Total Questions : 35
You are the District Collector of an area that has recently witnessed a communal riot between Hindu and Muslim communities. Many people have lost their residences, businesses and lives because of these riots. During the communal violence, schools were targeted and burnt; ambulances were denied access to the grievously injured; and journalists were beaten up. A list released by the hospital showed that several victims had died of assault and burns (from acid and fire). The hospitals in the area are flooded with the victims, and are running short of doctors and infrastructure to cater to the large population.
As many people had died of gunshot wounds, several policemen have been accused of siding with the rioters instead of trying to maintain the law and order.
Many students in the area are to write their class 10th and 12th Board exams, and are now staging a protest demanding the exams to be postponed. Several families who have lost their homes, have created makeshift tents in front of your office to express their protest. The media is blaming the government for its inaction and you are under the pressure to immediately hold a press conference and speak on the behalf of the government.
a. Identify the stakeholders and the ethical issues involved.
b. What course of action will be most appropriate to establish the law and order in the area again? Justify. (250 words)19 Jun, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You are a Chief Medical officer running a hospital in a primarily lower-income neighborhood, where many of your patients are recent migrants from different parts of the country. You are granted a fixed annual budget of Rs.1 crore through your local public health department, and it is unlikely that you can obtain additional funding for any year. Traditionally, you have used your entire budget for the past several years.
One day, a frightened, thin young man appears to the clinic with a folder of medical records. He is accompanied by his aunt, who explains to you that he was recently diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that, if untreated, will result in his death within six months. After further inquiry, you determine that his cancer is treatable, but will require Rs. 50 Lakh (Half of the total annual budget) to save his life.
Treating this single patient means that there will not be enough money to treat all of the other patients who come to the clinic over the course of the year. In other words, his medication is not cost-effective because for the same amount invested in supplying the clinic, the hospital could prevent many more deaths or disability adjusted life years for a greater number of patients. However, allowing a patient to die of a treatable condition feels wrong on many levels.
a. Identify the stakeholders and ethical dilemmas involved in the case.
b. What are the options available to you? Which one do you think will be the most appropriate step that can be taken and why?05 Jun, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You are the manager of a reputed firm. One of your employees has just been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer. He has confided in you about the status of his health. He has also asked you not to say a word to anyone because he considers his health to be a personal matter. Over the next few months, this employee is absent frequently, especially during his radiation treatments. His absences are not a major problem for the company because he can work from home.
However, some of your other employees think that their co-worker is getting special treatment, and they are ready to go to your boss to complain. This would create unnecessary and unhelpful problems for the sick employee if other employees complain about him.
a. Identify the stakeholders and the ethical issues involved in the case.
b. How would you handle this situation? Suggest most appropriate course of action. (250 words).22 May, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You are the manager of a company that has been worst affected by the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic. All the businesses of the company have been halted and there is no source of revenue generation in the company during the lockdown. Due to this, the company will not be able to sustain for long and pay full salaries to all of its employees. Moreover, the government plans to extend the lockdown period in order to tackle the spread of the infectious disease.
As a manager, you have to decide on cutting down the salaries of the workers and lay off some of them in order to keep the company running. However, your decision will leave many poor workers without any source of income.
a. Identify the ethical dilemmas involved in the case.
b. What are the possible courses of actions available to you? Which one do you think will be the most appropriate step that can be taken and why?08 May, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
The global death toll has crossed one lakh due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It spreads via airborne droplets (sneeze or cough) or contact with the infected person/surface. In this context, ‘lockdown’ was the step taken by most of the countries in the world, including India, to stop the spread of pandemic. The ‘lockdown’ has also left many poor and vulnerable people facing extreme hardships.
People are forced to stay home but shocking statistics revealed that domestic violence has surged globally since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. In India, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has also flagged the issue of a spike in cases of domestic violence since the enforcement of the national lockdown. However, it is also imperative to continue with the lockdown to stop the spread of deadly pandemic.
a. Identify the ethical issues involved in the case.17 Apr, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
b. Suggest measures to resolve them.
