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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 May 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:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. what is collective conscience of society? How does it affect the society? Explain with suitable example.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The question is based on the fact that a recent study has pointed out to importance of collective conscience of society in the death penalty cases in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what you understand by collective conscience of the society; explain its effects in general with suitable examples.

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:

Coined by David Emile Durkheim – a famed French sociologist, collective consciousness referred to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.

Body:

It is a fundamental sociological concept that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to a social group or society. Then one should explain how collective consciousness holds society together. Discuss the factors that induce collective conscience in a society. Give suitable examples to explain its effect on the society. Take hints from the article explain the case of death penalty.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance to the society in general.

Introduction:

Collective consciousness (sometimes collective conscience or conscious) is a fundamental sociological concept that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to a social group or society. The collective consciousness informs our sense of belonging and identity, and our behavior. Founding sociologist Émile Durkheim developed this concept to explain how unique individuals are bound together into collective units like social groups and societies.

Seventy-two per cent of all cases in which Delhi trial courts awarded the death penalty from 2000 to 2015 cited “collective conscience of the society” as an influencing factor, a study by Project 39A, a criminal reforms advocacy group, has found.

Body:

Collective conscience and the impacts on society:

  • By considering the documented habits, customs, and beliefs of traditional and primitive societies, and comparing those to what he saw around him in his own life, Durkheim crafted some of the most important theories in sociology.
  • He concluded that society exists because unique individuals feel a sense of solidarity with each other.
  • This is why we can form collectives and work together to achieve community and functional societies.
  • The collective consciousness, or conscience collective as he wrote it in French, is the source of this solidarity.
  • The use of the phrase “collective conscience” by the courts in India has legitimised the use of the death penalty as a method of punishment.
  • This has obscured the real problems of our criminal justice system and, as a result, of our society as well.
    • Its misapplication can lead to the stifling of individual freedom and the undermining of human dignity.

Application of collective conscience to death penalty cases:

  • The doctrine of collective conscience was applied for the first time in 1983 in the Machhi Singh case to expand the “rarest of rare cases” doctrine of Bachan Singh (1980).
  • Machhi Singh was a case of extreme brutality involving the killing of 17 people in a single night. The Supreme Court justified the death penalty in such cases, where courts were of the opinion that the “collective conscience of the community is shocked.”
  • Since then, the doctrine has been employed in a variety of cases.
  • In Mohd. Mannan (2011), the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of a convict who had raped and murdered a minor girl.
  • In Vasanta Sampat Dupare (2017), involving the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl, “collective conscience” was invoked to impose death penalty upon the convict even though it was argued he had shown signs of reform and rehabilitation.
  • In the Parliament attack case, the term was used as a pretext to the Court decree confirming the death sentence of Mohd. Afzal Guru, convicted of criminal conspiracy in waging war against the government.
  • The question of violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, that guarantees equal protection of the law, by the “uncontrolled and unguided discretion in the Judges to impose capital punishment” was also raised as early as 1972 in Jagmohan Singh and continues to remain relevant today when the “passionate” cry for “collective conscience “is undermining our core constitutional principles and the foundations of justice.

Concerns:

  • Viewed thus, the doctrine looks flawed.
  • The application of this doctrine, with an aim to satisfy majoritarian aspirations, undermines individual rights.
  • One, by hanging a person to satisfy our “collective sentiments”, we deny them the right to dignity, a core constitutional value.
  • Death by hanging is a barbaric and cruel method of inflicting punishment.
  • Two, retribution is a thing of the past. Reformation is the need of the day. Purpose, not passion, should be the aim of punishment.
  • Three, an overwhelming majority of death-row convicts are economically vulnerable and socially marginalised.
  • The Death Penalty India Report published by National Law University, Delhi shows how three out of every four death row prisoners are economically vulnerable.
  • Three out of four are also members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, or Other Backward Classes, or religious minorities.
  • More than half are either the primary or sole earners in their families, and had not completed their secondary school education. Nearly a quarter had never attended school.

Conclusion:

Our Constitution is based on the principle of justice for the most marginalised, disfranchised, oppressed, unknown, unseen and ignored. This spirit demands that law cannot rely on or be influenced by any delusionary sense or mood of the people. We need in judges a liberal energy and the ability to be creative human beings.

 

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. Issues relating to poverty and hunger

2.  Tribals constitute major proportion in the total number of inter-state and intra state migrants in the country. In the light of the statement, discuss on the effects inflicted by the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

A migrant Adivasi girl died of hunger and dehydration in Chhattisgarh. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out issues associated with migrant tribals and the effect of the COVID pandemic on their lives and livelihoods.

