Ethics - II (Case Studies)
- 12 Sep 2018
- 108 min read
1. Prabhat was working as Vice President (Marketing) at Sterling Electric Ltd., a reputed multinational company. But presently the company was passing through the difficult times as the sales were continuously showing downward trend in the last two quarters. His division, which hitherto had been a major revenue contributor to the company's financial health, was now desperately trying to procure some big government order for them. But their best efforts did not yield any positive success or breakthrough. His was a professional company and his local bosses were under pressure from their London-based HO to show some positive results. In the last performance review meeting taken by the Executive Director (India Head), he was reprimanded for his poor performance. He assured them that his division is working on a special contract from the Ministry of Defence for a secret installation near Gwalior and tender is being submitted shortly.
He was under extreme pressure and he was deeply perturbed. What aggravated the situation further was a warning from the top that if the deal is not clinched in favour of the company, his division might have to be closed and he may have to quit his lucrative job. There was another dimension which was causing him deep mental torture a and agony. This pertained to his personal precarious financial health. He was a single earner in the family with two school-college going children and his old ailing mother. The heavy expenditure on education and medical was causing a big strain to his monthly pay packet. Regular EMI for housing loan taken from bank was unavoidable and any default would render him liable for severe legal action. In the above backdrop, he was hoping for some miracle to happen. There was sudden turn of events. His secretary informed that a gentleman-SubhashVerma wanted to see him as he was interested in the position of Manager which was to be filled in by him in the company. He further brought to his notice that his CV has been received through the office of the Minister of Defence. During interview of the candidate-Subhash Verma, he found him technically sound, resourceful and experienced marketeer. He seemed to be well-conversant with tendering procedures and having knack of follow-up and liaising in this regard. Prabhat felt that he was better choice than the rest of the candidates who were recently interviewed by him in the last few days. Subhash Verma also indicated that he was in possession of the copies of the bid documents that the Unique Electronics Ltd. would be submitting the next day to the Defence Ministry for their tender. He offered to hand over those documents subject to his employment in the company on suitable terms and conditions. He made it clear that in the process, the Sterling Electric Ltd. could outbid their rival company and get the bid and hefty Defence Ministry order. He indicated that it will be win-win situation for both-him and the company. Prabhat was absolutely stunned. It was a mixed feeling of shock and thrill. He was uncomfortable and perspiring. If accepted, all his problems would vanish instantly and he may be rewarded for securing the much awaited tender and thereby boosting company's sales and financial health. He was in a fix as to the future course of action. He was wonder-struck at the guts of Subhash Verma in having surreptitiously removing his own company papers and offering to the rival company for a job. Being an experienced person,he was examining the pros and cons of the proposal/situation and he asked him to come the next day.
(a) Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case.
(b) Critically examine the options available to Prabhat in the above situation.
(c) Which of the above would be the most appropriate for Prabhat and why?
2. Ramesh is State Civil Services Officer who got the opportunity of getting posted to the capital of a border State after rendering 20 years of service. Ramesh's mother has recently been detected cancer and has been admitted in the leading cancer hospital of the city. His two adolescent children have also got admission in one of the best public schools of the town. After settling down in his appointment as Director in the Home Department of the State, Ramesh got confidential report through intelligence sources that illegal migrants are infiltrating in the State from the neighbouring country. He decided to personally carry out surprise check of the border posts along with his Home Department team. To his surprise, he caught red-handed two families of 12 members infiltrated with the connivance of the security personnel at the border posts. On further inquiry and investigation, it was found that after the migrants from neighbouring country infiltrate, their documentation like Aadhaar Card, Ration Card and Voter Card are also forged and they are made to settle down in a particular area of the State. Ramesh prepared the detailed and comprehensive report and submitted to the Additional Secretary of the State. However, he has summoned by the Additional Home Secretary after a week and was instructed to withdraw the report. The Additional Home Secretary informed Ramesh that the report submitted by him has not been appreciated by the higher authorities. He further cautioned him that if he fails to withdraw the confidential report, he will not only be posted out from the prestigious appointment from the State capital but his further promotion which is due in near future will also get in jeopardy.
(a) What are the Department options available to Ramesh as the Director of the Home Department of the bordering State?
(b) What option should Ramesh adopt and why?
(c) Critically evaluate each of the options.
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ramesh?
(e) What policy measures would you suggest to combat the menace of infiltration of illegal migrants from the neighbouring country?
3. The Supreme Court has banned mining in the Aravalli Hills to stop degradation of the forest cover and to maintain ecological balance. However, the stone mining was still prevalent in the border district of the affected State with connivance of certain corrupt forest officials and politicians. Young and dynamic SP who was recently posted in the affected district promised to himself to stop this menace. In one of his surprise checks with his team, he found loaded truck with stone trying to escape the mining area. He tried to stop the truck but the truck driver overrun the police officer, killing him on the spot and thereafter managed to flee. Police filed FIR but no breakthrough was achieved in the case for almost three months. Ashok who was the Investigative Journalist working with leading TV channel, suo moto started investigating the case. Within one month, Ashok got breakthrough by interacting with local people, stone mining mafia and government officials. He prepared his investigative story and presented to the CMD of the TV channel. He exposed in his investigative report the complete nexus of stone mafia working with blessing of corrupt police and civil officials and politicians. The politician who was involved in the mafia was no one else but local MLA who was considered to be very close to the Chief Minister. After going through the investigative report, the CMD advised Ashok to drop the idea of making the story public through electronic media. He informed that the local MLA was not only the relative of the owner of the TV channel but also had unofficially 20 percent share in the channel. The CMD further informed Ashok that his further promotion and hike in pay will be taken care of in addition the soft loan of `10 lakhs which he has taken from the TV channel for his son's chronic disease will be suitably adjusted if he hands over the investigative report to him.
(a) What are the options available with Ashok to cope up with the situation?
