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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 DECEMBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 DECEMBER 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


Topic – changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) Analyze the reasons behind the extra cold winters in parts of north India this year.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

This year has witnessed some of the lowest temperatures recorded in last two decades. India has seen severe cold in its northern states. It is therefore essential to examine the reasons behind the same.

Directive word

Analyze-here we  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the record low temperatures witnessed in the winter of this year across the northern states of India and bring out the reasons behind it, and any related phenomena.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about some of the lowest temperatures recorded this year’s winters.

Body-

Discuss as to why the temperatures are so low this time. E.g

  • Cold wave conditions form due to lack of western disturbances which are are extratropical storms that mostly appear during the winter months. They are called extratropical storms because they originate outside the tropics. They originate somewhere near the mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean and are laden with moisture. Western disturbances create precipitation and bring down day temperatures, but night temperatures remain steady.
  • They change the wind patterns in the northern parts of India. Presence of an active western disturbance cold winds from the Himalayas continue to blow in to the northern parts of India thereby allowing the prevailing cold conditions to continue and intensify.
  • Once the western disturbances pass, day temperatures increase but night temperatures dip significantly.   Parts of the plains of north-west, central and west India encounter cold wave, fog and ground frost conditions etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • North India continues to reel under a cold wave with temperatures dipping further in many locations. Various parts of the Kashmir Valley snow and the summer capital Srinagar recorded a temperature of minus 7.7 degree Celsius.

Reasons behind extra cold winters in north India :-

  • Wind direction:-
    • Winter temperature in Delhi and for the whole of northwest India is governed primarily by the wind direction, which, in turn, is dependent on western disturbances.
    • The winds continue to blow in the same direction unless they are disturbed by some western disturbance. 
  • Western disturbances:-
    • This dip is attributed to cold wave conditions prevailing over north-west India. Cold wave conditions form due to lack of western disturbances.
    • Western disturbances create precipitation and bring down day temperatures, but night temperatures remain steady.
    • They change the wind patterns in the northern parts of India. Without the presence of an active western disturbance cold winds from the Himalayas continue to blow in to the northern parts of India thereby allowing the prevailing cold conditions to continue and intensify.
  • Heavy snowfall :-
    • According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy rain or snow and hailstorm are likely to occur at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. With this isolated to scattered rainfall is also likely over parts of northwest India during next 48 hours.
    • Chances are that it is to intensify cold wave in north India. The snowfall in the hilly areas has increased the icy winds in parts of North India.
  • Due to global warming and climate change there is significant impact on the Arctic pole and the warmer the Arctic pole the impact on the southern latitudes is drastic with more chilly winters.
  • Also polar vertex is impacted leading to Arctic winds moving to impact much of the northern hemisphere.
  • Pollution has further intensified the cold wave as the air is trapped due to temperature inversion..
  • Other common factors like Geography of the region i.e.. the region lacks moderating influence of sea being landlocked from all sides compared to its southern counterpart.

Way forward:-

  • There is a need for the people to follow the latest NDMA guidelines regarding precautions to be taken during this cold wave.
  • As cold wave is already leading to many deaths the vulnerable people for instance homeless, old people, children etc need to be adequately taken care of.

General Studies – 2


Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating
to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) The government has recently rolled out a national strategy for artificial intelligence (AI) and identified five sectors (health care, agriculture, education, infrastructure and transportation) for  GBits adoption. Examine the usefulness of AI for these sectors? (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

The government including the prime minister has placed much great emphasis on the transformative potential of AI and consequently has rolled out the National strategy for AI targeting sectors as highlighted in the question above. Understanding the impact of AI in these sectors is thus important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the National strategy for AI in the introduction and thereafter bring out how AI can be useful in the sectors as highlighted in the question.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain about AI and the National strategy for AI.

Body

  • Discuss about how AI can help in the 5 sector
    • Health – AI-based tools to detect outbreaks ahead of time and facilitate accurate and efficient intervention strategies. In India, a similar predictive tool and an underlying system that can integrate data from hospitals, can predict, stop and take preemptive measures for future surveillance, safety and follow up in case of outbreaks of dengue or Nipah virus.
    • Agriculture – predicting weather successfully and, therefore guidance, in what to grow and what price they can expect. Additionally, such tools can help farmers monitor soil health, mine historical weather data including satellite imagery, predict the price of agricultural products and maintain supply-chain efficiency.
    • Education – introduction of tutoring apps, which use data to provide better support and information for students, have replaced the dependency of students on their parents and teachers for guidance and tuitions. Etc

Conclusion – based on the usefulness of AI in the sectors give an overview of how useful AI can be for the country.

