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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 February 2020


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.


 

Topic:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. There are no existing concrete estimates of the number of poor and depth of poverty in India. Reason for it and explain the measures which can be taken to measure the poor. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

President Donald Trump praised India for having lifted “over 270 million people out of poverty” in “a single decade”, and said that “12 Indian citizens are lifted out of extreme poverty every single minute of every single day”.  Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the causes of lack of concrete estimates of the number of poor and depth of poverty in India and suggest measures that can be taken/adopted-to to measure poverty in the country.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what poverty is, and how is it measured?

Body:

Discuss the aspects of Poverty and the established measurement systems in the country. Point out the flaws associated with it. Then move on to highlight why it is important to have the poverty numbers. Discuss the current levels of poverty in the country. Suggest possible measures that need to be taken to quantify and qualify the definition of poverty.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the need to recognize defining poverty as a key thing central to policies and programmes.

Introduction:

Poverty can be defined as a condition in which an individual or household lacks the financial resources to afford a basic minimum standard of living. Economists and policymakers estimate “absolute” poverty as the shortfall in consumption expenditure from a threshold called the “poverty line”. Recently, US President praised India for having lifted “over 270 million people out of poverty” in “a single decade”. It also been highlighted that “12 Indian citizens are lifted out of extreme poverty every single minute of every single day”.

Body:

Measurement of Poverty:

  • The official poverty line is the expenditure incurred to obtain the goods in a “poverty line basket” (PLB).
  • Poverty can be measured in terms of the number of people living below this line (with the incidence of poverty expressed as the head count ratio).
  • The “depth” of poverty indicates how far the poor are below the poverty line.

Importance of poverty numbers:

  •  The PLB has been the subject of much debate. The 1962 group did not consider age and gender-specific calorie requirements.
  • Expenditure on health and education were not considered until the Tendulkar Committee — which was criticized for setting the poverty line at just Rs 32 per capita per day in urban India (and at Rs 27 in rural India).
  • And the Rangarajan Commission was criticized for selecting the food component arbitrarily — the emphasis on food as a source of nutrition overlooks the contribution of sanitation, healthcare, access to clean water, and prevalence of pollutants.
  • Poverty numbers matter because central schemes like Antyodaya Anna Yojana (which provides subsidised foodgrains to households living below the poverty line) and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (health insurance for BPL households) use the definition of poverty given by the NITI Aayog or the erstwhile Planning Commission.
  • The Centre allocates funds for these schemes to states based on the numbers of their poor. Errors of exclusion can deprive eligible households of benefits.

poverty_rate

Reasons for no existing concrete estimates of the number of poor and depth of poverty in India:

  • The “poverty line basket” (PLB) comprises goods and services considered essential to a basic minimum standard of living — food, clothing, rent, conveyance, and entertainment.
  • The price of the food component can be estimated using calorie norms or nutrition targets. Until the 1990s, the calorie norms method was used — it was based on the minimum number of calories recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for a household of five members.
  • However, this method does not consider the different food groups that are essential for health — this is why the Tendulkar Committee targeted nutritional outcomes.
  • The Lakdawala Committee assumed that health and education is provided by the state — therefore, expenditure on these items was excluded from the consumption basket it proposed.
  • Since expenditure on health and education rose significantly in the 1990s, the Tendulkar Committee included them in the basket.
  • As a result of revisions to the basket and other changes in the method of estimation, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in 1993-94 rose from 35.97% to 45.3%.
  • Further, to fight poverty, one needs to know where poor people live. They are not evenly spread across a country, not even within a household.

Conclusion:

The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is a more comprehensive measure of poverty because it includes components that capture the standard of living more effectively. However, it uses “outcomes” rather than expenditure, the presence of an undernourished person in the household will result in it being classified as “poor”, regardless of the expenditure on nutritious food.

 

Topic:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. The Excerpt from Mahatma Gandhi’s book Hind Swaraj, “real rights are a result of the performance of duty” appears obsolete in the contemporary constitutional stage of development. Do you agree? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

In the recently held International Judicial Conference 2020, the Chief Justice of India drew attention to the Constitution’s Fundamental Duties chapter and stressed on the importance of citizens’ duties by citing Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj, which quotes that “real rights are a result of [the] performance of duty.” Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the relevance/obsoleteness of the quote made by Mahatma Gandhi to the contemporary times of the Constitutional evolvement.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the meaning of the excerpt – “real rights are a result of the performance of duty”.

