualistic or collective whereas What is right to do is always collective and universal.
Importance of understanding the difference between the two
- Flexibility in choice: Law establishes clear responsibilities and limitations for officials and other individuals, there is a great deal of flexibility when individuals or groups must exercise their judgment to decide what is best for their community.
- Emotional Intelligence: Being governed by strong ethical principles, emotional intelligence ensures that the best choices are being made.
- Communities often develop a code of ethical principles that members agree to uphold when acting in public for the benefit of the community.
- This gives the public and the officials a clear sense of what is expected of them.
- Right to freedom of speech should not be used for spreading fake news.
- An activity taken out of a desire for reward or out of fear of punishment may be socially acceptable, but it is not moral. For example, performing acts of charity to gain social respect is immoral.
3. (b) “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the teacher.” – Abdul Kalam. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Corruption is the misuse and abuse of power by people in positions of authority or the government for personal benefit, whether monetary or in the form of a favor.
Role of Mother
- Developing Emotional Intelligence: A child reflects her mother. A child used to have a greater attachment with mother. This is an emotional bond that the child establishes with her.
- Fundamental Values: Mother influences the child to learn fundamental values like love, compassion, generosity forgiveness, kindness, humanity, equality, respect, and ethics to a great extent.
- Instilling Confidence: If the mother is responsive and responsible, the child will feel secure and approach the world with greater confidence.
Role of Father
- Character Building: Like the mother, father also plays a very important role in a child’s character building.
- Leadership: The child learns qualities of leadership, discipline, consistency, responsibility, fearlessness etc from his father.
- Gender Sensitivity: The child also learns heterosexual behaviour (for girls), gender appropriate behaviour (for boys).
Role of Teacher
- The teachers, especially the primary school teachers who interact with the students at a very young age are in an important position to influence values.
- The first is the individual angle of the teacher himself. To begin with the teacher himself must be honest and must have a feeling that in his role as a guru, he must become a role model and must walk his talk.
- The second angle of the teachers role in fighting corruption is to see to what extent he can mobilise the students as a community in fighting corruption. In fact, there are so many activities for students like the National Social Service and other co-curricular activities. The students can be motivated to study the issue of corruption and come up with ideas of how corruption can be tackled.
3. (c) “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” Dalai Lama. (Answer in 150 words) 10
The question is asking about how to get rid of vices to get the virtuous path of success.
- Golden means (virtue between the vice of excess and vice of deficiency).
- Plato’s Virtue
- Valour-Rational intelligence
- Temperance-Regulates human passions
- Justice- Focus on duties
- Measurements to overcome vices- own the vice.
- Success is varied from person to person
- If you reach out to a person with mean intentions in your heart, then you can never be successful.
- To taste the pleasure of success you have to use the golden mean to balance the vice of deficiency and the vice of excess.
- Use the four cardinal virtues to balance this golden mean (prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.)
4. (a) What do you understand by the term ‘good governance’? How far have recent initiatives in terms of e-Governance steps taken by the State have helped the beneficiaries? Discuss with suitable examples. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Good governance is ensuring respect for human rights and rule of law; strengthening democracy; promoting transparency and capacity in public administration”. – UN
The objective of Good Governance
- To ensure accountability in governance
- To maintain integrity in public services
- To ensure compliance with processes
- To preserve public confidence in government processes to avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption
Steps were taken by govt to ensure good governance
- Right to Information Act
- Citizen’s Charter
- Automated grievance redressal mechanism
- Public Hearings (Jan Sunwai)
- Lokpal/Lokayukta institution
The Recent Government Initiatives to Promote E-Governance in India
- MyGov Initiative
- National Scholarships Portal (NSP)
- Darpan Portal
- National Center of Geo-informatics
- National e-Governance Plan
Successes of E-Governance in India
- Data Driven Governance: Technology facilitates communication.
- Cost Saving: eliminated the cost of buying stationery for official purposes, replacing them with smartphones and the internet can save crores of money in expenses every year.
- Transparency: All official information can be uploaded onto the internet. The citizens specifically access whichever information they want, whenever they want it, at their convenience.
- Accountability: Transparency directly links to accountability.
- Land Record Monitoring: In order to ensure that transactions related to properties are not fraudulent, along with physical transactions, online record maintenance is a key feature of e-governance in India.
However there are the Challenges associated with E-Governance that need to be addressed to make it more effective
- Challenges in Interoperability
- Most of the e-governance services being offered by state or central governments are not integrated.
