SYNOPSIS GS Paper 4 FULL MOCK[8th October,2020] : IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing
1.a) Describe ‘Kant’s Deontological Theory’. (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to write details of Deontological Theory as propounded by Kant.
Immanuel Kant, the foremost philosopher of Deontology, proposed a moral law called “categorical imperative” stating that morality is derived from rationality. According to Kant there are “categorical imperatives” which are in nature of absolute commands and need to be obeyed without exception for action to be judged as ethical.
According to Kant, ethics based on the consequences is based up on hypothetical imperative and do not have moral sanction. The lack of absoluteness in consequential approach makes them a matter of desire.
- For instance, a Public Servant has to take a decision where among stakeholders, one’s gain is others loss e.g. In a situation of land acquisition for setting up factory, farmers livelihood is lost but at the same time there will be job creation for Youths.
- In such a situation Consequential approach becomes a matter of preference for Public Servant with no objective guide to arrive at moral action.
- This framework has the advantage of creating a system of rules which is consistent with expectations of people.
- Deontological ethics holds that at least some acts are morally obligatory regardless of their consequences for human welfare.
- This framework has the advantage of creating a system of rules that has consistent expectations of all people.
- If an action is ethically required, it would apply to every person in a given situation. Thus, speaking truth in all situations is categorical imperative which is applicable universally.
- This approach is helpful in resolving dilemmas a civil servant may face during performance of duty where a course of action may resolve a genuine problem by going against established procedure. The categorical imperative of giving precedence to duty helps in resolving such dilemmas.
- By focusing on a person’s intentions, it also places ethics entirely within our control – we can’t always control or predict the outcomes of our actions, but we are in complete control of our intentions.
The advantages of ‘Deontological approach’ are innumerable. However, due to its theoretical perspective it has some of the drawbacks’ as mentioned below:
- Notion of finding a universal moral standard has been criticised by some of the philosophers who argue that, because of cultural differences in societies, arriving at absolute standards of morality is hard to achieve.
- Bioethical decisions in areas such as abortion, euthanasia, cloning, organ harvesting, end-of-life decisions, etc. are against the ethics of a medical practitioner, yet practiced for the greater good.
- It poses a challenge to utilitarianism as it ignores what is at stake in terms of consequences. Kant, for example, argued it would be unethical to lie about the location of our friend, even to a person trying to murder them!
- This approach may require actions which are known to produce harms, even though they are strictly in keeping with a particular moral rule. For example, in situations like Second World War, where German bureaucrats may justify their actions as result of duty or obligations cast up on them.
Judging a person’s behaviour on the basis of a single absolute imperative is likely to produce undesirable situation. Hence, the rigidity of Deontology can be tackled by using threshold deontology where the decision is based on the nature of situation.
1. (b) Define the following virtues and describe their significance in civil services:(200 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to define and state the significance of the aforesaid virtues in civil services.
Definition: A benevolent interest or concern for others is known as goodwill. Goodwill is an important virtue to affirm the dignity and respect of individual.
Significance: Active participation of citizens is essential for the effective implementation of public policy on ground. Goodwill ensures the civil servants are true to the service of citizens and this virtue when recognized by citizens can help persuade them in bringing changes
by acting on the sheer goodwill of the bureaucrat.
Example: Kerala’s Kannur became India’s first plastic-free district, that too in just five months through efforts of District Collector, Mir Mohammed Ali who initiated a focused campaign towards phasing out plastic carry-bags and disposables.
Definition: Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews.
Significance: Altruism has deep roots in human nature because helping and cooperation promote the survival of our species. Altruism ensures a civil servant works for the welfare of the people and it is the core value that derives one towards effectively performing their duty.
Example: It was the virtue of altruism which inspired Baba Amte to establish Aanandvan for the welfare of destitute.
Definition: Rational and Impartial decision making are the true elements of a person having dispassion.
Significance: Dispassion helps civil servants be upright and not be swayed either in
case of conflicts of interest, or political pressure, or ethical dilemmas and help them make the right choice based on the merits of the situation.
Example: Religious prejudices may hamper the decision of a civil servant to take impartial decision. Hence, the virtue of dispassion helps her/him to take rational decision.
Definition: Objectivity in governance means adherence to rationality, legality and to proven standards, procedures and norms in institutions by the public authorities. It implies that the governance decisions should be taken based on merit and after rigorous analysis of evidence.
Significance: Objectivity is considered one of the most fundamental values in governance because it helps the public authorities to make correct decisions on the merit of evidence. It compliments other values like Integrity, impartiality, non partisanship, empathy, tolerance and compassion in governance.
Example: Preparing a Statistical analysis on situation of farmers in India by Swaminathan Committee based on certain parameters and drawing conclusions based on it is Objective evaluation of farmers situation.
2. Given below are two quotations. For each of these, bring out what it means to you in the present context:
(a) “We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal”.” (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to highlight the inter linkage between ethics and laws and the possible conflicts which may arise from it.
Legality or illegality of an action is defined as per the prevalent laws. An action that is
legal in one country might be illegal in another, legality, is thus subjective to the
place where it is being enforced.
Laws are based on the deliberation, discussion and debate in the society. Violation of law amounts to penalty or punishment that is acceptable to the society at large.
- Ethics often drive the law and that is why laws are justified and their breach amounts to penalty or punishment that is acceptable to the society at large.
- However, if the intention behind laws is not ethical, then even though the action will be legal but it will still be unjust as in the case of Hitler.
- During the times of Hitler, Germany passed laws which circumscribed Jewish citizenship, their means of livelihood and access to legal remedies.
- It led to social and economic segregation and stigmatisation of an entire community.
- However, on the international forum it was regarded as gross violation of Human dignity and ethical values of brotherhood, humanity & fraternity.
- The state-sponsored intimidation, impoverishment and alienation succeeded in driving out about Jewish people and ultimately their extermination in concentration camps.
Likewise, revolutions and uprisings often come up against the state and the laws. These are mostly illegal but not always unethical. In 1956, thousands of Hungarians took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. These protests were considered as illegal and thus were severely crushed by the Soviets. But one has to understand that the act of these people was not unethical for they were demanding for better welfare measures in a peaceful manner
- Many social and political reforms in the present day hinge on the factor that, people rose/rebel against the system even if it illegal as per the law. Their rebellion is most of the times is based on the reality of oppression of the citizens/people by the system.
- The ultimate yardstick for a law should be the ethical underpinnings which it is going to uphold. A law that cannot be justified as ethical under any circumstances must be changed to bring about reforms in the society.
Hence, it becomes imperative to make distinction between “just laws” and “unjust laws”. Some laws in Germany during the times of Hitler were no laws at all as they were based on wrong notion. Hence, One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
2. (b) “Many emotions are products of evolutionary wisdom, which probably has more intelligence than all human minds together.” (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to write about the fundamentals of emotions. It also expects to draw parallels betw
Emotions are common to all individuals however, they vary in extent. They are dependent upon thoughts and feelings, physiological changes, expressive behaviours, and inclinations to act.
Irrational/ Impartial actions/decisions are based on the well knowledge of their consequences. In this irrational and impartial decision making emotions play a pivotal role.
