UPSC General Studies 2015 Paper IV Solutions
SECTION – A
1.(a) What is meant by environment Ethics? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one environmental issue from the viewpoint of environmental ethics.
Approach – Define Environmental ethics. Mention the various needs and significance to study it. Take up one environmental issue and discuss its status without Environment ethics and how does it change with Environment ethics.
Hints:– Environmental ethics is a branch of ethical philosophy which studies the relation of humans and non- human world and how ethics plays a role in it. It takes into account not just human beings but also other living beings like plants and animals. It includes moral obligation of human beings towards environment.
It is important to study the Environmental ethics because:-
- Determining environmental impact of our activities:- By knowing the environmental impact of our activities we can take steps to design environment friendly projects and
- Better policy formulation and implementation: – For ensuring inclusive and sustainable development, we will be able to formulate and implement better
- Changing attitude of people:- Conservation and sustainable use of environmental resources can be achieved only when we succeed in changing attitude of people. For this environmental ethics is
Environmental Issue – Pollution
Pollution of air, water and soil is a major environmental issue concerning humanity. Various initiatives like making laws, rules and regulations etc. have been taken, but they have met with only limited success. People have less value for environment as they consider their personal wellbeing much higher than environmental well being.
For solving the issue of environmental pollution, we need to include the ethical perspective in our interaction with the environment. It will help in changing attitude of people from apathy to compassion and will encourage them to actively curb pollution. It will also make us aware of carbon footprint of our activities and hence we can curb it.Further we can design environment friendly technologies, which do not pollute our environment.
1. (b) Differentiate between the following:
- Law and Ethics
- Ethical management and management of ethics
- Discrimination and Preferential Treatment
- Personal Ethics and Professional Ethics.
- Law and Ethics
Laws are system of rules that are enforced through social institutions, in order to govern our behaviour. Laws are made by Legislature, or by executive (ordinances). It prescribes what one must do. Violation of law may involve penalty or punishment. Law can be enforced by various agencies or through court of law.
- Ethics are standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do. There are various sources for ethical standards like the organization, profession, social norms, religion etc. Not adhering to ethical principles may or may not involve punishment. Ethics are enforced in an informal manner through processes like conformity, social reflections etc.
- Ethical Management and Management of Ethics
Ethical Management refers to inclusion of ethical dimension in management of institutions like government, NGO’s and private firms. For example training of Managers and workers to make them ethically literate and professional
- Management of Ethics refers to creating a code, norms or policy for members of society or institutions, to assure their compliance towards ethical behaviour. For example formulating Code of Conduct for organization or profession like civil services, law etc.
- Discrimination and Preferential treatment
Discrimination is a negative concept, which involves denial of social participation of certain categories of people, based on prejudices. It violates the basic Human Rights of the individual. It is against the concept of social justice. Our Constitution prohibits any kind of Discrimination, like practicing untouchability is discriminatory.
- Preferential treatment on the other hand is a positive concept which involves favoring certain sections of society which are at disadvantage and cannot compete at equal level. It may be for rectifying some historical disadvantages suffered by the community. It promotes social justice. Our Constitution provides for preferential treatment under certain circumstances. For example Provisions related to reservation.
- Personal Ethics and Professional Ethics
Personal Ethics refers to the morals and values, which we hold as a standard
for governing our life. They help in shaping our character. They determine our behavior and attitude with the people we know personally. For example speaking truth, respecting elders.
Professional Ethics involves adherence to code of conduct laid down at workplace. Our personal views and concerns about any topic are overshadowed by the protocol of the organization. They influence our professional career. For example Punctuality, equality in treatment, fairness in delivering justice etc.
2. Given out are two quotations of moral thinkers philosophers. For each of these bring out what it means to you in the present context.
- “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” (10) (150 words)
- “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the ”
Approach – Explain the various dimensions of the quotation by giving suitable examples.
- “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the ”
Mahatma Gandhi has given this beautiful quotation. The weak can never forgive. He is bound by extreme emotions which prevent him from forgiving. This weakness is also the source of our negative attitude, anger, sense of revenge etc. By not forgiving others, we are inclined to think that we are taking revenge from the person who has done harm to us. But in fact it harms us, more than it does to other. Our mind remains occupied with such negativity that it hampers our own personality development. A person with weak personality always believes that forgiving someone is in itself a sign of incapability to punish the culprit.