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:

Firstly present the gist of the question.

Body:

The government’s declared war on the novel coronavirus is turning out to be an undeclared war against the workers of India. Among them are workers from Adivasi communities. State some key facts justifying the stand of the question – The last National Sample Survey Office migration survey, which was published more than two Decades ago, showed that between 1992-93 to 2007–08, the proportion of migrant households among Scheduled Tribes (STs) was higher than among all other communities. The same data showed that STs were the single largest group among female migrants. With 45.5% of rural Adivasis below the poverty line, Adivasis usually do multiple kinds of work through the year. State the reason for increasing number of migrant workers. Explain the effects inflicted by the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the problems.

Introduction:

Tribal people constitute 8.6% of the nation’s total population, over 104 million people according to the 2011 census. The forest occupiers a central position in tribal culture and economy. The lockdown has brought about unprecedented hardships for the tribal people and drastically threatened their livelihoods in the absence of a concrete action plan that addresses their financial and health insecurities amid the pandemic.

Body:

Current crisis faced by tribal migrants:

  • The government gave a tentative estimate of there being 10 crore migrant workers in India but admitted to many being largely undocumented and unregistered as workers.
  • The last National Sample Survey Office migration survey, which was published more than 20 years ago, showed that between 1992-93 to 2007–08, the proportion of migrant households among Scheduled Tribes (STs) was higher than among all other communities.
  • The same data showed that STs were the single largest group among female migrants.
  • During the lockdown, unable to get assistance and despairing of any free travel home, Adivasi migrants across India have started the long and painful march back often avoiding highways, travelling through forests and side roads to avoid the police.

 Effects inflicted by pandemic on tribals:

  • The number of Adivasis dependent on wage labour has increased in comparison to those dependent on cultivation.
  • With 45.5% of rural Adivasis below the poverty line, Adivasis usually do multiple kinds of work through the year, including migrating in search of work.
  • Adivasi migration is mainly for seasonal agricultural and construction work, work in brick kilns or as manual workers in urban areas.
  • In the name of ease of business, the last several years have seen an accelerated process of displacement and dispossession of Adivasi communities and a takeover of their land and forest-based resources, increasing the numbers of migrant workers from Adivasi communities.
  • Adivasis are more vulnerable to the general hostility towards the poor displayed by state agencies, particularly the police.

Problems faced:

  • The Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979, the only law for migrant workers, is inadequate since it deals only with those migrant workers in the contractor system and excludes workers who migrate on their own, for Adivasi migrant workers employed through contractors, its implementation would have ensured payment as well as free travel back home.
  • The functioning of Public Distribution System in Adivasi areas, particularly in the hilly regions, is generally irregular.
  • At present, there are hardly any MGNREGA works in Adivasi areas, except to some extent in Chhattisgarh.
  • The health infrastructure in the Adivasi areas is extremely poor.
  • The annual report from the Tribal Affairs Ministry has data on the shortfall in Adivasi areas as: 20.7% for sub-centers, 26% for primary health centers, 23% for community health centers, and 27% for the number of doctors.

Measures needed:

  • The High-Level Committee (Virginius Xaxa committee) has made numerous recommendations such as exclusive mining rights for tribals, greater freedom for tribals to make decisions on land acquisition and other common property resources and, strict implementation of the new land law, Forest Rights Act and strengthening of the PESA.
  • It has also proposed a complete overhaul of the legal constitutional regime by recommending that laws and policies enacted by the Parliament and state legislatures shouldn’t be applied automatically in the Fifth Schedule areas.
  • State government should be made to obtain permissions from owners and occupiers of land for major minerals, and consult with gram Sabha in 5th and 6th schedule areas for minor minerals.
  • It should be mandated that all clearances (forest and environment) under forest conservation act and wildlife protection act should be taken before a lease was given.
  • Tribal cooperatives should be made eligible for grant of license of minor minerals in 5th and 6th schedule areas.

Conclusion:

There is a need for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs construct a special mechanism to address COVID-19 in the tribal belts and issues necessary guidelines or advisories to the states on measures to deal with the pandemic and help forest dwellers to deal with the hardships that they are facing in the lockdown. It is high time that the ministry, the state and the Central governments joined hands to take quality healthcare, food security, wage employment and strengthens MFP productivity and makes sure that the Forest Rights Act(FRA)is implemented in full spirit!

