UPSC General Studies 2017 Paper IV Solutions
1.Conflict of interest in the public sector arises when
(a) official duties,
(b) public interest, and
(c) personal interest are taking priority one above the other.
How can this conflict in administration be resolved? Describe with an example
- A conflict of interest is “any financial or other interest or undertaking that could directly or indirectly compromise the performance of a public servant’s duties, or the standing of their department in its relationships with the public, clients or Ministers.
- This would include any situation where the actions taken in an official capacity could be seen to influence or be influenced by an individual’s private interests (e.g. company directorships, shareholdings, offers of employment)”.
- Public servants have lives outside work, so conflicts of interest are likely to exist – if they cannot be avoided, they must be managed and disclosed in a planned way.
- It should be noted that: the appearance and perception of a conflict of interest is as important to manage as an actual conflict; while conflicts of interest are usually personal, and therefore must be managed by the individual involved, each department has the responsibility for putting in place policies, processes and systems to help staff recognise conflicts of interest and deal with them; civil servants should understand and work to their department’s policies and procedures, including conflicts of interest policies.
- Public servants can expect to be informed about their department’s policies and to receive training and support about those policies.
- The procedures should give advice on how to manage a conflict of interest and where to go for help in the organisation. chief executives have responsibility for the conduct of their departments and are responsible for the employment of staff and general management of their departments.
- The State Services Commissioner expects that chief executives will take the principles of the Public Service Code of Conduct and adapt them into appropriate training for their staff, including guidance on conflicts of interest.
- For example : I am working in a govt. department (Roads and buildings) , in issuing a contract my brother in law forcing me to grant that contract to him . Here my personal family interest involves , this is an R&B project which will directly benefit the people , so saftey,quality must be assured , here public interest also involved. I am not supposed to do any wrong doing in my official duties this is my interest of official duty . So here i need to make wise , just decision by managing all conflicts.
2.Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service: (150 Words, 10)
(c) Fairness and justice
(d) Courage of conviction
(e) Spirit of service
- Transparency : Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in other social contexts, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. It has been defined simply as “the perceived quality of intentionally shared information from a sender”.
Transparency is practiced in companies, organizations, administrations, and communities.
- Accountability : In governance, accountability has expanded beyond the basic definition of “being called to account for one’s actions”. It is frequently described as an account-giving relationship between individuals, e.g. “A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct”.
- Fairness and Justice : Justice and fairness are closely related terms that are often today used interchangeably. There have, however, also been more distinct understandings of the two terms. While justice usually has been used with reference to a standard of rightness, fairness often has been used with regard to an ability to judge without reference to one’s feelings or interests; fairness has also been used to refer to the ability to make judgments that are not overly general but that are concrete and specific to a particular case.
- Courage and Conviction : The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Conviction means formal declaration by our self to commit to do work , it is a firmly held belief or opinion.
- Spirit of service : When we are doing a work do with feel and joy , do with selfless ness, become passionate in that this is called spirit of service. For example Lakshmana’s service towards Rama in epic Ramayana is the best example.
3. Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward
- Now a days politics become more corrupt , immoral , that is why young people they are not coming forward to join the politics. But if under understand our state , it is a democratic system in this people will elect their representatives for five years , it is the responsibility of those representatives to take care about the people .
- Except those no one in our country have any authority to take any decision which effects the entire society and lives of people.
- If at all you want to develop the country , introduce welfare schemes, provide good education and health , inculcate morals and ethics you should be in a responsible position , and you should be in a position where you have an authority to do so . It is the political leadership which sits at high above all.
- So if we start hesitating the system by sitting out side the system it won’t give any results. More over if you join in the politics you will become a torch bearer to the thousands people like you.
4. (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with Reference to a real life example.
(b) Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse.
- Compromising means you are some where deviating from your path , may be out of necessity or compulsion , to do favour to some body . In that deviation it may lead to any unethical practice or may derelict your duties. If you want to maintain the integrity in your professional life you must stick to the ethics and values. For example when a judge is delivering the judge , he must follow the procedure enshrined legal books . He can convict the accused only if there are admit table evidences . But in some cases judges anticipate the things , consider non admirable things are also as evidences. Then either they release/ convict the accused. The judge himself deviated from due procedure which is primary duty. He compromise on that with one or other pretext , can we call him as a person of integrity ? , answer is certainly NO , so once we started compromising our integrity will vanish.
