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Approach – Answer: General Studies Mains Mock Test 1235 (2019)

1. Given below are two quotations. For each of these bring out what it means to you in the present
(a) The golden rule of conduct is mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we
shall always see Truth in fragment and from different points of vision. Mahatma Gandhi.
 Briefly discuss the meaning of the quotation.
 Bring out the relevance of given statement in the present time.
 Conclude the answer.
Our behavior is based on our own reasoning. Our reasoning is based on our values, beliefs, experiences,
etc. Every individual is subjected to a variety of values, beliefs and experiences during his/her lifetime. As
such, in their own way, people act correctly, but differently. It is because people think that they act
correctly, there is always a scope of difference of opinion and action with others, who in their own stead
also act correctly. It is in this recognition of basic human behavior and the limitation of human mind to
know everything that Gandhiji made this statement- because we cannot always think alike, the best way
to conduct is by tolerating the divergent or different opinion.
In a society with diverse values, culture and social norms, it is natural to have differing viewpoints on the
same issue. For such a diverse society to be in peace, tolerance is essential. An individual’s conduct
should be guided by tolerance and empathy for diverse opinions, ideologies and cultures while valuing
the basic universal values of love, non-violence and basic human rights. Rigid and negative attitude
towards diversity ignores the fact that truth is fragmented, and misses the larger vision.
Although conscience is a good guide to moral conduct, it is not the same for all, and therefore, imposing
one’s own conduct on others amounts to insufferable interference with their freedom of conscience.
This vision is also emphasized in Jain concept of ‘Syadavad’- relativity of Truth. It implies that there can
be many truths rather than adopting one rigid approach.
In contemporary times, the statement serves as a guiding light for the world witnessing divisions across
multiple lines- region, religion, wealth, color, and many more. An attitude of intolerance leads to
restriction of space for expression of ideas. Divergent views enrich the discussion and are the source of
innovation, progress and inclusive growth.
The intellectual basis for tolerance comes from respect, curiosity and skepticism and rationality. Also, it
is necessary to differentiate between tolerance and acceptance. Divergent views must be encouraged,
but their acceptance should not depend merely because they are divergent. Acceptance should be based
on debates and discussions in which everyone gets to know the ‘truth’ of the other and hence, become
more aware and rational. But for debate to take place, tolerance again becomes the necessary aspect of
conduct, and hence it is the golden rule.

(b) The mind of the superior man is conversant with righteousness; the mind of the mean man is
conversant with gain. Confucius.
 Briefly, elaborate the quote.
 Provide arguments /examples to highlight the present-day relevance of the quote.
 Conclude the answer.
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‘What is the right thing to do?’ may be different for different people. In the given quote, Confucius is
trying to argue that superior amongst people are those who are concerned with what is right, and not
merely what is right for them alone. As an example, a person who takes a long term view or whose
thoughts, speech and action are aligned with the collective good of society, would be a superior man as
compared to a person who remains selfish, greedy and follows self-centred tendencies and unethical
means, who would be a mean man.
Generally, it is easier and more profitable to pursue greedy self-interest when a person has to choose
between it and the collective societal good. Preferring immediate gratification and short-term gains over
long-term collective gains to the society is often clearly visible, and hence becomes the chosen course.
Such “mean man” tendencies are often seen in daily acts like tax evasion, littering public places, paying
no regard to traffic rules, un-mindful use of water/electricity, displaying no compassion towards animals
or making electoral choices purely out of religion/caste considerations etc. Worst form of “mean
tendency” is seen when people indulge in abhorrent acts like human trafficking, drug abuse, terrorism
and adulteration which have long term negative consequences for the society. On the other hand, a
superior man, with simple acts such as saving and segregating waste to be disposed-off properly
undertakes more effort with lesser immediate benefits to himself.
It also raises the important issue of the limited understanding of what is the right thing to do. Broadly,
the scope of righteousness constitutes: (i) Correct personal conduct, (ii) Not indulging in personal
aggrandizement, (iii) Doesn’t cause harm or violate other citizens rights or cause social trouble. The goals
that we desire and the principles that we use in their pursuit are the primary parameters to judge what
is righteous or not. People like Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Abdul Kalam rose above
self-interest and devoted one’s life and energy towards humanity are role models for modern society.
However, it is imperative that everyone cannot be a mass leader and sacrifice most self-interest for
others. Still, everyone can be a leader in one’s own right and have a longer vision for oneself and the
society. This way, everyone can aspire to not be a mean man and progress towards being a superior
man. Even by doing simple tasks such as following the taxation laws in letter and spirit makes one a
superior man. In this case, the task of deciding what is the righteous thing has been left to the State-
which decides the laws; the task of man is not to be the mean man by selfishly seeking short-term gains.

2. (a) Impersonal management, a characteristic feature of Weberian bureaucracy, develops over time
into indifference, especially with regard to weaker sections of the society. Critically discuss.
 Briefly introduce impersonal management and write about its importance in Weberian bureaucracy.
 Give some suggestions to make Weberian bureaucracy sensitive towards weaker section.
Impersonal management is the management through system of official authority and pre-defined rules
rather than personal involvement, emotions and sentiments. It forms the core of Weberian bureaucracy
which seeks to maximize efficiency.
Necessity of impersonal management
 Ensures equality in treatment of people, without any favor or hatred.
 Ensures fairness and objectivity in bureaucratic functioning.
 Creates institutional memory/precedents to shape future decision making.
 Decisions by rational rather than personal factors within the framework of law.
Problems of Impersonality principle
Some thinkers argue that Weberian bureaucracy suffers from an inevitable failure in the complex
environment like developing countries because of the blind and rigid adherence to rules which leads to

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‘blind rationality’. Treating ‘unequals’ equally leads to more inequality. In the developing societies with
diversity, administrative functioning needs some flexibility of working.
Weberian bureaucracy works in the structure that does not have enough room for human emotions,
satisfaction, needs and values. As such, the workers do not develop a belongingness to the organization
as well as become indifferent to needs of people the organization is supposed to work for. The excessive
reliance on rules not only overlooks the need for dynamism in the system but also curbs initiative and
inhibits the growth of employees.
This problem becomes even more challenging while dealing with the weaker sections because they are
not able to raise their voice for a number of reasons, such as-
 Not being aware about or empowered enough to demand their rights
 Apathy of government officers
 Lack of strong voice or pressure group
 May not be conversant with new rules, tools and technologies
Therefore, bureaucracy needs ‘systemic rationality’ with desired dynamism on case by case basis.
Way forward
 The bureaucratic functioning must be citizen sensitive conditioned with required flexibility with
compassion towards weaker section. The principle guiding flexibility is ‘equity’, rather than blind
‘equality’. This principle is adopted by Indian Constitution in the form of “Equal Protection of Law”
and affirmative action for the weaker sections.
 The bureaucracy must be the change agent, capable of taking some “intelligent initiatives” as
warranted by the situation i.e. they should be willing to take some innovative measures, rather than
delaying and obstructing in the garb of rules.