- Linguistic Barriers
- Digital Illiteracy
- Lack of Digital Infrastructure
- Privacy Issues
- Lack of Effective Grievance Redressal Mechanism
4. (b) Online methodology is being used for day-to-day meetings, institutional approvals in the administration and teaching and learning in the education sector to the extent telemedicine in the health sector is getting popular with the approvals of the competent authority. No doubt it has advantages and disadvantages for both the beneficiaries and the system at large. Describe and discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of the online method, particularly for vulnerable sections of society. (Answer in 150 words) 10
With this technology boom everything is in one tap. On one hand it makes revolution through digital governance, online teaching, telemedicine concentration. On the other hand, it impacted society very badly through Cybercrime, Cyber billing and Cyber racism. It impacted mostly the vulnerable section of the society i.e., women, children and LGBTQ. The recent example is Boys Locker Case.
Ethical issues involved in the use of the online method
As a relatively new research tool, engaging participants online may also present issues that may be novel or less apparent. For example, the internet, and particularly social media, introduce new ways to access data and personal information. This raises questions regarding the ethical appropriateness of accessing digital data or online profiles for research purposes, and how the ethical principles embodied in codes of conduct are upheld.
Ethical issues may be particularly pertinent in online research with parents and children. Such research may be sensitive in nature and involve vulnerable populations. Communicating with and engaging minors in an online setting can present further challenges, such as how researchers accurately determine a child’s capacity to consent to participate and the process of obtaining parental consent. Within this context, it is imperative that researchers, ethics committees and institutional review boards are aware of the advantages, limitations and ethical challenges of recruiting, retaining or tracing participants online.
5. (a) Russia and Ukraine war has been going on for the last seven months. Different countries have taken independent stands and actions keeping in view their own national interests. We are all aware that war has its own impact on the different aspects of society, including human tragedy. What are those ethical issues that are crucial to be considered while launching the war and its continuation so far? Illustrate with justification the ethical issues involved in the given state of affair. (Answer in 150 words) 10
“Not the era of War” by PM Modi to Russia President Vladimir Putin.
International morality consists of moral principles and endorsed by a number of nations.
- Protection of Human Life in Peace
- Protection of Human Life in War
- Moral condemnation of War.
States use coercive power in self-interest. War has broken all the international norms which make vulnerable more vulnerable.
Involved Ethical Issues-
- Harassment with War prisoners,
- Rampant corruption,
- global hunger and poverty,
According to realism, the dominant perspective in global politics assumes that international relations are fundamental conflict and guided by National self-interest rooted in power.
5. (b) Write short notes on the following in 30 words each:
(i) Constitutional morality
According to Dr. Ambedkar, Constitutional morality would mean effective coordination between conflicting interests of different people and the administrative cooperation to resolve them amicably without any confrontation amongst the various groups working for the realization of their ends at any cost.
(ii) Conflict of interest
conflict of interest occurs when an entity or individual becomes unreliable because of a clash between personal (or self-serving) interests and professional duties or responsibilities. Such a conflict occurs when a company or person has a vested interest—such as money, status, knowledge, relationships, or reputation—which puts into question whether their actions, judgment, and/or decision-making can be unbiased. When such a situation arises, the party is usually asked to remove themselves, and it is often legally required of them.
(iii) Probity in public life
Probity in public life are the standards that society expects those elected or appointed to public office to observe and maintain in the conduct of the public affairs to which they have been entrusted. These standards safeguard the nation from corruption by politicians and public officials who have been given almost unrestricted access to public resources together with the power to take decisions that impact on the lives of everyone.
(iv) Challenges of digitalization
Digital divide, Poor infrastructure, A new avenue of criminal activity, Privacy issues, Impact on physical and mental health, A lack of in-house expertise, poor employee uptake, lack of planning and strategy, lack of change management strategy, Complex software & technology, Driving adoption of new tools & processes, continuous evolution of customer needs, lack of a digital transformation strategy, lack of proper IT skills, security concerns and budget constraints.
(v) Devotion to duty
- Strong feelings of loyalty, love, and admiration of workers for their work that enables them the desire to exert more time, energy, and effort.
- Keeps a person on track in challenging circumstances.
- Public service may not often pay the best, not have the best facilities but in such cases, it is the devotion to the duty that keeps one driven.