However, for forgiveness, one needs moral fortitude to overcome the strong emotions which prevent us from forgiving. One needs to transcend the distinction between good and bad. This way we can free our soul of the chains and hence, ensure our all round personality development. So by inculcating the value of forgiveness, we are helping ourselves as much as we are helping others. We need to always remember that forgiveness doesn’t change our past but it does change our future.
So for society to prosper and humanity to progress, we need to inculcate the value of forgiveness, as forgiving someone even when you have the power to punish him needs patience and compassion towards mankind.
- “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
The problem is not that we are inadequate. The problem is that we don’t want to come out from our comfort zone and improve on our limitations. It is the light and effort to achieve it, not our darkness that frightens us the most. Our fear of our weaknesses can be removed by working on the weak areas. For example a person having poor level of integrity can improve by constantly working upon it. However, those who fear their weaknesses can never realize their potential fully and hence can never excel in life. They just keep justifying their wrongs without accepting them.
We have infinite potential, but we tend to seek comfort and pleasure. We restrict our world, to places where we are comfortable. We are afraid of the pain, which we may get, while trying to realize our true potential.
However we forget that pain is temporary. It may last for an hour, a day or a month. For realizing our true potential we need to overcome this fear and only then we’ll be able to reach the stage of enlightenment. We need to accept what we are and shall pursue excellence in every Endeavour of life.
3. (a) Mere compliance with law is not enough, the public servant also has to have a well- developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties. Do you agree? Explain with the help of two examples, where
(i) An act is ethically right but not legally and
(ii) An act is legally right, but not ethically
Approach – Explain the need for ethical sensibilities of public servant. Then give suitable examples.
- A civil servant needs to have ethical literacy, ethical competency and moral reasoning abilities, for effective discharge of his It is significant due to following reasons.
- Better interpretation of law and its enforcement
- Ethics fill the gap which is left by law. It caters to the dynamic nature of Better understanding of needs of
- Effective and holistic approach towards problem
- Bridging the gap between people and Better policy formulation and Optimum utilization of available resources.
So, both compliance with law and ethical sensibility are needed for a civil servant. However there are situations when only one of them is fulfilled.
- Ethically right, legally wrong
A doctor may wish to administer euthanasia to a terminally ill patient, to relive him of the unbearable pain. Though it is morally right for him, he can’t do it as it is not permitted legally in India.
- Legally right, Ethically wrong
Legally it may be right for army personnel to conduct raid and even kill a suspect in states where AFSPA is applicable. But ethically it is wrong. It involves depriving the citizens their basic human rights including their right to get justice from the court of law.
So, for effective public service delivery, a public servant must be ethically sensitive along with complying with the law.
3(b) How do the virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude get manifested in public service? Explain with examples.
Approach – Link the virtues with the ethical principles expected from a civil servant. Then give suitable examples.
Hints: – Virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude are needed for effective public service delivery. It gets manifested in the following form:
- Upholding principles of Fidelity: government is all about relationships. If trust is lost, everything is lost. Fulfilling our commitments, and being responsible in our inter-personal relationship, builds trust in the team. This trust is reflected when commitments are
- Maintaining confidentiality of information in public interest: like not disclosing budget details before formal announcement.
- Transparency and participative approach which can develop credibility and trust among people. Like Panchayat system enhances trust and teamwork between people and
- Upholding Rule of Law: There may be challenging circumstances when it becomes difficult to uphold the law. It requires moral fortitude to uphold the rule of law and to work for realizing the values enshrined in the constitution. So upholding it reflects our virtue of fortitude. Like not taking into account the inappropriate influence by the political boss which can hurt public
- Dedication to service: There are many temptations to make personal gains at the cost of public interest. It requires moral fortitude, to overcome these temptations, and remain dedicated to the service of the people. So our dedication to service reflects our
4. (a) “Social Values are more important than economic values”. Discuss the above statement with examples in the context of inclusive growth of a nation.
Approach – First describe what are social values and economic values. Then by giving examples explain the statement.