(b) Critically evaluate/examine each of the options identified by Ashok.
(c) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ashok?
(d) Which of the options, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Ashok to adopt and why?
(e) In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for police officers posted to such districts where stone mining illegal activities are rampant?
4. You have done MBA from a reputed institution three years back but could not get campus placement due to COVID-19 generated recession. However, after a lot of persuasion and series of competitive tests including written and interview, you managed to get a job in a leading shoe company. You have aged parents who are dependent and staying with you. You also recently got married after getting this decent job. You were allotted the Inspection Section which is responsible for clearing the final product. In first one year, you learnt your job well and was appreciated for your performance by the management. The company is doing good business for last five years in domestic market and this year it is decided even to export to Europe and Gulf countries. However, one large consignment to Europe was rejected by their Inspecting Team due to certain poor quality and was sent back. The top management ordered that ibid consignment to be cleared for the domestic market. As a part of Inspecting Team, you observed the glaring poor quality and brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander. However, the top management advised all the members of the team to overlook these defects as the management cannot bear such a huge loss. Rest of the team members except you promptly signed and cleared the consignment for domestic market, overlooking glaring defects. You again brought to the knowledge of the Team Commander that such consignment, if cleared even for domestic market, will tarnish the image and reputation of the company and will be counter-productive in the long run. However, you were further advised by the top management that if you do not clear the consignment, the company
will not hesitate to terminate your services citing certain innocuous reasons.
(a) Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a member of the Inspecting Team?
(b) Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.
(c) What option would you adopt and why?
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by you?
(e) What can be the consequences of overlooking the observations raised by the inspecting Team?
5. Rakesh was working as Joint Commissioner in Transport Department of a city. As a Part of his Job profile, among others, he was entrusted with the task of overseeing the control and functioning of City Transport Department. A case of strike by the drivers' union of City Transport Department over the issue of Compensation to a driver who died on duty while driving the bus came up before him for decision in the matter.
He gathered that the driver (deceased) was plying Bus No. 528 which Passed through busy and congested roads of the city. It so happened that near an intersection on the way, there was an accident involving the bus and a car driver by a middle-aged man. It was found that there was altercation between the driver and the car driver. Heated arguments between them led to fight and the driver gave him a blow. Lot of passerbys had gathered and tried to intervene but without success. Eventually, both of them were badly injured and profusely bleeding and were taken to the nearby hospital. The driver succumbed to the injuries and could not be saved. The middle-aged driver's condition was also critical but after a day, he recovered and was discharged. Police had immediately come at the spot of accident and FIR was registered. Police investigation revealed that the quarrel in question was started by the bus driver and he had resorted to physical violence. There was exchange of blows between them. The City Transport Department management is considering of not giving any extra compensation to the driver's (deceased) family. The family is very aggrieved, depressed and agitated against the discriminatory and non-sympathetic approach of the City Transport Department management. The bus driver (deceased) was 52 years of age, was survived by his wife and two school-college going daughters. He was the sole earner of the family. The City Transport Department workers' union took up this case and when found no favorable response from the management, decided to go on strike. The union's demand was two-fold. First was full extra compensation as given to other drivers who died on duty and secondly employment to onefamily member. The strike has continued for 10 days and the deadlock remains.
(a) What are the options available to Rakesh to meet the above situation?
(b) Critically examine each of the options identified by Rakesh.
(c) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Rakesh?
(d) What course of action would Rakesh adopt to diffuse the above situation
6. You are appointed as an officer heading the section in Environment Pollution Control Board to ensure compliance and its follow-up. In that region, there were large number of small and medium industries which had been granted clearance you learnt that these industries provide employment to many migrant workers Most of the industrial units have got environmental clearance certificate in their possession. The environmental clearance seeks to curb industries and projects that supposedly hamper environment and living species in the region. But in practice most of these units remain to be polluting units in several ways like air, water and soil pollution. As such, local people encountered persistent health problems. It was confirmed that majority of the industries were violating environmental compliance. You issued notice to all the industrial units to apply for fresh environmental clearance certificate from the competent authority. However, your action met with hostile response from a section of the industrial units, other vested interest persons and a section of the local politicians. The workers also became very hostile to you as they felt that your action would lead to the closure these of industrial units, and the resultant unemployment will lead to insecurity and uncertainty in their livelihood. Many owners of the industries approached you with the plea that you should not initiate harsh action as it would compel them their units, and cause huge Financial loss, shortage of their products in the market. These would obviously add to the sufferings of the labourers and the consumer alike. The labour union also sent you representation requesting against the closure of the units. You simultaneously started receiving threats from unknown corners. You however received supports from some of your colleagues, who advised you to act freely to ensure environmental compliance. Local NGOs also came to your support and they demanded the closure of the polluting units immediately
(a) What are the options available to you under the given situation?
(b) Critically examine the options listed by you.
(c) What type of mechanism would you suggest to ensure environmental compliance?
(d) What are the ethical dilemmas you faced in exercising your option?
1. Sunil is a young civil servant and has a reputation for his competence, integrity, dedication and relentless pursuit of difficult and onerous jobs. Considering his profile, he was picked up by his bosses to handle a very challenging and sensitive assignment. He was posted in a tribal dominated district notorious for illegal sand mining. Excavating sand from river belt and transporting through trucks and selling them in black market was rampant. This illegal sand mining mafia was operating with the support of local functionaries and tribal musclemen who in turn were bribing selected poor tribals and had kept the tribals under fear and intimidation.
Sunil being a sharp and energetic officer immediately grasped the ground realities and the modus operandi followed by the mafia through their devious and dubious mechanism. On making inquiries, he gathered that some of their own office employees are in hand and glove with them and have developed close unholy nexus. Sunil initiated stringent action against them and started conducting raids on their illegal operations of movement of trucks filled with sand. The mafia got rattled as not many officers in the past had taken such strong steps against the mafia. Some of the office employees who were allegedly close to mafia informed them that the officer is determined to clean up the mafia’s illegal sand mining operations in that district and may cause them irreparable damage.
