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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Case Study

    You are a district collector of a drought-prone area where farmers are suffering from crop failure and debt. You have been allocated funds by the state government to provide relief measures such as food grains distribution, loan waivers and employment generation schemes.

    However, you find out that some local politicians and officials are involved in diverting these funds for their personal gains. They have also threatened some honest staff members who tried to expose their corruption.

    You have evidence against these corrupt people but you also know that they have strong political connections and influence in the area.

    Q. What will you do in this situation?

    10 Mar, 2023 GS Paper 4 Case Studies

    Approach

    • Start your answer by briefly explaining the case.
    • Discuss about various stakeholders and ethical issues involved in the case.
    • Discuss the various options available in front of district collector.
    • Conclude accordingly.

    Introduction

    • The case revolves where a district collector is allocated funds to provide relief measures to farmers in a drought-prone area. However, some local politicians and officials are diverting these funds for their personal gains and have threatened honest staff members who tried to expose their corruption. The district collector has evidence against these corrupt people but is aware of their strong political connections and influence in the area.

    Body

    • Stakeholders:
      • Farmers and their families.
      • Honest staff members.
      • Corrupt politicians and officials.
      • State and central government
      • Society as a whole.
    • Ethical issues:
      • Corruption
      • Misuse of power
      • Abuse of public resources
      • Betrayal of public trust
    • Options available:
      • Ignore the corruption and continue to provide relief measures: This option would be unethical as it would condone corruption and betray public trust.
        • Pros:
          • The relief measures, however in poor or in less quantity may reach the farmers and their families who are in need.
          • It can avoid negative consequences for the honest staff members and the district collector.
        • Cons:
          • This option condones corruption and betrays public trust.
          • The corrupt officials can continue to misuse public resources and abuse their power.
      • Report the corruption to higher authorities: This option would be ethical, but it could lead to negative consequences for the honest staff members and the district collector.
        • Pros:
          • This option is ethical and can help stop corruption.
          • It can expose the corrupt officials and hold them accountable for their actions.
      • Cons:
        • The honest staff members and the district collector can face negative consequences such as threats and retaliation.
          • This option can take time and resources to investigate and may not guarantee a positive outcome, and they can use their strong political connections and influence in the area.
      • Conduct an investigation into the corruption: This option would be ethical and would help identify the corrupt officials. Further, it would confirm that the evidence against the officials is not tampered or might be there is some conspiracy against them. However, it could be time-consuming and could also lead to negative consequences for the honest staff members and the district collector.
        • Pros:
          • This option could do the justice by investigating the matter, whether there is conspiracy against the officials by deliberately creating fake evidence against them.
          • And if they found guilty then, it can send a message that public officials will be held accountable for their actions.
        • Cons:
          • This option can take time and resources to investigate and may not guarantee a positive outcome.
      • Take legal action against the corrupt officials: This option would be ethical and would send a strong message to others who may be tempted to misuse public resources. However, it could also lead to negative consequences for the honest staff members and the district collector.
        • Pros:
          • This option can hold the corrupt officials accountable for their actions and send a message that corruption will not be tolerated.
          • It can prevent the misuse of public resources and abuse of power.
        • Cons:
          • The honest staff members and the district collector can face negative consequences such as threats and retaliation.
          • Legal action can be time-consuming and may not guarantee a positive outcome.

    Conclusion

    • It is important to ensure that due process is followed, and the evidence is thoroughly examined before any legal action is taken against the officials. If the officials are not found guilty, it would be important to acknowledge this fact and investigate further if there is a possibility of a conspiracy against them.
      • As a district collector, I would choose the option of conducting a thorough investigation into the matter, as it would help identify the corrupt officials and confirm whether the evidence against them is valid and not tampered with. It can also help determine if there is a conspiracy against them by deliberately creating fake evidence.
      • If the investigation confirms the evidence of corruption, then I could take legal action against the corrupt officials, which would be an ethical and effective way to hold them accountable for their actions. This would send a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated and prevent the misuse of public resources and abuse of power.
        • Overall, conducting an investigation into the corruption is an ethical and viable option that can help identify the corrupt officials, confirm the evidence against them, and take legal action to hold them accountable
        • If the investigation reveals that there is no corruption, it would be important to ensure that the officials are not unfairly targeted or subjected to any negative consequences.

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