 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

3. Discuss the issues involved in import dependent manufacturing industries, What needs to be done to ensure they tread the path of self-reliance in the country? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The article talks about the issues facing the manufacturing industry in the country. It highlights the sectors dependent on imports and issues concerning them.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the issues involved in import dependent manufacturing industries, suggest solutions to address their concerns and elaborate on what needs to be done to tread the path of self-reliance.

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 current state of manufacturing sector in the country.

Body:

To start with, highlight the sectors that are import dependent. Talk about manufacturing sectors like – electrical and electronic industry, pharmaceutical industry etc. Discuss specific issues in these sectors – lack of flexibility in labour laws, high costs and low availability of land and high cost of electricity etc. Suggest solutions to address the problems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Prime Minister recently brought up the importance of local manufacturing and consumption of locally produced goods, stating that Indians needed to become “vocal for local”. He hinted that the government would need to undertake major reforms in order for the Indian industry to play a major role in the global supply chain.

Body:

Sectors that heavily depend on imports right now and cannot immediately scale up production domestically:

  • Electrical equipment such as smartphones and computers are a key part of India’s import bill.
  • The value addition in India’s electronics industry is limited to mostly assembly, while the country depends on imports to access most of the primary and critical components used to make them, including printed circuit boards (PCBs).
  • For instance, around 88 per cent of the components used by the mobile handsets industry are imported from countries like China, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry.
  • Over 60 per cent of the country’s medical devices are imported as well.
  • Other products heavily imported into the country are cells and modules used by the country’s solar power industry.

Sectors that partially depend on imports to make their finished products:

  • India’s pharmaceutical industry is capable of making finished formulations, and also has domestic manufacturers of several key ingredients used to make them. However, the industry also imports some key ingredients for antibiotics and vitamins currently not manufactured in India.
  • The country is currently trying to encourage domestic firms to make these key ingredients, known as fermentation-based APIs. However, this may take a few years.
  • India imported around Rs 249 billion worth of key ingredients, including fermentation-based ingredients, in FY19, and this accounted for approximately 40 per cent of the overall domestic consumption, according to CII.
  • Medical devices like ventilators also rely on imports of several crucial components like solenoid valves and pressure sensors.
  • Some auto manufacturers depend on imports for various components, while the country’s electric vehicles industry is dependent, “to a large extent” on Chinese imports for chemicals used to make cathodes and battery cells, it said.
  • Local dyestuff units in India are also heavily dependent on imports of several raw materials, while specialty chemicals for textiles like denim are also imported, according to CII.
  • For instance, when China initiated its lockdown of Wuhan earlier this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 20 per cent of India’s dyes and dyestuff industry production was hit due to a disruption in raw material.

Issues with scaling up production in import dependent sectors:

  • The manufacture of some of the key products that India imports such as semiconductors, displays and other very capital intensive electrical equipment may not be possible soon as manufacturing these requires large, stable sources of clean water and electricity.
  • They also need a high degree of policy certainty as these require high upfront investments.
  • Indian firms can however begin producing less sophisticated components if certain policy measures are taken
  • The Indian industry faces much higher costs in inputs such as electricity and much higher logistics costs than Chinese firms.
  • It costs Rs 4/kg for a shipment of cable to arrive at Mumbai from a city 300 km away from Shanghai but it costs around Rs 14/kg for that shipment to be transported from Mumbai to a factory in Noida.
  • This is also true for fermentation based APIs, which Indian pharma executives claimed the country became less competitive in when China began receiving infrastructure and logistic support to produce and sell them at cheaper rates.

Policy measure does industry need for greater local production:

  • A key issue holding back manufacturing in the country and a lack of flexibility in labour laws, high costs and low availability of land and high cost of electricity.
  • Some states including UP and Madhya Pradesh have relaxed some labour laws with Karnataka likely to follow suit.
  • It will be very important for the government to take initiatives and announce more relief packages.
  • The government to provide cash infusions that allow companies to give workers jobs and buy raw materials.
  • The government will also need to increase the insolvency limit for SMEs and MSMEs to 1 crore from 1 lakh.
  • India’s manufacturers could learn a lot from the IT sector’s experience in promoting the large-scale development of s
  • Continued focus on education will help attract foreign investment and also help the economy overcome the challenges.
  • Favorable market access policies
  • Investor’s confidence must be improved.
  • Improving physical infrastructure from transport systems to the power sector is essential.
  • Enhancing the flexibility of labour regulations.
  • FDI policy requires a review to ensure that it facilitates greater technology transfer, leverages strategic linkages and innovation.
  • Attractive remuneration to motivate people to join the manufacturing sector

Conclusion:

Going forward, there is need for an industrial policy, an innovation policy and need to look at what the industries need in terms of making their infrastructure more efficient.