Body:

The author of the article states that though on the outset the inter-relationship between duties and rights may seem reasonable, the merging of the ideas of rights and duties ought to be resisted. The author in the given article makes several arguments to justify his stand. One can use these justifications to argue for the question and substantiate. Discuss in what way to a major extent it’s the rights that prevail over duties in the present times. Take cues from the article to form a fair and balanced stand.

Conclusion:

Conclude that while determining the precedence of duties or rights it is very important to consider the position of the individual in the constitutional scheme of things and the Constitution’s commitment to combating hierarchy and that its time to rephrase the quote to “Real duties are the result of the fulfillment of rights.”

Introduction:

Indian Constitution provides its citizens with the Fundamental Rights and lists the Fundamental Duties to be followed by them. The Constitution covers a broad spectrum of domains to protect the rights of the common man by introducing six rights as Fundamental Rights. Similarly, the Fundamental Duties are also emphasised upon by the Constitution. Gandhiji equated freedom with self-rule because he wished to build into the concept of freedom the notion of obligation to others as well as to oneself, while retaining the element of voluntariness that is the very basis of freedom. The notion of self-rule implies the voluntary internalization of our obligation to others which will be obstructed by our placing ourselves at the mercy of our selfish desires.

Body:

“real rights are a result of the performance of duty” appears obsolete:

  • As citizens, there exists a wide range of duties that bind us in everyday life. These duties are owed both to the state, and to other individuals.
  • We have a legal duty to pay our taxes, to refrain from committing violence against our fellow-citizens, and to follow other laws that Parliament has enacted.
  • Breach of these legal duties triggers fines or even time in jail.
  • At any given time, therefore, we are already following a host of duties, which guide and constrain how we may behave.
  • They follow a simple logic: that peaceful co-existence requires a degree of self-sacrifice, and that if necessary, this must be enforced through the set of sanctions.
  • However, the fundamentals rights such as right to life and equality and freedom of speech enshrined under the Constitution are enforceable against the State and its instrumentalities and the private parties, performing state actions, have been taking the plea that they cannot be held accountable for breach of such rights of the citizens.
  • The Constitution will lose its importance, if there are no redressal for the violation of fundamental rights of citizens by private parties performing government functions.
  • Without the moral compass of rights and their place in the transformative Constitutional scheme the language of duties can lead to unpleasant consequences.
  • It can end up entrenching existing power structures by placing the burden of “duties” upon those that are already vulnerable and marginalised.

But Rights and Duties go Hand in Hand:

  • Mahatma Gandhi in Hind Swaraj observed that “Real rights are a result of the performance of duty”.
  • The CJI also referred to “incredible technological advancement” and said now the entire world was interconnected and a small change in one corner of the world can result in changes in different parts of the world.
  • Rights and duties are closely related and cannot be separated from one another. For every right, there is a corresponding duty.
  • The State protects and enforces rights and it is the duty of all citizens to be loyal to the state. Thus, a citizen has both Rights and Duties.
  • Terming India as “a melting pot of myriad cultures and traditions”, the CJI said, “We have assimilated legal cultures of all the civilisations that have come to our shores – the Mughals, the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch and finally the English.

Conclusion:

Democracy is very fragile and it depends on the “faith of public on the system” and “the law of contempt is used not for protection of an individual but for protecting the public faith in an institution”. Government investment will have to recognize and address the changing needs of citizens over their entire lifetimes, provide platforms to help them get the resources and make the connections they need, and see a whole set of public goods created by the sum of their deliberately many parts. The Constitution, a charter of liberation, is fundamentally about rights. It is only after guarantee to all the full sum of humanity, dignity, equality, and freedom promised by the Constitution, that we can ask of them to do their duty.

 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Discuss the idea of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA); in what way will it protect the rights of the consumer in the country? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

Last week, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan announced that a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be established by the first week of April. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the coming of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA); its scope and significance.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what CCPA is.

Body:

Explain the following aspects – Definition, scope and significance of CCPA in the answer body in detail. The authority is being constituted under Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The Act replaced The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and seeks to widen its scope in addressing consumer concerns. The new Act recognizes offences such as providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisements. It also specifies action to be taken if goods and services are found “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe”. The CCPA, introduced in the new Act, aims to protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such a body in protecting the rights of the consumers.

Introduction:

Central Consumer Protection Authority is the authority is being constituted under Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The Act replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and seeks to widen its scope in addressing consumer concerns. The new Act recognises offences such as providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisements. It also specifies action to be taken if goods and services are found “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe”.

