Time Allowed : Three Hours Maximum Marks : 250
Instructions : There are FOURTEEN questions divided in two Sections and printed both in Hindi and in English. All questions are compulsory. The number of marks carried by a question/part is indicated against it. Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to. Any page of portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.
Answer questions in NOT MORE than the word limit specified for each in the parenthesis. Content of the answer is more important than its length.
1. What do you understand by ‘values’ and ‘ethics’? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent? (150 words) 10
Answer: Values principles or standards of behaviour and it is one’s judgement of what is important in life.
Ethics are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Being professionally competent is required for progress in career. Without competency, there will be no growth.
Being ethical is equally important in profession. Otherwise a person may use his professional competency to the disadvantage of the organisation and other colleagues.
A person who professionally competent in an accounting firm but holds very low ethical standards can embezzle money. A bank employee who is aware of banking and book keeping principles can cheat the bank and customers if he is unethical.
If a civil servant is corrupt, he may create havoc in the system, even though he is very competent. He may not be caught due to competency but impact of corruption will destroy value of the organisation.
Therefore, being professionally competent as well as high in ethical standards is important for an individual. (Total 165 words)
2. (a) What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service? (250 words) 3 x 5 = 15
(iii) Spirit of Service
(v) Courage of Conviction
(i) Integrity: It is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It implies maintaining absolute standard of behaviour and certain moral code. It means the state of being whole and undivided. It is non-corrupt and ethical practice.
(ii) Perseverance:It is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. In spite of problems being faced in any act, one must continue to do work in the direction. A public servant working constantly despite non-cooperative attitude of politician, local public and subordinates towards implementation of government policy is perseverance.
(iii) Spirit of Service:Devotion for public duty is the spirit of service. This is relevant for civil servant as they have to keep public interest above private interest. Many people devote their lives to the service of people, in the spirit of service.
(iv) Commitment: Commitment is an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. It is firm decision to perform one’s duty with full dedication without being diverted. It is the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something.
(v) Courage of Conviction: Courage means taking decision fearlessly, strength in the face of pain or grief. While conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion. A civil servant should be able to courageously uphold his conviction which is based on rules and integrity.
(b) Indicate two more attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer. (100 words) 5
(b)Two more attributes important for public services are:
(i) Accountability: It means answerability of civil servant for his decision to public for his acts or omission. Accountability helps in curtailing corruption and increases public confidence. It will increase trust and faith of people on the system and provide a strong interface between public servant and public.
(ii) Fairness and justice: Fairness means impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination. Justice is the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered. It means a civil servant should be fair and just in performing own duties. It is absolute necessity for maintaining unbiased system and people’s confidence in governance. (Total 105 words)
3. Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. (150 words) 10
Answer: Values, certain standards of moral and ethical behaviour, are important to direct one’s behaviour. A person is guided by his value system that he imbibes from family, society and personal experiences.
Some people believe that values are absolute and therefore no compromise can be accepted at anytime or any place. Speaking truth is absolute value and it cannot be compromised. Not stealing is absolute value and cannot be compromised.
But on the contrary, others believe that such values are dependent on time and situation. Speaking lie if it helps someone is allowed or stealing for larger gain is justified.
People sometimes believe that the value keep changing with time and place. For instance, as per modern standards, living in nuclear family does not harm family respect and value. But in old times, living separate from brothers and parents were absolute wrong.
Therefore, it can be said that some values are absolute and do not change with time but many other values are adjustable. (Total 163 words)
4. What is ’emotional intelligence’ and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions? (150 words) 10
Answer:Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.
EI is generally said to include three skills:
1 – emotional awareness;
2 – the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and
3 – the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.
EI is a skill which can be learnt through training, contrary to the general belief that EI is an inborn characteristic.
Ethical decisions are taken based on the moral values of an individual. He would always balance emotions on ethical and unethical side and take decision based on good values and ethics.
EI creates self awareness in a person which is ability to control one’s emotions while taking decision.
Similarly, self management developed by EI is also helps in making ethical decisions.
Ability to apply emotions to thinking process leads to ethical consideration.