 

Topic:  Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

4. Elaborate on the key determinants of cropping pattern in India while presenting a spatial analysis.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is from the static portions of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

Explain key determinants of cropping pattern in India while presenting a spatial analysis.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give 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 define what you understand by cropping pattern.

Body:

To start with, explain that the cropping patterns may be affected by several factors and interplay of these factors. Some of these include physical and technical factors, economic factors, government agrarian policy, improvements in technology, availability of agricultural inputs and facilities etc. Discuss the physical factors affecting cropping pattern, technical factors and input availability affecting cropping pattern, Economic Factors etc. Draw a map of India and present the spatial aspects of the pattern.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions to address the issues.

Introduction:

Cropping pattern is a dynamic concept because it changes over space and time. It can be defined as the proportion of area under various crops at a point of time. In other words, it is a yearly sequence and spatial arrangement of sowing and fallow on a given area. In India, the cropping pattern determined by rainfall, climate, temperature, soil type and technology.

Body:

Some of the most commonly followed crop patterns:

  • Rice-Wheat: UP, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Rice-Rice: Irrigated and Humid coastal system of Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.
  • Rice- Groundnut: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Maharashtra
  • Rice-Pulses: Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bihar.
  • Maize-Wheat: UP, Rajasthan, MP and Bihar.
  • Sugarcane-Wheat: UP, Punjab and Haryana accounts for 68% of the area under sugarcane. The other states which cover the crops are; Karnataka and MP.
  • Cotton-Wheat: Punjab, Haryana, West UP, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu.
  • Soya bean-Wheat: Maharashtra, MP and Rajasthan
  • Legume Based Cropping Systems (Pulses-Oilseeds): MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The key determinants of cropping pattern in India are: Cropping pattern of any region depends upon many factors

  • Physical and Technical Factors:
    • These include the physical characteristic as soil, climate, weather rainfall etc. In the dry regions where the rainfall is scanty and where there is high uncertainty of monsoons, the dependence is on jowar and bajra. Water logging areas cultivate rice.
    • Cropping pattern also depend upon irrigation facilities. Where ever water is available, not only can a different crop be grown but even double or triple cropping will be possible.
  • Economic Factors:
    • Economic motivation is the most important in determining the cropping pattern of the country. Among the various economic factors affecting crop pattern, the following are important:
    • Price and Income Maximization: Price variations exert an important influence on acreage shifts. The variation in the inter-crop prices led to shifts in acreage as between the crops.
    • Farm Size: There is a relationship between the farm size and the cropping pattern. The small farmers are first interested in producing food grain for their requirements. Small holder therefore devotes relatively small acreage to cash crops than large holders.
    • Insurance against risk: The need to minimize the risk of crop failures not only explains diversification but also some specific features of crop patterns.
    • Availability of Inputs: Seeds, fertilizers, water storage, marketing, transport etc. also affect the cropping pattern.
    • Tenure: Under the crop sharing system, the landlord has a dominant voice in the choice of the cropping pattern and this helps in the adoption of income maximizing crop adjustments.
  • Infrastructure facilities:
    • Irrigation, transport, storage, trade and marketing, post-harvest handling and processing etc
  • Government Policies:
    • The legislative and administrative policies of the government may also affect the cropping pattern. Food Crops Acts, Land Use Acts, intensive schemes for paddy, for cotton and oilseeds, subsidies affect the cropping pattern.
    • MSP – farmers shifting to wheat, rice
    • Green Revolution – skewed cropping pattern in Northern India towards wheat and rice from coarse cereals and pulses
  • Social factors
    • Food habits also play a role – East and South India prefers rice as staple food while it is wheat in North India.

Conclusion:       

The cropping pattern in India has undergone significant changes over time. As the cultivated area remains more or less constant, the increased demand for food because of increase in population and urbanisation puts agricultural land under stress resulting in crop intensification and substitution of food crops with commercial crops

 

Topic:  Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

5. How does transportation affect agriculture? What are the problems associated with it? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is from the static portions of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

The question aims to analyse the important role played by transportation in the agriculture sector and the issues associated with it.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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 quote the significance of transport in the agri sector in general.