Body:

CCPA and consumer rights:

  • The CCPA, introduced in the new Act, aims to protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.
  • The CCPA will have the powers to inquire or investigate into matters relating to violations of consumer rights or unfair trade practices suo motu, or on a complaint received, or on a direction from the central government.
  • Under Section 20 of The Consumer Protection Act, the proposed authority will have powers to recall goods or withdrawal of services that are “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe; pass an order for refund the prices of goods or services so recalled to purchasers of such goods or services; and discontinuation of practices which are unfair and prejudicial to consumer’s interest”.
  • Section 21 of the new Act defines the powers given to the CCPA to crack down on false or misleading advertisements.
  • According to these provisions, if the CCPA is satisfied after investigation that any advertisement is false or misleading and is harmful to the interest of any consumer, or is in contravention of consumer rights, the CCPA may issue directions to the trader, manufacturer, endorser, advertiser, or publisher to discontinue such an advertisement, or modify it in a manner specified by the authority, within a given time.
  • The authority may also impose a penalty up to Rs 10 lakh, with imprisonment up to two years, on the manufacturer or endorser of false and misleading advertisements.
  • The penalty may go up to Rs 50 lakh, with imprisonment up to five years, for every subsequent offence committed by the same manufacturer or endorser.
  • For search and seizure, the CCPA will have similar powers given under the provisions of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  • The CCPA can file complaints of violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
  • It will issue safety notices to alert consumers against dangerous or hazardous or unsafe goods or services.

Conclusion:

India is likely to cross China’s population by 2024 and consumerism is growing fast. With the passage of the Consumer Protection Bill in Parliament, consumer rights are set to receive a massive boost. The new regulations put more responsibility on companies for misleading advertising and faulty products. In a global first, it also lays out penalties for celebrities endorsing or promoting false advertising and adulterated goods. The emergence of global supply chain, rise in global trade and rapid development of e-commerce have led to a new delivery system for goods and services and also provided new options and opportunities for consumers.

 

Topic:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.

4. The recent move of the union government to cap the premium on its flagship crop insurance schemes and making enrollment voluntary for these schemes will impact the agriculture sector in various ways. Discuss.  (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

The Centre has decided to restrict its premium subsidy in its flagship crop insurance schemes to 30% for unirrigated areas and 25% for irrigated areas (from the existing unlimited), and to make enrolment of farmers in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) voluntary from the 2020 Kharif season. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the impact of the measures taken by the union govt. on capping the premiums and making enrollment voluntary for flagship agri insurance schemes.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the present schemes of insurance that are in existence.

Body:

The body of the answer must discuss the impact of the move – By capping the subsidy for premium rates up to 30%, the Centre wants to disincentives certain crops in such areas where growing these crops involve high risks in terms of crop insurance premiums. While the average premium rate under PMFBY and RWBCIS at the national level was 12.32% for 2018-19, for some crops in certain districts, the rate of premium has been higher than 30% in recent years. For instance, the rate of premium for Kharif groundnut has reached 49% in Rajkot of Gujarat, and the rate for Rabi paddy crop Ramnathapuram (Tamil Nadu) has reached 42%. After the new changes come into effect, the share of the states is expected to go up in those states in which such crops are cultivated. As of now the schemes are compulsory for all loanee farmers and optional for other farmers. Non-loanee farmers under the crop insurance schemes are much fewer than loanee farmers. If the latter opt out of the schemes, the number of insured farmers will drastically come down.

Conclusion:

Conclude with multiple impacts that the move will bear on the agri sector of the country.

Introduction:

Crop insurance is a vital component of agriculture, especially in a country such as India, where the majority of farmers are small and marginal with low savings that reduces their ability to weather agricultural risks and fluctuations. Recently the Centre decided to restrict its premium subsidy in its flagship crop insurance schemes to 30% for unirrigated areas and 25% for irrigated areas (from the existing unlimited), and to make enrolment of farmers in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) voluntary from the 2020 Kharif season.