National strategy for artificial intelligence :-

  • The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence published by NITI Aayog narrates the different pain points and key challenges involved in implementing Artificial Intelligence in India. It has also tried to touch upon many sectors where AI can play a significant role in bringing India to the forefront of AI revolution.

Artificial intelligence and healthcare :-

  • With AI nation-wide uniform and centralised data-deposition system is possible. This can be incorporated under the recently announced National Health Policy, 2017 and has the potential to significantly change patient diagnosis and treatment, and aid in preventive health management.
  • For example, using mobile phones with a camera, patients in villages can send their eye images to ophthalmologists who can confirm the diagnosis and recommend, if required, immediate clinical intervention.

Artificial intelligence and education :-

  • It can also improve access and quality of education.
  • To tackle school dropout, the Andhra Pradesh government has partnered Microsoft to identify   those likely to drop out.

Artificial intelligence and agriculture:-

  • Helps in predicting weather successfully and, therefore guidance, in what to grow and what price they can expect.
  • It can help farmers monitor soil health, mine historical weather data including satellite imagery, predict the price of agricultural products and maintain supply-chain efficiency.
  • AI has real potential to aid farmers in selecting the right animals for breeding and, thereby, increasing milk, egg, and meat production.
  • NITI has partnered IBM to develop AI-enabled yield-prediction and real-time advisory to the farmer on productivity, pest-warning, etc, using data gathered from remote-sensing satellites, soil health cards, IMD etc

Artificial intelligence and infrastructure and transportation:-

  • It can help build efficient infrastructure for the increasing urban population. 
  • Develop smarter and safer modes of transportation to address traffic and congestion problems. 
  • AI could create jobs in the country that would be higher than the number of jobs becoming redundant due to innovation in technology.

Concerns / Challenges 

  • Lack of broad based expertise in research and application of AI. 
  • Absence of access to intelligent data. 
  • High resource cost.
  • Low awareness for adoption of the technology.
  • Privacy and security issues. 
  • Shortage of skilled manpower. 
  • Indian technical universities are not doing enough to strengthen the AI ecosystem unlike their global counterparts.

Way forward:-

  • The government must put in place proper checks and balances against AI’s misuse through legally enforceable and long-term policy guidelines, and a regulatory framework.
  • By making national data centres for sensitive human data with a robust policy on data collection, use, inference, privacy, release and security, AI-based tools can enhance the growth and access to technology related to patient data and prevent misuse of personal data by private individuals, government and corporations.
  • The strategy should strive to leverage AI for economic growth, social development and inclusive 
  • To truly harness AI’s transformative potential, India must address its lack of expertise in AI research and application. 
  • The government must address privacy and data security concerns on a war-footing. 
  • India must foster AI innovations and set up AI-friendly infrastructure to prepare India’s job and skill markets for AI-based future.
  • Banks may look at using AI for enhancing customer experience, security, and risk management.

Topic – Statutory, regulatory and quasi-judicial bodies

3) Explain the role of SFIO? Examine what role it can play in averting crises such as one at IL&FS?(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question

The article discusses about the issues with auditing practices at IL&FS and why it is necessary for the SFIO to look into the matter. UPSC in the past has focussed on the role of such bodies and this article provides some interesting insights into the problems associated with IL&FS and role of SFIO.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the role of SFIO in detail. Thereafter, it expects us to explain the problem with auditing at IL&FS and how SFIO can play a role in ensuring that such issues are not repeated again. Finally, we need to provide a way forward.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the IL&FS crisis.

Body

  • Explain that the government has told the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that it plans to reopen the accounts of IL&FS since it suspects large auditor lapses, to be conducted by SFIO
  • Explain the role of SFIO
    • The SFIO is a fraud investigating agency in India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
    • The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the coordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation
  • Discuss the issue in IL&FS regarding auditing which the SFIO has to investigate and highlight what would be the impact of these investigations.