You are the DM of Rampur. The issue of stray dogs has created a lot of controversy in the area. After several incidents of dog-biting in the area, people have taken several radical decisions to fight the menace of stray dogs. There have been instances where stray dogs have been tortured by the people. Several local vigilante groups have started distributing airguns to the people at subsidized rates to kill stray dogs. The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognizance of media reports on the stray dog menace and observed that "prima facie, it is of the view that Human Rights should weigh above animal rights in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals"
On the other hand, several international NGOs including PETA have filed a petition in the Supreme Court to provide protection to the stray dogs.
a. Identify the stakeholders and the ethical issues involved in the case.
b. What measures will you take to amicably solve the issue of stray dogs considering all parties involved?03 Apr, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges which humankind is facing right now. While several mitigations and adaptation methods have been researched, scientists have high hopes from geoengineering that include Carbon Dioxide removal and reflecting sunlight back into space. The Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, is pursuing a framework for working of geo-engineering at the international level. However, several ethical issues have been identified with geoengineering which include the following:
a. It would be morally unacceptable to use geoengineering, in any form, as a replacement for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. To do so would impose unacceptably large risks and costs on vulnerable people and future generations.
b. Whether the positive and negative impacts of any geoengineering could be fairly distributed (issue of the distributive justice).
c. How should decisions of geoengineering be made (issue of procedural justice)?
In this context, critically analyze the issues identified by the ethicists.20 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You are a graduate who, after completing the studies, has been preparing for competitive examination for two years. But despite your best efforts success has eluded you. You don’t belong to a well-off family and now you must start working to support yourself. On scanning the job sites you realize that there are hardly any vacancies for a fresher with an academic gap. One of your friends runs a consultancy firm and he suggests that he can get you fake work experience certificates from a few companies. He also tells you that this is very common practice and even companies are not very concerned about these things at entry-level jobs.
- Identify the ethical dilemmas faced by you.
- What would be the most appropriate course of action in such conditions? Justify. (250 words)
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first discovered in the Wuhan province of China and by February 2020, it has affected more than 70,000 people and caused more than 1700 deaths around the world. The World Health Organization has declared it a “global health emergency”.
It has come to the notice that, while the first case of Coronavirus was reported on 8 December 2019, the Wuhan Health Authorities took more than 3 weeks to issue a notice. Even when Doctor Li Wenliang, who warned of the Virus was forced to sign a police statement for 'illegal behaviour'. The secret and authoritarian regime of China, lead to the proliferation of a deadly virus which constitutes now a global emergency.
a. Identify the ethical issues involved in the case.06 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
b. What should be the role of the World Health Organization and the United Nations to prevent the spread of such deadly diseases.
c. How can conflict between the sovereignty of a nation and global governance be resolved?
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a secure line of communication that blocks third-party users from accessing transferred data. When the data is being transferred online, only the sender and recipient can decrypt it with a key. In that way, E2EE can help mitigate risk and protect sensitive information by blocking third parties from accessing user data when data is transferred from one source to another. This can be seen as a concern in many cases where privacy is very important, such as persons living under repressive governments, whistle-blowing, mass surveillance, businesses whose reputation depends on its ability to protect third party data.
Facebook and WhatsApp along with other social networking sites are announcing the end to end encryption to protect the privacy of people. But the National Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Children, the UK along with other organizations have expressed significant concerns over this. According to these organizations, E2EE will reduce child safety online as it will prevent the monitoring of content that is not safe for children and might lead to child grooming and the proliferation of pornographic materials.
- Identify the ethical issues involved in the case.
- Suggest measures to resolve them. (250 words)
Q. You are Abhishek and you went to Jodhpur to attend the wedding of your friend Neeraj. The wedding went very well and all the rituals were properly followed. At the end of the wedding, the father of the bride offered Rs 10 Lakh to Neeraj to buy a car as a dowry. Since Neeraj and his family are very progressive, they are against the practice of dowry, they denied it. They also reminded the father that under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, it is illegal to offer a dowry. But the father insisted that being a father, he has the right to give his money to his daughter and her husband.
- Identify the ethical dilemmas involved in the case.
- What suggestions will you give to your friend Neeraj in this scenario?
- Are legislative solutions effective to solve social issues?
Q. Suppose you are an officer-in-charge of implementing a social service scheme to provide support to old and destitute women. An old and illiterate woman comes to you to avail the benefits of the scheme. However, she has no documents to show that she fulfils the eligibility criteria. But after meeting her and listening to her you feel that she certainly needs support. Your enquirers also show that she is really destitute and living in a pitiable condition. You are in a dilemma as to what to do. Putting her under the scheme without necessary documents would clearly be a violation of rules. But denying her the support would be cruel and inhuman.