- Derailed emotions can lead to irrational and sometimes pathological consequences.
- However, emotions as such are not necessarily irrational. Aristotle, for example, saw anger as a reasonable response to an insult.
- Importance of emotions in making decisions cannot be emphasized more. Human has developed Artificial intelligence by using its mind. The AI can sure replicate the logical process of the brain but logic alone cannot take the correct decisions involving humans, which clearly indicates the wisdom of emotions.
- The basic emotions of anger, fear, and sadness made successful leaders from Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King and many others.
- It was Mahatma Gandhi’s mastery over emotions of the masses, which gave a climax to the Indian National Movement ultimately lead to independence.
- Emotions with the evolutionary wisdom have played a prominent role in the great struggles of human kind. For instance, French revolution, which gave the world values of justice equality and fraternity.
- However, the emotions of more human minds together has put some generations of masses in to the jeopardy. For instance, emotion of anger in to the mob over religious issues has put some of the marginalised communities in to jeopardy in India.
Hence, it can be said that, emotions which comes from the masses has made more harm than good. However, the evolutionary wisdom have made the world more beautiful than it was earlier.
3. (a) What do understand by ‘conflict of interests’? How can conflict of interests be managed? Suggest a strategy. (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to define conflict of interest. It also expects to write a strategy about handling situation of conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest situation arises when there is an actual or apparent conflict between public duty and private interest of a public official. In such a situation, an official’s private interests could improperly influence the performance of official duties.
Conflict of interest reduces public trust and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of public functionaries. Public servants face conflict of interest due to the nature of their work.
- The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs.
- Conflict of Interest comes under the principle of Natural Justice and is not codified.
As a civil servant, one has to adhere to the standards of civil service values like impartiality, efficiency, integrity and must show exemplary behaviour. Thus, civil servants need to properly handle such conflicting interests and situations. This can be done by adopting strategy as mentioned below, if such a situation arises:
- Transparency: Declaring one’s conflict of interest to the concerned authorities is the best way. One should rescue him/herself from positions of authority to avoid any conflict of interest. It helps civil servant to come clean and concerned authorities can decide further.
- Assure integrity: The concerned authority should be assured of integrity and willingness to serve no matter what the decision is made on the declaration.
- Maintain objectivity: If given the chance to continue working on that case, one should work with objectivity.
- An open, public data platform enlisting all post-retirement appointments of civil servants will increase transparency.
- Honourable Supreme Court in Tansi Land Deal case (2003) has recommended for ‘self imposed discipline’, where persons in public life are expected to maintain high standards of probity.
Therefore, the moral obligation on public officials requires that the authority entrusted to them be exercised in the best interest of the people or in ‘public interest’. Thus conflict of interest is a situation in which personal and professional interest clashes and it might lead to corruption. The best strategy to avoid conflict of interest and its negative outcome is to make a self-disclosure and build the moral fabric of persons in power.
3. (b) What do understand by ‘cooling off period’ in the Indian administrative context? How does it help in reducing corruption? Discuss. (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to write in detail about the ‘cooling off period’ in the Indian Administrative context. It also expects to write about its usability to reduce corruption.
Officials who retire from sensitive positions are barred from accepting any other appointment for a period of time, normally two years. These cooling-off periods in posts are premised on the snapping off of the nexus between previous incumbency and new appointment by the interposition of a sufficient time gap.
Cooling off period in Indian administrative context refers to the situation in which a person or officer cannot take position of responsibility so as to avoid favouritism and conflict of interest or corruption during his terms of services to the nation.
- Cooling off period is significant for persons holding high offices as their one decision could be a game changer for the entire country.
- It is for this reason that certain offices in India are debarred from further employment.
- This cooling off period is considered more important for judges and other constitutional posts in India because they enjoy people’s trust and their decisions shape public opinion.
The rationale behind cooling off period as it helps in reducing corruption is as mentioned below:
- Conflict of interest – Cooling off period help to avoid conflict of interest situations. Considering the resource access which one has she/he could misuse them and the power in her/his next job.
- Ethical dilemmas – Cooling off period is ethical in nature since it allows individual to recollect himself and cool off all grudges and vices. Even if not explicitly mentioned it is in line with the principles of impartiality and non-partisanship.
- Considering their position, power and authority, they could be an asset for any private company as well as a political party.
- Curtailing Favouritism: An official can give unbiased decisions as well as take on the government of the day if he knows that his job is secure and that he cannot take job or any position in the near future.
Several appointments to administrative bodies require a cooling-off period for individuals so as to eliminate the possibility or suspicion of a conflict of interest or quid pro quo. This cooling-off period must be extended to Indian officials as there is no provision of cooling off period of one year for re-employment of retired Government officials.
Q4. (a) What are the changes to public services in the contemporary era? (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
It demands from the candidates to reflect upon the changing nature of public services along with the changing socio-economic and political structures. It is expected to enumerate few changes as the suitable examples.
The contours of Public services/civil services has transformed keeping in line with the changing nature of demands by the citizens in democratic societies. Public services are considered essential to modern life for moral reasons that their universal provision should be guaranteed. Public service is a service which is provided by government to people either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. It is the public good i.e. being non-rivalries and non-excludable. As the concept of governance is advancing, it is demanded from public services to become more inclusive, transparent, accountable, outcome oriented and cost-effective, keeping in mind the improved well-being of the people.
- Public services include healthcare, education, social services, infrastructure like roads and railways, Law enforcement, Waste Management, Environmental protection, Public transportation, Postal Services etc. We can identify various changes to public services. Transparency, accountability,
- Reducing the discretion, rationalising the procedures, grievance redress, speedy delivery, collaboration with private sector etc. have remained the important areas.
- Citizen-centric Governance- Good Governance tools like Right To Information, Citizen Charters etc. empower citizens. It ensures that citizens are well-informed. It helps increase accountability and transparency. Citizens get to know their rights. It reduces the discretion on the part of government functionaries.
- Right to Public Services- Statutory law that guarantees time-bound delivery of public services. Several states have passed such law. It punishes the public servant who fails to deliver the particular service in stipulated time. E.g. Bihar Loksewaonkaadhikar Adhiniyam, 2011, Maharashtra Right to Public services Ordinance, 2015.
- Social Audit- It is the accountability initiative where people participate proactively in reviewing the performance various schemes and public services like healthcare. Social audits have been adopted into the implementation process of a number of schemes in India. E.g. Section 17 of the MGNREGA has mandated Social audit of all Works executed under the MGNREGA.
- After Globalisation, the role of public services in India has changed rapidly. Collaboration with private sector under various PPP models has helped deliver quality public services at optimum level fund utilisation, especially in infrastructure sector.
- De-monopolisation of public services- e.g. Telecom sector Autonomous PSUs- To bring corporate culture into public sectors to increase the quality of public service. The success story of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is one such example. It revolutionised the public transportation. E-governance- Computerisation of services, digitisation of records, online access to forms, documentations, billing, and other compliances has reduced physical contact.