Therefore, EI helps an individual in taking ethical decisions. (Total 168 words)
5. (a) What do you understand by the term ‘voice of conscience’? How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? (150 words) 10
(b) What is meant by ’crisis of conscience’? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such a crisis and how you resolved the same. (150 words) 10
Answer: (a)Conscience is a person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour.
Voice of conscience refers to a process of alertness and alarm reminding an individual to stick. To the moral sense, conscience.
It happens in the time of crisis when a person faces dilemma. In such situations, his conscience does not allow him to go on wrong path. He maintains his values and directs ones behaviour based on own conscience. It is a complex process that takes place at time of emotional conflicts.
It requires to hear once inner-self, by meditation, self-actualisation and adherence to honesty of belief to heed to one’s voice of conscience. Reflective system of mind prevents from taking negative action or entering into immoral activity by heeding to voice of conscience. Constant reading, training and affirmation can help to prepare oneself to heed to one’s voice of conscience. (Total 152 words)
Answer: (b)‘Crisis of conscience’ is conflict of emotions of what we consider good and bad. Choice is difficult. Though we know what is right according to our conscience but the other option seems to be more endearing.
In a situation, I had Rs. 5000 saved for buying nice clothes on my birthday. When I went to a shopping mall to buy clothes, my friend called me to inform that his mother was sick and they were rushing to hospital. I knew he was poor and would need some spare money. I had crisis of conscience whether to spend the money on my clothes or keep them spare lest my friend would need it. The choice was difficult. If I spend the money and he faces problem, I would feel guilty. Strong crisis of conscience happened between my personal choice and my duty towards a friend.
Finally, with a lot of conviction, I decided to keep the money in spare and not buy clothes on that birthday. (Total 165 words)
6. Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means to you in the present context:
(a)”There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi (150 words) 10
Answer: (a) Mahatma Gandhi was a man who lived on minimalist need. He believed in non collection of material aspects and believed that the earth has enough resources to satisfy need of humankind but it is because of greed of man that the earth has become place for bloodshed and exploitation. He referred to colonial powers and greedy capitalists who exploited poor people for amassing wealth.
Today the situation has not changed. Bureaucrats, politicians and industrialists employ corrupt practices for personal gain at the cost of others. This results into disadvantage to the society. Greed of such people results into poverty and pain of masses. Policies of government are not executed and the benefits do not reach to targeted beneficiaries due to such greed.
If those who are instrumental in policy making, implementation and administration understand the deep meaning of this statement and do not demand more than their need, the earth would be a better place. (Total 155 words)
(b)”Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln (150 words) 10
Answer: In adversity people become humble, seek help and surrender to god. But when men of weak character get power, opportunity and position of control, they forget all duties, morality, ethics and politeness.
As is famously said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, men cannot control power.
It is therefore seen in bureaucrats and politician do not fulfil their duty as public servant when they become powerful due to their position. Judges, Generals or Journalists are also susceptible to power and posts. Their absolute dedication to the duty and ethics is required for the society to function well. Reminding this statement of Abraham Lincoln, we should look for men of great character who are true to their values and moral standards.
The power is nothing but ability to perform, which should be used for the welfare of people, and not for personal gain, by avoiding adverse influence of the available power. (Total 151 words)
(c)”I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.” – Aristotle (150 words) 10
Answer: A person can overcome enemies by gaining more strength but not himself. Conquering oneself is the biggest challenge. As the person has unlimited desires, he falls pray to them.
Every time he acts on own desire, without thinking of consequences, he loses control over himself. Therefore, the more desires he fulfils, weaker he becomes. Wining over enemies requires strength while falling for desires require weakness. Anyone who cannot overcome this weakness does not reach to greatness.
The people who have become great in own fields have controlled and conquered their own desires. They did not have enemies in external world but inside their own selves.
Temptation to go for satisfying desire is a common human folly. It is very difficult to resist them. Always there is a chance to fall victim of such desires which may lead towards dishonesty, unethical behaviour, immorality or illegal acts. Therefore, overcoming desires should be the final aim of an individual. (Total 156 words)
7. ” The good of an individual is contained in the good of all”. What do you understand by this statement? How can this principle be implemented in public life? (150 words) 10
Answer:The good of an individual results from the good of his family, friends and society of which he is a part. As man is merely a social animal, he does not grow alone. There has to be a collective progress.