Social Values- are the standards of social behavior derived from social interaction and accepted as constituent facts of social structure. Social values form an important part of the culture of the society. Values account for the stability of social order. They provide the general guidelines for social conduct and help in choosing between alternative courses of action. For example -respect for human dignity, equality, justice etc. are some of the social values even enshrined in our constitution.
Economic value – They are the worth of a good or service as determined by people’s preferences and the tradeoffs they choose to make. Making economic choices involve tradeoff in allocating resources. Economic values like efficiency, economy, profits are helpful in guiding us when we make economic choices. Measures of economic values are based on preferences of the people.
Focusing only on economic values and neglecting social values can lead to large scale deprivation and inequality. For example, the Capitalist system which arose during Industrial revolution caused large scale inequality in the society. Their main focus was creating economic value rather than fulfilling social goals.
For improving the social capital, we need to focus on social values. It will also help in improving quality of life of an individual. For example, Current day Welfare states focus on social values, along with economic values. It tries to minimize inequality.
So for a balanced, inclusive and sustainable development, we need to focus more on the social values than the economic values. In fact, social values provides the foundation over which a strong economy can be built upon.
- (b). Some recent developments such as introduction of RTI Act, media and judicial activism, etc., are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. However, it is also being observed that at times the mechanisms are misused. Another negative effect is that the officers are now afraid to take prompt decisions.
Analyse this situation in detail and suggest how this dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimized.
Approach– Describe the positive and negative aspect of RTI, media activism etc. Then give suggestion for resolving the dichotomy and also to minimize the negative impact.
Hints: – any participatory approach has its limitations, but it can’t be an excuse for an opaque system. RTI and activism through different institutions has led to:-
- Helped in unearthing many scams like 2G, Coal block allocation, etc
- Bringing greater degree of transparency and accountability by bringing even political parties under the ambit of
- Increasing participation of citizens in governance process However, they have also led to some negative repercussions like:
- Misuse of these provisions for vested interests
- Interference and pessimism in decision making process of public servants
- Reluctance on part of officers to take bold decisions
There is a need to resolve the dichotomy between the need for transparency and accountability and protecting honest civil servants from undue harassment. It can be done by
- Providing Monitoring mechanisms for ensuring transparency in program
- Providing adequate Safeguards to officers such autonomy and accountability can be
- Encouraging officers to take decisions by rewarding them for
- Defining standard operating procedure and Code of Conduct for officers
- Encouraging voluntary disclosure of information
- Value education for all
- Encouraging participation of people in governance through trust building
- penalty for those who use measures for personal
- Bringing media under regulations through propagating positive
- Judiciary can restrict itself in crossing the boundaries by coming out with norms for judicial activism. In this way the dichotomy can be resolved and the negative impact can be
5. Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public servants towards their work have been identified as the bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude.
- Distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and
- Is it possible to balance the two to create a better administration for the faster development or our country?
Approach – First describe the meaning of terms and then write their merits and demerits. Then write how to achieve a balance between the two.
Bureaucratic Attitude – The attitude of public servants to strictly follow decision making process according to the laid down rules and guidelines is the Bureaucratic attitude. Some basic attributes of this attitude involves objectivity, neutrality, secrecy, elite approach etc.
- Strict compliance of standard operating
- Since consultation with public is not needed so decision can be taken
- It is easier to fix responsibility of decisions because of hierarchical decision making
- Red-tapism, as there is no urgency in achieving
- They are opposed to changes in the system, leading to
- It is rigid; hence public service delivery may not be
- Apathy towards common people
Democratic Attitude – The attitude of public servants to encourage participation of people in decision making process and delegate authority to other members of the team. It involves values like compassion, tolerance, responsiveness etc.
- It ensures participation of people in
- It improves effectiveness of public service delivery as it is according to the ‘felt needs’ of the
- It allows flexibility in program designing and
- Since it involves wider consultation, so it may be time
- It becomes difficult to arrive at wide consensus on certain
- It slows down decision making
Yes, it is possible to balance the two. It can be achieved by following methods:
(i) Demarcating separate areas
- In certain areas of governance we need democratic attitude of Bureaucrat and in other areas we need bureaucratic attitude. These should be demarcated.
For Example – Areas having larger public interface requires democratic attitude. Like in case of field posting. Whereas areas needing quicker decision making needs bureaucratic attitude. Like in day to day functioning of administration at higher levels.