Body:

When analyzing transport of agriculture produce, it is identified that transport costs has critical role in recognizing the link between accessibility and agricultural development. Good transport system is critically important to competent agricultural marketing. For distribution of agriculture produce, road transport has vital role because it is the major means of transporting agricultural produce from the farms to the markets as well as to various urban communities. It is the only means by which food produced at farm location is transported to different homes as well as markets. Transport creates market for agricultural produce, improves interaction among geographical and economic regions and opens up new areas to economic focus. Explain the associated concerns or challenges. Suggest what needs to be done to overcome it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The story of an adequate farm management begins and ends with efficient and properly managed transport. Transport takes a very important place in every industry, including agriculture. In order to produce food, farmers need certain resources, such as seed, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging materials, and many others. Precisely because of that, transport is an essential aspect of crop production that enables delivery of agricultural resources to a farmer. Furthermore, transport is a burning component of post-harvest crop management. After all, every harvested crop needs to be transported, either directly from the field to the market, or to the packing house and storage.

Body:

In short, transport enables agriculture and emboldens the farmer to invest more and increase production.   And without this transport system, large quantities of painstakingly farmed produce would be laid to waste.  On the contrary, if an efficient transport system exists, and the agricultural produce is handled with care, the farmer can get the best possible returns.

Many farmers are cash-strapped and would like to dispose of the produce at the earliest.  This means that even if the harvest is plenteous, the farmer can still be left in the lurch if the product cannot be reached beyond the boundaries of his town.  His produce also needs to reach the consumer at a reasonable price and within a reasonable time.

Importance of transportation for agriculture in India:

  • In India, less than one percent of the 105 million tons of perishable goods are transported via the 30,000 reefer vehicles that ply its roads. And the loss due to this amounts to Rs. 1 lakh crore.
  • At the all-India level, the proportions of the produce that farmers are unable to sell in the market are 34 per cent, 44.6 per cent, and about 40 per cent for fruits, vegetables, and fruits and vegetables combined,” finds the Ashok Dalwai committee on Doubling of Farmers’ Income.
  • This means, every year, farmers lose around Rs 63,000 crore for not being able to sell their produces for which they have already made investments.
  • In the absence of robust and sustainable logistics mechanisms more than half of fruits and vegetable produce end up as waste even before they arrive in the market, said the National Horticulture Board four years ago.

Some of the modes of agricultural transport and the problems associated with it are as follows:

Way forward:

  • The significance of an efficient and modest marketing system is important to rural transport services (RTS) and infrastructure to speed up development.
  • Adequate and cheap transport facilities so that farmer is able to reach Mandi rather than disposing it off at his village only.
  • Enabling policies need to be put in place to encourage the procurement of agricultural commodities directly from farmers’ fields and to establish effective linkage between the farm production and the retail chain and food processing industries.
  • In India, the road network provide link between farms and market and secondly, transport equipment carries agriculture produce. The efficiency of road transport depends on the type of road provided.
  • The Indian Railways with its Pan-India network is the optimal and preferred choice for movement of horticultural produce.
  • About 1.9 per cent of the perishable fruits and vegetables are transported through rail, while 97.4 per cent of the produce is transported through roads. This ratio needs to shift in favour of rail network.
  • An investment in creating a robust post-harvest storage and transportation by investing Rs 89,375 crore will also create over 3 million jobs.
  • And a majority of which will be at the village level, thus empowering the local, rural economy.

Conclusion:

Transport is considered to be an important aspect in improving agricultural efficiency. It improves the quality of life of individuals, structures a market for agricultural productions, makes interaction possible among geographical as well as regions and opened up new areas to economic focus.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. “Moral values and administrative realities are far apart.” Discuss.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude  by G Subba Rao and P N Roy Chowdhury

Why this question:

The question is based on the application of moral values to the administration.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the harsh realities that exist in the public administration that create a wide gap between the moral values and its realities, explain the issues and suggest way forward 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 explain what you understand by moral values.

Body:

In rapidly changing society, there is a need of good public administration. Ethics and values has key role in smooth functioning of public administration system. Highlight the reasons that make it difficult for the administration to install moral values in the system.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions to address such a scenario.

Introduction:

Moral values are set of principles guiding us to evaluate what is right or wrong. They are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behaviour and choices. Today’s fast-changing society seems to be ‘immoral’ because of rampant corruption, crony capitalism, self-interest driven attitude, political opportunism, a tendency of backstabbing etc.

As Mahatma Gandhiji says, “Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality“. One’s basis of moral values may differ from culture to culture or society to society or community to community, but at the end essence of it remains the same.