Therefore, all economic, social, scientific or political progress has to be done in a manner which benefits all. Promoting selfish interest at the cost of others does not result into progress.
Inclusive growth, welfare schemes, social progress and upliftment of weaker sections of society are required for individuals growth, progress and happiness.
Increase in income of one person does not make the society rich. Skewed distribution of benefits of economic progress has resulted into gap in Indian society which is a cause of concern.
A person may be rich and build a beautiful house but if there is slum around his house, he cannot enjoy it. Collective progress is very much necessary for Individuals’s good. (Total 155 words)
8. It is often said that ‘politics’ and ‘ethics’ do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with illustrations. (150 words) 10
Answer: Ethics are certain code of conduct applicable to standard of behaviour. Politics works for social progress and welfare. Therefore, using ethics in politics can actually result into better society.
In the current situation, where there are many political parties representing different sections of society and fighting for promotion of narrow purposes, it seems difficult if any political party can be able to succeed in politics with ethical ideology. However, there is no need for complete absence of ethics from politics.
For example, Gandhi managed to drive the britishers out of India through political means but he maintained ethics in his political strategy. There was no need to completely divorce ethics and politics. He did not hate Britishers, he just wanted to bring freedom. He behaved with British in friendly yet firm manner without being submissive to their tyranny.
Therefore, it can be concluded that ethics and politics are not opponents but complementaries. Politics without ethics results into chaos, corruption, nepotism and lack of governance. (Total 164 words)
In the following questions, carefully study the cases presented and then answer the questions that follow.
9. A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other employees also who were party to these decisions. Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.
The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but this particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed, turned out to be wrong. He comes to you for advice.
The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the options :
(i) The PIO could refer the matter to his superior officer and seek his advice and act strictly in accordance with the advice, even though he is not completely in agreement with the advice of the superior.
(ii) The PIO could proceed on leave and leave the matter to be dealt by his successor in office or request for transfer of the application to another PIO.
(iii) The PIO could weigh the consequences of disclosing the information truthfully, including the effect on his career, and reply in a manner that would not place him or his career in jeopardy, but at the same time a little compromise can be made on the contents of the information.
(iv) The PIO could consult his other colleagues who are party to the decision and take action as per their advice.
Also please indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) what you would like to advise, giving proper reasons. (250 words) 20
Answer: (i)Merits: The senior will taken into account his honesty and diligence so will advise appropriately. The advice will have merit and following him may save the PIO him from any wrongdoing.
Demerit: The concerned authorities might suspend PIO for his wrong decisions and inquiry might be initiated.
(ii)Merit: It may relieve him from mental stress that he is facing and someone may dealt with it according to own judgement. Impartiality will also be maintained in disclosure of information.
Demerit: PIO is running away from his responsibility and thereby showing his inability to take ethical decisions.
(iii)Merit: He will protect himself and his colleagues. May be the matter will be buried under ground with time.
Demerit: Since tampering of official documents is a crime, PIO’s honesty, integrity and accountability to his work shall be questioned. Applicant may understand that half information is given.
(iv)Merit:Other colleagues were also privy to the decision. Their consultation may bring out some ways.
Demerit: The colleagues might also influence him to take decision in their favour.
My advice to PIO :
First he should try to find out if the information pertains to some of the non-disclosable areas as provided by RTI Act. If yes, he can deny the information. Otherwise, according to RTI Act, PIO is responsible to disclose the information, so he should perform his duty with integrity. If required, PIO should take the moral responsibility of the wrong decision.
10. You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards completion, the Junior Engineers have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications. However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunae which, in your opinion, are likely to affect the safety of the flyover. Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area. When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the project for completion in time. However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should not be left unaddressed.
What will you do in such a situation? Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons. (250 words) 20
(i) Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.
(ii) Make an exhaustive report of the situation bringing out all facts and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and seek for written orders from the Chief Engineer.
(iii) Call for explanation from the Junior Engineers and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.
(iv) Highlight the issue so that it reaches superiors above the Chief Engineer.
(v) Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report sick.
Answer:(i) Merits: The project would be completed on time. Contractor will be saved from probable loss.
Demerits: As there is safety lapse, the flyover might collapse in the future. It would endanger public safety and reputation of organisation.