- Can you think of a rational way to resolve this dilemma?
- Give your reasons for it. (250 words)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of Computer Science that enables the computer system to analyze data and situation and make a decision as a human do. It learns from experience, uses learning to reason, recognizes images, solves complex problems, understands languages and creates perspective, etc. It is seen as a foundation of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Many companies have already started to use AI to do some of the work.
But such applications raise troubling ethical issues because AI systems can reinforce what they have learned from real-world data, even amplifying familiar risks, such as racial or gender bias. Examples abound. In 2014, Amazon developed a recruiting tool for identifying software engineers it might want to hire; the system swiftly began discriminating against women, and the company abandoned it in 2017. In 2016, ProPublica analyzed a commercially developed system that predicts the likelihood that criminals will re-offend, created to help judges make better sentencing decisions, and found that it was biased against blacks.
- Identify the ethical issues involved in the use of AI.
- By what means, we can inculcate ethical and moral values in an AI-based system?
- Is it too soon for the world to adopt the AI?
Indian Parliament recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, which amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan belonging to six religious communities, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. There have been nationwide protests against the Act and many scholars are terming it violative of the Constitution.
Suppose that you are an IAS officer stationed at Indore. You yourself believe that the Act is discriminatory and may lead to communal polarization of the country. You have got the information that two opposite religious groups are planning for 'Pro CAA' and 'Anti CAA' protests respectively. The venue and timing of both protests are the same. There are high chances of the matter getting out of hand and turning into communal riots that might spread in the whole district.
- Identify the ethical issues involved in the case.
- What is the best possible course of action to solve the matter in a peaceful manner?
More than a hundred children, who were being treated at a government hospital, have lost their lives in the course of a month. The agitated family members have accused the hospital of having extremely unhygienic conditions and negligence. Relatives of one of the families have staged a protest, carrying the body of a three-day-old girl who was born via c section. The relatives have alleged that the doctors did not treat her properly and that the paramedical staff was mostly busy on their mobile phones. The representatives of the hospital have denied the allegations claiming that the children are mostly referred from other hospitals and many of them come when they are at the terminal stage of their illness. They have also claimed that infants develop serious problems during transit. Quoting data from a national-level survey conducted by the government, the hospital management has also stated that they do not receive the required amount of funds to upgrade the infrastructure.
You are the DM of the district. What are the possible courses of actions available to you? Which one do you think will be the most appropriate step that can be taken and why?24 Jan, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You’re a manager at an NGO. Your subordinate has been working in the NGO for five years. Four years ago, his performance was poor because he was undergoing chemotherapy. Since then, it’s improved to average but, in the past few months has declined severely again. He explains that his cancer has recurred and has spread to his lymph nodes, so he’s in the middle of a six-month round of chemotherapy and his prognosis is not good. He says he prefers to keep working but if you terminate him, he won’t file a legal claim. He is his family's sole source of income and his salary is modest and so he has little in savings. What are the options available to you? Point out the pros and cons of each of them.17 Jan, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. You are a Superintendent of Police in a district where caste-based discrimination is rampant. In a recent case, members from the Dalit community were prevented from cremating the body of an old woman from their community at the public crematorium. People belonging to the dominant upper caste community have destroyed the funeral pyre and have allegedly threatened the family of the deceased.
After the police intervention, the Dalits staged a protest and the body was cremated on the ground in front of the residence of MLA of the region, who also belongs to the dominant community. In the process of investigation, you come to know that not only family members of the MLA but some of your relatives too have been involved in the destruction of the funeral pyre.
- What will be the possible ethical dilemmas that you might face?
- What will be your course of action? Justify. (250 words)
Q. You are an auditor with a government department. Your son is starting a business and for that, he needs a large amount of loan from a bank you are auditing. But he couldn’t secure a loan from the bank because of his bad CIBIL score. Moreover, you cannot take the loan as the amount far exceeds your salary range. When you scrutinize the accounts of the bank, you find that its balance sheet has hidden stressed assets. However, one Assistant General Manager of the bank offers you help in return of favour that you do not reveal the balance sheet of the bank.
- What are the values in conflict in the above situation?