- It helps easing the access, minimising corruption and harassment of citizens and also saves cost and time. For example, E-choupals in Madhya Pradesh for the benefit of farmers selling their produce, Rural Kiosks/RSDP(Rural Service Delivery Points) in Andhra Pradesh ensures the reach of E-Seva in rural areas. Further use of technology in schemes like Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT), GPS enabled monitoring of projects has helped reduce corruption. Single Window Grievance Redressal mechanisms- Speedy disposal of grievances saves the cost & time and helps citizens through the bureaucratic complexities.
- Janta Darbar- Another such Grievance redressal mechanism where public representatives or public servants holding important public office allot time slot for citizens to directly meet them and clear their complaints. Code of Conduct- International and National set of code of conducts has evolved over time for various government bodies. It defines the public office and the role of public officials through the ethical and legal-rational frameworks. It codifies maxim of legality and rationality, Maxim of Responsibility and Accountability. That has given the broader meaning to what constitute as Public Services.
The quality of public services affects economic growth via its impact on poverty alleviation, human capital formation and corruption. Efficient delivery of public services has direct and indirect bearing upon the performance of the country on Human Development indicators. The content and the contours of public services are constantly evolving, yet there is a long way to go in curbing the corruption and reaching to the last man.
4. (b) Probity is a much broader concept than merely ‘honesty’ or ‘financial rectitude’. Do you agree? Substantiate. (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
The question demands precise understanding of the term ‘probity’. It expects from the candidates to differentiate between Probity and ‘honesty’ or ‘financial rectitude’.
Probity refers to the unexceptionable conduct that is honest and sincere. It means adherence to or compliance with the highest principles or ideals and the uprightness of character. It is an unwavering commitment to ethical standards.
- Concept of probity is broader, containing in itself the set of virtues. Honesty is the one part of that set. Probity goes beyond avoiding dishonest conduct.
- Financial rectitude or financial integrity is essential for probity but, again, not sufficient in itself.
- An important yardstick for ensuring probity in governance is absence of corruption. Probity addresses all kinds of corruption even beyond mere financial misappropriation.
- There are moral virtues and non-moral virtues. Moral virtues constitute compassion, gratitude, conscientiousness, kindness, while non-moral virtues include courage, endurance, self-control etc.
- A value such as compassion is good in itself and hence it is an end itself, while values like courage are means to the different end. Here end can be good or bad. Both the subsets are necessary for ensuring probity. But the intention of the act, the behaviour and the end, all of it needs to be good/right to ensure probity in conduct.
- The person with probity will take proactive efforts to ensure that ethical standards are adheered to. A person with financial integrity avoids unethical means of gains, unethical/illegal spending. But a person with probity will try his best to ensure most efficient way of fund utilisation.
- Probity covers various important civil services values such as efficiency, transparency, fairness, objectivity, accountability. Second ARC report suggests that adherence to the highest standards of Probity, Integrity and Conduct is a must for civil servant.
Probity is one of the most important social construct that needs to be imbibed in society to ensure the members of society are upright. It is particularly important for public office bearers. Laws are there to curb what society considers as unethical conduct. But laws are not enough especially when it comes to behaviour public office bearers. Ex British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said “when men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken”. Probity ensures the highest level conduct.
Q5. Given below are two statements. Bring out their significance in the present context. (150 words) (10)
(a) “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”
Demand of the question:
It expects the candidates to define the concept of transparency, its importance in today’s context. Also discuss what transparency or lack of it results into.
In democracy the legitimacy of the state arises from the trust of the people in the state. Erosion of trust results into the weakening of the democratic institutions. And to ensure the trust of the public it is important that government machinery functions in more and more transparent and open manner.
- Transparency refers to the openness in the decision making and implementation process. An organization is transparent when its decision-making and mode of working is open to all the stakeholders, public and media scrutiny and public discussion.
- A transparent system of administration encourages public participation in government’s decision-making processes. Transparency signifies openness and accountability of administration. Transparency is broadly accepted as a major principle of good governance (World Bank, 2000).
- Transparency means “sharing information and acting in an open manner”.In today’s times the role of the people in the decision-making is expanding, as they are becoming more aware of their rights.
- It is necessary, keeping in line with the spirit of the democratic values, that all the stakeholders are well informed about the effects of the decisions and the policies that affect them. In fact effectiveness of the decisions increases if they are made following the transparent methods, as stakeholders tend to follow them, as they consider themselves as the part of the process.
- A lack of transparency essentially hampers the smooth functioning or implementation.
- Absence of, or inaccessibility to, information often creates a sense of disempowerment, mistrust and frustration. Insecurity breeds from the powerlessness and uncertainty.
- Transparency is at the centre of how citizens hold their public officials/administration accountable. Arbitrariness on the part of government or discretion in decision-making leaves citizens helpless. This results into distrust and apathy towards public services.
- Transparency and public participation is necessary because it avoids haphazard policy /decision –making. Public participation in policy matters should be encouraged. Nowadays, proposed Government policies are first placed in draft form on websites and views of stakeholders are elicited. The policy is finalized after taking into account views expressed by the stakeholders.
- Transparency is considered to be a key component of public policy and efficiency. The knowledge that decisions and processes are open to public scrutiny can make government bodies work better, by imposing on them a constant discipline. Even the most competent and honest decision-makers need feedback on how policies are working in practice.
- RTI Act is the foremost measure that government took for promoting transparency in administration.CIC has significantly increased the openness and transparency of the government. It enhances the trust in the system.
It is suggested that government officers need to promote transparency towards (a) citizenry; (b) within their own ranks; and between (c) different administrative branches. They should diligently follow the RTI Act.
In modern times, democracy ensures the government ‘of the people’, while good governance ensures the government ‘for the people’. Transparency incentivises good governance in positive manner. (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.”
(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.”
Demand of the question:
Candidate needs to address the importance of the role of the father, the mother and the teacher in cultivating values in individual. Address the importance of the informal leanings along with the formal education.
This quote is taken from the book Wings of Fire by DR. APJ Abdul Kalam. It seeks to emphasise the importance of the role played by the father, the mother and the teacher in making a virtuous person and ultimately the ethical and happy society, which will be able to curb the menace of corruption and will ensure the wellbeing for all.
In early formative years, a child grasps many things by merely seeing. A child acts on what s/he sees. Influence in early formative years remains visible throughout the person’s lifetime. A value a person picks at this stage has deeper impact on developing the behaviour.
- Children usually consider their parents or teachers to be their role models and try to imitate them. If teachers or parents indulged in bad practices then there are high chances that children pick up the same values and inculcate in them. Teachers and parents must try to radiate positive practices.
- Family is rightly considered as the primary institute of socialisation, as it imparts the values and the behaviour that influence how person interacts with the other members of society.
- Parents’ dedication to hard work over sycophancy at office, timely payment of taxes, not jumping the queue to pay electric bills or bribing the temple chief for easy entry are some of the examples by which the member teaches important civic values to his child. A day-to-day life itself becomes the source of ethical education.
- Learning happens more through observation than dictation method of teaching or the rote method. Hence the character of teacher also impacts the character of a student. It shapes the attitude of the student.
- Laws are there to curb the corruption but it is not enough if society is corrupt. Precisely Dr.Kalam to bring our attention to the role played by individual agents in weeding out the social menaces. Laws regulate the behaviour from above while virtues regulate the behaviour from within. Parents and teachers are key players in imparting virtues that make society better.