(b) In pursuit of political power, means are often compromised that leads to competitive reliance on
unethical practices resulting in erosion of public trust. Discuss.
 Briefly discuss the issue of compromise of means in pursuit of political power.
 Highlight the probable implications of the use of unethical means on public trust.
 Conclude answer by suggesting the ways to restore people’s trust.
In ethical discourse, “means” are as important as “ends”. Political parties with various ideologies seek (or
at least, profess) to implement their vision for country’s welfare, and getting in power electorally is an
important means to do that. Pursuit of political power, thus becomes the race most heavily contested in
a democracy. As such, winning at all costs is generally the strategy of all parties.
The professed ends in this race may be good, i.e. the purpose for which power is sought, but the means
used to achieve are often unethical, unfair and deceiving. Usually the parties either try to lure voters by
means of promises (emotional or financial) or they try to force voters by means of intimidation or
Both measures rely on weakness of the electorate as well the state. Political parties make competitively
false promises to attract voters based on the assumption that most do not have the capability,
wherewithal or time to analyse the promises in detail. Those who are able to do so and see the falsities
may get disenchanted immediately. Those who vote for the too-good-to-be-true promises get
disenchanted later. In both cases, it is the public trust in the electoral system that gets eroded.
Similarly, coercion of voters through use of money and muscle power erodes people’s confidence and
willingness to participate in the process. Adoption of unethical means such as acceptance of donations

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from known economic offenders might influence the decisions after winning the election as a means of
Other aspect of unethical practices include personal attacks on office bearers by the opposition and vice-
versa, misuse of state machinery for party use, spreading abusive and false propaganda, which may
enhance divisions on lines of caste, religion, region, etc. It mars the perception of the electoral process
as free and fair. Ultimately, it erodes public trust which is manifested in the following ways:
 It may lead to a decline in people’s participation in the electoral process.
 It jeopardizes the credibility of elected representatives and democratic institutions.
 Further, decisions and actions of the government would lack credibility, be less acceptable.
 Well educated and learned people are less inclined to enter into electoral politics and compromise
on means will strengthen their resolve to not join politics.
 Further, it will incentivize criminals and rogue elements to join politics.
 Politicians are influential, widely followed, even if not admired in the society and unethical
behaviour on their part will have wide ranging impact on people.
It is because of these reasons that Gandhiji has listed ‘politics without principle’ as one of the Seven Sins.
Politics without ethics obstructs development of a healthy society. Collective action on the part of
people, elected representatives and political parties is need of the hour.

3. (a) It takes more than a corporate governance policy to inspire ethical behavior and sustain a truly
ethical workplace. Discuss.
 Briefly, describe corporate governance policy.
 Provide arguments to bring out the inadequacy of merely the corporate governance policy to
promote ethical behavior and suggest how to inspire and sustain ethical workplace.
 Conclude the answer.
Corporate governance is the set of mechanisms, rules and practices by which a corporate entity is run.
These usually consist of set standards defining code of conduct of the employees, the management and
the organization- the ways in which they are expected to act. Important pillars of corporate governance
are transparency, accountability, fairness and protection of stakeholders’ interest. It is expected that it
will ensure the adherence to the legal and ethical practices by all through a compliance policy and
statement of values. A corporate governance policy highlights the commitment towards the relevant
laws, rules and regulations and constitutes a statement of values, informing the stakeholders about the
company’s priorities and core belief, thus setting behavioral expectations.
Despite good intentions and sound ethical frameworks under corporate governance policy, the
organizations and its employees often do not behave in the manner that the policy advocates. The test
of CG Policy is not merely whether a company explicitly has it or not. It must be effective and seen to be
working. If employees and the company are not ethical in their day to day behaviour, it denotes a failure
of the policy. At the same time, in critical matters where the company/shareholders indulge in unethical
practices such as insider trading, secretive corruption, etc., then it reflects that those responsible for
enforcement of policy themselves do not believe and follow it. This resort to unethical practices can be
due to the following reasons:
 Inability and psychological fear among employees to raise ethical concerns.
 Excessive pressure to achieve unrealistic performance targets.
 The setting of conflicting goals by the organization provokes a sense of injustice and unfairness.
 Lack of conscious efforts on the part of leaders to set a positive example. For e.g. allegations of
misallocation of resources by CEO of a reputed bank sets a bad precedent.
These instances show that the mere creation of an ethical framework is not enough. It must be backed
up by practices such as appointment of auditors who actually maintain an arms-length relationship with

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the company. Ethical practices must be visible in decisions and actions of the organization and its
employees in the following ways:
 The organization should adopt an open-door policy in letter and spirit
 Leaders must set an example for others to emulate
 Set realistic goals in participation with employees
 Strict adherence to ethical considerations in routine activities
 Recognize the ethical choices and discourage the unethical behaviour
 Develop a system of values within the organization which are strictly adhered to.
 Decisions must be reviewed before finalization.
In an age of corporate mistrust, creating ethical workplaces requires conscious effort that necessitates
not only adopting the highest ethical standards, but also their whole-hearted implementation.

(b) "Law should be so succinct that it can be carried in the pocket of the coat and it should be so
simple that it can be understood by a peasant." Discuss.
 Introduce by stating the relevance of this quote.
 Discuss the meaning of the statement – emphasising key words.
 Conclude with examples.
The given statement was quoted by Napoleon, which also finds its mention in the 2nd ARC report on
ethics in governance. The statement focuses on why law should be brief and concise so that one can
comprehend it easily. Also, law should be away from complexities, so that even the person existing at
the lowest rung of the pyramid (in this case, peasant) can decipher it.
The above statement gains relevance in the context of:
 The lengthy legal texts and intricate language used in framing the constitution, and a no. of civil &
criminal laws, etc.
 Expensive legal system for the poor and marginalised and termed as lawyer’s paradise.
 Complex jurisprudential interpretation of law and policy.
 The complexities in the law often end in secrecy as well as harassment of the ordinary people.
 Existence of obsolete and archaic laws.
In the present context, to make laws succinct and simple a substantive exercise must be carried out of
identifying those statutes and regulations that no longer serve a useful purpose, but may become a tool
for delay, obstructionism and harassment. There should be systematic use of drafting techniques like
sunset and review clauses, and simplification of the procedure for repeal.
As a civil servant and a law-abiding citizen of the country, it is the duty of every citizen to aid and assist
the poor by not only promoting the cause of simple procedures and legislations, but by also making
available free legal aid for socially and economically vulnerable people as envisaged under Article 39A
and the Legal Services Authorities Act.
Several such initiatives have been undertaken to simplify legislative procedures. For instance:
 The government undertook repeal of about 2000 archaic laws in the past decade such as through
Repealing and Amending Act, 2017.
 Civil society organisations taking law to tribals and poor by making them understand and
representing their causes. For example, civil societies working for the rights of Adivasis in
Chattisgarh.Single window clearance mechanisms have expedited last mile service delivery and
minimised hassles of complex procedures.
Apart from reforming the laws, The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted
under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free Legal Services to the weaker sections of

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the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. Mahila Adalats, e-courts for
effective and timely justice have also been setup.
To conclude, a nation should strive for succinct and simple law which is easily understandable by the
people. It must also be noted that laws are drafted in conformity with existing laws and principles of
jurisprudence. It is never meant to be used as tool for rough and ready delivery of justice. Only a court or
a duly appointed authority can provide for expression of of views of contending parties, and that
inevitably brings in lawyers, who may interpret the law according to convenience if it is not well-drafted.

