1. If you are given an opportunity to lead a government initiative, how would you balance between bureaucratic compulsions that lead to delays and urgent needs of the poor requiring immediate attention? Discuss.
Bureaucracy is a bridge between the Government and the people. Government is a steward of public good. It articulates priorities based on the needs of the people, translates them into policies and implements programmes based on those policies, so that lives of the people improve continuously.
These priorities, policies and programmes change with the changing aspirations and requirements of the people, to which the government and bureaucracy has to adjust accordingly.
Leading a Government initiative is replete with huge responsibility and one has to balance between following a strict set of Government procedures and also the aspirations of the beneficiaries whom the scheme is supposed to address.
Since the initiative for example building a housing project for the poor like PMAY, it has various stakeholders like Government, external contractors, various regulatory bodies to provide clearances some delay is bound to happen which may lead to various anxieties amongst the poor which has to be allayed which I will balance in the following ways:
1) First the ground work from my side has to be done like identification and verification of targeted beneficiaries which will make me gain public trust that the project will soon be inaugurated- Reliability
2) Regular updates of the progress must be made known to the beneficiaries by use of regular campaigns on both social media and traditional media- Transparency to increase trustworthiness.
3) I will involve various other stakeholders like the local NGOs, community and village elders to help me in information dissipation. – Stakeholder participation
4) Meticulous follow up in the government offices about the status of the project and reasons for delay. – Steadfastness
5) Will suggest on portals like MyGov.in about e-file system and need for reduction of paperwork (Concept of ERP and paperless office) so that traditional delays will be minimized. – Social responsibility
6) Explain the same to the poor which would be both responsible and responsive for which attributes like patience, honesty and integrity have to be self imbibed so that I can be a model citizen who can be an example for his peers.
Finally I will ensure that despite the delay the initiative started by the government is finished on time and its benefits will reach the truly needy.
2. The Indian constitution has set high moral standards for public life. Do you agree? Substantiate.
(There cannot be only one way to answer this question, the focus is on approach rather than content in this model answer)
It is hard to describe the moral philosophy in the Indian constitution in one word. It resists any single label because it is liberal, democratic, egalitarian, secular, open to community values, sensitive to the needs of religious and linguistic minorities as well as historically disadvantaged groups, and committed to building a common national identity.
In short, it is committed to freedom, equality, social justice, and some form of national unity. But underneath all this, there is a clear emphasis on peaceful and democratic measures for putting this philosophy into practice.
Some people believe that a constitution merely consists of laws and that laws are one thing, values and morality, quite another. Therefore, we can have only a legalistic, not a political philosophy approach to the Constitution. It is true that all laws do not have a moral content, but many laws are closely connected to our deeply held values. For example, a law might prohibit discrimination of persons on grounds of language or religion. Such a law is connected to the idea of equality. Such a law exists because we value equality. Therefore, there is a connection between laws and moral values. We must therefore, look upon the constitution as a document that is based on a certain moral vision for public life.
Here you can write similarly about various moral values from Preamble, Fundamental rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive principles of state policy, various Institutional measures and legislative controls. Need to focus on more specific illustration of constitutional provisions instead of just mentioning them or enlisting them.
3. What are the main causes of ethical dilemma in public life? Discuss. How can one address them?
The public life of an individual is summation of his personal and professional belief , moral values and actions. The social interface is complex and is driven by different role in different circumstances.
Reason why ethical dilemma occurs in public life:
Personal and professional conflict of interest- Example when a police officers friends son is attested by him in case of molestation.
Role of external agencies- The influence of Seniors, Political leaders in driving any action.
When the personal moral values are in against the work assigned.Example when a honest sales man has to sale a defect medical device which may affect patients health.
When the roles in public life is not clearly demarcated and assigned.
Short sighted objectives which satisfy immediate sense of gratification.
Essential Steps for Ethical Problem-Solving:
DETERMINE whether there is an ethical issue or/and dilemma. Is there a conflict of values, or rights, or professional responsibilities? (For example, there may be an issue of self-determination of an adolescent versus the well-being of the family.)
IDENTIFY the key values and principles involved. What meanings and limitations are typically attached to these competing values? (For example, rarely is confidential information held in absolute secrecy; however, typically decisions about access by third parties to sensitive content should be contracted with clients.)