A child’s mind is like clay and parents along with teachers are the potters who can give the shape in a way only they want.
‘Matrudevobhavpitrudevobhav, acharyadevobhava(Respects to mother, father and the teacher, for they are the forms of God.) centuries ago this verse from Taittriya Upanishad tried to emphasise the importance of parents and teachers. It remains relevant even today as rightly expressed in the words of Dr.Kalam to make our nation a better place.
Q6.What are the institutional mechanisms available in India to ensure proper utilisation of public funds? Discuss. (150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
Question demands to enumerate various institutions and their roles in regulating and scrutinising the fund utilisation.
Public fund is meant for public services. Public funds have the potential to transform society, if used properly. Effective utilization of funds for welfare services is one of the key tenets to ensure social and economic justice and meet developmental goals. It includes avoiding under-utilization of funds, over-expenditure leading to fiscal deficit and preventing corruption. Public funds, like any other resource, are scarce and hence their misallocation or misappropriation should be avoided.
Constitutional and statutory bodies are given authority to monitor and check the government spending. There are the mechanisms which make government accountable to the people via legislative bodies.
Institutional mechanisms to ensure proper utilization of public funds:
- CAG- It audits the government accounts to match receipts and expenditure and see for any kind of misappropriation of funds.
- Parliamentary Committees- Committees like Public Account Committee or Estimates Committee oversee the effective utilization of funds.
- Finance Commission- It divides the total receipts between Centre and states based on rational calculations. FC provides the formula for proper distribution of funds.
- Central Vigilance Commission- It has been established to address Governmental corruption and ensure public funds are utilized effectively.
- Lokpal- It is an anti-corruption authority or body of ombudsman who represents the public interest
No matter how good the policy we frame, its impact drastically depends on the allocation and effective utilization of funds. Therefore, we need strong and independent institutions to ensure the funds are utilized for public welfare.
Q7.Don’t you think a legal and not an ethical compliance mechanism for corporate governance is more suited in the India case? Critically comment.(150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
The Candidate is expected to differentiate between legal and ethical compliances, bring out the deficiencies in legal framework. Need to critically reflect upon the limitations of legal compliances, also mention the importance of free trade and healthy competition.
Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices, conventions and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, senior management executives, customers, suppliers, financiers, the government, and the community at large.
Companies are bodies incorporated under the Companies Act. Companies are set up by entrepreneurs or promoters. They run on the principle of corporate democracy where one share equals one vote. The affairs of the company are managed by a board of directors.
Corporate have profits as the as the prime motive for their functioning. Sometimes it comes in conflict with stakeholders like consumers, shareholders or even community at large.
Corporate frauds are usually financial and involve cooking of accounts or ‘creative accounting’. But they also include other types of frauds where statutory laws related to Environmental compliances, labour laws etc. are not followed properly.
Frauds mainly happen because of unethical conduct on the part of corporates and also on the part of officers representing regulating agencies.
Legal compliance is more suitable in India’s case because of the following reasons:
- Nepotism in the management- It is common for friends and family of promoters(a uniquely Indian term for founders and controlling shareholders)and management to be appointed as board members.
- Performance Evaluation of Directors – Although performance evaluation of directors has been part of the existing legal framework in India, evaluation is always a sensitive subject and public disclosures may run counter-productive.
- Accountability to Stakeholders – Various general duties have been imposed on all directors, directors including independent directors have been complacent due to lack of enforcement action Role of the independent directors is of serious concern in corporate governance. Independent directors appointed by the promoters may not take the interests of the small investors into account. Removal of Independent Directors – In India there are instances of independent directors not siding with promoter decisions have not been taken well and they were removed from their position by promoters.
- Executive Compensation – It has been identified on many instances where executives keep on withdrawing high salaries and other fees even if company is not doing well.
- Executive compensation is a contentious issue especially when subject to shareholder accountability.
- Risk Management – Indian companies certainly don’t have a clear idea about the risk management and predictions. There is the provision for Risk Management Committee (RMC).
- In IL&FS crisis that RMC meetings were not conducted even after accounts were showing negative signals for many quarters. The accounts can be slightly manipulated to show higher profits. Such manipulation tends to hamper small investors more who are unaware about the internal functioning.
- Non-compliance- Despite several regulations in place, we often see non-compliance of those by the companies.
- Revolving Door- A revolving door is the movement of high-level employees from public-sector jobs to private sector jobs and vice versa. It hampers the regulatory oversight.
To address some of these issues The Companies Act, 2013 has been enacted.:
- Some provisions have been laid down under the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015,forenhancing transparency in transactions or dealings of a company. Penalties have also been put in place under the Companies Act and SEBI LODR, thereby ensuring compliance with corporate governance provisions a mandatory affair.
- Ethical compliance, however, is required too as without having the required ethical framework or value system in a person or organization, we cannot expect the laws to be followed, as given the legal expertise companies can hire, there can always be away around the existing laws. Also, we have seen, many companies did have ethical governance before enactment of the law.
- India requires a robust legal mechanism to avoid lapses in corporate governance while having ethically correct members on board of corporations.
Also, the recommendations of various committees like UdayKotak Panel, Narayana Murthycommittee and Kumarmangalam Birla committee needs to be followed.
Laws are the regulation from above, while Ethics refers to the regulation from within. In case of corporate governance we should encourage the latter one. But as the prime motive from within remains profit-making, regulatory bodies are required to legally put check on their wrongdoings. Yet government should avoid old days of license Raj where regulatory bodies had entered deeper into the day-to-day functioning of the corporate. It is necessary that laws are made with clear and simple provisions with no scope for getting around them.
Q8.Define attitude and expand upon the tri-component model of attitudes.(150 words) (10)
Demand of the question:
Question expects candidates to explain the concept of attitude and how the three components viz. Cognitive, affective and behavioural component affects shaping of the attitude.
Attitude refers to the mental make-up of the person towards a particular object. It may be positive or negative. It may change from person to person for a particular object. Attitude is subjective individual interpretation of objective outside world. Object includes people, things, events, and issues. Attitudes reflect in the feelings and the beliefs of persons and that shape their behaviour.
The three components that shape attitude are namely the Cognitive, the Affective and the Behavioural component (CAB).
- Cognitive Component- This is based on the available information/facts one has about the particular object. It helps form a judgement or an opinion on the object. It can be favourable or unfavourable opinion. Information can be true or false but it shapes the attitude accordingly.
- Affective component : This component is related to the emotions. The emotions like fear, sympathy, hatred, pleasure etc. about the attitude object influences the formation of the attitude. At times it can even cloud cognitive component. It is very strong force to change the attitude and necessarily to change the behaviour of a person.
- Behavioural component: This component is shaped by the first two components. Cognitive and Affective component create a predisposition/prejudice towards particular attitude object for acting in a particular way. The behavioural component consists of the tendency of a person to behave in a particular manner towards an object.
Out of the three components of attitudes, only the behavioural component can be directly observed. One cannot see another person’s beliefs (the Cognitive Component) and his feelings (the Affective component). These two components can only be inferred.
Our attitude influences our actions. It helps shape our goals. It ensures how we perceive, view and approach the different aspects of life. It shapes one’s work culture, interpersonal relationships, and political opinions. Attitude remains the most influencing factor in shaping the personality.