- What are the various options before you? Also, provide justification for each of the option. (250 Words)
Q. Amrita, a young IAS officer, has joined a government department. After working for a while in this department, she realizes that the position of women staff is subservient to male staff. The male staff does not want to take orders from senior women officers. Moreover, women are not taken on serious departmental projects and are discouraged from participating in such projects. Amrita through informal channels comes to know that even the Head of the Department is of the same mindset and believes that women should not be sent to this department. Discuss the course of action Amrita should take so that the work culture becomes conducive for women.27 Dec, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. Several villages in Jharkhand have resorted to Pathalgarhi – a tribal tradition of erecting stone slabs to demarcate the area of their villages’ jurisdiction, declaring their autonomy and self-rule in the areas under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. In these localities, no outsider including the government servants is allowed. From various sources, it has come to be known that tribals are not happy with the state and central government as they feel ignored, marginalized and have been experiencing the plunder of their resources on which traditionally they enjoyed control. They hold new laws and developmental activities responsible for their plight.
Suppose you are a DM in one such affected district where this movement is going on, what strategies will you adopt to tackle the issues on short term as well as long term basis. Give justification for your strategies. (250 Words)20 Dec, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Rajesh is posted as a District Nodal Officer for a leading oil marketing company in a certain district. He has been authorized to make the Ujjwala scheme a success in the district. However, he finds that behavioural issues on the part of residents are a big hurdle. Most of the residents have the apprehension that food cooked on LPG is not healthy and is tasteless. They are also apprehensive about the safety of LPG. These challenges persist even after the conduct of LPG Panchayat and safety awareness camps, and residents dismiss these as misleading. Apart from this, other factors that are checking the success of the scheme include the affordable availability of biomass and unaffordability to refill the LPG cylinder. In view of the above situation, identify and evaluate the options before Rajesh so that he can make the Ujjwala scheme successful in the district. (250 words)13 Dec, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. From ‘rat-hole mining’ to ‘open cast mining’, India has witnessed major mining disasters. The main reason behind these calamities is the unscientific, illegal and unsafe mining in India. As and when such disasters are in the news, the incumbent governments and administration address it at the immediate level. But there is indifference to providing sustainable solutions which frequently causes such disasters. After such calamities, an administrative tendency has also been observed which puts the blame on victims. The tacit consensus of the government and administration to unsafe mining activities in India and the attraction of miners are mainly linked to revenue and employment realization. But such activities also lead to widespread loss to the public exchequer and environmental degradation. Therefore, there should be a holistic preparedness to prevent such calamities and to comprehensively cope if they occur.
- Identify the underlying ethical issues in the above case.
- As competent authority, discuss some of the feasible strategies to prevent and combat such calamities. (250 words)
Q. You are the Vice-Chancellor of a Public University. Recently, the management has decided to increase the hostel and tuition fees substantially. The students are unhappy with the management's decision and are staging a widespread protest in the university campus.
A student from the weaker section came to you and explained his inability to pay the proposed hike in fees due to his weak financial family background. His father is a ragpicker and his mother works as a maid. He informed you about similar conditions of other financially weak students who are unable to pay the hiked fees. He also informed you that one of his friends is planning self-immolation in protest under the influence of some politically motivated students.
With the passing of the day, the protest is growing violent, with several incidents of violence between security forces and students.
Even though you also do not agree with the management's decision, but are under severe pressure from the government to implement the proposed hiked.
In such circumstances, is it right to move forward with the management's decision?
- Identify the moral dilemma faced by you.
- Analyze your role and duties, along with a suitable course of action.
You are a struggling reporter of a news channel and have been under severe pressure from your Editor-in-Chief to bring some sensational news to boost Television Rating Points (TRPs).
You have interviewed a famous religious leader of a minority faction on the recent Ayodhya verdict of Supreme Court. In the interview, the religious leader used a provocative statement and urged the members of the community to rebel against the court ruling. If the interview is aired, it might spark communal tensions and law and order problem in society. You are very well aware that if the interview is presented to the Editor-in-Chief, he will definitely air it to boost TRPs. The interview may lead to the exponential growth of your career.
In such circumstances, would it be right to present the interview to Editor-in-Chief?
- Identify the moral dilemma faced by you.
- Analyse your role and duties as a responsible reporter, also suggest your course of action.