(ii) Laying down of Guidelines with provisions for flexibility
- Guidelines and standard operating procedures should be issued at macro level while at micro level there should be provisions for flexibility. This will ensure bureaucratic attitude at macro level and democratic attitude at micro level.In this way both these can be balanced for creating a better administration for faster and inclusive development of the country.
6. Today we find that in spite of various measures like prescribing codes of conduct, setting up vigilance cells/commissions, RTI, active media and strengthening of legal mechanisms, corrupt practices are not coming under control.
Evaluate the effectiveness of these measures with Suggest more effective strategies to tackle this menace.
Approach – Describe the achievements of these measures along with limitations and then suggest the steps which need to be taken.
Hints: – The present initiative have met with limited success in curbing corruption. The main reasons are:
- Code of Conduct – They have been defined comprehensively, but lack enforcement mechanism. Use of legal language and different interpretations make them of little use. Lack of revision is another
- Vigilance cells/commissions – The have been effective in unearthing many corruption cases, but due to lack of autonomy and limited powers they have not been able to make much difference. CBI for example was recently referred as a caged parrot by the Supreme
- RTI, Active media – they have been successful in unearthing many scams like 2G scam, Coal block allocation scam etc. But they are also misused sometimes. Also killing of RTI activists pose a challenge. This has limited their
- Legislative measures – Though with time amendments have been done to curb various types of corrupt practices, but implementation is weak. This provides loopholes to the corrupt
To tackle this menace we need to take following steps.
- Changing attitude of people: We need to change attitude of both the bribe giver and taker, through
- methods of social influence. Social proof, liking, reciprocity etc can play a significant role in this.
(iii) Strict implementation of law and passing new laws like whistle blowers bill.
- Inculcating values: We need to focus on inculcating positive values in children, who are our future generation. Role of family and school is very important in this. Also we need to protect them from negative impact of internet and social
- Mid-career Training:- It will help in keeping them motivated and dedicated towards
- Comprehensive performance appraisal mechanism: Performance appraisal of public servants should be conducted by neutral observers, along with the present hierarchical
- Leading by example: Public servants must lead by example so that they can motivate their sub-ordinates. So, by following these steps, along with the present mechanism, we can curb the menace of
7. At the international level, the bilateral relations between most nations are governed on the policy of promoting one’s own national interest without any regard for the interest of other nations. This leads to conflicts and tensions between the nations. How can ethical consideration help resolve such tensions? Discuss with specific examples.
Approach – Mention the various aspects which govern foreign policy of a country. Then mention the tensions and conflict arising from such policies. Then explain how this can be resolved, giving special emphasis on our own principles.
Hints: – Foreign policy of a country is governed by a number of factors. A country has economic, political and strategic interests, which determine its foreign policy. Countries try to promote their national interest at the cost of interest of other nations. Colonialism, World wars, bio-prospecting etc are some of the examples (like tension between littoral states of South China Sea).
However such an approach has led to conflicts and tensions between the countries. These issues can be resolved by ethical considerations in the foreign policy. It can help in the following manner:
- Principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Our principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, i.e. World is a global village, can help in establishing peace and harmony in the world. It gives us the message that we need to look beyond these man-made boundaries, for the larger good of
- Principle of peaceful co-existence (Panchseel): Instead of mutual antagonism, our foreign policy should be driven by idea of peaceful co-existence. Countries can prosper only in peaceful global order. We need to understand that the present path leads us only to the destruction of the whole world. We need to change our course.
- Respecting Humanity: Instead of dividing people among various identity groups and then discriminating among them, we need to see the larger picture. We need to ensure basic human rights for everyone. We should strive to improve quality of life of people around the
- Shared responsibility: If we want to save this world for our future generations, we need to take the responsibility collectively. We must ensure conservation and sustainable use of available environmental resources.
- Refurbishing policies like Non-alignment movement
So, for the progress of humanity and for preserving our planet for future generations, we must include these ethical considerations in our foreign policy.
8. Public servants are likely to confront with the issues of ‘Conflict of Interest’.
What do you understand by the term “Conflict of Interest’ and how does It manifest in the decision making by public servants? If faced with the conflict of Interest situation, how would you resolve it? Explain with the help of examples.