6.(a) Whistleblower, who reports corruption and illegal activities, wrongdoing and misconduct to the concerned authorities, runs the risk of being exposed to grave danger, physical harm and victimization by the vested interests, accused persons and his team. What policy measures would you suggest to strengthen the protection mechanism to safeguard the whistleblower? (Answer in 150 words) 10
- The whistle-blower is anyone providing undisclosed information to expose wrongdoings and corruption.
- As the emphasis on transparency and accountability increases, acts of whistle-blowing to need to be encouraged and a protection regime needs to be institutionalized
- Often, the whistle-blowers are victimized, threatened, and met with violence as well. This deters future whistle-blowers and also the rule of law comes under scrutiny.
- Whistle-blowers Protection Act, 2014 was enacted in India to provide a framework to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and to protect persons who allege any wrongdoings.
Policies To Strengthen the Protection of Whistle-Blowers:
- Comprehensive protection is built into the law, against discriminatory or retaliatory personal action against the whistle-blower.
- Waiving Criminal liability and Civil liability on the whistle-blowers: May consider waiving criminal and civil liability for protected disclosures, or only affording protection if the disclosure is made through a prescribed channel.
- Protecting the privacy of Whistle-blowers: A token mechanism can be implemented which can only be made accessible to the judiciary or senior officers if needed.
- Lowering the burden of proof: Whistle-blower protection laws may lower the burden of proof whereby the employer must prove that the conduct taken against the employee is unrelated to his or her whistleblowing.
- Opening up more channels: This May refer to one or more channels by which protected disclosures can be made (internal disclosures, external disclosures to a designated body, and external disclosures to the public).
- Incentivization: A rewards system to encourage reporting can also be adopted.
6.(b) In the contemporary world, the corporate sector’s contribution in generating wealth and employment is increasing. In doing so, they are bringing in the unprecedented onslaught on the climate, environmental sustainability and living conditions of human beings. In this background, do you find the corporate social Responsibility (CSR) is efficient and sufficient enough to fulfill the social roles and responsibilities needed in the corporate work mandated? Critically examine. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
- The idea of CSR is based on good corporate citizenship, in which businesses contribute to societal growth as part of their corporate duty for putting society’s resources to beneficial use.
- CSR was introduced in India as a mandatory provision by the Enactment of Companies Act, 2013 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- The business makes use of society’s limited resources. Business frequently has a negative impact on the environment.
- In the middle of oceans of poverty, islands of wealth cannot exist. Government alone will not be able to solve the problems of inclusive growth.
- Businesses should support the government’s efforts in tackling today’s societal issues.
Is CSR Sufficient Enough?
- CSR is good at generating resources for social causes however the intent behind the law is to be socially responsible, which cannot be imposed externally.
- Outside of the ambit of law: Many companies do not fall within the ambit of law but that does not mean that they should not be responsible. There has to be internal motivation within the organization.
- Audit to avoid corruption: Ethical practices have to be adopted by the leader’s Many companies that followed CSR by law were later found to be involved in various nefarious activities.
- The conflict between profit chasing and providing value to society: Many practices by new tech companies have been found questionable such as data harvesting, using personal information for ads, etc.
- Cherry picking of CSR activities: Corporations only engage in such CSR activities which are beneficial to the organization. Hence, most of the funds utilized for CSR activities goes to specific sectors only.
7. Prabhat was working as Vice President (Marketing) at Sterling Electric Ltd., a reputed multinational company. But presently the company was passing through the difficult times as the sales were continuously showing a downward trend in the last two quarters. His division, which hitherto had been a major revenue contributor to the company’s financial health, was now desperately trying to procure some big government order for them. But their best efforts did not yield any positive success or breakthrough.
His was a professional company and his local bosses were under pressure from their London-based HO to show some positive results. In the last performance review meeting taken by the Executive Director (India Head), he was reprimanded for his poor performance. He assured them that his division is working on a special contract from the Ministry of Defence for a secret installation near Gwalior and tender is being submitted shortly.
He was under extreme pressure and he was deeply perturbed. What aggravated the situation further was a warning from the top that if the deal is not clinched in favour of the company, his division might have to be closed and he may have to quit his lucrative job.
There was another dimension which was causing him deep mental torture and agony. This pertained to his personal precarious financial health. He was a single earner in the family with two school-college going children and his old ailing mother. The heavy expenditure on education and medical was causing a big strain to his monthly pay packet. Regular EMI for housing loans taken from banks is unavoidable and any default would render him liable for severe legal action.