4. (a) Ethics in international relations has the potential to cater to the diplomatic challenges of 21st
century. Examine.
 Bring out how ethics plays a significant role in diplomacy
 List out pointwise how ethics play an important role in meeting the various challenges of
international diplomatic field
 Give examples from context of Indian foreign policy and international relations.
The states act in their own perceived national interest. As rational actors, they are always faced with
choices and it is up to them which principles and values they want to uphold in pursuing one amongst
them. Ethics in International Relations deals with fairness and equitability of the international systems
today and in future.
Ethics have gained special significance given the nature of problems facing the world today like climate
change, inequality, globalisation and resistance faced by it, governance of the commons, migration and
refugees, nuclear stockpiling, terrorism and involvement of state and non-state actors in it etc.
Ethics can meet the challenges of diplomacy in 21st century in the following ways:
 Moral Diplomacy: In the present-day context, moral diplomacy in international relations has a role
for everyone including the state officials and citizens who care about human rights, human dignity,
liberty, and justice and is therefore of crucial importance to a civil servant’s conduct, especially in
foreign policy which deals with multilateral and bilateral contexts. Example: Gujral Doctrine towards
India’s smaller neighbour is based on it, Panchsheel principle with China is also a result of moral
 Soft Power: It is persuasive approach to international relations majorly using economic and cultural
influences. Such influences are not possible until and unless the international actors atleast appears
to be ethical in their stands. Examples:
o There are many protests against Chinese investments in countries by the masses because their
investment and project practices appear unethical and exploitative
o Assistance to Nepal during the earthquake in 2015
o Blue economy investments in Seychelles, Madagascar, other island countries.
 Public or Citizen’s diplomacy: Track II, III and other track diplomacies need ethical and moral
engagement. People to people contact is not possible without it. E.g. Initiatives like Aman ki Asha,
Nimrana dialogue etc.
 In governance of global commons: International community has to share the global commons, and
protect and preserve the same. It cannot be done through brute force alone. E.g. Intended
determined national targets can neither be fulfilled, nor the climate change governance successfully
implemented until international players show any ethical conducts.
 International Cooperation on social malaises like Terrorism, colonialism, dealing with cross border
epidemics like Ebola, disasters like earthquakes etc which create destruction beyond borders need
ethical commitment of nation states.
Though realists claim that the international politics is only limited to ‘big fish eat small fish’ logic, yet
successful diplomacy is very strongly dependent on the ethical commitment of the international actors,
systems and masses.
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(b) Nolan Committee provides for one of the most comprehensive statements of what constitutes
ethical standards for holders of public office. Elaborate.
 Introduce by highlighting the need for ethical principles in public life and the ground on which these can
be adjudged as most comprehensive.
 State set of values proposed by Nolan Committee and their role in creating a robust ethical framework.
 In conclusion, suggest a few measures to implement them.
While what has to be done is mostly clear and defined under law, rules and procedures, how it has to be
done is usually a matter of choice for the person responsible. A civil servant has to take decisions based
on facts, but which facts does she choose and which he ignores, or how much time she spends in
gathering them is the actual measure of whether the person has done her duty completely and ethically.
Public Servants have to exercise a certain level of discretion to reach a decision as laws, rules and
regulation cannot define every aspect of their work. Ethical norms become crucial to guide public
servants in fulfilling their duty in such cases. Committee on Standards in Public Life in the United
Kingdom (Nolan Committee) set forth seven ethical principles which are most comprehensive as the
applicability of the same are relevant in all democracies and most dilemmas in public life.
 Selflessness - Selfness seeks to imbibe the idea that public servants will always uphold the public
interest vis-a-vis self-interest. This principle helps sailing through the conflict of interest.
 Integrity - Integrity of public official demands to remain undeterred from outside influence in her
words and actions. It is crucial to execute her duties faithfully.
 Objectivity - An objective civil servant takes action as per the fact of the matter at hand. It helps
create faith in public and advance towards efficiency.
 Accountability - Accountability makes public servants accountable for their action towards people
and laws. It brings about the good governance.
 Openness/Transparency - This principle caters to provide information to public unless withholding
information is absolutely necessary.
 Honesty - An honest officer declares all the materials facts of conflict of matter and willfully try to
resolve such conflicts.
 Leadership - Leadership demands public servants to lead organization and people with example and
great vision.
These standards steer public officials to not only resolve difficult situation but also helps to make
positive impact on the society. These standards should be implemented through Code of Ethics, Code of
Conduct, and Training.

5. (a) The sharper the socio-economic disparities, the greater the incentive towards corruption. Analyse.
 Briefly mention status of socio-economic disparity and corruption in India.
 Discuss the causality between increasing socio-economic inequality and corruption.
 Highlight its impact on the society.
There seems to be a direct relation between incentive to corruption and inequality. Transparency
International ranks India 78 out of 180 countries in its corruption index of 2018. Incidentally, other low
ranking countries in this index also perform poorly on income inequality.
Socio-economic disparities and Corruption
 Corruption is directly proportional to the socio-economic gap in a nation. Cultural and historical
factors also influence this, but greater the socio-economic disparities, greater is the incentive
towards corruption.

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 In the face of increasing inequality, society is likely to react by demanding redistribution of income.
As the redistribution pressure rises, elites have a stronger temptation to exercise corruption and
influence decision making to preserve their privileges.
 On the other hand, the weaker section, because they have little access to power and resources,
begin to accept corruption as a necessity to get their work done and grease the wheels of society
and economy.
 Inequality adversely affects people’s beliefs about the legitimacy of rules and institutions, increasing
their level of tolerance of corruption. This leads to the gradual erosion of morality and ethics on
both sides. Some find it easy to spend money to get things done, others find it difficult to refuse to
accept that money.
 Gradually both these sections of society develop disrespect for the system as well as for each other.
This makes whole system and the nation look more corruptible.
 It also justifies corruption by both sides. Poor look at the affluence of the rich and consider it as the
consequence of the corruption. While rich look at the vulnerability of the poor as the consequence
of a corrupt morality.
 This nexus saps the social fabric of the nation, creates tolerance towards corruption and may lead to
disaffection in the people, resulting in social unrest.
Thus, for developing countries like India to strike at corruption, it must first reduce the chasm between
the rich and the poor.