SECTION – B
Q9. Your younger brother has got influenced by a radical religious outfit that promotes hatred for the minority and aspires to build a nation based not on territoriality but on religion. You have tried to make him understand the fallouts of such thinking and even reprimanded him for joining such groups. However, the conviction with which he debates and counters your arguments has forced you to rethink about your own notions. He presents gory details of the atrocities committed in the past by the minority community and also gives an account of the appeasement policy pursued by various governments since independence. He argues as to why can’t the majority assert its identity in its own country. He seems perturbed by the fiction that the minority community is trying to outnumber the majority in the near future by exploding a population bomb and also through forced conversions. You get to realise that even though his fears are real, their basis is rather absurd and illogical. In a situation like this, how would you convince your brother to abandon the path of radicalism? (250 Words) (20)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to first spell out the number of stakeholders involved and effect on them along with explaining the validation/invalidation of the arguments put forth by brother. It also expects to mention the way in which you will convince your brother to abandon the path of radicalism.
Radicalism is set of beliefs or actions of people who advocate thorough or complete political or social reform. Radicalisation refers to the process of an individual’s transformation from a moderate, law-abiding citizen into an active, anti-state, violent extremist.
The urge to take revenge on the present innocent people for the sins committed by ancestors along with Politicization of religion have led some groups to chose the path of radicalism. The aforesaid situation is complex and involves the following stakeholders:
- Minority Community
- Majority Community
- Radical religious outfit
- Secular fabric of Nation
The arguments put forth by brother are valid to an extent. However, blindly following them amounts to culmination in to radicalisation. Hence, it becomes my moral as well as social responsibility to convince him about how absurd and illogical his notions are and why he should do away with such kind of notions. I will present following arguments to convince my brother to abandon path of radicalism.
- I will explain him how all religions have similar teachings and all show a common path for life. I will elaborate him in detail about how some miscreants teach some wrong teachings to the followers and misguide them.
- For instance, Easter Sunday bombing on church in Sri Lanka happened due to this kind of wrongful teaching.
- I will tell him the long standing rich history of India, how various communities peacefully co-existed and the rift came only to gain some benefits.
- Earlier it was done by some rulers, then by Britishers and now by certain groups. People are however the same people of our land sharing a common ancestry.
- Unity in Diversity: Our constitution as well as the spirit of our nation lies in Unity in diversity. I will aware him about the rich heritage our culture and tradition. How they are intermingled and how they deal with each other by practising tolerance. This rich tradition can only be preserved if we all stay peacefully together despite our differences.
- Issue of population explosion: Being a population bomb might increase number of minorities, but it does not provide them with an equal social standing in terms of social or economic or political influence which still majority holds. I will also show him the abject poverty, ghettoisation, deteriorating health conditions which minority faces.
- I will tell him that not all religious conversions are forced conversion. Some people opt on their own will to admire and adapt other religion. Hence, we can’t look at all the religious conversions through same glass.
- However, In case of forced conversions, there are legal measures and those are being enforced in any case that comes to light.
- Role of politics: Minority appeasement has been done by political parties in the past, but they were directed towards votes. Even after the appeasement social status of minorities is way below the majority and even politically, it is majority that holds influence.
While addressing all his absurd and illogical arguments I will reason them on above mentioned grounds. I will also take help of my family members, religious scholars, elders and friends in our locality to help him to understand the grim reality of the situation. True knowledge is real power, hence there is a need to de-radicalise these kind of youths, so that their true potential can be utilized to build a truly tolerant society which lives in peace and harmony.
Q10.You are posted as the block development officer in a district. Menstruation is a taboo in one of the villages of the district and people hardly talk about it. In fact, menstruating women aren’t even allowed to enter temples and are forced to sleep on the floor. Women use clothes as they can’t afford sanitary napkins or are too shy to buy it from the general store. When a renowned NGO attempted to spread awareness towards hygiene during menstruation by talking to the local women, the villagers created ruckus and forced the representatives of the NGO to leave. Further attempts by the NGO to approach the women was thwarted by the Gram Panchayat. The women of the village have been warned by their family members to stay away from such discussions and maintain their dignity.
The NGO brings the issue to your notice and asks for your support. Now answer the following questions:
(i)What in your opinion is the main reason behind villagers protesting?
(ii)What steps would you take to address the issue? (250 Words) (20)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to address this issue on two grounds. First one is, it expects to opine about what might be the reason behind villagers protesting. Second one being it expects to write about what steps you as a block development officer will take to address the issue.
Menstruation is a phenomenon unique to girls. However, it has always been surrounded by taboos and myths that exclude women from many aspects of socio-cultural life. Following are the main stakeholders in this issue:
- Block Development Officer (BDO)
- Gram Panchayat
- Villagers (Includes both Male and Female)
(i)The main reason behind villagers protesting:
Taboos about menstruation present in many societies impact on girls’ and women’s emotional state, mentality and lifestyle and most importantly, health. It can’t be certainly said that there is only one reason due to which villagers are protesting. A combination of specific reasons can be attributed behind protest of villagers:
- Role of Patriarchy: System of patriarchy has mostly impacted all aspects of society. It has also impacted the women lives in general and menstruation related taboos in particular.
- Cultural norms and religious taboos on menstruation are often compounded by traditional associations with evil spirits, shame and embarrassment surrounding sexual reproduction.
- It might also be believed that restricting certain kind of food for a women while she is menstruating is essential to avoid disturbance or termination of the menstrual flow.
- In some societies there is perceptions on notions of purity and pollution. Bodily excretions are believed to be polluting, as are the bodies when producing them. All women, regardless of their social caste, incur pollution through the bodily processes of menstruation and childbirth.
- Men and boys typically know even less, but it is important for them to understand menstruation so they can support their wives, daughters, mothers, students, employees, and peers.
- Sensitization of health workers, Accredited Social Health Activists and Anganwadi workers through NGO regarding menstruation biology can be done so that they can further disseminate this knowledge in the community and mobilize social support against busting menstruation related myths.
(ii) Steps to address the issue:
The challenge, of addressing the socio-cultural taboos and beliefs in menstruation, is further compounded by the low girls’ knowledge levels and understandings of puberty, menstruation, and reproductive health. Thus, there is the need to follow a strategic approach in combating these issues as mentioned below:
- The first and foremost strategy in this regard is raising the awareness among the adolescent girls related to menstrual health and hygiene.
- Community based health education campaigns could prove worthwhile in achieving this task. There is also need to spread awareness among the school teachers regarding menstruation. It will help to address the doubts and questions of villagers.
- As a BDO it become responsibility to meeting the gram panchayat members and convince them. Take them into confidence and involve them in the issue. In case they are male then try to take help from women members of their family.
- Low cost sanitary napkins can be locally made and distributed particularly in the village locality. For instance, Government of India has approved a scheme to improve menstrual hygiene for 1.5 Crore adolescent girls by distributing low cost sanitary napkins in rural areas under the National Rural Health Mission since 2010.
With this kind of Multi-dimensional approach we can remove out the taboo from the minds of villagers. Menstruation is nothing but a very normal biological phenomenon, and adolescent girls and women should be helped to understand that they have the power of procreation only because of this virtue. Once this is this done, it will not just help a woman to have an empowered life but it will also help to have well developed society too.