In the above backdrop, he was hoping for some miracle to happen. There was a sudden turn of events. His secretary informed that a gentleman Subhas Verma wanted to see him as he was interested in the position of Manager which was to be filled by him in the company. He further brought to his notice that his CV has been received through the office of the Minister of Defence.
During the interview of the candidate-Subhash Verma, he found him technically sound, resourceful and an experienced marketeer. He seemed to be well-conversant with tendering procedures and having a knack of follow-up and liaising in this regard Prabhat felt that he was a better choice than the rest of the candidates who were recently interviewed by him in the last few days.
Subhash Verma also indicated that he was in possession of the copies of the bid documents that the Unique Electronics Ltd. would be submitting the next day to the Defence Ministry for their tender. He offered to hand over those documents subject to his employment in the company on suitable terms and conditions. He made it clear that in the process, the Sterling Electric Ltd. could outbid their rival company and get the bid and hefty Defence Ministry order. He indicated that it will be a win-win situation for both-him and the company.
Prabhat was absolutely stunned. It was a mixed feeling of shock and thrill. He was uncomfortable and perspiring. If accepted, all his problems would vanish instantly and he may be rewarded for securing the much-awaited tender and thereby boosting the company’s sales and financial health. He was in a fix as to the future course of action. He was wonder-struck at the guts of Subhash Verma in having surreptitiously removing his own company papers and offering to the rival company for a job. Being an experienced person, he was examining the pros and cons of the proposal/situation and he asked him to come the next day.
- Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case.
- Critically examine the options available to Prabhat in the above situation.
- Which of the above would be the most appropriate for Prabhat and why?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
Ans (A) Coercive Power
Prabhat was under pressure since he received a warning from the top executives of the company.
As Prabhat has the option to hire Subash Verma which can help him get the tender but hiring Subash Verma carries the risk of causing fraud or cheating to the company given Subash’s character.
Hire Subash and get the tender by outbidding the rival company.
- Profit to the company.
- Security of family as his job is retained.
- Not a prudent decision to include someone in the company who can cheat on the company for his gain.
- Vice of greed.
Not to hire Subash Verma and make plans for bidding on his own.
- To save the company from future complications because of Subash Verma’s stealing of confidential papers from his previous company.
- Virtue of Self-control displayed by Prabhat.
- Chance of getting laid off by the company if the tender is not acquired.
- May face legal action if the loan is not repaid.
Diligently make a plan for bidding and hire Subash Verma but not take his papers.
- Follows prudence as Subash Verma is competent.
- Following virtue ethics and professionalism.
- May not get a tender and lose his job.
- Subash Verma may cause similar cheating for future gains.
Option 2 should be chosen.
- Integrity matters more than anything.
- Prabhat is a Vice President of the company. He possesses expert power. If he can convey his pure intention to his boss then he may retain his job.
- Saving the company from future losses due to the hiring of Subash.
8. Ramesh is a State Civil Services Officer who got the opportunity of getting posted to the capital of a border State after rendering 20 years of service. Ramesh’s mother has recently been detected cancer and has been admitted in the leading cancer hospital of the city. His two adolescent children have also got admission in one of the best public schools of the town. After settling down in his appointment as Director in the Home Department of the State, Ramesh got confidential report through intelligence sources that illegal migrants are infiltrating in the State from the neighbouring country. He decided to personally carry out surprise checks of the border posts along with his Home Department team. To his surprise, he caught red-handed two families of 12 members infiltrated with the connivance of the security personnel at the border posts. On further inquiry and investigation, it was found that after the migrants from neighbouring countries infiltrate, their documentation like Aadhaar Card, Ration Card and Voter Card are also forged and they are made to settle down in a particular area of the State. Ramesh prepared the detailed and comprehensive report and submitted to the Additional Secretary of the State. However, he has summoned by the Additional Home Secretary after a week and was instructed to withdraw the report. The Additional Home Secretary informed Ramesh that the report submitted by him has not been appreciated by the higher authorities. He further cautioned him that if he fails to withdraw the confidential ort, he will not only be posted out from the prestigious appointment from the State capital but his further promotion which is due in near future will also get in jeopardy.
- What are the options available to Ramesh as the Director of the Home Department of the bordering State?
- What option should Ramesh adopt and why?
- Critically evaluate each of the options.