(b) The moral worth of an action depends not on the consequences that flow from it, but on its
motivation. Explain the statement with the help of suitable examples. 10
 Briefly highlight the meaning of moral worth in the introduction.
 Explain the relationship between the intention and consequences of an action and its moral worth.
 Give appropriate examples to support your arguments.
 Conclude on the basis of the above points.
An action is morally worthy when it is performed for the right moral reasons.
The moral worth of an action should not be identified only with its value in producing good or bad
consequences. What matters is the motive, and the motive must be right. Right thing should be done,
not because of some ulterior motive, but for right intentions. Consequences of an action occur after the
action, they provide a justification after the decision has been taken and cannot be changed. Before
that, they are merely speculations, even if rationally expected. They can justify whether the act was right
or wrong, but they cannot be used to judge its moral worth.
For any action to be morally worthy, it is not enough that it should conform to the moral law but it must
also be done for the sake of the moral law. As per Kant, the motive that confers moral worth on an
action is the motive of duty which means doing the right thing for the right reason. If we act out of some
motive other than duty, such as self-interest, then our action lacks moral worth. For example: A prudent
shopkeeper doesn’t overcharge an inexperienced customer only to protect his reputation and business
because word might spread about his dishonesty. Since the shopkeeper acted honestly only for the sake
of self-interest, the shopkeeper’s action lacks moral worth.
Kant suggests that a moral motive is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a moral action. For him,
doing good deeds out of compassion, “however right and however amiable it may be,” still lacks moral
worth. On the other hand, a miserable person so filled with despair that he has no desire to go on living.
If such a person summons the will to preserve his life, not from inclination but from duty, then his action
has moral worth.
So, we can assess the moral worth of an action by the motive from which it’s done and not the
consequences it produces.

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6. The universal adoption of common good approach poses the ethical dilemma of putting collective
interests over and above the individual interests. Discuss with examples.
 Start with defining the concept of common good with examples.
 Discuss the ethical dilemma before the individual in dealing with challenges of common good.
Illustrate with some examples.
 Conclude.
An individual entity- a person, a group, a community, a nation- may choose to act in a manner which
brings it maximum good. This good usually comes at a cost to another individual entity. There are two
ways to minimize the cost to other entities. Either all act in a selfish manner and compete with each
other to maximise their own benefits, with no consideration of the cost to other; or, everyone may act in
a harmonious manner so that benefits are maximized for all together rather than one entity. This way,
the cost to all is borne by all, and hence everyone strives to minimize it while maximizing benefits.
However, the ethical dilemma here is what if the other entity works to maximise its own benefits, rather
than everyone’s? Hence, it becomes clear that universal adoption of common good approach poses the
dilemma- Am I/Are we being left behind? Are others committed to common good just like me/us? Will
pursuing my self-interest bring more and quicker happiness to me, and so on.
According to John Rawls, the common good refers to "certain general conditions that are equally to
everyone's advantage." It is either what is shared and beneficial for all or most members of a
given community. Examples- Universal public health care system, an effective system of public safety, an
unpolluted natural environment etc.
Because such systems, institutions, and environments have a powerful impact on the well-being of
members of a society, virtually every social problem is linked to how well these systems and institutions
 Keeping the neighbourhood clean would require efforts of all households and if one of them does
not properly dispose it’s waste, others will be demotivated to keep it clean.
 One set of people- forest dwellers- being made to bear the entire burden of relocation for mining
projects without getting any benefit in return.
 Richer people disproportionately contributing to pollution through their lifestyle lessens the
motivation of others to cut down on their emissions.
 Developed countries pursuing their interests in WTO at the cost of developing and poor countries
lessens the incentive to respect and abide by global rules, treaties.
Challenges of ensuring Common Good
No one can be easily excluded from the common good. This leads to following challenges:
 As Accountability can’t be fixed on a particular individual, everyone expects others to contribute
while he himself focuses on his individual interest.
 In the face of such pluralism, efforts to bring about the common good may lead to adopting or
promoting the views of some, while excluding others.
 Individuals can become "free riders" by taking the benefits the common good provides while refusing
to do their part.
 In the individualistic culture it is difficult to convince people that they should sacrifice some of their
freedom, personal goals, and self-interest, for the "common good".
 For the sake of common good, particular individuals or groups may have to bear costs higher than
Despite these issues, appeals to the common good ought not to be dismissed. For they urge us to
reflect on broad questions concerning the kind of society we want to become and how we achieve
that society. Through dialogue and discussion, others can be persuaded to act in a manner which
maximises common good.

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7. Compassion should never be considered as weakness, but rather as an essential element for providing
a congenial administrative working environment. Discuss.
 Briefly define compassion in the introduction.
 Highlighting how it is not a weakness, mention role of compassion creating a pleasant work
 Discuss, using suitable examples, the role of compassion in administration.
What is Compassion?
 Compassion is the feeling that arises when one is confronted with another’s suffering and is
motivated to relieve that. Etymologically, it means co-suffering. It is a strong feeling of sympathy or
sadness for the suffering or misfortune of others. It gives us a perspective on other people’s
problems and helps us understand better, their situation.
Compassion is strength, not a weakness
 Compassion is a sign of courage and strength not submission and subservience. In the
contemporary competitive work environment, sometimes it is wrongly believed that a
compassionate person is weak, not serious about his/her own interest and not striving hard for the
 However, A compassionate person through values of empathy and forgiveness gains immense
emotional strength. It helps them get through distressing situations and build strong humanistic
Contributions of compassion to the administration
Congenial Work environment
 For an administrator, it means understanding needs and necessities of the subordinate.
 An effective administrator clearly outlines the expectations from the subordinates in terms of their
behaviour and ensures that they understand the expectations set on them.
 It helps in establishing better human connect with the subordinates and provides better motivation
for the employees to work, not only for themselves but also for the organisation.
 A compassionate administrator reprioritizes its responsibilities so that weakest in the society are
taken care of. They involve citizens and encourages them to come forward to solve problems of
fellow citizens in a dignified manner.
 Their instructions are more respected and they emerge as examples to follow rather than orders to
carry out.
 For instance, under ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’, district administration runs Operation Sulaimani to
provide food with dignity to all. Many of those who are served also donate towards the project.
 Thus a compassionate administrator not only creates a harmonious work environment, it also makes
the community responsive, responsible and participative.
In fact, the more compassionate one is, the less administration one has to do. They emerge as a leader
and not just as a manager.

