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
Reference: Modern Indian history by Bipin Chandra
The British East India Company officials wanted to maintain neutrality or non-intervention in the sphere of religion and culture of the Indian society, after the acquisition of political power in India in first half of 19th Century. The reason behind this policy was partly the fear of adverse reaction and opposition to their role by the indigenous people. However, due to certain constant pressure from different quarters, the Missionaries, the Liberals, the Orientalists, the Utilitarians compelled the company to give up its position of neutrality and to take up the responsibility of promotion of education. But, there was a conflict in the opinions which were divided on the issue that whether the company should promote western or oriental education, giving rise to the Orientalist-Anglicist controversy.
- During the first quarter of nineteenth century a great controversy was going on regarding the nature of education and medium of instruction in schools and colleges.
- The Orientalists led by Dr. H.H.Wilson and H.T. Princep advocated in favour of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian as the medium of education.
- In the initial stage, the company officials patronised oriental learning.
- In this context, the establishment of the Calcutta Madrasa by Warren Hastings in 1781, the Benares Sanskrit College by Jonathan Duncan in 1791 and the Asiatic Society of Bengal by William Jones in 1784 are noteworthy.
- Those who were in favour of continuation of the existing institutions of oriental learning and promotion of Indian classical tradition were called Orientalists. Orientalists were guided by some practical considerations.
- They wanted to teach the British officials the local language and culture so that they would be better at their job.
- This was the prime objective behind the foundation of the Port William College at Calcutta in 1800.
- The other motive was to develop friendly relations with the elites of the indigenous society and to understand their culture.
- This was the main reason behind the establishment of the Calcutta Madrassa and the Benaras Sanskrit College.
- The Anglicists led by Charles Trevelyan, Elphinstone advocated the imparting of western education through the medium of English.
- The Anglicists were supported by most advanced Indians of the time, like Raja Ram Mohan Roy who advocated for the study of western education as the “key to the treasures of scientific and democratic thought of the modern west.”
- They could not compromise the idea of grafting the new Western learning upon the old stock of Oriental learning.
- They argued the idea of diffusing Western sciences and literature amongst the Indians through the medium of English.
- As they were firm in their conviction, so they desired to utilize the entire educational grant for the purpose of diffusing Western Education.
- Countering these Orientalists, there was a strong opposition led by different groups in England, namely, the Evangelicals, the Liberals and the Utilitarians.
- The Evangelicals had a firm conviction in the superiority of Christian ideas and western institutions.
- Two great exponents of the Evangelical view were Charles Grant and William Wilberforce.
- Also, others who did not share Evangelical faith also convinced of the superiority of western knowledge and one of the chief promoter of this idea was Macaulay.
Macaulay’s Minute of 1835:
- Under the circumstances, the controversy between these two schools of thought was referred to the Government by the General Committee of Public Instruction.
- Lord Macaulay, the Law member to the Supreme Council of Calcutta was appointed Chairman of the Committee of Public Instruction.
- This famous minute finally settled the debate in the favour of Anglicists, that is, the limited government resources were to be devoted to teaching of western sciences and literature through the medium of English language alone.
- Lord Macaulay was of the view that ” Indian learning was inferior to European learning”, which was true as far as physical and social sciences in the contemporary stage were concerned.
- The Government soon made English as the medium of instruction in its schools and colleges and opened a few English schools and colleges instead of a large number of elementary schools, thus neglecting mass education.
- The British planned to educate a small section of upper and middle classes, thus creating a class “Indian in blood and colour but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect” who would act as interpreters between the government and masses and would enrich the vernaculars by which knowledge of western sciences and literature would reach the masses.
Through the Macaulay’s system the British Government intended to educate the upper and middle classes who were likely to take up the task of educating and spreading modern ideas among them. Macaulay had faith in the “infiltration theory”.
In 1854, Sir Charles Wood, the President of the Board of Control sent his recommendations known as ‘Wood’s Despatch of 1854″ reorganizing the whole structure of education. Wood’s Despatch is regarded as the Magna Carta of English education in India. It recommended for the establishment of Anglo-Vernacular Schools throughout the districts, Government Colleges in important towns and a University in each of the three Presidencies in India.
Reference: Physical geography by Savindra Singh
The temperature of ocean water varies by location – both in terms of latitude and depth, due to variations in solar radiation and the physical properties of water. The temperature of the oceanic water is important for marine organisms including plants (phytoplanktons) and animals (zooplanktons). The temperature of sea water also affects the climate of coastal lands and plants and animals therein.
The distributional pattern of temperature of ocean water is studied in two ways viz.:
- Horizontal distribution (temperature of surface water)
- Vertical distribution (from surface water to the bottom).
Factors Affecting Temperature Distribution of Oceans:
- Insolation: The average daily duration of insolation and its intensity.
- Heat loss: The loss of energy by reflection, scattering, evaporation and radiation.
- Albedo: The albedo of the sea which depends on the angle of sun rays.
- Latitudes: The temperature of surface water decreases from equator towards the poles because the sun’s rays become more and more slanting and thus the amount of insolation decreases poleward accordingly. The temperature of surface water between 40°N and 40°S is lower than air temperature but it becomes higher than air temperature between 40th latitude and the poles in both the hemispheres.
- Ocean currents: Warm ocean currents raise the temperature in cold areas while the cold currents decrease the temperature in warm ocean areas. Gulf stream (warm current) raises the temperature near the eastern coast of North America and the West Coast of Europe while the Labrador current (cold current) lowers the temperature near the north-east coast of North America, near Newfoundland. All these factors influence the temperature of the ocean currents locally.