Q11. You have just been posted as the SP of a district known for its rich mineral resources. However, the abundance of natural resources also invites illicit trade and associated crimes. On the very first day of your induction, you are told by your superiors that the local mining mafia is really powerful there and you must be careful in your dealings with them. As disturbing the scenario in the district might be, you are more perturbed by the fact that no one seems to come up with a solution. You start getting the sense that the wrongdoings of the mining mafia largely go unnoticed as many senior bureaucrats and politicians are hand in gloves with them. The mafia enjoys heavy clout in the political circles as they are the prime source of electoral funding for the political parties. Similarly, bureaucrats enjoy their cut in the money that is extorted by the mafia from various stakeholders. Government regulations and institutional control don’t seem to exist in your district. Environmental norms are flouted, innocent and honest people are targeted if they don’t comply and crime is on the rise as the nexus of lawlessness and money power breeds criminals.
Being the determined officer you are, you start tightening the noose around the mafia. You start streamlining the systems hitherto kept in abeyance by your predecessors. You start a consultation process with the local landholders whose rights have been compromised to get a close view of the ground reality. You get to know that the youth in your district is largely jobless and gets infatuated by the money on offer by the mafia and take to criminal activities easily. Hardly any of the miners possess a valid license to operate and yet mining activities continue unabated. Immediately, you start a closure drive on the illegal mines and within a week, only licensed and authorised mine operators are running the mines in your district. You also convince the youth to stay away from criminal activities and rather participate constructively in the drive launched by the police to make the district a safer and better place. The local newspapers are praising your courage and dedication. There doesn’t seem to be a problem and you start wondering- why was it so difficult in the past?
However, within a week, you and your family start receiving death threats from the mafia. Calls start pouring in from senior bureaucrats and politicians to turn a blind eye to the situation in your district. In fact, your office stops receiving the monthly allowance to maintain the police force. You are forced to spend from your pocket to fund the diesel that goes into patrolling the disturbed areas of your district. The situation turns worse when your salary is stopped for a frivolous reason. All of a sudden, you find yourself alone. Everyone is against you- the colleagues in the department, the political masters and of course the mafia. You start thinking about the safety of your family and send them to your parents in your home state. All your good work has been rewarded with threats and fear.
Now, answer the following questions:
(i) Does there remain any motivation for you to work for the betterment of the society?
(ii) Don’t you think such things happen in reality? How do you suggest one deals with it?
(iii) Can a person single handily change a system? Critically analyse. (250 Words) (20)
Demand of the question:
The case study is well elaborative and Candidates needs to identify various stakeholders and their interests. Also candidates need to identify the ethical values involved along with the proper role expected to be played by the officer according to the rulebook in letter and spirit.
Stakeholders involved in this case study
- Myself (SP of the district)
- My family
- Mafia – Criminal Elements of Society
- Bureaucrats in nexus with Mafia
- Land owners
- Jobless Youth
- Miners- legal and illegal
- Colleagues in the department
- District Community
Values Involved here are:
- Integrity of an Officer
- Emotional Intelligence
The given situation is very critical one and candidate needs to address following questions keeping in mind the said situation.
(i) Does there remain any motivation for you to work for the betterment of the society?
The prime motive for honest Public Servants remains the core conscience of a person to serve the society. They are neither driven by the external rewards as the primary source of motivation nor are they discouraged by the obstacles in their path. If it is the external source of motivation that drives a person then in such critical situations one is bound to get de-motivated. In fact throughout the life of the public servant there comes many instances that they can be forced to quit or accept wrongdoings. One will be able to take stand only when one has the clear purpose of betterment of society in mind and unabated commitment to the ethical framework prescribed for the civil servants. If a person lacks such a sense of purpose and commitment to the values then s/he will succumb to the notions that system itself is corrupted and cannot be changed. Civil Servants should realize that the primary duty of civil servants is to serve without expecting anything in return but with a vision to build a stronger India. A civil servant needs to recollect his Oath of Office which says that one has to abide by Constitution without fear or favour. Integrity of a civil servant must not be related to the motivation or demotivation that comes from the day-to-day happenings.
(ii). Don’t you think such things happen in reality? How do you suggest one deals with it?
Yes, there are many instances to suggest that such things happen in reality. It puts the career of the civil servant in jeopardy. We hear the news often that many upright officers face the brunt of the politicians and get transferred frequently. Sincere officers get many hurdles in carrying the day-to-day job.
Yet the civil servant also has the protection from these things. Indian constitution and laws have provided several ways to deal with such situations to protect honest civil servants:
- Administrative tribunals: These are specifically set up to deal with issues faced by civil servants.
- Judiciary: There are judicial courts till Supreme Court wherein a person can approach to fight for right cause and get justice.
- Public support: Gather enough evidence, and take support of public to bring out the issues being faced in the region to strengthen you case.
- Seniors: Take help of seniors who have handled such cases before and take their advice on how to deal such issues in future too. Civil Society – Activists and NGO’s: Since environmental norms are being floated, there are several regional, national and international organizations fighting for environmental protection, it can be brought to their notice which will help make it a national issue and put the pressure of public opinion in one’s favour.
- Media: Media is again a strong tool to shape the public opinion by sharing the facts on the ground.
Honest officer should always keep in mind that there is no way of using wrong means for the right ends. Means and ends both needs to right. A public servant should adhere to all legal rules and regulations, and maintain procedural integrity, particularly in such critical conditions.
(iii). Can a person single handily change a system? Critically analyse
A public servant should not consider himself/herself as the sole torchbearer of honesty and integrity. There are many honest public servants are working in the system.
In given condition everyone seems to be going against the one honest officer. Here he will have to hold on to his ethical stand.
It is certainly possible to single handily change the system. History is the proof to show that nothing is impossible if a person is determined and focused. He can single handily bring about a change. If everyone thinks that the system cannot be changed, then the society would not evolve & progress. It would stagnate and deteriorate. Every change in society will start with some or the other person. That single person is able to persuade &convince the fellow community members to rectify their wrong beliefs/actions. Thus, one needs to have a positive frame of mind and a conviction to bring about the change in system for the betterment of people, even if one is alone during the initial days of difficult journey.
One needs to believe that if there is truth in our beliefs/actions people will eventually recognize the efforts and the system will change. The motto of our emblem “SatyamevaJayate” inspires us to continue our fight to change the system.
You can give examples of Gandhiji, Ambedkar, JyotibaPhule, Basavanna, Adi
Shakaracharya, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Aung San SuuKyi etc. who were all determined to bring changes in the system especially when at times they were lonely in their fight.
(It should be noted that above mentioned historic personalities were fighting the system which was absolutely alien to the people and which was highly exploitative. In given case study the concerned SP has the right procedural means to reform the system. Hence he should adhere to. It is difficult to cope up with the given condition, but He has legal authority and constitutionally assigned duty. Here it is correct talk in terms of reforming the given system to make it better rather than changing the system altogether.)