The mafia turned hostile and launched counter-offensive. The tribal musclemen and mafia started threatening him with dire consequences. His family (wife and old mother) were stalked and were under virtual surveillance and thus causing mental torture, agony and stress to all of them. The matter assumed serious proportions when a muscleman came to his office and threatened him to stop raids, etc., otherwise, his fate will not be different than some of his predecessors (ten years back one officer was killed by the mafia).
(a) Identify the different options available to Sunil in attending to this situation.
(b) Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.
(c) Which of the above, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Sunil to adopt and why?
2. You are Vice Principal of a degree college in one of the middle-class towns. Principal has recently retired and management is looking for his replacement. There are also feelers that the management may promote you as principal. In the meantime, during annual examination the flying squad which came from the university caught two students red-handed involved in unfair means. A senior lecturer of the college was personally helping these students in this act. This senior lecturer also happens to be close to the management. One of the students was son of a local politician who was responsible in getting college affiliated to the present reputed university. The second student was son of a local businessman who has donated maximum funds for running of the college. You
immediately informed the management regarding this unfortunate incident. The management told you to resolve the issue with flying squad at any cost. They further said that such incident will not only tarnish the image of the college but also the politician and businessman are very important personalities for the functioning of the college.
You were also given hint that your further promotion to Principal depends on your capability in resolving this issue with flying squad. In the meantime, you were intimated by your administrative officer that certain members of the student union are protesting outside the college gate against the senior lecturer and the students involved in this incident and demanding strict action against defaulters.
(a) Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case.
(b) Critically examine the options available with you as Vice Principal. What option will you adopt and why?
3. An elevated corridor is being constructed to reduce traffic congestion in the capital of a particular State. You have been selected as project manager of this prestigious project on your professional competence and experience. The deadline is to complete the project in next two years by 30 June, 2021, since this project is to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister before the elections are announced in the second week of July 2021. While carrying out the surprise inspection by inspecting team, a minor crack was noticed in one of the piers of the elevated corridor possibly due to poor material used. You immediately informed the chief engineer and stopped further work. It was assessed by you that minimum three piers of the elevated corridor have to be demolished and reconstructed. But this process will delay the project minimum by four to six months. But the chief engineer overruled the observation of inspecting team on the ground that it was a minor crack which will not in any way impact the strength and durability of the bridge. He ordered you to overlook the observation of inspecting team and continue working with same speed and tempo. He informed you that the minister does not want any delay as he wants the Chief Minister to inaugurate the elevated corridor before the elections are declared. Also informed you that the contractor is far relative of the minister and he wants him to finish the project. He also gave you hint that your further promotion as additional chief engineer is under consideration with the ministry. However, you strongly felt that the minor crack in the pier of the elevated corridor will adversely affect the health and life of the bridge and therefore it will be very dangerous not to repair the elevated corridor.
(a) Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a project manager?
(b) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by the project manager?
(c) What are the professional challenges likely to be faced by the project manager and his response to overcome
(d) What can be the consequences of overlooking the observation raised by the inspecting team?
4. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has quickly spread to various countries. As on May 8th, 2020, in India 56342 positive cases of corona had been reported. India with a population of more than 1.35 billion had difficulty in controlling the transmission of coronavirus among its population. Multiple strategies became necessary to handle this outbreak. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India raised wareness about this outbreak and to take all necessary actions to control the spread of COVID-19. Indian Government implemented a 55-day lockdown throughout the country to reduce the transmission of the virus. Schools and colleges had shifted to alternative mode of teaching-learning-evaluation and certification. Online mode became popular during these days.
India was not prepared for a sudden onslaught of such a crisis due to limited infrastructure in terms of human resource, money and other facilities needed for taking care of this situation. This disease did not spare anybody irrespective of caste, creed, religion on the one hand and ‘have and have not’ on the other. Deficiencies in hospital
beds, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, hospital staff and crematorium were the most crucial aspects.
You are a hospital administrator in a public hospital at the time when coronavirus had attacked large number of people and patients were pouring into hospital day in and day out.
(a) What are your criteria and justification for putting your clinical and non-clinical staff to attend to the patients
knowing fully well that it is highly infectious disease and resources and infrastructure are limited?
(b) If yours is a private hospital, whether your justification and decision would remain same as that of a public
5. A reputed food product company based in India developed a food product for the international market and started exporting the same after getting necessary approvals. The company announced this achievement and also indicated that soon the product will be made available for the domestic consumers with almost same quality and health benefits. Accordingly, the company got its product approved by the domestic competent authority and launched the product in Indian market. The company could increase its market share over a period of time and earn substantial profit both domestically and internationally. However, the random sample test conducted by inspecting team found the product being sold domestically in variance with the approval obtained from the competent authority. On further investigation, it was also discovered that the food company was not only selling products which were not meeting the health standard of the country but also selling the rejected export products in the domestic market. This episode adversely affected the reputation and profitability of the food company.
(a) What action do you visualise should be taken by the competent authority against the food company for
violating the laid down domestic food standard and selling rejected export products in domestic market?
(b) What course of action is available with the food company to resolve the crisis and bring back its lost
(c) Examine the ethical dilemma involved in the case.