(ii) Merit: A written report and analysis would enable the Chief Engineer to understand seriousness of lapse. It will also save me if any inquiry is conducted in future.
Demerit: It would be considered as insubordination. Chief Engineer and contractor would not like it. It will also take more time and may delay the project.
(iii) Merit: Since it was the duty of junior engineers, they should be asked explanation for their lapse or oversight. They may be held responsible in the future. Contractor will have to deal with the problem so he should also be held accountable.
Demerit: This course of action would delay the completion of the project, endanger jobs of junior engineer and cause loss to contractor.
(iv) Merit: Highlighting the matter to higher authorities will ensure disciplinary action against the wrongdoers.
Demerit: Project might be delayed. It will show my inability to do job efficiently. I might not be heard and insubordination may be punished.
(v) Merit: It may save me from accountability if anything takes place in the future.
Demerit: It will indicate that I am escaping my responsibility. It would project me as irresponsible officer of the organisation and in case of inquiry, my absence might be proved as my connivance.
My Decision: I would firmly report the incident to higher authorities and seek their guidance. If the matter is not solved satisfactorily, I might take it to Municipal Commissioner. There should be no compromise with public safety as the collapse of bridge may result into loss of many lives. The contractor must be held responsible for correcting the lapse.
11. Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is known for its manufacturing clusters on firecrackers and matches. The local economy of the area is largely dependent on firecrackers industry. It has led to tangible economic development and improved standard of living in the area.
So far as child labour norms for hazardous industries like firecrackers industry are concerned, International Labour Organisation (ILO) has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India, however, this age is 14 years.
The units in industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and non-registered entities. One typical unit is household-based work. Though the law is clear on the use of child labour employment norms in registered/non-registered units, it does not include household-based works. Household-based work means children working under the supervision of their parents/relatives. To evade child labour norms, several units project themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside. Needless to say that employing children saves the costs for these units leading to higher profits to the owners.
On your visit to one of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has about 10-15 children below 14 years of age. The owner tells you that in his household- based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that several children smirk, when the owner tells you this. On deeper enquiry, you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to satisfactorily establish their relationship with each other.
(a) Bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.
(b) What would be your reaction after your above visit? (300 words) 25
Answer: (a)Child labour deprives children of their right to education and enjoyment of childhood. Their growth is hampered due to such work. Child employment in India has still been rampant under one pretext or other. Employing children in small household based units manufacturing firecrackers is a legal escape. But it is unethical as subverting law is not permitted, though it would be difficult to hold them legally liable.
Other ethical issue involved in exposing and punishing these industry is that some children might be actual relative to the manufacturer. Therefore, taking action against such units involve a delicate balance.
Poverty of children and their family is heart shaking issue. There should be more employment opportunities for parents which generates enough income to send the children to school.
(b) Reaction after the visit:
Suspicion of violationof the labour laws in the unit should be brought to the notice of the concerned authorities immediately.
NGOs working for prevention of child labour should be involved. They can take up the issue in media and court.
If the employer is found guilty of violating the law, he should be punished and licences should be cancelled.
Alternative employment should be provided to the adult members of the family understate and centre sponsored schemes like MNREGA.
Guidelines of the supreme court in M C Mehta Case should be strictly adhered to.
Implementation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan should be strengthened in the villages so that enrolment to schools can be increased.
A detailed report should be prepared and sent to the Chief Secretary of the State, Ministry of Women and Child Development as well as relevant commissions to consider banning employment of children below 14 years even in the household units.
12. You are heading a leading technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an interview panel shortly under your chairmanship for selection of the post of professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the Personal Secretary (PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your intervention in favour of the selection of a close relative of the functionary for this post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the long pending and urgent proposals of your institute for grant of funds for modernization, which are awaiting the functionary’s approval. He assures you that he would get these proposals cleared.
(a) What are the options available to you ?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons. (250 words) 20
(a) Possible available:
I can accept the proposal of Personal Secretary of the senior government functionary and hire the proposed candidate.
I do reject the proposal of Personal Secretary of the senior government functionary and hire a candidate who is suitable to the job.
I do not reject the proposal of Personal Secretary of the senior government functionary and interview the candidate proposed by him. If he is found suitable, I hire him otherwise I hire a candidate who is suitable to the job.