Approach – Define conflict of interest and how public servants may face it. Then suggest measures to resolve conflict of interest. Give suitable examples to support your views.
Conflict of interest: – It refers to a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or action regarding a primary interest may be unduly influenced by a secondary interest. In public service it involves a conflict between public interest and private interests. It may directly or indirectly compromise the performance of the public servant.
There are various ways in which it manifest in the decision making process.
- Public interest v/s private interest
- Public interest v/s interest of family or friends
- Public interest v/s interest of particular community
- For resolving conflict of interest following steps can be
- Keeping Public interest above private interest: – A public servant should always work
- in public interest. In situations involving conflict of interest he should take aprincipled stand.
- Making voluntary disclosure: A public servant should voluntarily declare in situations involving conflict of interest. It will help in taking suitable steps for avoiding the
- Recuse from the situation/case: often done by judges to resolve conflict of
- File noting:- Public servants should always mention the reason for taking particular decision, in the files. This ensures greater degree of transparency and
- Identifying “risk-areas”:- It will help in providing clear cut guidelines to the public servants, in order to tackle conflict of interest in those
- Developing Organizational culture:- It will help in addressing such situations in a better manner. It will also help in motivating public servants to disclose the potential conflict of
So in this manner conflict of interest situation can be tackled, for providing efficient public service.
Section – B
9. A private company is known for its efficiency, transparency and employee welfare. The company though owned by a private individual has a cooperative character where employees feel a sense of ownership. The company employs nearly 700 personnel and they have voluntarily decided not to form a union.
One day suddenly in the morning, about 40 men belonging to a political party gate-crashed into the factory demanding jobs in the factory. They threatened the management and employees, and also used foul language. The employees feel demoralized. It was clear that those people who gate-crashed wanted to be on the payroll of the company as well as continue as the volunteers/members of the party.
The company maintains high standards in integrity and does not extend favors to civil administration that also includes law enforcement agency. Such incidents occur in public sector also.
- (a) Assume you are the CEO of the company. What would you do to diffuse the volatile situation on the date of gate-crashing with the violent mob sitting inside the company premises?
- (b) What could be the long-term solution to the issue discussed in the case?
- (c) Every solution/action that you suggest will have a positive and a negative impact on you (as CEO), the employees and the performance of the employees. Analyze the consequences of each of your suggested actions.
As the CEO of the company, I would take the following steps to diffuse the volatile situation:-
- Use of Emotional intelligence- To tackle such volatile situation it is important to use ones’ emotional intelligence, to appraise the situation in a better manner. I will call the leader of mob, and will try to manage and regulate his violent emotions. This may help in bringing the situation under
- Informing Police:- Since the situation involves law and order problem, I will inform the police about it. If issue is resolved peacefully then fine, otherwise police may take suitable
- Calling the political leader:- I will call the political leader, informing my inability to provide jobs to the men. I will also request him to call back his party members, as on his direction they will agree to
- In the long term, following steps can be taken:
- I will get court orders, for police protection of our factory. It will help in keeping the mob away from our factory in
- I will also put additional barriers at the main entrance of the factory. It will restrict the entry of unwanted elements.
- Further I will issue strict guidelines regarding recruitment policy of the company. This will sensitize the people regarding our organizational
- I will also take help of media, to make the issue public. It will help in preventing any such attempt in future.
(b) Evaluation of the consequences:-
- Option 1 : Getting Court orders for police protection Merits
1.1 It will boost the morale of employees, as there will be a sense of security.
1.2 It will help in maintaining the performance of the company at highest standards.
1.3 It will also be able to work with full dedication for the company.
1.1 It may increase cost of company due to extra security requirements.
- Option 2 : Putting additional barriers Merits
2.1It will also boost morale of employees because of a sense of security.
2.2Performance of company will remain highest standards.
2.1 Will cause some inconvenience to employees who commute on daily basis.
- Option 3 : Issuing guidelines
3.1It will instill a sense of confidence among the employees.
3.2Our organizational values will be clearly spelt out for everyone.