8. Explain what you understand by the following values and discuss their importance for civil services:
(a) Professionalism
(b) Nishkama Karma or Selfless Action
 Briefly define professionalism.
 Discuss its importance for civil services
 Explain Nishkama Karma
 Discuss its importance in civil services
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a) Professionalism
 Professionalism means competence or skills expected of persons to carry out desired work in an
effective manner. Professionalism is a component of work ethic. It is representation of one’s
 A strong work ethic suggests person’s commitment on doing good job with integrity, while
respecting colleagues and subordinates.
 Professionalism in Public service encompasses values such as time and task management,
objectivity, diligence, neutrality, loyalty, transparency, punctuality, effectiveness, impartiality etc.
Importance of professionalism in civil services:
 It includes timeliness and punctuality which is key to meet deadlines for an over-worked
 Professionalism also means taking responsibility while being accountable for the action.
 It will ensure conceptualization of cost effective, innovative and properly targeted schemes with
effective implementation.
 Also the schemes will be monitored and evaluated in unbiased manner. It will prevent corruption.
 Professionalism lays stress on rationality and emotional detachment. Civil Servants remain neutral,
in case there is change in political guard.
 Professionalism helps in setting good examples and brings credibility to the institution.
Even Civil Services Conduct Rules, 1964 recommends civil Servants should perform and discharge their
duties with the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to the best of their abilities.
b) NISHKAMA KARMA/ Selfless Action
 Nishkama Karma or the philosophy of disinterested performance of duties without any
expectations in return is one of the major teachings of Bhagvad Gita.
 It teaches that the duties are to be performed without any selfish motive, desire or anxiety for
results of the actions. Such duties lead to a balanced and more duty bound society.
Nishkama karma as a quality is an asset in civil services as:
 A certain set of duties have to be performed absolutely selflessly and without any expectations.
There should not be any conditions to service (such as those based on caste, race, religion, sex, etc.)
in their minds other than sincerity for these duties.
 The result of action should not agitate their minds even in tense situations. This can be possible only
if one is involved in one’s duty with detachment and is focussed only on personal accountability,
honesty and integrity.
 Selfish action may lead to unethical practices such as corruption, nepotism, misconduct,
inefficiencies, misuse of power, etc.
 It is also helpful in resolving the tension between altruism and self-interest and paves the way for a
more holistic and ethical governance where welfare and consumerism is balanced.
 Many a times a lot of situations are not in an individual’s hands. One can only put in efforts from
their end without any guarantees of the result, in such situations a civil servant remains motivated
and focussed.
As it teaches desireless action, Nishkama Karma liberates one from being over ambitious or over
attached to any worldly things. It keeps the mind and soul in balance.

9. There have been widespread protests both in favour of and against advancing reservation in
educational institutions and government jobs to a certain section of the society. You are the chairman
of a high level commission that was constituted to look into the matter. The commission has found no
compelling reasons to provide reservation to this section and is about to submit its final report to the
Meanwhile, the government takes the decision to extend reservation to the section, turning the
commission's findings inconsequential. You have also been requested to ensure that the final report
supports the government’s decision.

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(a) Discuss the dilemma that you face in this situation?
(b) What course of action would you adopt and why?
(c) Also discuss the ethical issues involved with the policy of affirmative action in India.
 Briefly introduce the role of expert panels to assist the government decision-making
 Highlight the various ethical dilemmas and explain them briefly.
 Define your duties as a chairman of the commission and present your course of action while
upholding the independence and autonomy of the commission.
 Examine the ethical issues involved with the policy of reservation.
The given case pertains to the government going ahead with decisions which may not be held to
objective standards of scrutiny. In a healthy democracy, political parties compete with each other in
making promises to different sections of the society. But once elected, the governance system ensures
that there is responsible behavior on part of the government. Following due process and accountability
for the decisions taken is not merely an option for good governance, but a constitutional and legal
obligation. To assist the government in making decisions, it appoints permanent bureaucracy,
commissions and specifically tasked committees.
In the given case, the Commission’s recommendations will affect educational and professional dynamics
of a large population and would have long term consequences for society, politics and public institutions
at large.
The various stakeholders include: The High Level Commission, Government, section seeking the
reservation as well as the remaining society.
a) In a democracy, the final decision lies with the political executive. However, as a chairman of the
commission tasked with assisting the government, it is my duty to be objective and truthful to the
findings of the commission and not manipulate the report for whatever reasons. Hence, in the given
situation, the dilemma faced concerns intellectual integrity versus obedience to authority.
As it is the political executive which heads the government, it is within its rights to give instructions to a
particular effect. However, such instructions cannot be arbitrary and decisions taken contrary to
recommendations of the committee must be properly reasoned. The given case is complex because it
pertains to socio-economic effects in future from a decision taken now. The political effects may be
immediate, however, they cannot be the guiding factor in government decisions.
The chairman has a stated duty to transparency and objectivity in final report, which would be diluted if
the report is made to be in line with the government decision. This may also cause personal dissonance
as it undermines intellectual integrity.
b) As the Chairman, I have the duty to ensure that the Commissions technical expertise is used to provide
empirical, true and impartial recommendations without any fear or favour. While the Government at
times have political motivations, this cannot be used to undermine the independence and autonomy of
the Commission. I will present the facts and give recommendations based on them, in an objective and
impartial manner. Objections raised by the members of the commission would also be presented along
with reasons for not accepting them.
c) Affirmative action means policies of the state work towards positive discrimination in favour of those
who have been historically treated unfairly and excluded from the society. Reservation in employment
and education is one means through which it is implemented. It is based on the principle of equality
(Article 14) – unequal should be treated unequally and furthers the vision of social justice as enshrined in
the Preamble. It is also in line with fundamental right to a dignified life and equal opportunity that is
spread unequally among the population because of socio-economic injustices.
Ethical issues in affirmative action concern the following:
 Manifestation of discrimination in the society in visible and invisible manner. The powerful not only
exercise dominance by virtue of just being powerful, they also receive more resources, better
education, exposure and have less basic needs to take care of. Their risk taking ability is much

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higher, and hence, naturally they are able to progress at a faster pace than those lower down in the
socio-economic setup.
 On the other hand, there is the issue of responsibility of the current generation in lieu of the
injustices propagated by their ancestors. It can be argued that those of the current generation who
are being discriminated against by affirmative action, are not responsible for the current position of
groups demanding reservation today.
 Also, there is the issue of identification of groups eligible for reservation. The benefits make it
attractive for people to prove and be in the list of groups that have been discriminated against in the
past, whereas in reality, this might not have been true.
 Similarly, there is an ethical issue in deciding parameters to judge effectiveness of the policy such as
determining the well-being of a group. Removing a group from the list of eligible beneficiaries has its
own problems.
 Finally, there is the issue of affect that the policy has on the entire system-social, economic, political.
If the efficiency and effectiveness of the system gets compromised, or the goals of governance are
not met, the policy becomes more of a burden rather than a means of upliftment.
Reservation policy, in the current form, seems to be in need of revision. Although helpful in short to
medium term, is not a panacea and the focus therefore has to be on providing quality education,
generating quality jobs, and tackling the agrarian/rural distress to prevent reservation from becoming an
eternal feature of the Indian democracy. Careful analysis of the socio-economic status of different
sections of the society to direct the benefits to the needful, regular monitoring of the policy and other
complementary steps for welfare is the correct way forward.