Q12. As an agent of the secret service of the armed forces, you have the responsibility of spying over the enemies and pass on vital strategic information to the government of your country. You have been trained and nurtured in a manner that you won’t even hesitate to kill an innocent person if he/ she becomes an obstacle in your duty even unknowingly. For you, your country comes first and you regard your duty as the foremost service one can render to one’s motherland.
One one occasion, you intercept a message that the enemy country is planning to bomb the pilgrimage base camps stationed at various locations in the bordering state. In fact, troops have been mobilised to give effect to the plan and it is a matter of hours that heavy bombings would start. It is not even possible to launch a counter offensive at such a short notice as major battalions of the army have already been sent to provide relief in the flood hit areas of the country. Waiting for the army to take command would mean severe loss of lives in the base camps.
When your commanding officer comes to know about the scenario, he chalks out a plan and deputes you to give shape to it. However, you are shocked to know his plans. In order to avoid the bombings, he wants you to immediately bomb a school in the enemy territory which lies in close proximity to the border. By doing this, the attention of the enemy would get diverted to the school and they might divert their troops to the school for immediate relief. This would buy some time for the armed forces of your country and they would be able to evacuate the base camps and also take positions to retaliate in case of eventual bombings.
What options do you have in this situation. Which one would you choose and why? Examine the pros and cons of each of the alternatives. (250 Words) (20)
Demand of the question:
Candidates are supposed to elaborate on all the alternative options and the core ethical dilemma before stating what option one should choose
Given case provides a scenario where a secret service agent who is likely to face the sharp ethical dilemma in line of his/her duty.
While profession demands the completion of the committed duty i.e. protecting the citizens of one’s own country, the basic humanity in person is likely to pose a question, ‘at what cost?’ Why innocent children and their parents have to be victimised?
Agent’s inaction would cost lives of innocent civilians while the action suggested by the commanding officer also puts lives of innocent civilians of another nation in jeopardy. There seems a clear conflict between his professional commitment and a personal value.
- Me as agent of secret service
- Commanding officer
- Enemy troops
Options available to the agent:
- Follow order of commanding officer and bomb a school.
- It would give valuable time for army to protect pilgrims.
- One’s duty towards nation is performed.
- Acting according to the order of commanding officer.
- Loss of lives of children.
- Negative image of nation.
- Likely to increase hatred against nation and chances of retaliation.
- Inner voice blaming the ‘self’.
- Disobey commanding officer with regard to bombing school and take no action.
- Innocent children saved.
- No self-guilt.
- Failure to perform one’s duty towards nation- not protecting people of his country.
- Likely to pose questions over agent’s work credentials in future.
- Refuse to bomb a school but take action with available force. Alert local police forces about the threat and take every possible measure to protect pilgrims.
- Innocent children saved and thus no self-guilt.
- Sense of performing one’s duty.
- Uncertainty over results that is likely to happen.
- Not just pilgrims but it also puts involved personnel at risk. Refusing to obey orders of commanding officer.
- Likely to pose questions over agent’s work credentials.
- Refuse to bomb school but try convincing commanding officer on modifying plan to attack on strategic location or other areas causing lesser casualty and thus achieving objective of diverting enemy troops.
- Saves children at the same time gives time to army to protect pilgrims.
- One’s duty is performed.
- Uncertainty on whether enemy troops will divert their action.
- Officer may not agree on modifying plan.
Best option in this scenario would be option 4. Though option 3, much like option 4 helps overcome professional duty vs personal value dilemma, but it risks lives of both pilgrims and locals force involved. And there is also uncertainty that bombing school will divert actions of enemy troops. They might still proceed with their plan. So when our plan of action is based on probable outcome, it would be better to carry out bombing on strategic location or other infrastructure rather than on schools. This might give time for armed forces to save pilgrims.
To conclude one need to express that all aspects are uncertain as far as possibilities of outcomes is considered. Hence one needs to choose the option that is likely to result into the least possible casualties.
Q 13. It is said that a doctor performs the noblest profession. Doctors are considered God by many in different parts of the world. You were always attracted to this profession and wanted to become the best doctor in your area so that you also could save lives and feel good about it. You were lucky that your parents supported your aspirations. With their support and your hard work, you cracked the medical entrance examination, attended one of the most reputed medical colleges in the country and finally became a doctor. You joined a government hospital and it was nothing less than dream come true for you. You were ready to serve the people with all those life saving skills that you had learnt in the college. Meanwhile, you got married to a beautiful girl and had two lovely kids with her.
Work- life balance was going smooth until one day, the news of a new viral strain spreading in the southern most coastal state of the country broke out. The strain was so severe that even many doctors and nurses had succumbed to the infection and died. The situation had become so worse that no doctor was ready to treat the dying patients.
This troubled you a lot and you felt that the time had come to serve the people in the truest sense. You decided that you would visit the state and render your services to the ailing patients. However, your parents, wife and children are strictly against this decision. They fear that even you would get affected by the virus. You tried to convince them by telling them that the foremost duty of a doctor was to save lives no matter what and if you didn’t go, the guilt of turning your back towards the needy would haunt you forever. But your family members aren’t ready to let you go. After all, you are the sole breadwinner and caretaker of the family. How can they simply let you be in danger? They love you so much and can’t afford to lose you.
Now, you were in a complex situation that demanded a reasoned yet moral action from you. What would you have done in this situation? Examine the alternatives available to you and comment on the pros and cons of each one of them. Also, which alternative you would have chosen and why? (250 Words) (25)
Demand of the question:
It expects candidates to look for all probable options which he/she can take. It tests decision making capability of the candidate in emergency situation. It also expects that candidate should take decision only after considering all probable options.
Personal and professional values often conflict each other for public servants where they have a responsibilities towards the committed duty on the one hand and responsibilities as the family member on the other. The ethicaldilemma that emerges out of the conflicting situation is difficult to resolve especially in contemporary age which requires dynamism.
Stakeholders involved in the given scenario-
- Me as a doctor, Son and Husband
- My family
- People of the country
- Ailing patient
- Duty as a doctor vs. Responsibility of relationships – I became doctor in the first place because I want to serve the society but my family is also dependent on me since I am the sole bread winner of the house.
- Personal values vs. Professional values – Love and duty are the two horses here pulling in opposite direction.
- Ethics of self-interest vs. deontology – Fulfilling interest of my family or doing the right thing, similar to the way many soldiers go to border despite having family.
- Crisis of conscience – I have always thought that the duty of a doctor is the best profession because it can save lives, now when the situation demand show can I run from it.
There goes the saying that “Duty is the death of love”. But being doctor is a kind of a profession where the value of the love is required to be adopted while performing the duty beyond loving one’s own family.
- Do as the family says:
I have always dreamt to be a doctor but that was before I was married. After marriage I am also a father. Moreover, my parents are old and dependent on me now, if something happens to me then there is no one to take care of them.
- It will save my life
- I can take care of my family
- Fulfilling personal duties
- Running away from my professional duties
- Lack of courage to stand for the values I believe in
- Regret for the whole life
- Go to the location and serve patients:
I started this medical journey because I wanted to serve people, now when the time is there I cannot run away. It is like a soldier on duty, he cannot run away when his country needs him, especially during war.
This stand can be also supported by the principles of utilitarianism as well as deontology, as by treating those patients I will be serving humanity as well as fulfilling my duties.