- What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ramesh?
- What policy measures would you suggest to combat the menace of infiltration of illegal migrants from the neighbouring country?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
As per my analysis of the case, following options are available before Ramesh:
- He should follow the code of conduct and as per All India Services Rules, 2011, confirm in writing, the instructions from Addl. Home Secretary to withdraw his confidential report on illegal migrants’ infiltration.
- Second option, before him, could be to abide by the decision of Addl. Home Secretary and withdraw his report, out of fear of losing his posting and subsequently its impact on his family.
- Ramesh should follow the Code of Conduct and proceed as per laws and regulations and confirm the instructions of withdrawal in writing.
- This is because the confidential report he has prepared has deep ethical concerns viz., issues of corruption by Border Security personnel, illegal settlements of migrants which may lead to multiple issues of human trafficking, organ trafficking, sexual exploitation, debt bondage, domestic servitude and most importantly, internal security threats.
- Thus, Ramesh should proceed as per laid down norms and ask for further directions on the matter in writing from authorities.
The options available to Ramesh are as follows:
- Confirm the instructions in writing – By opting this, Ramesh would follow his conscience and perform the duty-based ethics, as well as serve justice to his duty by explicitly expressing his intent of not letting go of the malaise unchecked. This option shows that he is a courageous, virtuous person individually and also a responsible civil servant following the code of conduct and fighting against malaise in society.
- Put his personal needs of lucrative posting and upcoming promotion before his duty – I am against this option that Ramesh may follow. Considering lucrative posting and upcoming promotion, Ramesh may opt for such an option. This would show that he is a psychological egoist, greedy, selfish and timid person who lacks integrity and courage to stand against the wrong happenings and raise his voice.
- Ramesh may withdraw the confidential report under pressure of family needs of cancer treatment of his mother in the city and children’s education in the best school: – I am not in support of this option that Ramesh may opt. In case, Ramesh opts for such an option, this will show his crisis of conscience and lack of fortitude to courageously face the personal issues. In addition, this shows that Ramesh is surrounded by fear of losing his posting/ transfer which may affect his mother’s cancer treatment.
The ethical dilemmas faced by Ramesh are:
- If he does not withdraw the confidential report, he may lose his posting which will affect his mother’s cancer treatment and children’s education.
- If he withdraws the confidential report, he will not be able to expose the rampant corruption and illegal settlements by migrants from foreign nations which may lead to a severe socio-economic crisis in future.
Thus, even if Ramesh follows either of the two aforesaid one, he is bound to violate the ethical principles/ obligations of society.
Policy measures in this regard could be:
- Strict enforcement of provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946 and regulations framed thereunder.
- Regular raids and periodic inspections of border areas.
- Strict actions against official
- ls caught in colluding with the infiltrators.
- Illegal migrants to be sent to detention centres.
9. The Supreme Court has banned mining in the Aravalli Hills to stop degradation of the forest cover and to maintain ecological balance. However, the stone mining is still prevalent in the border district of the affected State with connivance of certain corrupt forest officials and politicians. Young and dynamic SP who was recently posted in the affected district promised to himself to stop this menace. In one of his surprise checks with his team, he found loaded truck with stone trying to escape the mining area. He tried to stop the truck but the truck driver overran the police officer, killing him on the spot and thereafter managed to flee. Police filed an FIR but no breakthrough was achieved in the case for almost three months. Ashok who was the Investigative Journalist working with leading TV channel, suo moto started investigating the case. Within one month, Ashok got breakthrough by interacting with local people, stone mining masia and government officials. He prepared his investigative story and presented it to the CMD of the TV channel. He exposed in his investigative report the complete nexus of the stone mafia working with the blessing of corrupt police and civil officials and politicians. The politician who was involved in the mafia was no one else but a local MLA who was considered to be very close to the Chief Minister. After going through the investigative report, the CMD advised Ashok to drop the idea of making the story public through electronic media. He informed that the local MLA was not only the relative of the owner of the TV channel but also had unofficially 20 percent share in the channel. The CMD further informed Ashok that his further promotion and hike in pay will be taken care of in addition the soft loan of 10 lakhs which he has taken from the TV channel for his son’s chronic disease will be suitably adjusted if he hands over the investigative report to him.
- What are the options available to Ashok to cope up with the situation?
- Critically evaluate/examine each of the options identified by Ashok.
- What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ashok?