- Corporate social responsibility is a program under companies act 2013 , under which corporates have to spend 2% of their profit amount on social service. With this service reputation of those companies will increase , in order to gain good reputation companies are competing among themselves in spending money under CSR . With this their sale/ demand for the product increase because this scheme also works like an advertise promotion, people also believe that quality of product/ service might be good and even to invest in such companies people will come forward because of the trust they developed towards the company. It also motivate the employees of organisation effectively, even govt. also offer some benefits to such companies, some financial institutions also provides the loans to such companies. In this way reputation converted into economic benefits of the company. This makes the company to run and gain the profits sustainably and even good will gesture of company also continues to raise.
5. (a) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” Napoleon Bonaparte.
(b)Stating examples mention the rulers
(i) Who have harmed society and country?
(ii) Who worked for the development of society and country?
- (a).Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Great character means a highly distinctive qualities. The persons who possessed the great character always aimed at great ambition . They always try to achieve a thing which is highly distinctive, special, unique ,difficult tasks , because their conscience wont allow them to think or do routine activities. Even in doing the simple things they perform it in a distinctive way. But all that distinctive actions may not lead to good acts . They may do good acts or bad acts. For example Mahatma Gandhi is having a great character , his mental and moral qualities are distinctive , he tried to achieve the independence through the path of non violence , he inspired and motivated many people to choose such a novel path. At the same time Adolf Hitler also have a great character, he is so distinctive in his mental and moral condition. But what he had done on the name of ethnic cleansing , nationalism was so brutal. So here character alone not decides the goodness or badness of your acts, but it is the principles, that guides and build you , that decides quality of your actions. If I was gilded by principle of non violence then my great character allow me to think and act distinctively to achieve such an objective. It is some thing like a good and efficient driver is driving the car but unfortunally the GPS which is guiding him is wrong , then ultimately he reach to a wrong destination.
(i)Any ruler he himself don’t commit to do harm to his country or society, but lack of proper knowledge and guided by wrong principles will harm the society and country. For example king of north Korea king jom, though he want to protect the security and sovereignty of the country, the path he chosen and the risk he is taking is certainly wrong. Amy be politically , technically he may be right but morally is wrong . Just because of rivalry between two govt. is putting millions of lives into danger. That can harm his country and society . Now the entire world is raising voice against North korea , reputation of the country is eroding , he is not bothering about his country and his own people what happened if some body attacked with nuclear arm or what happened if some country suddenly stops goo’s and aid to us. These type of people harm the societ though it is looking good at present,
(ii) Example for this type is Jawahar lal Nehru , he had always concentrated on the development of the country. When he became the first prime minister of independent India , he knows problems ne born country very well . He started implementing one by one , more over he instil the ideal like, democracy, secularism, tolerance in the country. He chosen the path of non alignment in order to reduce the conflict with others. he build great institutions with great values. He is a visionary , so accordingly he laid the foundation for the development of the country. Brought harmony among different sections, respected sentiments of every section.
(b)According to former president of India Dr. APJ Abdul kalam , corruption can’t be eliminated mere with laws and regulations. To eliminate that menace we need a nation of beautiful minds. These beautiful minds can be moulded by three persons, those are mother, father and teacher. At home mother and father teaches the moral values, ethical behaviour since early child hood , explain those implications on our personal life and on society as whole. Then children started moulding accordingly. In schools teacher also play a major role in grooming the children , along with the formal subjects if teacher inculcate morals and ethics then that child learns those things as apart of education . Child believed that this values are part of family and part of education ultimately part of my life . Then he can implement it easily in a society. So these three members can make a bring difference in bringing the change in the society than others. Once children come out of that stage it is difficult to imbibe such values into them.
6. (a) How will you apply emotional intelligence in administrative practices?
(b) Strength, peace and security are considered to be the pillars of international relations.
(a)Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions in yourself and others. By recognising all the key elements of emotional intelligence, such as self-management, social awareness and how to respond to emotions you will dramatically develop your own management techniques and increase workforce productivity. In taking decisions or dealing with the colleagues under standing their feelings ia important , unless i understand their feelings how can i expected to solve their problems or address their concern , mean while i also need to build my emotions i.e., improve sensitivity towers many issues and sectional among society. In some cases we are not in a position to find of the emotion it self. So we need to expose ourselves to various kind of things then we can build our capacity to identify the emotions. When it comes to management of emotions, that solution or relief your provide again must not involve the conflict of interest crisis , un ethical and unconstitutional and illegal practices. Even if you compromise at that point of time finally it will erode your integrity and righteousness.