- Serving the humanity
- Avoiding the crisis of conscience
- Fulfilment of The Hippocratic Oath taken
- Fulfilling my duties I might get infected
- Injustice to my family
- Violating personal duties
- Take the help of government and like-minded individuals
I can take help of government in this case, since no one is willing to go and I am ready to risk my life. I can ask for the following aid from the government.
- a) Detailed information about the virus, how its preads what are the precautions I should take etc.
- b) Support staff as well as any individual willing to go with me.
- c) The government can make an appeal to public so that individuals can come forward.
- d) Financial support or a job to one of my family members in case I die.
- Fulfilling my personal and professional duties
- Life security of my family
- Showing courage at the time of hour
- High possibilities that I might die
- Emotional trauma to the family
- Government support might be nil
- Starting a social media campaign to support me
I can take help of social media, NGOs to get like-minded individuals and to know more about the virus before jumping in. I will take an informed decision as to how will I go about it because simply going and losing my life won’t do any good, if I can find a cure or at least help in the research, it will help humanity a lot. I can also ask for crowd-funding to support my family if my insurance amount is not proper. Getting public support will also help me in convincing my family and changing their attitude.
- Public awareness
- I can inspire others
- I might not get support
- Emotional trauma to family
As Buddha advises that SamyakMarg is the best way out of a dilemma, moreover the principle of golden mean also says that wisdom lies in choosing between two extremes. Since going there without preparation amounts to foolishness and I might infect others too. It is important to gather information and take government help before going to serve the patients. The research will also help me in convincing my family as well as other doctors to join me. The support of government and public willalso give a boost to my family. It is my duty to serve people especially during this time of crisis and I cannot run away from it. Getting insurance for my family and arranging for the financial needs will help me in fulfilling the personal duties and responsibilities as well.
One cannot shy away from his duties owing to the personal reasons as it is akin to cowardice. I have chosen this profession to serve patients and nation, not doing that will not be fair to me personally and to the principles I hold dear. However it doesn’t mean that one should completely ignore the personal duties. An emotionally intelligent person will try to find a balance between both rather than choosing one over the other.
Q14. You are the founding member of a political party that was born out of an agitation against corruption in the country. Even though you and your partners never wanted to contest elections, the circumstances were such that you were forced to enter the very same political system that you abhorred for its disconnect and corruption. But then, someone has to cleanse the system after all.
Your decision to form a political party has been welcomed by many and your supporters are eagerly waiting to witness the transformation that your party would bring about in the political discourse. However, as the days pass by, reality dawns at you and your partners. It is getting difficult to run the party and pursue its agenda without adequate money. Donations have thinned and the party workers are demotivated. A sense of despondency has creeped in wherein everyone believes that it is impossible to bring about a change without money and muscle in Indian politics.
While you are deeply worried about the party and its followers, a business tycoon accompanied by a famous media honcho visits your party office. They have an offer. If you agree to twist the tender and procurement rules in the favour of the businessman after you come to power, they are ready to fund your party and become a mouthpiece of your ideology and agenda through various media.
This appears to be an offer that you can’t resist. What are you going to lose? Literally nothing! Rather a symbiotic relationship with the gentlemen would ensure the revival of your party and also a genuine shot at power. Your partners and party workers are infatuated by this offer and they insist that you accept it. Even though it would mean a compromise with the fundamental ideals of your party, sometimes stepping down from the moral plank can give you enough leeway to fulfil your aspirations.
Now answer the following questions:
(i) What options do you have in this situation?
(ii)Of all the options available to you, which one will you choose and why? Elaborate. (250 Words) (25)
Demand of the question:
These kinds of questions demand to test the accurate decision making capability of candiadate according to situation. Hence, this questions demands that candidate has to take decision while balancing his/her fundamentals along with reality of situation.
Probity and integrity are the most important characteristics which define the character of an individual. It is about adhering to best moral principles even in the worst of the times. It is about doing what you believe in, to be consistent in what you believe in, and in what you say and what you do. Political integrity is even more difficult because the lust of power tends to make people corrupt in various forms. Politicians are tempted to adopt an unethical path. The given case study is also about the tussle, an easy path to power or to struggle with your values and ideals.
Since the origin my political career is from an agitation against corruption and the offer given by the businessman is nothing short of a corruption, accepting the offer is like turning my ideals upside down. Ethics and morality are a set of standards which one follow and choose the rights and wrong. It is the moral values and ideals which generates the trust. In politics money can give short-term shot to power but in the Long-run ideology and strong fundamentals survive.
The kind of corruption in the form of quid pro quo suggested in the given case has been at the heart of the dis-functioning, non-responsive democracy. It hampers the spirit of democracy and betrays the faith of the common people in the democratic procedures. Money power overwhelms the free and fair functioning of our democracy where ‘one-person-one-vote’ loses its meaning in front of ‘one-rupee-one-vote.’
(i)Options available to me:
1.Accept the offer – Practically it will help my party since we are short offunds and the motivation of party workers is also dying. It is gettingdifficult to run the party and if there is no party left who will spread ourideals. However it means moving down from the committed principles.
- Funds for the party that will ensure its survival
- Motivation to workers
- Can fight elections against the well-established parties
- Compromising my ideals
- Moving on the slippery slope
- Losing trust of public
- 2. Reject the offer- We started the party to fight against the corruption;moreover the real intention was never to start a party but to fight corruption. Accepting the businessman’s offer is like throwing the movement down the drain and becoming just another party to the corruption. It is like moving down a slippery slope where I am justifying the wrong thing.
- Maintaining integrity
- Trust of public Beneficial in the long run
- Workers might be demotivated
- Party might not survive
- Will not be able to fight elections
3.Reject the offer and approach public to get funding, increase social media campaigning and asking individuals to join the revolution. As compromising with the ideas will degrade the image of party in public and thus in longer run it might not even survive. Not accepting the corrupt money might slow down the movement but it will help us in the longer run.
- Making public aware about the ideals
- Gaining public trust
- Maintaining integrity
- Delay in coming to power
- Party workers might leave the party
- Delay in fighting corruption
(ii) Of all the options available to me, as discussed above, I will choose the third option because compromising with the ideals as well as the funds is wrong for the party and the movement. I cannot accept the offer because it is like a deal with the devil, moreover it is a betrayal to the trust of many who joined the movement and have shown faith that we are going to do something good to the nation. Accepting the money can boost the party in the shorter run but in the long term it is going to tarnish the image, as I will also be seen as a corrupt and opportunist who just wish to get power.
As Gandhiji during India’s freedom struggle said to the congressman when they were eager to enter politics and assume power after Government of India Act 1935, that you should hold the chair lightly and not tightly. He advised them not to compromise with their ideals and not to fall into the vicious trap of power. India has changed but the political ideals are still the same.
Politics is a game of power but playing it dirty serves no purpose as it is against the basic principle of serving the masses. Politics is for welfare of masses where power has to be used for service not to rule. Compromising with the ideals and ideology means that the party is not based on ideals and ethics but it is based on opportunistic tendencies where the party can do anything wrong to come to power.
As rightly put, Politics without principles is a sin.
Not merely the ends but means to the right end also needs to be right.