10. You are an honest and responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:
(a) If one wants to remain effective and powerful to create impact on the lives of people, one should
remain loyal to those in power.
(b) Following ethical means may not be practical and effective at all times.
(c) Petty corruption expedites the service delivery.
Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits.
Approach and Answers:
(a) If one wants to remain effective and powerful to create impact on the lives of people, one should
remain loyal to those in power.
 Briefly discuss the possible circumstances for such an observation.
 Write down the merit and demerit of the proposition.
 Based on arguments provided, evaluate the given statement.
While people join the civil services for a variety of motives, the government recruits them with the
objective of serving the needs of the people. In order to carry out the duties, the civil servants have to
work with different stakeholders- their seniors, colleagues in other departments, ministers, political
representatives (which may be opposition as well) and common citizens. To be effective, it is important
to be cordial and work in a manner that synergizes all efforts. Support of their superiors and those in
power is necessary for that.
However, being cordial does not mean being loyal to those in power. A civil servant has to be neutral
and impartial. The facts collected, their analyses, advice given on their basis and decisions ultimately
taken cannot be colored based on loyalty to those in power rather they have to be based on objectivity.
It is often the case that those who do not toe the line of people in power are shunted out. For the civil
servant personally, it may hamper transfer postings/professional growth and may create disharmonious
working environment. It is because of these reasons that many people believe that remaining loyal to
those in power is necessary.
People in power may serve their own vested interest instead of public interest.

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It is contrary to public service ideals of objectivity and political neutrality and hampers transparency
which in turn breeds corruption.
Such political interference vitiates the working environment of executive and demoralizes public servant.
Thus, one should always adhere to ethical conduct exhibiting honesty, integrity, fairness, truthfulness etc.
Underlying Constitutional principles and ideals should be the guiding light for professional and personal

(b) Following ethical means may not be practical and effective all the times.
 Analyse the merits and demerits of following the ethical means
Generally, people believe that following ethical principles at all the times is ineffective and impractical
due to various reasons like:
Ethical ways of doing things may add costs in terms of delays and price.
Everyone has their own priorities i.e., what is good for one may not be beneficial for others.
 One may not have complete information about the situation, so it is difficult to act ethically all the
For example, one may argue that unethical (and illegal) means like secret phone tapping may be
required. Going through the entire process of permissions may be time consuming, may not yield in
desired results and hence such means are better than inaction.
However, following ethical practices at all times is necessary because of following merits -
 It helps in taking principled and right decision
 An individual’s capacity to analyse information is limited, and hence systemic morality in form of laws
and rules must be followed at all times even when they may seem as obstruction.
 Ethical decisions have more acceptability and sustenance than unethical ones.
 Ethical decisions are truthful, conscience based and hence they have more clarity than unethical
ones. To cover a lie, a person may have to tell many more.
 The person taking decision also lives in harmony with oneself and prevents undue stress.
 Creates right precedence and working environment and thus leads to inclusive and sustainable
It brings respect and love from peers and citizens.
Development without ethics will benefit only few, raise inequality and will be unsustainable.

(c) Petty corruption expedites the service delivery.

 Briefly discuss about petty corruption in day-to-day life .
 Discuss why petty corruption cannot be an excuse to expedite service delivery.
Corruption is normalized when people think that it is a necessary and acceptable tool in their lives. It
includes both petty as high level corruption. Petty corruption is as expensive to society as large scams
and cannot be tolerated as a small price to expedite the service delivery. It directly affects the end
user(citizens/businesses) and imposes a cost on society as a whole. A 2014 Transparency International
paper points out- “petty corruption typically afflicts those government processes or approvals that are
deemed operationally critical and urgent”. For example, clearance and movement of goods, dealing with
fines, on-site inspections or approvals, access to utilities, submission of documents to courts and other
statutory bodies. Any hold-up of such activities can cause a paralyzing delay to any business or
Petty corruption cannot be justified due to reasons as under:
 Imposes huge cost in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of businesses and individuals.
 Main cause of bottlenecks in our economic and social machine

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 Imposes loss of self-respect and feeling of lack of empowerment
 Promotes a system where actual work is ‘outsourced’ to touts or agents and inhibits transparency
and fairness.
 Engenders a culture of rent-seeking, lack of service delivery and poor governance
 Adversely affects investor confidence, entrepreneurship, SMSEs and thus economic growth.
 Creates a very strong eco-system of vested interests that resists and any move to reform the system.
Though there are no merits, petty corruption is often accepted as a greasing mechanism by the
public/businesses. However, such a myopic view overlooks its above mentioned demerits and long term
cost to the society. There should be zero tolerance to corruption as it hurts the growth and development
of the country. For curbing corruption, strong political will power is required along with an ethical
administration committed to further the public interest with the goal of inclusive and equitable growth
of all its citizens