Body:

Impacts on the agriculture sector due to the proposed changes:

  • The states are already defaulting on their share, and the Centre’s new cap will put an additional financial burden on them. Madhya Pradesh has not paid its share of premium even for Kharif 2018, which comes to Rs 1,500 crore.
  • As a result, farmers have not got their claims.
  • In fact, most states have delayed the payment of their share of premium. Sources said that in some states, the expenditure on premium of PMFBY is more than 50% of their budget for agriculture.
  • That move will lead to a rise in the rates of premium, as the area covered under insurance and the number of enrolled farmers are expected to come down significantly.
  • As of now the schemes are compulsory for all loanee farmers and optional for other farmers.
  • Non-loanee farmers under the crop insurance schemes are much fewer than loanee farmers.
  • If the latter opt out of the schemes, the number of insured farmers will drastically come down.
  • Sources say that in such a scenario, the rate of premium of certain crops in some areas may go beyond 30%.
  • The government has given flexibility to states/UTs to implement PMFBY and RWBCIS, and given them the option to select any number of additional risk covers/features like prevented sowing, localised calamity, mid-season adversity, and post-harvest losses. Earlier, these risk covers were mandatory
  • It may bring down the rates of overall premium as the state governments now will not be required to invite bids factoring these risks.
  • It will make these schemes less attractive for farmers.

Measures needed to ensure the success of Crop Insurance in India:

  • Ensure social audit
  • Utilise technology by digital money transfer to beneficiaries
  • Promote private sector participation in crop insurance segment like being done in Spain and Mexico, where government oversees agriculture insurance by private players
  • Using satellite, drones, etc. accurate and prompt data collection can be collected for providing insurance in various regions.
  • Accurate Weather forecasting using satellite imagery and advanced computer generated models can provide better and fast early warning to reduce losses.
  • Dispensing easy availability of internet to farmers will allow farmers to learn and implement new technology. Such as using Soil sensors that can broadcast real-time data about the state of the soil.
  • Improvement in Financial Services by Digitization of primary agriculture credit societies (PACs) and connecting them to district banks will allow easy loan and insurance disbursal. This will reduce exclusion as well as the delay in payments.

 

Topic:   Disaster and disaster management.

5. Present the governance and administration for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience in the country. (250 words)

Reference: PIB

Why this question:

The National Institute of Disaster Management, under Ministry of Home Affairs, organized a conference on understanding the different approaches in coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience on February 25. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the aspects of governance and administration for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience in the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what you understand by the coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Body:

Discuss briefly the need of it – with 7,500 km-long coastline of India being threatened by many natural hazards resulting in the loss of life and property. About 40 per cent of total population of the country lives within 100 km of coastline. Among the coastal states, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are more vulnerable to coastal cyclone disasters as compared to other coastal states. Explain the governance mechanisms that are in place with respect to it. Highlight the scope, advantages, and limitations as well as issues, challenges, and opportunities in managing coastal disaster events including the ethical perspectives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Natural disasters are events caused by the forces of nature that adversely effect on human settlements, and environment. India has been witnessing increasingly more intense and frequent climatic events and climate-induced natural disasters in recent times. The country’s fragile coasts are particularly vulnerable.   Intense cyclones such as the recent Fani, Gaja and Hudhud as well as severe floods have caused massive devastation to its coastal states, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, respectively. most of these states are facing significant challenges in rebuilding the critical infrastructure lost and damaged, and in recovering from the consequent disruptions caused by disasters.

Body:

Recently, the first ‘National Conference on Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CDRR&R) – 2020’ was held in New Delhi. The one-day conference was organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) focused on enhancing human capacity in terms of better understanding about coastal disaster risks and effective collaborative actions, by implementing Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, for reducing the risk and enhancing the resilience amongst the affected stakeholders.

India is the third worst-affected country due to climate- induced natural disasters. The country’s coastal regions, in particular, are highly vulnerable because of rapid urbanisation, high population densities and related economic activities such as agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, industries and trade. The 7,517-km-long coastline is home to 260 million people or one- third of India’s population, who live in low-lying areas within 50 km of the sea coast and are perennially exposed to climate variabilities and extreme weather events.

Governance and Administrative measures:

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act 2005) lays down institutional and coordination mechanism for effective Disaster Management (DM) at the national, state, district and local levels.
  • As mandated by this Act, the Government of India (GoI) created a multi-tiered institutional system consisting of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) headed by the Prime Minister, the State  Disaster  Management  Authorities  (SDMAs)  headed  by  the  respective  Chief  Ministers  and  the  District  Disaster  Management  Authorities  (DDMAs)  headed  by  the  District  Collectors  and  co-chaired by Chairpersons of the local bodies.
  • They established Disaster Management Authority (DMA), built cyclone and flood shelters, invested in early warning systems, created Disaster Rapid Action Force, conducted public awareness campaigns, and created a disaster loss database under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).
  • The National  Disaster  Management  Plan  (NDMP)  provides  a  framework  and  direction  to  the  government  agencies  for  all  phases  of  disaster  management

 Way forward:

  • There is a need to identify scope, advantages and limitations as well as issues, challenges and opportunities in managing coastal disaster events including the ethical perspectives.
  • There is a need to explore and debate the most recent advances in the discipline, to enhance the understanding of the issues and solutions on various facets for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience.
  • Emphasis on dissemination of information related to national and local strategies for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience as well as to develop a network mode roadmap for addressing the gaps by engaging with the institutions, researchers and experts.