6. Pawan is working as an officer in the State Government for the last ten years. As a part of routine transfer, he was posted to another department. He joined in a new office along with five other colleagues. The head of the office was a senior officer conversant with the functioning of the office. As a part of general inquiry, Pawan gathered that his senior officer carries the reputation of being difficult and insensitive person having his
own disturbed family life. Initially, all seemed to go well. However, after some time Pawan felt that the senior officer was belittling him and at times unreasonable. Whatever suggestions given or views expressed by Pawan in the meetings were summarily rejected and the senior officer would express displeasure in the presence of others. It became a pattern of boss’ style of functioning to show him in bad light highlighting his hortcomings and humiliating publicly. It became apparent that though there were no serious work-related problems/shortcomings, the senior officer was always on one pretext or the other and would scold and shout at him. The continuous harassment and public criticism of Pawan resulted in loss of confidence, self-esteem and equanimity. Pawan realised that his relation with his senior officer was becoming more toxic and due to this, he felt perpetually tensed, anxious and stressed. His mind was occupied with negativity and caused him mental torture, anguish and agony. Eventually, it badly affected his personal and family life. He was no longer joyous, happy and contented even at home. Rather without any reason he would lose his temper with his wife and other family members. The family environment was no longer pleasant and congenial. His wife who was always supportive to him also became a victim of his negativity and hostile behaviour. Due to harassment and humiliation suffered by him in the office, comfort and happiness virtually vanished from his life. Thus, it damaged his physical and mental health.
(a) What are the options available with Pawan to cope with the situation?
(b) What approach Pawan should adopt for bringing peace, tranquility and congenial environment in the office
(c) As an outsider, what are your suggestions for both boss and subordinate to overcome this situation and for
improving the work performance, mental and emotional hygiene?
(d) In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for officers at various levels in the government
1. Rajesh Kumar is a senior public servant with a reputation of honesty and forthrightness, currently posted in the Finance Ministry as Head of the Budget Division. His department is presently busy organizing the budgetary support to the states, four of which are due to go to the polls within the financial year.
This year’s annual budget had allotted Rs. 8300 crores for the National Housing Scheme (NHS), a centrally sponsored social housing scheme for the weaker sections of society. `775 crores have been drawn for the NHS till June.
The Ministry of Commerce had long been pursuing a case for setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in a southern state to boost exports. After two years of detailed discussions between the centre and state, the Union Cabinet approved the project in August. The process was initiated to acquire the necessary land.
Eighteen months ago, a leading Public Sector Unit (PSU) had projected the need for setting up a large natural gas processing plant in a northern state for the regional gas grid. The required land is already in possession of the PSU. The gas grid is an essential component of the national energy security strategy. After three rounds of global bidding, the project was allotted to an MNC, M/s XYZ Hydrocarbons. The first tranche of payment to the MNC is scheduled to be made in December.
Finance Ministry was asked for a timely allocation of an additional Rs. 6000 crores for these two developmental projects. It was decided to recommend re-appropriation of this entire amount from the NHS allocation. The file was forwarded to the Budget Department for their comments and further processing. On studying the case file, Rajesh Kumar realized that this re-appropriation may cause inordinate delay in the execution of NHS, a project much publicized in the rallies of senior politicians. Correspondingly, non-availability of finances would cause financial loss in the SEZ and national embarrassment due to delayed payment in an international project.
Rajesh Kumar discussed the matter with his seniors. He was conveyed that this politically sensitive situation needs to be processed immediately. Rajesh Kumar realized that diversion of funds from the NHS could raise difficult questions for the government in the Parliament.
Discuss the following with reference to this case:
(a) Ethical issues involved in re-appropriation of funds from a welfare project to the developmental projects.
(b) Given the need for proper utilization of public funds, discuss the options available to Rajesh Kumar. Is
resigning a worthy option?
2. The Chairman of Bharat Missiles Ltd (BML) was watching a program on TV wherein the Prime Minister was addressing the nation on the necessity of developing a self-reliant India. He subconsciously nodded in agreement and smiled to himself as he mentally reviewed BML’s journey in the past two decades. BML had admirably progressed from producing first generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to designing and producing
state of the art ATGM weapon systems that would be the envy of any army. He sighed in reconciliation with his assumptions that the government would probably not alter the status quo of a ban on exports of military weaponry.
To his surprise, the very next day he got a telephone call from the Director General, Ministry of Defence, asking him to discuss the modalities of increasing BML production of ATGMs as there is a possibility of exporting the same to a friendly foreign country. The Director General wanted the Chairman to discuss the details with his staff at Delhi next week.
Two days later, at a press conference, the Defence Minister stated that he aims to double the current weapons export levels within five years. This would give an impetus of financing the development and manufacture of indigenous weapons in the country. He also stated that all indigenous arms manufacturing nations have a very good record in international arms trade.
(a) As Chairman of BML, what are your views on the following points?
(b) As an arms exporter of a responsible nation like India, what are the ethical issues involved in arms trade? List five ethical factors that would influence the decision to sell arms to foreign governments.
3. Rampura, a remote district inhabited by a tribal population, is marked by extreme backwardness and abject poverty. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local population, though it is primarily subsistence due to the very small landholdings. There is insignificant industrial or mining activity. Even the targeted welfare programs have inadequately benefited the tribal population. In this restrictive scenario, the youth has begun to migrate to other states to supplement the family income. Plight of minor girls is that their parents are persuaded by labour contractors to send them to work in the Bt Cotton farms of a nearby state. The soft fingers of the minor girls are well suited for plucking the cotton. The inadequate living and working conditions in these farms have caused serious health issues for the minor girls. NGOs in the districts of domicile and the cotton farms appear to be compromised and have not effectively espoused the twin issues of child labour and development of the area.
You are appointed as the District Collector of Rampura. Identify the ethical issues involved. Which specific steps will you initiate to ameliorate the conditions of minor girls of your district and to improve the overall economic scenario in the district?
4. You are a municipal commissioner of a large city, having the reputation of a very honest and upright officer. A huge multipurpose mall is under construction in your city in which a large number of daily wage earners are employed. One night, during monsoons, a big chunk of the roof collapsed causing instant death of four labourers including two minors. Many more were seriously injured requiring immediate medical attention. The mishap resulted in a big hue and cry, forcing the government to institute an enquiry.