11. Recently, two national level sportspersons who are integral members of their team, made some
comments in a talk show which were perceived as being grossly misogynistic and racist. This created a
huge controversy and they were temporarily suspended from the team pending an enquiry. In light of
these events, answer the following questions:
(a) Do you think public figures have an additional responsibility in so far as expressing their views on
matters of public importance is concerned? Give reasons.
(b) According to you, what are the reasons that some prominent public figures make such misogynistic
comments, and even get away without any consequences?
(c) As the person in charge to enquire into the conduct, what factors would you consider to examine it
and what punishment, if any, would you prescribe in this specific case?
Sportspersons, usually, are icons in a country because they represent the country and compete at the
highest level. They carry an additional responsibility in their conduct off the sports field as they are the
ambassadors of the sport and the country as well as because they have a huge influence on the people.
In the given case, it has been seen that these national level players made inappropriate remarks and
thus have been suspended, pending an enquiry.
Stakeholders in the given case:
 The sportspersons themselves, who have risked their careers and fame because of their actions.
 Their Families, who suffer mental trauma and defamation
 Society, especially women, who were objectified
 The fans of the sport
 The management/administration of the sports involved.
a) Reasons Why public figures must act responsibly in matters of public importance:
 Public figures such as celebrities, sportspersons, politicians etc. tend to hold a major sway and
influence over the masses. This is sort of a great power they enjoy and with great power comes
great responsibility.
 They are role models of many especially children. So, their actions may determine the future of
those following him/her and in turn decides the future of the nation.
 They represent the nation while playing for the national team. So, they should exercise caution and
restraint while making such comments.
b) Reasons of some public figures making misogynistic comments:
 Socialisation process during upbringing i.e. effect of family, teachers and society on an individual.
Such thoughts are imbibed in their psyche.
 Lack of sensitivity, which may be a result of fame and success coming easy without much of a
 Lack of value-based education in schools.
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 Lack of empathy and respect towards women.
 Playing in all-men teams from a young age leave these sportspersons deprived of a co-educational
environment thus leaving them with lack of gender sensitivity.
 Effect of popular culture such as movies especially on young athletes.
Despite making such misogynistic comments, the public figures usually get away with it because:
 Use of power and influence to get away from possible trouble and backlash. For example, use of
Public Relations teams to diffuse such issues as soon as possible and keeping them out of media.
 Such behaviour thrives on tolerance of the society and the general forgiveness for lack of
 Lack of strong legal mechanisms to punish such men for making misogynistic comments.
 Patriarchal society seldom reacts negatively to such comments in the requisite manner as they are
often termed as casual remarks not amounting to any harm.
c) Factors to be considered while examining such a conduct:
 Legality- Whether the conduct is liable to be punished under a specific law or code of conduct?
 Responsibility: As an ambassador of sports and the nation, what minimum standards of conduct are
expected and what conduct is totally unacceptable.
 Effect on team: Necessity to send a message to other sportspersons about their conduct and
Social factor- To maintain society’s trust in the administration of the sport, they must be informed about
the seriousness and sensitivity with which the board treats this matter.
 Personal factor- The importance as well as the age, past conduct, discipline record etc. of the
sportspersons involved.
 Viewpoints of the captain, coach and other key stakeholders of the team.
A sportsperson, however good he/she is, cannot be bigger than the team, the sport, the society. His/her
criticality to the team cannot be an excuse for reckless behavior. In my view, such a poor conduct is
liable to be punished after considering the above factors. Letting them go off with just a warning would
set a wrong precedent. Even if no legal barrier is there about the manner of conduct and things spoken
in public, responsibility at such a level of influence cannot be neglected. It would also indicate to other
sportspersons that they can go scot free too after such a conduct.
The purpose of the punishment is to warn and reform them and not to destroy their careers. In this case
also, the punishment should not be as severe as that for say cheating (like ball tampering) but sufficient
to ensure that they learn a lesson and avoid such a conduct in the future.
Also, young athletes need to be given gender sensitisation training to deal with such issues better and
develop empathy towards women.

12. There are large number of leather industries in a major industrial town of India. They provide
employment to large number of people and are also a prominent source of revenue for the state.
Lately, it has been observed that despite following the present emission control rules, the collective
ecological footprint of these industries remains quite high affecting the surrounding areas in an
adverse manner. The new technologies available for emission control are quite costly and thus act as a
disincentive for the owners of the industries for adopting them.
In light of this information, the government is contemplating the following options:
(a) Shutting down the industries in the region
(b) Relocating the industries to a new region
(c) Making the emission control rules stricter
(d) Providing incentives to the industry owners for adoption of new technology.
Analyse the above options in terms of their merits and demerits. What course of action would you
choose and why?
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 Identify ethical issues involved in the case.
 Evaluate the given options.
 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option and indicate which action would take
providing justification for the same.
Ethical issues involved in the case are:
 Rights of Citizens to have pollution free environment.
 Ecological damage due to pollution leading to biodiversity loss and other ill-effects
 Principle of “polluter pays”
 Human rights of farmers
 Rights of industries to conduct their business
Analysis of the options given:
a) Shutting down the industries in the region
This action will immediately remove a major source of pollution for the city. It will have wider impact on
a large area and biodiversity at large.
But, this is an extreme step and violates rights of many stakeholders- industrialists, employees and will
also be detrimental for the economy. It also violates rule of law as the industries are compliant with the
existing norms and does not give them opportunity to present their case.
b) Relocating the industries to a new region
This action seems to put some costs on the industries in favour of larger public interest of citizens. There
has to be a cost benefit comparison between shifting industries to a newer region and installing emission
control technology at the present location first.
Also, this action is just changing the place of pollution from the present town to some other place. This
does nothing to mitigate the pollution risks posed by the industry. The new place’s environment will be
at risk now.
c) Making the emission control rules stricter
This will ensure that industrial wastes are treated before their disposal. Also, violators will be identified
and penalized. Moreover, it will ensure that rights of industry and common citizens are both protected.
This can provide relief in very short duration.
However, putting in place a robust mechanism has several challenges like the government lacks the
capability to monitor and enforce polluting industries. It will also require coordination between different
government organizations which has several loopholes. Moreover, this will lead to higher cost for
industries to follow regulatory practices in the short term. However, a sustainable action requires that
long term interests of citizens and environment be protected and the industries asked to adapt
according to them.
d) Providing incentives to the industry owners for adoption of new technology
This will help in mitigating the pollution in the region; while at the same time would also protect the
interests of the industry and the common people. But it would entail financial costs on the government.
As the area officer, it appears that the last option i.e. option (d) appears to be the best because it is the
mix of short term and long term options. On the one hand, it will ensure that all regulatory guidelines
are strictly adhered to and on the other it will help all the stakeholders to find a long lasting solution. An
added benefit would be that industries will be more compliant and willingly so.

13. Many coal mines in a district subject the workers to inhuman working conditions with little safety
measures in place. As such, there have been several accidents and many workers have died in the
past. In recognition of a recent accident where fifteen workers were trapped and died, the National
Green Tribunal has ordered for closure of all such mines. Some of them have shut down, but many still
continue to operate by getting an exception from the government, sometimes using the unholy nexus
of politicians-miners-bureaucrats. In absence of alternative employment, the locals have no other
choice but to work in mines. The mine owners are in-fact inciting the workers to protest to

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simultaneously put a pressure on the state to completely overturn the ban. As a District Magistrate of
this district, you have been asked by the State government to prepare a report on this issue and give
recommendations to resolve it. In this regard, answer the following questions:
(a) Identify the interests of State and analyse whether there may be a conflict amongst them?
(b) Given that economic growth is often achieved with a large human cost, identify the principles and
strategies which could be used in the given case to achieve desirable outcomes.
 Briefly introduce the case and mention its key stakeholders.
 Bring out the interests of the state and any conflict amongst them.
 Highlight the guiding principles needed to reach at the lasting solution for the issue.
 Discuss a strategy based on these principles.
The state regulates certain activities in accordance with the law in public interest. Illegal mining, usually
occurs with the connivance of those appointed to keep such activities in check. Since it operates outside
the law, regulations such as those regarding safety of workers, environment, taxes, royalty, etc. are
bypassed. The inhumane working conditions pose health hazard, compromises dignity of labor and
violates human rights.
The key stakeholders involved are: The State, represented by the DM, the judiciary (NGT), local
politicians, NGT, mine workers, mine owners, politicians, bureaucrats and environment.
Key Interests of the State
Upholding rule of law Justice without enforcement is meaningless. Thus, following the
orders of the NGT, the illegal mines needs to closed at earliest.
Ensuring justice for weaker Besides compensation for the loss of lives, it is the duty of the
sections state to provide safe and humane working conditions to people.
Protecting the life and Illegal mining has to be curbed in order to prevent loss of human
livelihood of people lives. However, it is the lack of other employment opportunities
that pushes people into such hazardous activities. Hence,
alternative livelihood opportunities should be given.
Preventing Regulatory Failure Illegal mining continuing despite a ban represents a regulatory
and compliance collapse. This does not reflect very well upon
competence and capacity of the state machinery. Strict law
enforcement will reaffirm people’s faith in the state capacity to
deliver justice.
Ensuring economic growth & Mining is a significant contributor to the economy. Therefore, it is
development important for the state to assess environmental and economic
cost of the blanket ban. Method of safe and sustainable mining
needs to be explored.
Breaking the unholy nexus The corrupt collaboration between state functionaries and the
between bureaucracy and Mine mine owners needs to be checked.