 

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Discuss some of the major ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes as well suggest measures to address them. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to highlight the major Ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes and ways to address them.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss some of the key ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes using suitable examples and suggest solutions to address the same.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what constitute an ethical concern or a dilemma.

Body:

Explain the major Ethical dilemmas faced by public servants such as – administrative discretion, policy dilemmas, secrecy in administration, information leaks, corruption, nepotism, public accountability etc. In short present an illustration possibly covering 3-4 aspects from the above. Suggest what needs to be done to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Ethical dilemmas, also known as moral dilemmas, are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion. In such cases, societal and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the chooser. Ethical dilemmas assume that the chooser will abide by societal norms, such as codes of law or religious teachings, in order to make the choice ethically impossible.

Body:

Public Servants are the glue between the State and the people. They have a wide array of responsibilities from formulation, implementation of various rules, policies to service delivery to citizens. They are granted with sufficient powers to carry on their work in an unhindered manner. The vast scope of operations can give rise to situations where they are faced with various ethical dilemmas as given below.

  • Dilemmas Involving Fairness:
    • The matters that potentially influence the ability to work in the public interest and represent all constituents equally and fairly.
    • Example: Granting licenses for coalmining or allocation of public resource. One of the bidders is your spouse’s company.
    • How to avoid dilemma: Transparency and competitive measures like use of ICT, maximum benefit to the state and public.
  • Dilemmas Involving Conflicts between Personal Interests and the Public’s Interest:
    • The cases in which personal interests that conflict with your duty of loyalty to the public you have been elected/appointed to serve.
    • Example: When a civil servant is heading a recruitment agency and his relatives are applying for the job under the same agency.
    • How to avoid dilemma: Be Neutral, Separation of Personal and Private Affairs, Recusal from the position, giving an undertaking to Government.
  • Dilemmas Involving the Faithful Execution of your Official Duties:
    • Matters in which there is a need to competently fulfil the responsibilities of your office.
    • Example: Minister issues orders on firing against a violent mob. You are the chief heading the force.
    • How to avoid dilemma: Accept orders in writing as per Supreme Court directive.
  • Dilemmas Involving Acting with Integrity:
    • Conduct oneself honestly and with the integrity expected from public officials.
    • Example: A particular department is known for its corruption and bribery. You are newly appointed as head of the department and being forced to join the gang.
    • How to avoid dilemma: Be honest, uphold integrity, use legal measures.
  • Dilemmas Involving Accountability & Transparency:
    • To maintain the public trust, there is a need to act in a manner that is transparent and is accountable to your constituent. With RTI Act, Transparency and Accountability have a higher pedestal and makes governance more participatory.
    • Example: Rafale Deal – to disclose the prices and details or to keep it confidential.
    • How to avoid dilemma: Clear classification of information, Effective Grievance Redressal Mechanisms like CIC, SIC.
  • Dilemmas Involving Law and Conscience:
    • There are instances where law and conscience overlap, conflict and lack of clarity.
    • Example: Abortion of foetus beyond the stipulated time period as against the mother’s life at risk
    • How to avoid dilemma: Application of Wisdom.

 Measures needed:

  • Personal self-interest should be secondary to the common good in all situations, especially when such circumstances give rise to conflict of interest.
  • A dilemma should be dealt appropriately by considering and reformulating all the options in a systematic and coherent manner.
  • To resolve such ethical dilemmas, an order or a sequence of logical reasoning is must to integrate and rearrange the process of dealing with ethical dilemmas.
  • The decisions should be guided by following principles:
    • The provisions of Indian Constitution.
    • Democratic accountability of administration.
    • The rule of law and the principle of legality.
    • Professional integrity.
    • Impartiality and neutrality.
    • Larger public good.
    • Responsiveness to civil society.
  • The bureaucracy should be loyal to the country and its people while decision making considering consequences of such decisions.
  • It is fundamental ethical duty of civil servants to show a spirit of neutrality and discretion and keep their own personal preferences out in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

Conclusion:

A public servant is bound to be faced by many dilemmas. Adhering to the ethical values like integrity, objectivity, transparency and application of wisdom can help in overcoming the dilemmas.