The Government has planned the strategic disinvestment of State Road Transportation Corporation in a phased manner by allowing some private companies to ferry buses on marked routes. The outraged workers have called for a strike against the move. You are the head of the workers union of the transport corporation. In a meeting with State officials, they have informed you about the circumstances of inefficiency, corruption and deteriorating quality of service to commuters. You have also presented the worker’s viewpoint and their complaints of low payscale and non-payment of salaries from the past few months. A deadlock has occurred between the two parties where no-side is willing to lose. To break the deadlock, the officials offer you a bribe and other perks to comply with the decision of privatisation in a phased manner. State transport services are in a state of peril and there is a huge outcry among the common masses.
- Identify the moral dilemma faced by you.
- Analyse your role and duties, also suggest your course of action.
Q. You are a senior officer at an intelligence agency working for the internal security of the nation. You find out that a junior officer has been a victim of honey trapping through social media. In all of this, his phone was hacked and confidential files were leaked.
The entire department has come together and wants you to take strict action against that officer for his behavior. That junior officer is highly skilled and a valuable asset for the organisation. He is also very close to you as you have mentored him throughout and he also respects you a lot. Moreover, any action against him might attract media attention and bring a bad repute to the organisation at large.
(A) What are the ethical issues involved and the options available to you in such a situation?
(B) Also, suggest a course of action you would like to follow.08 Nov, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. Pawan is pursuing MBA and shares a room with you in the private hostel. He desperately needs a job after completing his course because of educational loan and weak economic background. In his last two semesters, he couldn’t secure good grades due to serious illness. In current semester he has to secure good marks at any cost to satisfy minimum criteria for placements.
Few days before the final semester exam, he comes to you and asks for money. He is stressed and nervous. He tells you about his plan to purchase semester papers to clear the exam and convinces you for the same by giving reference to his bad health, family status and his education loan.
In such circumstances, would it be right to lend money to him?
(a) Identify the moral dilemma faced by you.
(b) Analyse your role and duties as a friend, also suggest your course of action.01 Nov, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. You are the Managing Director of Metro Rail Corporation (MRC) of a metropolitan city and you have received orders and funding for construction of the metro track and a parking space in a densely forested area of the city with houses of few underprivileged families as well in it.
For the construction, the forest has to be cleared and the families have to be moved to some other place. The locals have started a protest after knowing about the order. They are highly raged about cutting down thousands of trees and the affected families have also joined them because the forest holds emotional value for them.
On the other hand, the minister who directly controls the MRC is pressuring you to start the felling process as soon as possible. You know that going against his orders will have serious repercussions.
(a) What are the ethical issues involved and the options available to you in such a situation?
(b) Also, suggest a course of action you would like to follow. (250 words)25 Oct, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
You are posted as an additional superintendent of police in the District. The incidents of lynching over the rumours of child lifting have increased in the state in past few months.
Recently, one such incident took place at the Government hospital, where two brothers who had taken their nephew to a doctor for treatment were misjudged and attacked by the mob over suspicion of child lifting.
The police rushed to the spot after receiving the information and rescued the brothers. However, one of them was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The deceased person was as a young leader and potential candidate for the upcoming Panchayat elections.
The locals from the nearby village along with the relatives of the deceased person are protesting and accusing police of negligence. They are claiming the incident as a planned political murder and demanding for arrest of the rival candidate who has strong political backing.
(a) Identify the stakeholders and various dimensions of the crisis involved in the issue.
(b) What would be the course of action taken by you to manage the situation as an additional superintendent of police? Suggest the measures to deal with the incident lynching. (200 words)18 Oct, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Q. You are the director of a department that has recently been engulfed in the #MeToo campaign when two of the deputy directors working under you have been publicly named as sexual predators by two women in the department. As directed by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, you are to initiate a committee of inquiry and submit the report within 90 days.
Before initiating the committee you are faced with two narratives, first, that this is not the first time both women have come forward with similar accusations; second, that you have known both the deputy directors and their families for quite some time now, and you have noticed nothing in their behaviour that says they could have been the sexual predators as alleged.
Now, while the women want you to begin the inquiry process at the earliest, the deputy directors deny all charges and say that they want to pursue defamation cases against their main accusers. In all this, public pressure is against you, with the media discussing the case on a regular basis.
(a) As a director of a department what will be your course of action for starting an official investigation? State the merits and demerits of whatever course of action you decide to follow.
(b) Do you also agree that the sexual nature of a crime makes the crime ethically different and difficult (to handle) from other crimes? Give valid reasons to support your views. (250 words)11 Oct, 2019 GS Paper 4 Case Studies