Conclusion – Give your view on the role of SFIO and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • The collapse of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) highlights India’s biggest economic problem how to finance large, necessary investments needed for sustained economic growth.
  • IL&FS is an over 30-year-old infrastructure lending giant that claims to have helped develop and finance projects worth $25 billion in Asia’s fastest-growing economy.
  • The company recently defaulted on a few payments, which means it has run out of cash. It has over Rs 91,000 crore in debt at the consolidated level.
  • The financial scams and corporate frauds saw a huge rise after the liberalisation of the economy and it was time for the lawmakers to deter such frauds which were causing a loss of government and public money. It became necessary to re-evaluate and implement stringent provisions to tackle Corporate Fraud which led to formation of SFIO.

Role of SFIO :-

  • The Government in the backdrop of major failure of non-banking financial institutions, phenomenon of vanishing companies, plantation companies and the recent stock market scam had decided to set up Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
  • SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization to investigate corporate frauds. The Organization has been established and it has started functioning since 2003.
  • SFIO is a organization under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
  • When a case has already been assigned to the SFIO no other agency of the government has the authority to proceed to investigate an offence which is committed under this Act and the same is to be transferred to the SFIO.
    • The company and its officers and employees, who are or have been in the employment of the company, shall be responsible to provide all information, explanation, documents and assistance to the investigating officer as he may require for the conduct of the investigation.
  • Powers to Arrest :-
    • As per the notification by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in 2017 powers of arrest have also been bestowed upon by the government.
    • Although the powers of arrest have been made limited to the Director, Additional Director and Assistant Director who during the investigation of a serious fraud have a reason to believe that a person has committed an offence under Section 212, then the person may be arrested on the prior written approval of the Director of SFIO.
    • In a case of investigation of a foreign company or a government company, the Director has a reason to believe to arrest a person, a prior approval of the Central Government is necessary.
    • On completion of the investigation, SFIO has to submit the investigation report to the Central Government and the copy of the report shall be sent to any person who demands the same.
    • On receipt of the report, the Government may direct the SFIO to initiate prosecution against the company, employees or officers or any person connected with the affairs of the company.
  • The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the coordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

IL&FS issue :-

  • Due to short term borrowing which has been used for long term lending, there has been an asset liability mismatch. Due to this, IL&FS has defaulted on its payments to borrowers. This has led to the liquidity crunch in the market.
  • A large part of the problem stems from the fact that the Indian law allows too many layers of subsidiaries; IL&FS had 347 entities that were held via four levels of step-down subsidiaries and there were 142 entities at Level 4. The modus operandi seems to have been to keep the parent accounts clean while keeping the debt in the subsidiaries. 

How SFIO can avert cases such as IL&FS :-

  • The data of the SFIO shows that they have probed nearly 200 cases in the last few years and nearly 100 of the cases came under the scanner. 
  • SFIO is performing well to find out the corporate frauds, during recent times which reflects the  good corporate governance in  our country.
  • The probe by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) indicated that the accounts were fraudulent. The SFIO probe, and the reopening of accounts will also help find if there was siphoning off of funds

Limitations Faced By SFIO :-

  • Despite giving so many powers by the Act, SFIO still has to face a lot of hurdles and challenges while performing their functions some of them are:-
  • Measures not pre-emptive in nature
  • Dependence on Central Government for accountability and intimation of an investigation.
  • The inadequacy of resources and manpower.

Way forward :-

  • Lessons from UK :-
    • In U.K., the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is an independent department which investigates and also prosecutes serious and complex fraud and corruption cases. SFO is the principal enforcer of new  UK bribery Act, 2010 which  has been designed to prevent fraud and to encourage good corporate governance in that country.
    • Therefore, it is suggested that, in India,  SFIO should also be  given power of, at  least, imposing penalties on  such company involved in fraud. This will provide speedy relief to investors and also reduce the burden of the court, up to certain extent.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian economy : issues

4) In view of some of the recent steps taken by the government, critically examine whether the government is micromanaging startups and e-commerce players?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article delves deep into some of the recent steps taken by the government and its agencies with respect to start ups and e-commerce players. The key question here is whether these steps amount to micromanagement on the part of the government and will negatively affect startups and e-commerce players. The question expects you to form an opinion on these issues.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the step taken by the government with respect to startups and e-commerce players and thereafter, examine the pros and cons of it. We need to discuss whether these steps are required in order to prevent money laundering and protecting domestic e-Commerce investors or whether these steps amount to micromanagement which would negatively impact these sectors. We need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that the government and its agencies have taken certain steps which has had sizeable impact on start ups and e-commerce players.