- Which of the options, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Ashok to adopt and why?
- (e)In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for police officers posted to such districts where stone mining illegal activities are rampant?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
Option 1 – Do as the CMD says -> Merits and Demerits (bullet points)
Option 2 – Make this case public through electronic media -> Merits and Demerits (bullet points)
Option 3 – Take NGOs and local support along with the cooperation of present SP and DM and file a case -> Merits and Demerits (bullet points)
Option 1: Do as the CMD says
Merits: promotion, soft loan, son’s health
Demerits: unethical, broken integrity, injustice, compromising professional ethics, media trust
Option 2 Make this case public through electronic media
Merits: Justice, Truth, Transparency, Answerability, Professional Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Welfare of the Society (Tribal Community), selflessness, Media Trust (fourth pillar of democracy), code of ethics in media – seek truth and report it.
-> moral -> professional ethics -> ethical-> justice -> leader -> ethical Standards -> Virtuoso Demerits->External Life Threats, Pressure on Family-> compromising son’s health, job loss,
Option 3 – Take NGOs and local support along with the cooperation of present SP and DM and file a case
Merits -> Justice, Truth, Transparency, Answerability, Professional Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Welfare of the Society (Tribal Community), selflessness, extra advantage of life security after the involvement of local support, NGOs, SP, DM and court, job, son’s care could be taken by NGOs, Media Trust (fourth pillar of democracy) code of ethics in media – seek truth and report it
Demerits -> Pressure on Family, professional relations hampered (code of conduct breached)
Moral Dilemma (external pressure or professional ethics, loyalty vs truth).
Ethical Dilemma (follow societal standards or for personal interest compromise the societal standards, injustice vs justice).
Epistemic Dilemma (son, family vs public, environment).
Critical analysis of all the options, there merits and demerits,
choosing the most appropriate one – option 3,
merit of weightage is higher than all other options merits, proportionality of merits to that of demerits is much higher (following the virtuous path without compromising the safety of the family)
Policy measures in this regard could be:
Strict enforcement of provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946 and regulations framed thereunder.
Regular raids and periodic inspections of border areas.
Strict actions against officials caught in colluding with the infiltrators.
Illegal migrants to be sent to detention centres.
- Suggestion 1: Use of Als, GPS Trackers, Real Time Data location -> training and facilities -> would help to track the mining mafias.
- Suggestion 2: Train them how to gain trust and become “MY MAN” and “MY MAN” informers -> inform about all illegal actions
- Suggestion 3: Formal and Informal contact with district mining engineer -> collaboration with DM (powers of mining acts resides with DM in some states)
10. You have done MBA from a reputed institution three years back but could not get campus placement due to COVID-19 generated recession. However, after a lot of persuasion and a series of competitive tests including written and interview, you managed to get a job in a leading shoe company. You have ageur parents who are dependent and staying with you. You also recently got married after getting this decent job. You were allotted the Inspection Section which is responsible for clearing the final product. In the first one year, you learnt your job well and was appreciated for your performance by the management. The company has been doing good business for the last five years in the domestic market and this year it is decided even to export to Europe and Gulf countries. However, one large consignment to Europe was rejected by their Inspecting Team due to certain poor quality and was sent back. The top management ordered that ibid consignment to be cleared for the domestic market. As a part of the Inspecting Team, you observed the glaring poor quality and brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander. However, the top management advised all the members of the team to overlook these defects as the management cannot bear such a huge loss. Rest of the team members except you promptly signed and cleared the consignment for the domestic market, overlooking glaring defects. You again brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander that such consignment, if cleared even for the domestic market, will tarnish the image and reputation of the company and will be counter-productive in the long run. However, you were further advised by the top management that if you do not clear the consignment, the company will not hesitate to terminate your services citing certain innocuous reasons.
- Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a member of the Inspecting Team?
- Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.
- What option would you adopt and why?
- What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by you?
- What can be the consequences of overlooking the observations raised by the Inspecting Team?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
Stakeholders: rejected Selling Export Products in local market
- An MBA Graduate and his family
- Shoe company
- Team Commander of the Inspection Section
- Top Management of the Company
Ethical Dilemmas: rejected selling export products in the local market
- Keeping one’s job in the difficult economic situation
- Being true to the duty and commitment
- Following the voice of conscience or following orders of the senior
- Ethical business management
Decision Options: rejected selling export products in the local market
Option 1: Follow the instructions of the Team Commander
Option 2: Respectfully decline to follow the instruction and also look for another job
Option 3: Communicate with the top management with a well-laid-out reasoning for not clearing the consignment.