RANK the values or ethical principles which – in your professional judgement – are most relevant to the issue or dilemma. What reasons can you provide for prioritizing one competing value/principle over another? (For example, your client’s right to choose a beneficial course of action could bring hardship or harm to others who would be affected.)
DEVELOP an action plan that is consistent with the ethical priorities that have been determined as central to the dilemma. Have you conferred with clients and colleagues, as appropriate, about the potential risks and consequences of alternative courses of action? Can you support or justify your action plan with the values/principles on which the plan is based? (For example, have you conferred with all the necessary persons regarding the ethical dimensions of planning for a battered wife’s quest to secure secret shelter and the implications for her teen-aged children?)
IMPLEMENT your plan, utilizing the most appropriate practice skills and competencies. How will you make use of core social work skills such as sensitive communication, skillful negotiation, and cultural competence? (For example, skillful colleague or supervisory communication and negotiation may enable an impaired colleague to see her/his impact on clients and to take appropriate action.)
REFLECT on the outcome of this ethical decision making process. How would you evaluate the consequences of this process for those involved: Client(s), professional(s), and agency (ies)? (Increasingly, professionals have begun to seek support, further professional training, and consultation through the development of Ethics review Committees or Ethics Consultation processes.)
4. What are the challenges for mining in India? Do you think the recently approved National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) can address these challenges? Examine.
Mining sector in India contributes about 2.1% to our GDP. The sector however is riddled with various challenges which the government has sought to remove through National Mineral Exploration Policy.
Issues related to mining in India:
Environmental concerns- open cast mining which is highly pollution has become a norm for almost all mining activities.
Political nexus encouraging corruption through non-transparent auctioning is another challenge.
Social issues- child labor, exploitation of workers
Lack of scientific data
Monopoly of state owned companies.
Old and obsolete technology, low skilled manpower, low output etc.
Poor connectivity through inland waterways means over-reliance on railways for transportation and thus increased transportation costs as well as delays.
Non- uniform distribution of minerals as well as unmapped reserves.
The NMEP can address the above-mentioned challenges in following ways:
Mining Surveillance System has been launched to check illegal mining.
E-auctioning of exploration blocks which replaces first-come-first serve basis of allocation will ensure transparency and accountability.
By making available baseline geo-scientific data of world standards and quality research in PPP, the private sector will be encouraged to involve in mining activities in India. Involvement of private sector will end monopoly of state owned companies ensuring competitiveness.
Auctioning of exploration blocks on revenue sharing basis rather than production sharing basis is a win-win for both government and the private sector.
The policy suggests setting up of National Central for Mineral Targeting to address exploration challenges.
Effective implementation of the policy will surely revamp mining sector in India. However, other issues like environmental laws, labor exploitation etc. need to be addressed to obtain full potential of this policy. Thus, steps like EIA for environmental issues, involving civil society (eg Chhatisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh) monitoring for child labor and illegal issues etc. Are the need of the hour.
5. What are the main recommendations of the TSR committee on education? What is your opinion on the recommendations made by by the committee?
Government of India to improve the education sector and bring reforms entrusted the task to former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian. He came up with New Education policy for India which will change the lives of future generations.
Recommendations of TSR committee:
IES: Establishing all India education services.
Budget support: of 6% of GDP.
TET to be compulsory and minimum 50% in graduation.
Compulsory licensing: Of teachers.
No-Detention: only up to 5th and Pre-schooling as right
National level test: After 12th and on demand board exam earlier.
Mid-day meal: Up to secondary level
Management of Higher Education: Separate management and lapse of UGC
Foreign universities: allowing top 200 universities to enter.
Views on the recommendation:
The recommendations are positive steps towards reforms especially All India service, budgetary support, Mid-day meals scheme.
Licensing of teachers might affect the quality especially in higher education. Professional employed as visiting professors provide invaluable insights which will be lost.
There no formal institution for ranking university. In such case on what basic top 200 will be selected.
Politics on campus is a sensitive issue. Implementing it will be difficult as most of present leaders were student leaders
Lastly the most important is retaining teachers in the sector and addressing their issues. The nation is built on the educational foundation provided by them for future generations. Their salary and facility should be improved on par with developed countries to motivate them to give more.