(b)Cordial relations with the others is necessary in interconnected global world. In maintaining relations with the others strength , peace and security are the basic pillars we need to keep in mind. Relations with that country must strengthen our capacities, economies and our institutions. Otherwise it will destabilise and weaken our country example : engaging with the country which is in serious political, economic crisis . Peace is the important factor , because peace itself paves the way for prosperity , if a country is peace then all political, social, economic activities run smoothly without ant hurdles . Bringing peace not only in our countries but also bring in our region and entire world as a whole is necessary , so our relations with other countries must aim at that. Example : now USA, India, Afghanistan engaging in new type of relations in order to bring the peace in our region. This helps for the entire region. Security is the at most thing for our survival. Our relations with other countries must strengthen security, relations at the cost of security threat will jeopardise the sour interests. For example: when we are engaging with china we always raise our security concerns with china across the border areas including maritime border. Now even in the international forums also different groups are coming together to build a strong, secure, peaceful world.
7. (a) The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss.
(b) Increased national wealth did not result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some “enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost of the majority.” Justify.
(a)There are two types of people present in society, one is they want to lead good life ,other is they want lead their life according to their wishes because they don’t know what exactly the mining off good in personal life. The later lead whatever they like, though they are following certain principles they not eternal in their life, vary from time to time . So you can’t blame them that ” your un ethical” when it comes to the former , they lead their life according to morals and ethical values. These people want to lead a good life , in their point view good life is nothing but an ethical life but in this category some people they interpret good life means a life which is risk free, secre,luxurious . This type narrow interpretation allows them to commit any un ethical practices to lead “their good life”. So narrow interpretation of good life is a cause for crisis of ethics values but certainly it is not applicable in all the cases.
(b)Since the commencement of economic reforms in our country, our GDP is maintaining consistent growth rate , GDP also increased. Today in our country 60% GDP is owned by 1% people . That is wealth is creating but it is not because of all , but of some. Even the benefits of such development is also not reaching to all the sections. This problems is because of our development models. Our model is not providing employment to all , even the profits that are accruing out of this model is again reaching into the same hands. So here wealth generating but it is not an collusive wealth, in the process of this wealth generation so many people are excluded. So if we able to build a model which provides an opportunity to grow in the present system and let them allow to enjoy the benefits of present development then equitable society can be built . Here the so called developed minority section is exploiting the most of natural resources for their personal gains, which results in poor could not make any use out of it. That greedy of some becoming curse to many. So this is the development of minority at the cost of majority deprivation.
8. (a) Discipline generally implies following the order and subordination. However, it may be counter-productive for the organisation. Discuss.
(b) Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly. What do you understand by this statement? Explain with illustration in the contemporary times.
(a)With any workplace policy, there are pros and cons, and progressive discipline is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages to such a policy.
Here are the pros:
It provides a clear explanation of the consequences of not following the employer’s rules or not meeting expectations.
It provides the opportunity for consistency and fairness in disciplinary procedures for different employees.
It gives the opportunity for an employee to change behaviours. This is especially true in cases where the employee may not have realized they were breaking the rules or causing a problem.
It gives the employer the chance to explain to the employee what actions can be taken to improve the situation; this is a chance for coaching and mentoring.
It provides the employer with alternatives to termination for minor infractions. This improves employee retention.
It also can enhance employee morale when the employees know the employer is not going to fire them for a minor issue. Morale can also be enhanced by the knowledge that poor behaviour of others will be addressed. It provides evidence that the employer gave the employee every opportunity to improve
(b)For proper working of any system certain principles are necessary , we need to follow them. Some times in spite of those principles if we dont follow moral principles that system doesn’t work properly. In the recent time if we take examples , The govt. are bringing progressive legislations but when it comes to its implementation they are not following their own principles. What you firmly belief ,it must reflect in your action that is is your moral responsibility. When public representatives moving away from their moral responsibilities and values then democracy will fall into danger. People will loose faith over system . Even in legal system, though we are following many legal principles, if we forget moral values and responsibilities like justice to all , equality before the law , justice delayed justice denied , impartiality, no favouritism then people will loose faith in the system , that erode the credibility. Even in case of market economy even if we follow sound business principles , it may not give good results unless if we follow ethical principles. For example take the case of Satyam Ramalingaraju case , though it was one of the emerging software firm because lack moral values they diverted shareholders money for other projects and inflated the profits. Here they cheated the investors so public lost faith in that firm finally it got collapsed. Even in case of NPAs in Indian banks , some of were because of unethical practices of bank employees, that resulted into the present day situation.