Your preliminary enquiry has revealed a series of anomalies. The material used for the construction was of poor quality. Despite the approved building plans permitting only one basement, an additional basement has been constructed. This was overlooked during the periodic inspections by the building inspector of the municipal corporation. In your enquiry, you noticed that the construction of the mall was given the green signal despite
encroaching on areas earmarked for a green belt and a slip road in the Zonal Master Plan of the city. The permission to construct the mall was accorded by the previous Municipal Commissioner who is not only your senior and well known to you professionally, but also a good friend.
Prima facie, the case appears to be of a widespread nexus between officials of the Municipal Corporation and the builders. Your colleagues are putting pressure on you to go slow in the enquiry. The builder, who is rich and influential, happens to be a close relative of a powerful minister in the state cabinet. The builder is persuading you to hush up the matter, promising you a fortune to do so. He also hinted that if this matter is not resolved at the earliest in his favour; there is somebody in his office who is waiting to file a case against you under the POSH Act.
Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case. What are the options available to you in this situation? Explain your selected course of action.
5. Parmal is a small but underdeveloped district. It has rocky terrain that is not suitable for agriculture, though some subsistence agriculture is being done on small plots of land. The area receives adequate rainfall and has an irrigation canal flowing through it. Amria, its administrative centre, is a medium sized town. It houses a large district hospital, an Industrial Training Institute and some privately owned skill training centres. It has all the
facilities of a district headquarters. A trunk railway line passes approximately 50 kilometres from Amria. Its poor connectivity is a major reason for the absence of any major industry therein. The state government offers a 10 years tax holiday as an incentive to new industry.
In 2010 Anil, an industrialist, decided to take benefits to set up Amria Plastic Works (APW) in Noora village, about 20 km from Amria. While the factory was being built, Anil hired the required key labour and got them trained at the skill training centres at Amria. This act of his made the key personnel very loyal to APW.
APW started production in 2011 with the labour drawn fully from Noora village. The villagers were very happy to get employment near their homes and were motivated by the key personnel to meet the production targets with high quality. APW started making large profits, a sizable portion of which was used to improve the quality of life in Noora. By 2016, Noora could boast of a greener village and a renovated village temple. Anil liaised with the local MLA to increase the frequency of the bus services to Amria. The government also opened a primary health care centre and primary school at Noora in buildings constructed by APW. APW used its CSR funds to set up women’s self-help groups, subsidize primary education to the village children and procure an ambulance for use by its employees and the needy.
In 2019, there was a minor fire in APW. It was quickly extinguished as fire safety protocols were in place in the factory. Investigations revealed that the factory had been using electricity in excess of its authorized capacity. This was soon rectified. The next year, due to a nationwide lockdown, the requirement of production fell for four months. Anil decided that all employees would be paid regularly. He employed them to plant trees and improve the village habitat. APW had developed a reputation of high-quality production and a motivated workforce.
Critically analyse the story of APW and state the ethical issues involved. Do you consider APW as a role model for development of backward areas? Give reasons.
6. Migrant workers have always remained at the socio-economic margins of our society, silently serving as the instrumental labour force of urban economics. The pandemic has brought them into national focus.
On announcement of a countrywide lockdown, a very large number of migrant workers decided to move back from their places of employment to their native villages. The non-availability of transport created its own problems. Added to this was the fear of starvation and inconvenience to their families. This caused the migrant workers to demand wages and transport facilities for returning to their villages. Their mental agony was accentuated by multiple factors such as a sudden loss of livelihood, possibility of lack of food and inability to assist in harvesting their rabi crop due to not being able to reach home in time. Reports of inadequate response of some districts in providing the essential boarding and lodging arrangements along the way multiplied their fears.
You have learnt many lessons from this situation when you were tasked to oversee the functioning of the District Disaster Relief Force in your district. In your opinion what ethical issues arose in the current migrant crisis? What do you understand by an ethical care giving state? What assistance can the civil society render to mitigate the sufferings of migrants in similar situations?
1. Rakesh is a responsible district level officer, who enjoys the trust of his higher officials. Knowing his honesty, the government entrusted him with the responsibility of identifying the beneficiaries under a health care scheme meant for senior citizens.
The criteria to be a beneficiary are the following:
(a) 60 years of age or above.
(b) Belonging to a reserved community.
(c) Family income of less than 1 Lakh rupees per annum.
(d) Post-treatment prognosis is likely to be high to make a positive difference to the quality of life of the beneficiary.
One day, an old couple visited Rakesh’s office with their application. They have been the residents of a village in his district since their birth. The old man is diagnosed with a rare condition that causes obstruction in the large intestine. As a consequence, he has severe abdominal pain frequently that prevents him from doing any physical labour. The couple has no children to support them. The expert surgeon whom they contacted is willing to do the surgery without charging any fee. However, the couple will have to bear the cost of incidental charges, such as medicines, hospitalization, etc., to the tune of rupees one lakh. The couple fulfils all the criteria except criterion ‘b’. However, any financial aid would certainly make a significant difference in their quality of life.
How should Rakesh respond to the situation? (250 words)
2. As a senior officer in the Ministry, you have access to important policy decisions and upcoming big announcements such as road construction projects before they
are notified in the public domain. The Ministry is about to announce a mega road project for which the drawings are already in place. Sufficient care was taken by the planners to make use of the government land with the minimum land acquisition from private parties. Compensation rate for private parties was also finalized as per government rules. Care was also taken to minimize deforestation. Once the project is announced, it is expected that there will be a huge spurt in real estate prices in and around that area.