Conflict of Interests
 Here the major dilemma is to strike a balance between ensuring development and environmental
 Secondly, closing mines will result in loss of job for miners. Recently Supreme Court in Cracker Ban
case observed that the judiciary should not kill jobs, if it can’t provide alternative employment.
 Thirdly, the law makers and the enforcers i.e. politicians and bureaucrats are in connivance with law
breakers, is an obvious case of conflict of interest.

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b) The case presents complex issue of a socio-economic problem aggravated by the failure of
governance. The principles guiding the solution are:
 Environmental Sustainability: Protection of the ecology is essential not only for present local
inhabitant, but also for the life and livelihood of future generations.
 Safe, sustainable and secure employment: The miners need to be provided with alternative local
employment that ensures social security, environmental safety and dignity of labour.
 Transparent clearance and regulatory process: The nexus between politicians-miners-bureaucrats
needs to broken. It can be done by creating a digital platform.
 Strict Law enforcement: All those indulging in illegal act including the bureaucrat, politicians and
mine owners must be brought to book.
 Avoiding undue harassment: Legal mine should be regulated. Their owners should not be harassed.
Working conditions of the mine should be periodically monitored.
In consideration of the aforementioned principles, the following needs to be done:
 Implementing NGT orders of banning illegal coal mines in letter and spirit.
 Ensuring adequate safety measures and humane working conditions in licensed mines.
 Setting up a panel of experts to assess the possibility of creating safe and sustainable mining
ecosystem in the region.
 Investigate the nexus between the bureaucrats, politicians and mine owners and report findings of
any illegal activity.
 Ensure that any loopholes in policy that allow easy exemption being given to mine owners are
 Creating alternate livelihood opportunities for local residents like by developing small scale and
cottage industries based on local skills and resources in collaboration with the NGOs and the
government organizations.
 Confidence building measures should also be taken to build trust and bridge the gap between the
government agencies and the local people.
The need of the hour is to maintain a proper balance between the developmental activities,
environmental protection and safety and livelihood concerns of the people.

14. Recently you were posted as a District Magistrate of a predominantly agricultural district, which has
been one of the best performers in agriculture since the last decade. In one of your field visits, you
find that the large landowners, who are a socially, politically and economically powerful group,
employ domestic helps and agriculture labour who are informally tied to them and have been working
there since generations. In return, these workers are provided basic amenities like food and shelter
apart from some money. However, you do sense a violation of basic human rights in this situation.
In light of the above case, answer the following questions:
(a) Identify the stakeholders, their interests and ethical issues involved in the case.
(b) How does denial of choice amount to violation of human rights?
(c) What course of action would you take? Give reasons.
 Briefly highlight the key stakeholders, their interests and ethical issues associated with the case
 Discuss how denial of choice violates basic human rights.
 List the ethical dilemma and course of action.
The given case illustrates the system of informal employment in violation of the basic human right of
choice and the fundamental right to livelihood.
a) Major stakeholders, their interests and ethical issues:
 People employed as domestic help & agricultural labourers: The absence of a contract makes them
vulnerable to exploitative working conditions, insecure tenure and low wage rates. Apart from
bordering on illegality, it shows lack of empathy, and compassion among the landowners.

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 Landowners: They have demonstrated apathy towards fellow human beings and disregard to
freedom of choice of their employees. It has perpetuated inter-generational poverty. This is against
dignity of labour.
 The State: The state has failed to ensure basic human rights and amenities to the weaker sections of
the society. It is a case of lack of will and courage on the part of state and district administration.
b) Denial of choice as violation of Human Rights
Human rights are basic inherent rights to which all human beings are entitled. They are meant as an
expression of what constitutes a basic, dignified life. These are meant as a protection of people from
social abuses. They focus on the freedom of choice and protection of life and livelihood.
Key aspect of human rights is the development of capability of the human being so that they can choose
what is best way to progress by themselves. When exploitative, generationally bound labour is
employed, it denies them the choice to be employed elsewhere and negotiate for better conditions. It
also inhibits development of their capability to rationally choose for themselves and their future
generations. This makes them more vulnerable to be exploited and denied further human rights. This
can be seen in their current conditions as well:
 Informal underpaid employment is in direct contravention of Right to Life.
 Denying the workers rightful employment and wages for generations is akin to modern day slavery.
This also lowers the dignity of labour.
 Denial of choice is in direct contravention of freedom. For one to assert his claim to human rights, he
must have freedom and well-being.
c) Course of action in the given case:
In the given case, as an officer responsible for overall law and order situation and specifically to see
whether human rights violation does not take in the district, I will foremost ensure that whatever legal
action is required, is taken immediately. While the legal case does not arise if the practice is not a form
of bonded labour as defined in the law, instructions can still be given and directions passed if the DM is
reasonably sure about violation of human rights.
That the people who are apparently in violation of law are politically influential should not be the
concern for inaction but should be a concern for an extra responsible behavior expected of such people.
 Forced and underpaid labour is against the Fundamental Rights and DPSPs enshrined in the the
Indian constitution.
 First dilemma is to acting without any complaint and evidence. However, an administrator needs to
act according to her conscience. To establish evidence, preliminary enquiry needs to be conducted.
 The course of action that follows, will be decided based on the findings of the enquiry. If it is
established that the practice is unlawful, necessary action must be taken against the employers. And
needful assistance will be provided to the employees.
 In any case, the absence of contracts is an issue that needs to be resolved. The district magistrate
needs to convince the landowners to practice contract-based system. The current informal system of
employment may be in contravention of labour laws.
 However, this leads to another dilemma i.e. forcing the landowners to adopt contract system may
induce them to terminate the services of the employees. This will increase impoverishment of the
labourers and domestic helps.
 As a part of state machinery, it is incumbent on the District Magistrate to provide alternate means of
livelihood to the workers. They also need to be sensitized about their situation and rights.
 If terminated by the landowners, the workers need to be reskilled to help them break the
‘generational cycle of poverty’.

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