3.1 It may not be that much effective for outside people.
- Option 4 : Taking help of media
4.1 Will sensitize outside people regarding our organizational values Demerits
4.2 May also annoy the political party concerned.
10. You are the Sarpanch of a Panchayat. There is a primary school run by the government in your area. Midday meals are provided to the children attending the school. The Headmaster has now appointed a new cook in the school to prepare the meals. However, when it is found that the cook is from Dalit community, almost half of the children belonging to higher castes are not allowed to take meals by their parents. Consequently the attendance in the school falls sharply. This could result in the possibility of discontinuation or midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down the school.
- Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right
- What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambience for accepting such changes?
- At the root of the problem lies the caste discrimination prevalent in the village. So for overcoming the conflict and creating the right ambience following strategies can be implemented :
- changing attitude of people. I will use social influence and persuasion techniques for achieving this. For example, social proof, reciprocity, liking, dissemination of information, breaking stereotypes etc can be used.
- Inter- community cultural festivals: The barriers dividing society into various segments can be overcome only when there is more interaction among people. Festivals provide an opportunity to bring people closer.
- Defining shared goals: Village should work together for achieving certain shared goals. Defining such goals like in education and health sector can help in ensuring collective effort of
- Leading by Example: As Sarpanch of the village, I will lead by example. It will help in influencing people, and bringing
- The various social segments and agencies like family, school and Gram Sabha have certain responsibilities for creating right
(i) Responsibility of Social segments:-
- Changing attitude of people: The caste discrimination prevalent in the village can be eliminated through
People must promote shared values like equality, fraternity, justice etc. It is our responsibility to respect every individual in the manner we expect respect from others. We need to persuade people for attitude change if they discriminate against anyone.
(ii) Responsibility of Social Agencies:-
Law enforcement agencies must ensure proper enforcement of laws which prohibit discrimination. Also Civil servants need to remain pro- active in order to detect early warning signs of such discrimination and take corrective steps. They should also launch various awareness campaigns in this regard. They should lead by example, which will help in influencing people.
So, for bringing social change and creating right kind of ambience, above steps can be taken.
11. One of the scientists working in the R & D laboratory of a major pharmaceutical company discovers that one of the company’s bestselling veterinary drugs. B has the potential to cure a currently incurable liver disease that in prevalent in tribal areas. However, developing a variant of the drug suitable for human beings entailed a lot of research and development having a huge expenditure to the extent of Rs. 50 crores. It was unlikely that the company would recover the costs as the disease was rampant only in poverty-.stricken area having very little market otherwise. If you were the CEO, then
- Identify the various actions that you could take;
- Evaluate the pros and cons of each or your actions.
- The various actions which can be taken are –
- Taking support of Government
- Raising money through equity market
- Collaborating with foreign company
- Appealing common people through media and NGO’s for collaboration and funds through sale of products
- Evaluation of the options :-
Option 1 : Taking support of government Merits
1.1 It will solve the funding issue.
1.2 Poor people will benefit. Justice will be done to them.
1.3 Government machinery can be utilized for better service delivery.
2.1 It will put Subsidy burden on government.
2.2 Company’s ownership of product will be diluted
Option 2 : Raising money through Equity market
- It will solve the problem
- Poor people will benefit
- Corporate Social Responsibility will be fulfilled Demerits
- Investors may lose money in
- My company might come under severe financial
Option 3 : collaborating with foreign company
- Not just poor of India, but of whole world will
- The problem can be solved in holistic
- Issues of Intellectual property rights may hamper this
- foreign company may sell the drug at higher
Option 4: appealing common people through media and NGO’s for collaboration and funds through sale of products
5.1 Pool for social activities will be created
5.2 Good publicity of company will be done.
5.3 Increase in sales and profits which then are transfer to the project
5.1 It may also decrease the sale as price of company’s products will be increased may take a long time to collect necessary funds
Considering all the above three options, I will go for the first option, of taking support of government.
14. There is a disaster-prone State having frequent landslides, forest fires, cloudbursts, flash floods and earthquakes, etc. Some of these are seasonal and often unpredictable. The magnitude of the disaster is always unanticipated. During one of the seasons, a cloudburst caused devastating floods and landslides leading to high causalities. There was major damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges and power generating units. This led to more than 100000 pilgrims, tourists and other locals trapped across different routes and locations. The people trapped in your area of responsibility included senior citizens, patients in hospitals, women and children, hikers, tourists, ruling party’s regional president along with his family, additional chief secretary of the neighboring State and prisoners in jail.