Body

  • Explain the recent steps taken by the government
    • start-ups started receiving tax notices under Section 56 (2) (vii, b) of the Income Tax Act, which quickly became known as the ‘angel tax’. Simply put, tax authorities argued that any company that raises capital that is above its fair-market value is actually earning income from that investment. They demanded tax at the maximum marginal rate on the difference between the fair market value (as determined by the taxman and not the investors who actually put in the money) and the price at which the shares were issued.
    • in a press note titled ‘Review of foreign direct investment in e-commerce’, the government imposed a fresh set of curbs on e-commerce players. Any entity where an e-commerce firm has an equity stake is now barred from selling on that platform. Any e-commerce entity vendor’s inventory will be deemed to be controlled by the e-commerce player if more than 25% of its purchases are from the latter or related firms. In that case, the e-commerce firm becomes inventory-based, where FDI isn’t allowed.
  • Discuss the impact of these steps taken by the government. You need to debate from both sides highlight the pros and cons
    • Overvaluation of startups can indeed be used for money laundering. However, to treat all legitimate venture funding as money laundering and to attempt to tax it will negatively affect the ability of these startups to raise capital especially in their formative years etc

Conclusion – give a fair and balanced opinion based on all the arguments made in your answer and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of Recently government and its agencies have taken certain steps which has had sizeable impact on start ups and e-commerce players.

Steps taken by the government :-

  • Earlier this year, start-ups started receiving tax notices under Section 56 (2) (vii, b) of the Income Tax Act, which quickly became known as the ‘angel tax’. 
  • Any entity where an e-commerce firm has an equity stake is now barred from selling on that platform.
  • Any e-commerce entity vendor’s inventory will be deemed to be controlled by the e-commerce player if more than 25% of its purchases are from the latter or related firms. In that case, the e-commerce firm becomes inventory-based, where FDI isn’t allowed.
  • The government also introduced a sunset clause on differential pricing and went so far as to disallow special ‘exclusive’ marketing deals with manufacturers for products launched exclusively on an e-commerce platform.
  • The policy also prohibits ecommerce platforms from giving any preferential treatment to any supplier.
  • Ecommerce marketplaces or entities in which they have direct or indirect equity participation or shared control have to provide services to vendors on the platform at arm’s length and in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

Government’s monitoring is impacting e-commerce players and Startups adversely :-

  • These measures are likely to kill investor interest in Indian start-ups and effectively choke the e-commerce industry.
  • Cashbacks, exclusive sales, brand launches, preferential services or programmes such as Amazon Prime and Flipkart Plus could run into difficulties under the new dispensation that seeks to ensure that these platforms are truly impartial marketplaces.
  • Entities such as Cloudtail, in which Amazon has a stake, will likely not be able to sell on the platform. 
  • Deep discounts may disappear for customers and big online sales may lose allure.
  • Some of the changes are prescriptive and can be difficult to monitor, especially for small and mid-size ecommerce players.
  • The move should put the exclusive partnerships with different brands in trouble and impact their overall sales and turnover.
  • This move could potentially impact many smartphone and electronic brands that work exclusively with different e commerce companies.
  • Overvaluation of startups can indeed be used for money laundering. However, to treat all legitimate venture funding as money laundering and to attempt to tax it will negatively affect the ability of these startups to raise capital especially in their formative years etc.

No :-

  • The move should mollify brick-and-mortar retailers, which have had a longstanding grievance against ecommerce sites for offering discounts to win over customers.
  • This policy changes will create a fair market competition and will provide a level playing field for one and all to adopt e commerce as another business model.
  • Both offline and online traders will now be able to sell their products on E-commerce platforms in a transparent manner.

Way forward :-

  • There is a need for a regulatory authority to ensure the policies are strictly implemented.
  • Also multiple stakeholders opinion need to be considered before the implementation of such policy.

General Studies – 4


Topic– Part of static series under the heading -Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service

5) Examine how a neutral bureaucracy can take India forward on the path envisaged by our founding fathers?(250 words)

Epw

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what is meant by neutral bureaucracy as opposed to committed bureaucracy and thereafter, using illustrations, explain how a neutral bureaucracy can take India closer to the ideals as enshrined in the constitution.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the recent incident where a group of civil servants post retirement have written a letter in public domain flagging certain issues with governance.