Meanwhile, the Minister concerned insists that you realign the road in such a way that it comes closer to his 20 acres farmhouse. He also suggests that he would facilitate the purchase of a big plot of land in your wife name at the prevailing rate which is very nominal, in and around the proposed mega road project. He also tries to convince you by saying that there is no harm in it as he is buying the land legally. He even promises to supplement your savings in case you do not have sufficient funds to buy the land. However, by the act of realignment, a lot of agricultural lands has to be acquired, thereby causing a considerable financial burden on the government, and also the displacement of the farmers. As if this is not enough, it will involve cutting down of a large number of trees denuding the area of its green cover.
Faced with this situation, what will you do? Critically examine various conflicts of interest and explain what your responsibilities are as a public servant. (250 words)
3. It is a State where prohibition is in force. You are recently appointed as the Super-intendent of Police of a district notorious for illicit distillation of liquor. The illicit liquor leads to many death, reported and unreported, and causes a major problem for the district authorities.
The approach till now had been to view it as a law and order problem and tackle it accordingly. Raids, arrest, police cases, and criminal trials – all these had only limited impact. The problem remains as serious as ever.
Your inspections show that the parts of the district where the distillation flourishes are economically, industrially and educationally backward. Agriculture is badly affected by poor irrigation facilities. Frequent clashes among communities gave boost to illicit distillation. No major initiatives had taken place in the past either from the government’s side or from social organizations to improve the lot of the people.
Which new approach will you adopt to bring the problem under control? (250 words)
4. A big corporate house is engaged in manufacturing industrial chemicals on a large scale. It proposes to set up an additional unit. Many states rejected its proposal due to the detrimental effect on the environment. But one state government acceded to the request and permitted the unit close to a city, brushing aside all opposition.
The unit was set up 10 years ago and was in full swing till recently. The pollution caused by the industrial effluents was affecting the land, water and crops in the area. It was also causing serious health problems to human beings and animals. This gave rise to a series of agitations demanding the closure of the plant. In a recent agitation thousands of people took part, creating a law and order problem necessitating stern police action. Following the public outcry, the State government ordered the closure of the factory.
The closure of the factory resulted in the unemployment of not only those workers who were engaged in the factory but also those who were working in the ancillary units. It also very badly affected those industry which depended on the chemicals manufactured by it.
As a senior officer entrusted with the responsibility of handling this issues, how are you going to address it? (250 words)
5. Dr X is a leading medical practitioner in a city. He has set up a charitable trust through which he plans to establish a super-speciality hospital in the city to cater to the medical needs of all sections of the society. Incidentally, that part of the State had been neglected over the years. The proposed hospital would be a boon for the region.
You are heading the tax investigation agency of that region. During an inspection of the doctor’s clinic, your officers have found out some major irregularities. A few of them are substantial which had resulted in considerable withholding of tax that should be paid by him now. The doctor is cooperative. He undertakes to pay the tax immediately.
However, there are certain other deficiencies in his tax compliance which are purely technical in nature. If these technical defaults are pursued by the agency, considerable time and energy of the doctor will be diverted to issues which are not so serious, urgent or even helpful to the tax collection process. Further, in all probability, it will hamper the prospects of the hospital coming up.
There are two options before you:
- Taking a broader view, ensure substantial tax compliance and ignore defaults that are merely technical in nature.
- Pursue the matter strictly and proceed on all fronts, whether substantial or merely technical.
As the head of the tax agency, which course of action will you opt and why? (250 words)
6. Edward Snowden, a computer expert and former CIA administrator, released confidential Government documents to the press about the existence of Government surveillance programmes. According to many legal experts and the US Government, his action violated the Espionage act of 1971, which identified the leak of State secret as an act of treason. Yet, despite the fact that he broke the law, Snowden argued that he had a moral obligation to act. He gave a justification for his “whistle blowing” by stating that he had a duty “to inform the public as to that which is done in there name and that which is done against them.”
According to Snowden, the Government’s violation of privacy had to be exposed regardless of legality since more substantive issues of social action and public morality were involved here. Many agreed with Snowden. Few argued that he broke the law and compromised national security, for which he should be held accountable.
Do you agree that Snowden’s actions were ethically justified even if legally prohibited? Why or why not? Make an argument by weighing the competing values in this case.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organization. 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 on 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 to the management?
Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendation.
4. 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?
5. 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.
6. 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.
1. A fresh engineering graduate gets a job in a prestigious chemical industry. She likes the work. The salary is also good. However, after a few months she accidentally discovers that a highly toxic waste is being secretly discharged into a river nearby. This is causing health problems to the villagers downstream who depend on the river for their water needs. She is perturbed and mentions her concern to her colleagues who have been with the company for longer periods. They advise her to keep quite as anyone who mentions the topic is summarily dismissed. She cannot risk losing her job as she is the sole beard-winner for her family and has to support her ailing parents and siblings. At first, she thinks that if her seniors are keeping quiet, why should she stick out her neck. But her conscience pricks her to do something to save the river and the people who depend upon it. At heart she feels that the advice of silence given by her friends is not correct though she cannot give reasons for it. She thinks you are a wise person and seeks your advice.
(a) What arguments can you advance to show her that keeping quiet is not morally right?
(b) What course of action would you advice her to adopt and why?
2. Land needed for mining, dams and other largescale projects is acquired mostly from Adivasis, hill dwellers and rural communities. The displaced persons are paid monetary compensation as per the legal provisions. However, the payment is often tardy. In any case, it cannot sustain the displaced families for long. These people do not possess marketable skills to engage in some other accusation. They end up as low paid migrant laborers. Moreover, the development goes to industries, industrialists and urban communities whereas the costs are passed on to these poor helpless people. This unjust distribution of costs and benefits is unethical.
Suppose you have been entrusted with the task of drafting a better compensation-cum-rehabilitation policy for such displaced persons, how would you approach the problem and what would be the main elements of your suggested policy?
3. 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 enquiries 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 violation of rules. But denying her the support would be cruel and inhuman.
(a) Can you think of a rational way to resolve this dilemma?
(b) Give your reasons for it.