(b) Evaluation of the options:
In the first option, I may end up with hiring a candidate proposed by the personal secretary of government officer who may not be suitable for the job. But my institute receives fund for modernisation. This will help in modernising the institute. But it will keep other suitable candidate devoid of job.
Second option will lose me the approval of fund for modernisation of institute. But I will follow my conscience and hire only a candidate who is most suitable for the job on the basis of his qualification and other qualities.
In the third option, as I have not rejected the proposal, I will have a chance to evaluate the candidate proposed by the personal secretary. If the candidate turns out to be the suitable one, I would be able to claim that the candidate proposed by his stands hired. It will help me in getting approval for the fund. However, if the candidate is not suitable, I may not hire him. This will be the most pragmatic option and not be an unethical practice.
Option I would choose:
I would choose the third option for the reasons mentioned above.
13. As a senior officer in the Finance Ministry, you have access to some confidential and crucial information about policy decisions that the Government is about to announce. These decisions are likely to have far-reaching impact on the housing and construction industry. If the builders have access to this information beforehand, they can make huge profits. One of the builders has done a lot of quality work for the Government and is known to be close to your immediate superior who asks you to disclose this information to the same builder.
(a) What are the options available to you ?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving
reasons (250 words) 20
(a) Options available to me are:
(i) Listen to senior’s instruction and disclose the information to the builder.
(ii) Not listen to the senior’s instruction and refuse to disclose the information to the builder.
Any other option would just emanate out of these two.
(iii) In case of insistence by my senior, I could ask him to give me instruction in writing which he would not dare to do so. If my senior gives me order in writing, I can take it to senior most in organisation for instruction.
(b) If I to listen to and follow the instruction of the senior and disclose information to the builder, it will certainly be against the rules.
If I decide to remain ethical, I have to refuse to follow the instructions of senior who happens to be close to the builder.
The builder having done some good work is not a valid justification to allow him get confidential information. It would result into unjust enrichment of him at the cost of other builders. There should be a level playing field for all.
However, if my senior insists, I would ask him to give me a written order. He would not do so. And if he does it, I can take that order to the senior most in the organisation and ask for his advise.
This would certainly create a hurdle in such malpractice.
Rather than submitting to the oral instruction of senior officer, a junior should explore further options to remain ethical and follow the rules to its letter and spirit.
14. You are the Executive Director of an upcoming Infotech Company which is making a name for itself in the market.
Mr. A, who is a star performer, is heading the marketing team. In a short period of one year, he has helped in doubling the revenues as well as creating a high brand equity for the Company so much so that you are thinking of promoting him. However, you have been receiving information from many corners about his attitude towards the female colleagues, particularly his habit of making loose comments on women. In addition, he regularly sends indecent SMS’s to all the team members including his female colleagues.
One day, late in the evening, Mrs. X, who is one of Mr. A’s team members, comes to you visibly disturbed. She complains against the continued misconduct of Mr. A, who has been making undesirable advances towards her and has even tried to touch her inappropriately in his cabin.
She tenders her resignation and leaves your office.
(a) What are the options available to you ?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option you would adopt, giving reasons. (250 words) 20
(a) I have the following options in this situation:
(i) I can accept her resignation and not lose Mr. A’s performance which is beneficial to the company.
(ii) Not accept her resignation and take strict action against Mr. A. So no other employee harasses women in the company.
(iii) Find out a compromising solution.
(i) If I accept resignation of Mrs. X, it would send a wrong signal to other employees about our policy on protection of female employees. It would also allow persons like Mr. A to behave in such wrong manner unhindered.
(ii) if I do not accept her resignation and take strict action against Mr. A, I may lose a good employee who could have been given a chance to improve.
(iii) Therefore, I would prefer a series of actions, as a third option to find out compromising solution.
I would allow Mrs. X to calm down in that situation and talk to her to take a view of the situation. I will not accept her resignation but will assure her of taking necessary action against Mr. A.
Once I have understood the incident, I will call Mr. A to my office and reprimand him for his indecent behaviour. I would inform him about strict policy of the company with regard to female harassment.
I will organise a meeting with both Mr. A and Mrs. X in my office to resolve the issue. Mr. A has to apologise to Mrs. X in front of me and give us an assurance that he would not repeat the behaviour with anyone else.