Option 4: leaking to the media. Utilitarian principle.
Option 1: Follow the instructions of the Team Commander:
- Job security for the Inspector
- The company might save some money as the consignment is used somewhere.
- Pose a risk to the company in the future and it arises a conflict with duties for the Inspector.
Option 2: Respectfully decline to follow the instruction and also look for another job:
- It seems an ethical course as the Inspection job requires.
- The company might be saved from any future embarrassments.
- He might lose his job. He may have difficulty getting a new job.
Option 3: Communicate with top management with proper reasoning for not clearing consignment:
- This action is both courteous and on ethical lines.
- It would aid management in understanding the logic behind not clearing the consignment.
- It will help in saving the company’s reputation.
- Companies will lose some money.
Possible Consequence of Overlooking Observations Raised by Inspecting Team:
- Likelihood of the discovery of sub-standard products by the consumers
- Loss of reputation of the company
- Loss of the loyal customer base and possible revenue loss in the future
- Such practices might also not align with the law so after the discovery this might attract penal action for the company and top management, and the inspector from law agencies.
- Loss of trust among the stakeholders of the company
Way Forward: – rejected selling export products in the local market
Would choose Option 3,
- Communicate with the top management with well-laid-out reasoning for not clearing the consignment.
- This is a proper course of action as it is in line with his professional duty, and ethical and moral behaviour.
- According to Dr. BR Ambedkar, constitutional morality is “Effective coordination between conflicting interests of the people and administrative cooperation so that it can be resolved without any friction between different groups working to achieve their objectives”.
- Agreeing to constitutional provisions like commitment to liberty, and constitutional supremacy
11. Rakesh was working as a Joint Commissioner in the Transport department of a city. As a part of his job profile, among others, he was entrusted with the task of overseeing the control and functioning of the City Transport Department. A case strike by drivers’ union of the City Transport Department over the issue of compensation to a driver who died on duty while driving the bus came up before him for decision in the matter.
He gathered that the driver (deceased) was plying Bus No. 528 which passed through busy and congested roads of the city. It so happened that near an intersection on the way, there was an accident involving a middle-aged man. It was found that there was an altercation between the driver and the car driver. Heated arguments between them led to a fight and the driver gave him a blow. Lot of passersby had gathered and tried to intervene but without success. Eventually, both of them were badly injured and profusely bleeding and were taken to the nearby hospital. The driver succumbed to the injuries and could not be saved. The middle-aged driver’s condition was also critical but after a day, he recovered and was discharged. Police had immediately come to the spot and an FIR was registered. Police investigation revealed that the quarrel was started by the bus driver and he had resorted to physical violence. There is an exchange of blows between them.
The City Transport Department management is considering not giving any extra compensation to the driver’s (deceased) family. The family is very aggrieved. depressed and agitated against the discriminatory and non-sympathetic approach of the City Transport Department management. The bus driver (deceased) was 52 years of age, was survived by his wife and two school-college going daughters. He was the sole earner of the family. The City Transport Department workers’ union took up this case and when found no favourable response from the management, decided to go on strike. The union’s demand was twofold. First was full extra compensation as given to other drivers who died on duty and secondly employment to one family member. The strike has continued for 10 days and the deadlock remains.
- What are the options available to Rakesh to meet the above situation?
- Critically examine each of the options identified by Rakesh
- What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Rakesh?
- What course of action would Rakesh adopt to diffuse the above situation?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
compensation to the Dead bus driver’s family
- Officials of the Transport department and Police
- Bus driver and his family
- Car driver and his family
Ethical Dilemmas: compensation to the Dead bus driver’s family
The choice between:
Challenge of behaving in an emotionally intelligent manner.
precedent in the future.
Rule of law.
Union strike = public is affected negatively.
Decision Options: compensation to the Dead bus driver’s family
Agree to all demands and resolve the situation at the earliest => bad precedent.
Agree to one of the demands of getting a job to one family member on sympathetic grounds: but not to the compensation
Hold negotiations with family members as well as with the Union and find a reasonable way forward
Option 1: Decline to accept demands of the Union: explain to the bus driver union leaders.
- This would show that the Commissioner is grit and can’t be arm-twisted.
- This would also save public exchequer funds.