4. You are a young, aspiring and sincere employee in a Government office working as an assistant to the director of your department. Since you have joined recently, you need to lean and progress. Luckily your superior is very kind and ready to train you for your job. He is a very intelligent and well-informed person having knowledge of various departments. In short, you respect your boss and are looking forward to lean a lot from him.
Since you have good tuning with the boss, he started depending on you. One day due to ill health he invited you at his place for finishing some urgent work. You reached his house and before you could ring the bell you heard shouting noises. You waited for a while. After entering the house the boss greeted you and explained the work. But you were constantly disturbed by the crying of a woman. At last, you inquired with the boss but his answer did not satisfy you.
Next day, you were compelled to inquire further in the office and found out that his behavior is very bad at home with his wife. He also beats up bit wife. His wife is not well educated and is a simple woman in comparison to her husband. you see that though your boss is a nice person in the office, he is engaged in domestic violence at home. In such a situation, you are left with the following options. Analyse each option with its consequences.
(a) Just ignore thinking about it because it is their personal matter.
(b) Repost the case to the appropriate authority.
(c) Your own innovative approach towards situation.
5. ABC Ltd. is a large transnational company having diversified business activities with a huge shareholder base. The company is continuously expanding the generating employment. The company, in its expansion and diversification programme, decides to establish a new plant at Vikaspuri, an area which is underdeveloped. The new plant is designed to use energy efficient technology that will help the company to save production cost by 20%. The company’s decision goes well with the Government policy of attracting investment to develop such underdeveloped regions. The government has also announced tax holiday for five years for the companies that invest in underdeveloped areas. However, the new plant may bring chaos for the inhabitants of Vikaspuri region, which is otherwise tranquil. The new plant may result in increased cost of living, aliens migrating to the region, disturbing the social and economic order. The company sensing the possible protest tried to educate the people of Vikaspuri region and public in general that how its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy would help overcome the likely difficulties of the residents of Vikaspuri region. In spite of this the protests begin and some of the residents decided to approach the judiciary as their plea before the Government did not yield any result.
(a) Identify the issues involved in the case.
(b) What can be suggested to satisfy the company’s goal and to address the residents’ concern?
6. Saraswati was a successful IT professional in USA. Moved by patriotic sense of doing something for the country she returned to India. Together with some other like-minded friends, she formed an NGO to build a school for a poor rural community.The objective of the school was to provide the best quality modern education at a nominal cost. She soon discovered that she has to seek permission from a number of Government agencies. The rules and procedures were quite confusing and cumbersome. What frustrated her most were delays, callous attitude of officials and constant demand for bribes. Her experience and the experience of many others like her have deterred people from taking up social service projects.
A measure of Government control over voluntary social work is necessary. But it should not be exercised in a coercive a corrupt manner. What measures can you suggest to ensure that due control is exercised but well meaning, honest NGO efforts are not thwarted?
1. 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 gatecrashed 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 favours 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.
2. 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 of midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down the school.
(a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right ambience.
(b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambience for accepting such changes?
3. One of the scientists working in the R & D laboratory of a major pharmaceutical company discovers that one of the company’s best selling veterinary drugs, B has the potential to cure a currently incurable liver disease that is 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 f 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—
(a) identify the various actions that you could take;
(b) evaluate the pros and cons of each of your actions.
4. 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 casualties. 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 neighbouring State and prisoners in jail.
As a civil services officer of the State, what would be the order in which you would rescue these people and why? Give justifications.
5. You are heading a district administration in a particular department. Your senior officer 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 parties.
(b) Some of the options for action available to you are listed below. Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the options:
- You can await the visit of the superior officer and let him take a decision.
- You can seek his advice in writing or on phone.
- You can consult your predecessor/colleagues, etc., and then decide what to do.
- 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?
6. 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 of 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 of 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.
(a) What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?
(b) How would you manage and mould patriarchic attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter-generational relations?
1. Now-a-days, there is an increasing thrust on economic development all around the globe. At the same time, there is also an increasing concern about environmental degradation caused by development. Many a time, we face a direct conflict between developmental activity and environmental quality. It is neither feasible to stop or curtail the developmental process, nor it is advisable to keep degrading the environment, as it threatens our very survival.
Discuss some feasible strategies which could be adopted to eliminate this conflict and which could lead to sustainable development.
2. Suppose one of your close friends, who is also aspiring for civil services, comes to you for discussing some of the issues related to ethical conduct in public service. He raises the following points:
- In the present times, when unethical environment is quite prevalent, individual attempts to stick to ethical principles may cause a lot of problems in one's career. It may also cause hardship to the family members as well as risk to one's life. Why should we not be pragmatic and follow the path of least resistance, and be happy with doing whatever good we can?
- When so many people are adopting wrong means and are grossly harming the system, what difference would it make if only a small minority tries to be ethical? They are going to be rather ineffective and are bound to get frustrated.
- If we become fussy about ethical considerations, will it not hamper the economic progress of our country? After all, in the present age of high competition, we cannot afford to be left behind in the race of development.
- It is understandable that we should not get involved in grossly unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gratifications and doing small favours increases everybody's motivation. It also makes the system more efficient. What is wrong in adopting such practices?
Critically analyze the above viewpoints. On the basis of this analysis, what will be your advice to your friend?
3. You are a no-nonsense, honest officer. You have been transferred to a remote district to head a department that is notorious for its inefficiency and callousness. You find that the main cause of the poor state of affairs is the indiscipline of a section of employees. They do not work themselves and also disrupt the working of others. You first warned the troublemakers to mend their ways or else face disciplinary action. When the warning had little effect, you issued a show cause notice to the ringleaders. As a retaliatory measure, these troublemakers instigated a woman employee amongst them to file a complaint of sexual harassment against you with the Women's Commission. The Commission promptly seeks your explanation. The matter is also publicized in the' media to embarrass you further. Some of the options to handle this situation could be as follows:
- Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action.