Body

  • Explain what civil services neutrality is and how it differs from committed bureaucracy
  • Explain the advantages of having civil services neutrality and how it results in better upholding of the principles enshrined in the constitution.
  • Give your view on the role played by retired bureaucrats in flagging issues with governance and how officers who are in service should react in such situations.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on the issue and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • Recently a group of civil servants post retirement have written a letter in public domain flagging certain issues with governance.

Civil service neutrality:-

  • Neutrality in Indian Civil Services means the civil servants should execute duties in accordance to laws and regulations without prejudice against or preferential treatment towards any groups or individuals. 
  • While neutrality and commitment can go together, and indeed reinforce each other if properly oriented, they can also become antithetical if not so oriented. Thus, if bureaucrats become committed to one political party, they cannot remain neutral.
  • However, commitment to human and constitutional values and national objectives, to service of the people, and to professional ethics and etiquette, is not antithetical to neutrality between classes, cultural groups and political parties. Indeed, commitment and neutrality reinforce each other if they are of the right type.

How can bureaucracy ensure neutrality  :-

  • At the stage of policy formulation, the role of civil servants is to render free and frank advice which should not be coloured by any political considerations.
  • Once a policy or programme has been approved by the elected government, it is the duty of the civil servant to faithfully and enthusiastically see to its implementation.
  • There is a need for public officials to play an active role in at least voicing their concerns through interrogating the erring government .
    • Such a role is crucial not only to bring in relief to its very credibility, but it also suggests the role particularly for a socially sympathetic bureaucracy to adopt administrative practices so as to give some relief to those social groups who continue to reel under the constant fear of mob lynching.

Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6) The top echelons of public services in most Westminster countries now face a real pressure to be  partisan. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion as to whether or not top echelons of public services in most Westminster countries now face a real pressure to be  partisan. It also wants us to write in detail as to why it is necessary for public servants to be impartisan.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  meaning of being impartisan. E.g To carry out tasks or a mission in a manner impartial to Party Politics, loyalties, advantage or agenda.

Body-

Discuss about the Westminster form of government with a shifting political setup and a permanent bureaucracy and discuss the problems of partisanship faced by public servants in such arrangements. E.g

  • An increased emphasis on transparency and accountability has seen senior public servants face intense public questioning from parliamentary committees one hand and press on the another.
  • Political masters inappropriately pressurize public servants to promote and defend government policies.
  • The capacity of public servants to act as custodians of proper practice has broken down beginning with the developments in new public management, when the established balance of power between the political and bureaucratic executive was altered in favour of politicians etc.
  • Increasing aggressiveness of the media, who seek out scandals, happily identify public servants, and routinely accuse them of wrongdoing. This pressure has been compounded by the steady concentration of power in the Prime Minister, meaning the only way to survive and thrive at senior levels  of public services is to demonstrate and display personal loyalty to the PM by championing the government’s policy agenda and fending off persistent media criticism.
  • Erosion of institutions and rise in political advantages associated with partisanship etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background :-

  • Westminster tradition focuses on permanent, “impartially loyal” public services. The idea of a permanent civil service is a cornerstone of Westminster governance. 
  • Unlike governments that come and go, public services are supposed to endure, providing a source of continuity, reflective experience and stability.
  • The governance environment of the twenty-first century has changed in ways that are drawing the once secretive mandarins of Westminster countries into the public eye. 

Top echelons of public service now face a real pressure to be partisan:-

  • An increased emphasis on transparency and accountability has seen senior public servants face intense public questioning from parliamentary committees 
  • Politicians stand  accused of inappropriately pressuring public servants to promote and defend government  policies.
  • Senior officials are taking on more public speaking roles that nowadays, senior civil servants speak in public almost as often as ministers.
  • Critics suggest these conditions undermine the capacity and willingness of senior public servants to manage the enduring Westminster tension between serving elected governments and remaining non- partisan.
  • The capacity of public servants to act as custodians of proper practice has broken down beginning with the developments in new public management, when the established balance of power between the political and bureaucratic executive was altered in favour of politicians etc.
  • Increasing aggressiveness of the media, who seek out scandals, happily identify public servants, and routinely accuse them of wrongdoing.
    • This pressure has been compounded by the steady concentration of power in the Prime Minister, meaning the only way to survive and thrive at senior levels  of public services is to demonstrate and display personal loyalty to the PM by championing the government’s policy agenda and fending off persistent media criticism.
  • Erosion of institutions and rise in political advantages associated with partisanship etc.