- However, this might lead to further agitations.
- This might portray the department as apathetic and callous.
- The future of the family of the Bus driver would still be in the dark.
Option 2: Agree to all demands & resolve situation at the earliest
- It would resolve the deadlock and services would run smoothly.
- It would take care of the family of the bus driver.
- The department would also appear sensitive toward the need of the driver.
- It would set a bad precedent.
- It might cause a loss of funds to the department.
Option 3: Agree to one of the demands of getting a job; but not to the compensation
- This can be treated as a middle way and might get unions to back down.
- It would take care of one of the key demands of the family and their future would be secure.
- Department may appear caring and sensitive, which is a good thing.
- However, this might again set a bad precedent.
Option 4: Hold negotiations with family members & with Union and find a way forward
- Meeting family members will show the humane side of the department.
- Holding negotiations would show that the department respects the wishes of the Union.
- Persuasion is a good tactic in such difficult cases.
- A middle path can be reached where everyone meets halfway.
12. You are appointed as an officer heading the section in the Environment Pollution Control Board to ensure compliance and its follow-up. In that region, there were a large number of small and medium industries which had been granted clearance. You learnt that these industries provide employment to many migrant workers. Most of the industrial units have got environmental clearance certificates in their possession. The environmental clearance seeks to curb industries and projects that supposedly hamper the environment and living species in the region, But in practice, most of these units remain to be polluting units in several ways like air, water and soil pollution. As such, local people encountered persistent health problems.
It was confirmed that the majority of the industries were violating environmental compliance. You issued notice to all the industrial units to apply for a fresh environmental clearance certificate from the competent authority. However, your action met with hostile response from a section of the industrial units, other vested interest persons and a section of the local politicians. The workers also became hostile to you as they felt that your action would lead to the closure of these industrial units, and the resultant unemployment will lead to insecurity and uncertainty in their livelihood. Many owners of the industries approached you with the plea that you should not initiate harsh action as it would compel them to sell their units, and cause huge financial loss, shortage of their products in the market. These would obviously add to the sufferings of the labourers and the consumers alike. The labour union also sent you a representation requesting against the closure of the units. You simultaneously started receiving threats from unknown corners. You however received support from some of your colleagues, who advised you to act freely to ensure environmental compliance. Local NGOs also came to your support and they demanded the closure of the polluting units immediately.
- What are the options available to you under the given situation?
- Critically examine the options listed by you.
- What type of mechanism would you suggest ensuring environmental compliance?
- What are the ethical dilemmas you faced in exercising your option?
(Answer in 250 words) 20
Shutdown the industries for the pollution control
- Official of Environment pollution Control Board
- Industries in the region
- Migrant workers
- Local people facing health problem
- Local NGOs
Ethical Dilemmas: Shutdown the industries for the pollution control
- Environment vs development
- Right of unprivileged vs professional duty
- Dilemmas involving fairness
- Dilemmas involving Accountability
- Public interest
- Rule of Law
- Job security of the officer
Decision option: Shutdown the industries for the pollution control
- Allowing the industries unit to operate as they have already got environmental clearance earlier.
- Stick to the fresh order issued by me.
- Forming an expert committee to resolve the issue in a phased manner.
Option 1: Allowing industrial unit to continue:
- Industrial unit will not close.
- These industrial units provide employment to the migrant workers.
- Closing of these units will lead to unemployment, insecurity, and uncertainty, among the workers.
- Will affect the development.
- Huge financial loss.
- But these options do not allow me to fulfil my duty towards the environment.
- This order can be considered as a violation of fundamental right i.e. right to life under article 21.
- Opportunity of being heard.
- Withdraw the notice, but the public health is in danger, everyone satisfied except the public.
- Rule of law
- Accountability to public
- Transparency to the notice issued. If you withdraw then your reputation/image is in danger.
- Don’t withdraw the notice, bring to logical conclusion stick to the fresh order issued by me.
- This option will allow me to perform my duty toward the environment.
- This order is fresh and as per the norm of the environmental pollution control board.
- But it will lead to unemployment of a large section of people.
- This may create political instability, unrest etc.
- This order may hinder the local development as many of the industrial units may be closed.
- Forming an expert committee to resolve the issue in a phased manner
- This is a middle path
- This order will provide the opportunity to get the views of all the stakeholders
- This order will allow implementation in a phased manner without closing the industrial units.
- So, this option is Win Win for Everyone.