As civil services officer of the State, what would be the order in which you would rescue these people and why? Give justifications.
Hints: I will follow the following sequence for rescue operation.
(i) Patients in Hospitals
They are highly vulnerable during disasters, because of their inability to take care of themselves. So they should be rescued even before women and children.
Since their number is less and position known, it will be easy to evacuate them with less effort.
(ii) Senior citizens
They are valuable members of society, and cannot be left without help for too long. They are also vulnerable because of their old age and physical handicap. People have tendency to leave behind the old, thus priority shall be given to them.
(iii) Women and children
Children are our future generation, and hence they must be rescued first of all.
Women and Children are highly vulnerable during disasters, not just physically but emotionally as well.
(iv) Prisoners in jail
Since they are in jail, so their mobility is highly restricted. This makes them vulnerable in disaster situation.
Even though they are prisoners, but still they are human beings. So, they must be rescued, considering their vulnerability.
Next I will rescue tourists, because they lack any means to tackle the disaster themselves. Also they know very less about the local conditions.
But, since they are healthy, so they can wait till other more vulnerable people are rescued.
(vi) Ruling party’s regional president and his family
Since he has political linkages, he can make temporary arrangements for safety of his family till other vulnerable people are rescued.
Once vulnerable people are rescued, he and his family will be rescued.
Since he has a family with him, which include women and children, so I will rescue him before the hikers and Chief Secretary.
(vii) Chief Secretary of the other state
He has been well trained to handle such situations. So he can wait till others are rescued.
Instead, he can also help, in rescue operation since he has experience in this regard. This is a part of his duty.
I will rescue them at last, as they have both the training as well as equipments with them, to deal with challenging terrain.
They can easily wait till others are rescued.
So, I will conduct the rescue operation according to above mentioned priority list. However, in some cases, simultaneous rescue mission can be launched for different categories as they are not mutually exclusive
13. You are heading a district administration in a particular department. Your senioofficer calls you from the State Headquarters and tells you that a plot in Rampur village is to have a building constructed on it for a school. A visit is scheduled during which he will visit the site along with the chief engineer and the senior architect. He wants you to check out all the papers relating to it and to ensure that the visit is properly arranged. You examine the file which relates to the period before you joined the department. The land was acquired from the local Panchayat at a nominal cost and the papers show that clearance certificates are available from the two of the three authorities who have to certify the site’s suitability. There is no certification by the architect available on file. You decide to visit Rampur to ensure that all is in order as stated on file. When you visit Rampur, you find that the plot under reference is part of Thakurgarh Fort and that the walls, ramparts, etc are running across it. The fort is well away from the main village, therefore a school here will be a serious inconvenience for the children.
However the area near the village has potential to expand into a larger residential area. The development charges on the existing plot, at the fort, will be very high and the question of heritage site has not been addressed.
Moreover, the Sarpanch, at the time of acquisition of the land, was a relative of your Predecessor. The whole transaction appears to have been done with some vested interest.
- (a) List the likely vested interests of the concerned
- (b) Some of the options for action available to you are listed below. Discuss the merits and demerits or each of the options:?
- You can await the visit of the superior officer and let him take a
- You can seek his advice in writing or on
- You can consult your predecessor/colleagues, etc. and then decide what to
- You can find out if any alternate plot can be got in exchange and then send a comprehensive written report. Can you suggest any other option with proper justification?
- The likely vested interest of the parties involved are :-
- Grabbing the heritage land illegally by village and previous government
- The two certifying authorities, certifying the suitability of plot, for some monetary or in kind
- Vested interest of Sarpanch, in keeping the area near village for residential purpose, instead of using it for school. He might be considering the monetary gains which can be made by
- The predecessor providing undue advantage to Sarpanch, by misusing his
- Evaluation of the actions which can be
(i) Option 1: Awaiting the visit of the superior officer and let him take a decision. Merit
1.1It will help in maintaining the line of hierarchy in decision making process.
1.2Seniors will take a holistic view of the whole issue, considering the best available evidence.
1.3It will help in solving the problem and punishing the guilty.