9. You are an honest and responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:
(a) There is a general perception that adhering to ethical conduct one may face difficulties to oneself and cause problems for the family, whereas unfair practices may help to reach the career goals.
(b) When the number of people adopting unfair means is large, a small minority having a penchant towards ethical means makes no difference.
(c) Sticking to ethical means is detrimental to the larger developmental goals
(d) While one may not involve oneself in large unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gifts makes the system more efficient.
Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits
- Adhering to ethical conduct ,your good work, honesty will be recognised and you will be promoted to higher levels in any organisation. It personally benefit you and organisation also. More over it will save lot of public money and benefits will be reached to the target sections. There are some problems like threatening calls for you and your family members ,some time if case is so severe your life may also in danger.
- In a society generally most of the people adopt unfair means, in that if small portion people are following ethical means , this might show less influence on society . Because the most dominant people’s idea in the society become the order of the society. Who ever you encounter most of them generally belongs to the majority group then we felt a bit of disappointment but good always start with few , if not today it will take some time to influence the entire society . But if at all any good change is experiencing in the society that is because of these few idiots but not because of those majority angles as it was stated by George bernarh shah.
- Generally people have belief that , if we follow ethical principle we can’t do any thing , it will halt the development of the society. But development without morality will benefit only few, it is not sustainable one , if our development is carrying on send ethical principle though the development get delayed but it is sustainable and inclusive.
- People often support on themselves by saying, just I have given a small gift it’s no way comparable to the benefit out which i have accrued , it is just a gratitude not a big crime . To some extent it is acceptable. In your case it may be okay but sometimes people who can’t afford even that small gift then that receiver forced the client. So don’t encourage such practices. If you get habituated to such practices you will start offer much more bigger things if the value of work/project increases. So giving and accepting both are wrong , you cannot differentiate corruption of small denomination and corruption of big denomination both are unethical practices.
10. You are aspiring to become an IAS officer and you have cleared various stages and now you have been selected for the personal interview. On the day of the interview, on the way to the venue you saw an accident where a mother and child who happen to be your relatives were badly injured. They needed immediate help.
What would you have done in such a situation? Justify your action.
- In such situation , immediately I will call an ambulance and informed them about my interview, ask them to join in near by hospital , mean while I will collect the contact number of that hospital called them explain the case , regarding my interview . I assure them that what all the amount I will pay to them once I completed my interview. I’ll call in between to hospital try to monitor/ get the information about the condition of my relatives. In this case, i cleared already prelims and mains now I am at crucial stage of my exam , to reach this stage i struggled for three to four years , if loss this opportunity I have to wait for one more year . At this young age i can’t waste one more year again. Any way I called ambulance and talked with hospital staff so that they will be taken care. Even if I present in hospital I can’t do any thing because i am not a medico. Any way to complete that emergency treatment it take 5-8 hours. during that time i can’t do any thing except waiting out side the operation theatre/ emergency ward, by that time i will go to hospital and make necessary arrangements including payment of money. Conflict of interest arises here when i am taking the decision. So I need to balance my personal interest and my responsibility towards my family and my humane attitude(internal feeling).
11. You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organisation. One day one of the workers died on duty. His family was demanding compensation. However, the company denied compensation because it was revealed in investigation that he was drunk at the time of the accident. The workers of the company went to strike demanding compensation for the family of the deceased. The Chairman of the management board has asked for your recommendation.
What recommendation would you provide the management?
Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendations.
- He died at work place for that we must hold the responsibility for that.
- when it comes to compensation we can’t provide the same compensation like other regular cases but minimum amount should be given
- Arrange a mechanism in the company which test the workers whether they drunk or already sick
- In first recommendation though it looks like against the policy of the company morally we have to take the responsibility for that. Because you can’t employ a person who is unfit to do that job , his condition is bad then why you have recruited him for this day, why you allowed him to do that job. If he had take the rest he could have survived.
- Second is also looks like against the policy of company but to pacify the agitating workers , to continue with the production process , taking it as amoral responsibility I suggested that recommendation. If that issue escalates it creates much more problems, so I want to solve that issue when it was young.
- Third recommendation might cost some economic burden to company, in order to avoid such in incidents in future we need to adopt it. Prevention is better than cure.
