3 Solved Questions with Answers
1. Conflict of interest in the public sector arises when
(a) official duties, (b) public interest, and (c) personal interest
are taking priority one above the other.
sHow can this conflict in administration be resolved? Describe with an example. (2017)
For an administrator, a conflict of interest situation arises when there is
actualor apparent conflict between public duty and private interest of a public official. In such a situation official's private interest could improperly influence the performance of official duties.
In recent past a beedi manufacturer from Uttar Pradesh was on a Parliamentary Committee, Instead of recusing himself from the proceedings of the committee because of direct conflict of interest, he made a forceful plea against the warming and influenced the panel to take a decision which
favouredthe tobacco industry. Clearlysuch conflict of interest interferes with unbiased public policy making and will not be based on objectivity.
Conflict of interest reduces public trust and confidence in
integrityand impartiality of public functionaries. To deal with such a scenario the person who is found involved in such a conflict first need to identify the situation. All financial and potentially relevant non-financial relationships thus identified needto be disclosed to appropriateauthority. For exampleit is well acceptednorm for judges to opt out hearing of a case where his/her family members are involved.
Various oversight bodies, judicial institutions and commissions of
enquirycould also be constituted for identification of any conflict of interest involved. We also need to move beyond treating conflict of interest as meremoral issue and should also take into perspective the legal angle. The priority must be to frame a modern law relating to conflict of interest, alongthe lines of what exists in the statute of the other countries like the United States.
2. (b). “Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption”. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.
Transparency International regards corruption as abuse of power which erodes the fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. A distrustful or apathetic public can then become yet another hurdle to challenging corruption.
All civil servants are entrusted with public duty for the welfare of the masses. Negligence to the public duty cost masses by loss of their freedom, health, education, rights and even life sometimes, and hence, nonperformance of duty by a public servant is also a form of corruption. For example: A doctor not reaching hospital on time threatens the life of the patients, a teacher not performing his duty not only endangers the future of children but of society as a whole and a police officers not doing what is mandated in riotous situation leads to loss of life.
Corruption amounts to breach of faith reposed by the public in civil servant and violation of the rights of individuals. It presents a roadblock to effective administration, law and order, failure to achievement of objectives of welfare policies and eventually guarantee of realisation of constitutional goals like social, economic and political justice.
Non-performance of duty by public servants for which they are morally, legally and constitutionally mandated to do, is a form of corruption as the Prevention to the Corruption Act considers non-performance of public duty as an offence.
Therefore, it is essential for every civil servant to perform their duty as mandated in order to uphold the constitutional values and become a vehicle for change in the life of masses, so that common public can enjoy what they are entitled to.
4. (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real life example. (2017)
Integrity means adopting similar standards or moral principles in similar situations across time and interested parties. In other
wordsit means to be honest and consistent in thoughts, speech andaction. A man of integrity is never influenced by temptations and pressures from outside and would only respond to his conscience.
Integrity is a four-step process: keeping in mind the aim/ purpose of one’s action or inaction and acting consistently with that choice—even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so; choosing the right course of conduct in conformity with moral principles; openly declaring one’s intentions or where one stands; and results of one’s actions.
In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to 27 years in prison at Robben Island. He accepted it with dignity. He knew that overthrowing apartheid called for struggle and sacrifice, and was prepared for the long walk to freedom.
Ten thousand days in prison failed to break Mandela and he refused to compromise on his beliefs or leave the struggle midway.