- Ignore the Commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action.
- Brief your higher-ups seek directions from them and act accordingly.
Suggest any other possible option(s). Evaluate all of them and suggest the best course of action, giving your reasons for it.
4. (i) Suppose you are the CEO of a company that manufactures specialized electronic equipment used by a government department. You have submitted your bid for the supply of this equipment to the department. Both the quality and cost of your offer are better than those of the competitors. Yet the concerned officer is demanding a hefty bribe for approving the tender. Getting the order is important both for you and for your company. Not getting the order would mean closing a production line. It may ay also affect your own career. However, as a value-conscious person, you do not want to give bribe.
(ii) Valid arguments can be advanced both for giving the bribe and getting the order, and for refusing to pay the bribe and risking the loss of the order. What those arguments could be? Could there be any better way to get out of this dilemma? If so, outline the main elements of this third way, pointing out its merits.
5. Rameshwar successfully cleared the prestigious civil services examination and was excited about the opportunity that he would get through the civil services to serve the country. However, soon after joining the services, he realized that things are not as rosy as he had imagined.
He found a number of malpractices prevailing in the department assigned to him. For example, funds under various schemes and grants were being misapproved. The official facilities were frequently being used for personal needs by the officers and staff. After sometime, he noticed that the process of recruiting the staff was also not up to the mark. Prospective candidates were required to write an examination in which a lot of cheating was going on. Some candidates were provided external help in the examination. Rameshwar brought these incidents to the notice of his seniors. However, he was advised to keep his eyes, ears and mouth shut and ignore all these things which were taking place with the connivance of the higher-ups. Rameshwar felt highly disillusioned and uncomfortable. He comes to you seeking your advice.
Indicate various options that you think are available in this situation. How would you help him to evaluate these options and choose the most appropriate path to be adopted?
6. In our country, the migration of rural people to towns and cities is increasing drastically. This is causing serious problems both in the rural as well as in the urban areas. In fact, things are becoming really unmanageable. Can you analyze this problem in detail and indicate not only the socio-economic but also the emotional and attitudinal factors responsible for this problem? Also, distinctly bring out why:
(a) Educated rural youth are trying to shift to urban areas;
(b) Landless poor peiople are migrating to urban slums;
(c) Even some farmers are selling off their land and trying to settle in urban areas taking up petty jobs.
What feasible steps can you suggest which will be effective in controlling this serious problem of our country?
1. A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other employees also who were party to these decisions. Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.
The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but this particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed, turned out to be wrong. He comes to you for advice.
The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the options:
The PIO could refer the matter to his superior officer and seek his advice and act strictly in accordance with the advice, even though he is not completely in agreement with the advice of the superior.
The PIO could proceed on leave and leave the matter to be dealt by his successor in office or request for transfer of the application to another PIO.
The PIO could weigh the consequences of disclosing the information truthfully, including the effect on his career, and reply in a manner that would not place him or his career in jeopardy, but at the same time a little compromise can be made on the contents of the information.
The PIO could consult his other colleagues who are party to the decision and take action as per their advice.
Also please indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) what you would like to advise, giving proper reasons.
2. You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards completion, the Junior Engineer have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications. However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunae which, in your opinion, are likely to affect the safety of the flyover. Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area.
When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the project for completion in time. However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should not be left unaddressed. What will you do in such a situation?
Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons.
Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.
Make exhaustive report of the situation bringing out all facts and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and seek for written orders from the Chief Engineer.
Call for explanation from the Junior Engineers and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.
Highlight the issue so that it reaches superiors above the Chief Engineer.
Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report sick.
3. So far as child labor norms for hazardous industries like firecrackers industry are concerned, International Labour Organization (ILO) has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India, however, this age is 14 years. The units in industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and non-registered entities. One typical unit is household based work
Though the law is clear on the use of child labour employment norms in registered/ non-registered units, it does not include household based works. Household based work means children working under the supervision of their parents/relative. To evade child labor norms, several units project themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside.
Needless to say that employing children saves the costs for these units leading to higher profits to the owner. On your visit to one of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has about 10-15 children below 14 years of age. The owner tells you that in his household-based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that several children smirk, when the owner tells you this. On deeper enquiry, you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to satisfactorily establish their relationship with each other.
(a) bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.
(b) What would be your reaction after your above visit?
4. You are heading a leading technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an interview panel shortly under your chairmanship for selection of the post of professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the Personal Secretary (PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your intervention in favor of the selection of a close relative of the functionary for this post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the long pending and urgent proposal of our institute for grant of funds for modernization, which are awaiting the functionary’s approval. He assures you that he would get these proposals cleared.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.
5. As a senior officer in the Finance Ministry, you have access to some confidential and crucial information about policy decisions that the Government is about to announce.
These decisions are likely to have farreaching impact on the housing and construction industry. If the builders have access to this information beforehand, they can make huge profits. One of the builders has done a lot of quality work for the Government and is known to be close to your immediate superior, who asks you to disclose this information to the said builder.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options which you would adopt, giving reasons.
6. You are the Executive Director of an upcoming Infotech Company which is making a name for itself in the market. Mr. A, who is a star performer, is heading the marketing team. In a short period of one year, he has helped in doubling the revenues as well as creating a high brand equity for the company so much so that you are thinking of promoting him.
However, you have been receiving information from many corners about his attitude towards the female colleagues; particularly his habit of making loose comments on women. In addition, he regularly sends indecent SMS’ to all the team members including his female colleagues. One day, late in the evening, Mrs. X, who is one of Mr. A’s Team members, comes you visibly disturbed. She complains against the continued misconduct of Mr. A, who has been making undesirable advances towards her and has even tried to touch her inappropriately in his cabin. She tenders her resignation and leaves your office.
(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options you would adopt, giving reasons.