12. You are the manager of a spare parts company A and you have to negotiate a deal with the manager of a large manufacturing company B. The deal is highly competitive and sealing the deal is critical for your company. The deal is being worked out over a dinner. After dinner the manager of manufacturing company B offered to drop you to the hotel in his car. On the way to hotel he happens to hit motorcycle injuring the motorcyclist badly. You know the manager was driving fast and thus lost control. The law enforcement officer comes to investigate the issue and you are the sole eyewitness to it. Knowing the strict laws pertaining to road accidents you are aware that your honest account of the incident would lead to the prosecution of the manager and as a consequence the deal is likely to be jeopardised, which is of immense importance to your company.
What are the dilemmas you face? What will be your response to the situation?
- Dilemmas I encountered are
1.Obidient to organisation vs conscience
2. Economic interest vs justice to a family
3. Saving a culprit vs personal benefit
4.Saving a culprit vs Denying justice
- In different dilemmas I encountered some are, my conscience always says that you have done a wrong thing, it will continue till I died. But i am working for an organisation if I am unable to get this deal done my company lost faith on me. I am also need to take the responsibility to the failure of mine. My organisation has given so many opportunities to me, to I am in this position because of this organisation i must obedient. But on the other hand if I am an efficient manager I can work anywhere and prove myself , working at the cost of my own conscience means morally I In the second case, economic interests vs justice to a family. Should I benefit to a company which is purely economic in nature. Company enjoyed such benefits number of times, but here justice to a family. Once they lost the case they never get it in their life time. In the third, here I am thinking about my personal reputation and credit but in that process i am saving a culprit, this culprit may do commit same mistakes again and again. If i am saving some criminal because of my gains is morally wrong. My responsibility towards the society in zero. In the fourth , I am denying justice to an innocent family to save a culprit, what he has done is completely wrong, for that he has to punish otherwise he will become a habitual offender . Here I am committing two mistakes.
13.A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These labourers are migrants of different places. The government immediately announced cash relief to the aggrieved families and arrested the builder.
Give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence.
- Reasons for such incidents :
1.Greedyness on the part of builders.
2.No proper mechanism for monitoring the construction buildings which have already teken permission : whether they are constructing in according to the permission taken or not
3.Corruprtion among town planning officers , building permission granting authority
4.Under staffing of the department
5.Political interferences in giving permissions
6.No fear among the culprits, because conviction rate is very low in our country
7.Investigative system and judiciary work at lower pace in our country
- Measures suggested to prevent such incidents :
1. Strict punishment to the culprits without much delay
2. Non interference of policies and public representatives in giving such permissions
3. Geo tag the all buildings under construction, so that we can monitor through online
4. Corruption among officers should be eliminated , take strict action against those officials, arrange a vigilance mechanism , encourage whistle blowers
5. These departments should be well staffed so that they can monitor regularly.
6. Cancel the permission of such builders and construction companies.
7. Setting up of tribunal, Working of tribunals must be strengthened and strengthen them with the resources, make sure that cases will be cleared fatly (if such buildings are under dispute , with one or other pretext they will delay the case, by that time building collapse, if matter is sub judice executive cannot intervene into that matter)
14.You are a Public Information Officer (PIO) in a government department. You are aware that the RTI Act 2005 envisages transparency and accountability in administration. The act has functioned as a check on the supposedly arbitrarily administrative behaviour and actions. However, as a PIO you have observed that there are citizens who filed RTI applications not for themselves but on behalf of such stakeholders who purportedly want to have access to information to further their own interests. At the same time there are these RTI activists who routinely file RTI applications and attempt to extort money from the decision makers. This type of RTI activism has affected the functioning of the administration adversely and also possibly jeopardises the genuineness of the applications which are essentially aimed at getting justice.
What measures would you suggest to separate genuine and non-genuine applications? Give merits and demerits of your suggestions.
- As a Public information Officer (PIO) my duty is to furnish information which has sought. If that information is not restricted under the law then I must provide such information. Though some people using such information for their personal gains, any provision of under the law is not restricting me to divulge such information. So I cannot stop giving information. But those persons making illegal money out of that information by threatening decision makers , I will complaint police officer or other concerned tax related officer if that amount is more. I my self not the authorise person to decide the genuinely of applications. And I also inform to the fellow officer that please alert while taking the decisions, because under RTI , people are asking information about every decision , some of them will extort money from you for your wrong doings. But i can’t stop the citizen from exercising his duty given under the statute called Right to Information Act-2005.