1.4I will also perform my duty efficiently.
1.1It will delay the solution of the problem.
1.2It will be like transferring my duty to my seniors.
1.3Option 2: Seeking his advice in writing or on phone.
2.1It will help in appraising the seniors, of the situation.
2.2It will also help in quicker decision making.
2.4I will perform my duties efficiently.
2.5It may help in solving the issue before seniors visit the site.
2.1seeking advice will again be like shifting responsibility on seniors.
2.2Getting written orders will delay the process of solving the issue.
(ii) Option 3: Consulting my predecessor/colleagues, etc. and then decide what to do. Merits
3.1 I can know about the exact reasons behind the decisions of predecessor.
3.2 I will have a democratic and legal approach towards problem resolution.
3.4 it will help in proving the wrongs done by predecessor
3.1 It may not help in solving the problem, because of the vested interest of the predecessor.
3.2 It will delay the decision making process.
3.4 I will have to bear the responsibility for the actions based on their advice.
(iii) Option 4 : I can find out if any alternate plot can be got in exchange and then send a comprehensive written report.
4.2It will help in solving the problem, as school cannot be constructed at present location.
4.3Sending detailed report will help in appraising seniors on every aspect of the issue.
4.4Standard operating procedure will be followed in resolving the issue.
4.5I will perform my duty efficiently.
4.6Children will benefit if plot for school is near the village.
4.1 It may cause some delay in resolving the problem.
Considering the above four options, I will go with the fourth option as it resolves the issue in a holistic manner, while maintaining the line of duty.
14. You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue or sending girls to schools.
The elders of the village feel that many problems have come up because girls are being educated and they are stepping out of the safe environment of the household. They are or the view that the girls should be quickly married off with minimum education. The girls are also competing for jobs after education, which have traditionally remained in boys’ exclusive domain, adding to unemployment amongst male population.
The younger generation feels that in the present era, girls should have equal opportunities for education and employment, and other means of livelihood. The entire locality is divided between the elders and the younger lot and further sub-divided between sexes in both generations. You come to know that in Panchayat or in other local bodies or even in busy crossroads, the issue is being acrimoniously debated.
One day you are informed that an unpleasant incident has taken place. Some girls were molested, when they were en route to schools. The incident led to clashes between several groups and a law and order problem has arisen. The elders after heated discussion have taken a joint decision not to allow girls to go to school and to socially boycott all such families, which do not follow their dictate.
- What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?
- How would you manage and mould patriarchal attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter- generational relations?
- The issue involves ensuring safety of girls, without disrupting their education. It also involves ironing out the difference of opinion between the two generations. Following steps can be take for safety and education of girls:
- Social influence and persuasion techniques:- For bringing social change through attitude transformation, we need to use different techniques of social influence and persuasion. Elders should be persuaded for allowing education of girls, while assuring them of their safety. Social proof, reciprocity, role models, etc can play a significant role in
- Changing Socialization process:- Gender stereotypes need to be broken by changing the socialization process of children. This is important to remove the gender discrimination face by girls. Child rearing practices can be modified.
- Security arrangement and combat training: police roundups can be increased during opening and closure time of schools. Girls can also be taught in self defense
- Infrastructural improvements: Safety of girls in rural area is compromised because of lack of adequate infrastructure, like street light, toilet facilities etc. Bridging these gaps will help in providing a sense of security to girls. Constructing toilets, providing them cycles etc are some of the
(b) For managing and moldings the patriarchal attitude we need to use the following methods :
- Using Persuasion techniques: Elder people must be persuaded with all due respect, in order to change their attitude towards girl education. Sarpanch of the village can play a significant role in this, since his position has authority to influence behaviour of
- Leadership skills:-The situation requires leadership skill on my part to influence the attitude of elderly people. I can do it my demonstrating them the benefits of girl education, through various examples. It is a powerful method of social
- Emotional intelligence: It also requires emotional intelligence on my part, in order to understand and manage the emotions of the village elders. This is crucial for success of other steps. The issue has lot of emotional component which need to be managed
- Attitude change: stereotypes and prejudice can be broken through adult education and dissemination of information regarding the benefits of girl
So, in this manner social change can happen, and ensure that there is inter-generational harmony.