Despite the seriousness of these alleged developments, there is a relative dearth of substantial empirical evidence to back up claims of promiscuous partisanship and a collapse of administrative impartiality:-

  • In particular, there is a lack of evidence from public servants themselves on whether they recognise the portrait of promiscuous partisanship that has been applied to them.

Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7) “Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.”Comment with an example.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding about integrity and form a substantiated opinion as to whether integrity is/ is not choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain. We have to illustrate our opinion and understanding by giving a suitable example.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Give a simple definition of integrity by comparing it with honesty. E.g While honesty is being true to others, integrity is being true to oneself.

Body-

Discuss about integrity in detail and its relationship with values and personal gain. E.g

  • Integrity means- Behaving in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Showing consistency in words and actions. Modelling high standards of ethics.
  • Integrity in its bare-bones essence means adherence to principles. It is a three-step process:
  • choosing the right course of conduct; acting consistently with the choice—even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so; openly declaring where one stands.
  • Accordingly, integrity is equated with moral reflection, steadfastness to commitments, trustworthiness.

Give an example to illustrate your concept and understanding of integrity.

Answer :-

  • Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness. It is a personal choice to hold one’s self to consistent standards.
  • As such, one may judge that others have integrity to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
  • One can describe a person as having ethical integrity to the extent that the individual’s actions, beliefs, methods, measures and principles all derive from a single core group of values.
  • An individual must therefore be flexible and willing to adjust these values to maintain consistency when these values are challenged such as when an expected test result is not congruent with all observed outcomes.
  • Integrity in its bare-bones essence means adherence to principles. It is a three-step process:
    • Choosing the right course of conduct
    • Acting consistently with the choice even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so
    • Openly declaring where one stands. Accordingly, integrity is equated with moral reflection, steadfastness to commitments, trustworthiness.
  • The major difference between honesty and integrity is that one may be entirely honest without engaging in the thought and reflection integrity demands.
  • Integrity can be described as the strength of someone’s honesty and ethical standing. A person with strong integrity is less likely to be influenced by those of a lesser moral value.
    • For instance a person finds a wallet on the side of the road pick it up and takes it for himself. When questioned by a family member as to who the wallet belongs the person states his intention that he found it and intends to keep it.
    • The person is exhibiting the trait of honesty but not integrity as he makes no effort to return the wallet to the rightful owner. He is stealing essentially even if he is been honest.

Topic- Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

8) How do you think can the value of integrity be realized in public services. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about our thoughts as to how we believe, the value of integrity can be realized/ demonstrated in public service.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Give a simple definition of integrity. E.g Integrity means behaving in an honest, fair, and ethical manner etc.

Body-

Discuss how integrity can be realized in public services. E.g

  1. Treating others fairly and with respect
  2. Taking responsibility for own work, including problems and issues
  3. Using applicable professional standards and established procedures and policies when taking action and making decisions
  4. Identifying  ethical dilemmas and conflict of interest situations and takes action to avoid and preventing them
  5. Anticipating and preventing breaches in confidentiality and/or security
  6. Does not acquiesce to inappropriate personal requests for favors, political pressure, or promise of gain
  7. Displays fortitude to support ethical actions that may negatively impact self or stakeholders etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Integrity can be described as the strength of someone’s honesty and ethical standing. A person with strong integrity is less likely to be influenced by those of a lesser moral value.

Value of integrity can be realized in public services in the following ways:-

  • By treating others fairly and with respect 
  • By taking responsibility for own work, including problems and issues 
  • By using applicable professional standards and established procedures and policies when taking action and making decisions 
  • By identifying ethical dilemmas and conflict of interest situations and taking action to avoid and prevent them 
  • By anticipating and preventing breaches in confidentiality and/or security 
  • By maintaining confidentiality of sensitive information by establishing new policies and procedures for handling such information 
  • By establishing open and honest communication with employees 
  • By addressing concerns with employee behavior in a confidential and respectful manner 
  • By Instilling a climate of trust by admitting own mistakes and taking responsibility for one’s actions .
  • By communicating honestly with employees regarding potential changes affecting the organization to ensure staff are treated fairly.
  • By promoting a climate of openness and honesty and does not penalize responsible dissent.