Body:

Role of Moral values in administration:

  • Ethical behaviour requires that we use our moral compass to guide us in our interactions with others. Ethical behaviour is also about the ability to inspire trust in others.
  • The civil service enjoys permanence of tenure and has the attributes of political neutrality, anonymity, impartiality and commitment to the government policies.
  • The nexus determines the quality of the services rendered to the country.
  • A healthy Politico-administration nexus can do wonders in the delivery of the public services and the opposite can prove to be a debacle for the growth of nation.
  • Public officials are given the trust of the public to develop and carry out policies that are in the public’s best interest.
  • Living up to this trust has a significant impact on the national will; public confidence is essential to the exercise of national power.
  • Thus public officials have a moral duty to act in a trustworthy manner, which leads to good governance.
  • Strong moral values like love and compassion help civil servants to work towards deprived section of the society.

For e.g.: Truthfulness is very much important as it is directly related to a person’s moral character. A truthful person is respected, trusted, regarded by people everywhere. Truth gives morality the strength to face the world. For instance, Martin Luther king was truthful to his mission against racial discrimination which was moral quality

However, there are a number of dynamics challenging traditional values in the public service. These include new modes of governance and the fragmentation of authority, market-based reforms, politicization and political expectations, the growth in the use of agencies, decentralization or relocation, changes in human resource management and recruitment, and the advent of new technologies and methods of information sharing.

Furthermore, while making decisions public, bureaucracy consistently faces two conflicting situations such as between serving the personal or group interest and serving public interest. Therefore, in order to keep the behaviour of public officials consistent with public interest, the question of morality of the administrators becomes a principle concern in modern administrative process along with various institutional checks.

For instance,

  • Honest and non-corrupt civil servants who stick to high moral values often face quick transfers, harassment, threats etc.
  • Bureaucrats raising their voice against injustices of the society face social isolation, threats to life and even murders at time.
  • Tools like the RTI are used as mode of vengeance against the bureaucrats.
  • Criminalization of politics has inflicted its poison to the administration too due to the increasing nexus.
  • Personal interest of the administrators, decreasing anonymity, plunging into politics, plum jobs after retirement has made them be a hand in glove in the corruption activities at times.

Ways to strengthen moral and ethical values in governance:

Though the Government has ensured numerous ways like Central civil service rules 1964, public service delivery bill 2006, RTI Act 2005, many feel that these are mere paper promises and a lot needs to be done. The Second Administrative reforms commission has suggested the following methods

  • Codification of ethics will ensure the minimum standards that public servants must follow.
  • Strong vigilance systems to ensure that corruption is eliminated at the root like whistle blowers act etc.
  • Digitization and e-governance is the way forward to ensure citizen centric governance.
  • Values such as selflessness, honesty, integrity and objectivity if inculcated at early age through education will lead to Ethical leadership in the future.
  • Delegation of work and responsibility in every organization should be ensured similarly the standard protocols must be codified vide citizen charters.

Conclusion:

Moral resilience in public service is often tested due to prevailing work culture, political interference etc. At such times it is necessary for public servant to uphold their moral values to work in true public interest. Ethics and morality should come from the soul, only then our society will emerge as a powerful entity.

 

Topic:  ethical dilemmas

7. Are ethical dilemmas which philosophers discuss too remote from administrative situations? Discuss.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude  by G Subba Rao and P N Roy Chowdhury

Why this question:

The question is based on the ethical dilemmas and how they differ from theoretical perspectives and real administrative situations.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the gaps in addressing the ethical dilemmas that exist in reality and those explained and analyzed by the philosophers..

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:

First explain what ethical dilemmas are.

Body:

Such answers are best explained with examples, one can explain various philosophers and their approach to resolve ethical dilemmas and highlight why often their approach cannot be simulated as is in real public administration scenario. Give examples and suggest what should be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

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.

Types of Ethical Dilemmas:

An ethical dilemma arises when one has to choose between ethical values and rules in order to determine the right-thing-to-do. These dilemmas are in three broad categories:

  • Personal Cost Ethical Dilemmas arises from situations in which compliance with ethical conduct results in a significant personal cost to the decision maker in a difficult situation.
  • Right-versus-Right Ethical Dilemmas, arises from situations of two or more conflicting sets of bonafide ethical values.
  • Conjoint Ethical Dilemmas, arises when a careful decision-maker is exposed to a combination of the above-indicated ethical dilemmas in searching for the “right-thing-to do”.

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.