- Unequal distribution of land and water: The temperature of ocean water varies in the northern and the southern hemispheres because of dominance of land in the former and water in the latter. The oceans in the northern hemisphere receive more heat due to their contact with larger extent of land than their counterparts in the southern hemisphere and thus the temperature of surface water is comparatively higher in the former than the latter.
- Prevailing wind: Wind direction largely affects the distribution of temperature of ocean water. The winds blowing from the land towards the oceans and seas (e.g., offshore winds) drive warm surface water away from the coast resulting into upwelling of cold bottom water from below. Thus, the replacement of warm water by cold water introduces longitudinal variation in temperature. Contrary to this, the onshore winds pile up warm water near the coast and thus raise the temperature. This happens near the Peruvian coast during El Nino event. In normal years, North-eastern Australia and Western Indonesian islands see this kind of warm ocean waters due to Walker Cell or Walker Circulation.
- For example, trade winds cause low temperature (in the tropics along the eastern margins of the oceans or the western coastal regions of the continents) because they blow from the land towards the oceans whereas these trade winds raise the temperature in the western margins of the oceans or the eastern coastal areas of the continents because of their onshore position.
- Physical characteristics of the sea surface: Boiling point of the sea water is increased in the case of higher salinity and vice versa.
- Presence of submarine ridges and sills (Marginal Seas): Temperature is affected due to lesser mixing of waters on the opposite sides of the ridges or sills.
- Shape of the ocean: The latitudinally extensive seas in low latitude regions have warmer surface water than longitudinally extensive sea [Mediterranean Sea records higher temperature than the longitudinally extensive Gulf of California].
- The enclosed seas (Marginal Seas – Gulf, Bay etc.) in the low latitudes record relatively higher temperature than the open seas; whereas the enclosed seas in the high latitudes have lower temperature than the open seas.
- Local weather conditions such as cyclones.
The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions, leading to rising ocean temperatures. Increasing ocean temperatures affect marine species and ecosystems. Rising temperatures cause coral bleaching and the loss of breeding grounds for marine fishes and mammals. Rising ocean temperatures also affect the benefits humans derive from the ocean – threatening food security, increasing the prevalence of diseases and causing more extreme weather events and the loss of coastal protection. Achieving the mitigation targets set by the Paris Agreement on climate change and limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels is crucial to prevent the massive, irreversible impacts of ocean warming on marine ecosystems and their services. Establishing marine protected areas and putting in place adaptive measures, such as precautionary catch limits to prevent overfishing, can protect ocean ecosystems and shield humans from the effects of ocean warming.
General Studies – 2
Reference: The Hindu
The United States (US) has decided to cut off US payments to the World Health Organisation (WHO) during the Covid-19 pandemic. US President halted his government’s funding of the multilateral body accusing it of “severe” mismanagement of the COVID-19 epidemic. The US has also criticised the WHO for being China-centric and has alleged that earlier WHO had criticized US’s ban on travel from and to China. However, the US has made it clear that it would continue to engage with the WHO in pursuit of meaningful reforms.
India refused to criticise the United States defunding of the World Health Organisation (WHO), saying that it was currently occupied with the domestic campaign to defeat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Funding of the WHO:
There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO.
- Assessed contributions are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization. The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
- Voluntary contributions come from Member States, in addition to their assessed contribution or from other partners. They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
- Core voluntary contributions allow less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking.
- Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions were started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential, and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.
Impact of US’ halting funds to WHO:
- The capricious decision to withdraw from WHO will have dire consequences for global public health.
- The US contributes almost 15% of the WHO’s total funding and almost 31% of the member states’ donations.
- The departure of the U.S. will be a significant blow to the WHO in terms of loss of technical expertise and an annual funding of about $450 million.
- The WHO now will have to suspend the country’s voting rights and deny access to its services, as per Article 7 of its Constitution.
- The halt of this fund comes when the global caseload of COVID-19 approaches 2 million, with the most cases in the US.
- For the WHO, the loss of about 15% of its total funding is bound to have an impact the world over.
- However, unless other countries do the same as the US, the move may not severely restrict the WHO operations.
- Halting that payment is expected to hit many health initiatives across the world, including in India.
Weaknesses in the Global Health Body
- The capricious decision to withdraw from WHO will have dire consequences for global public health.
- The departure of the U.S. will be a significant blow to the WHO in terms of loss of technical expertise and, according to Mr. Trump, an annual funding of about $450 million.
- The pandemic has clearly brought to the fore several shortcomings and weaknesses in the global health body.
- For instance, the 2005 revision of the International Health Regulations made it mandatory for countries to notify the WHO of all events that may constitute an international public health emergency and to “respond to requests for verification of information regarding such events”.
- Yet, the WHO has limited power to ensure compliance by member States, including limitations in independently verifying member states’ official reports.
Impacts on USA:
- If the U.S. was majorly involved in the 2005 IHR revision, it will now have no role to play in strengthening the WHO.
- It will lose a seat at the table to determine the virus strain to be used for developing influenza vaccines (flu killed over 34,000 people in the U.S. in 2018-19), and have no access to new influenza virus samples for research.
- With no more U.S. scientists embedded in the WHO in key roles, including outbreak response teams like the one that visited Wuhan, it will lose out on health intelligence that will compromise the country’s response to international disease outbreaks. In the end, none gains from a further weakened WHO
However, there are contrary views too:
- Administration statements reaffirming U.S. support for NATO, as well as Administration actions to improve U.S. military capabilities in Europe for deterring potential Russian aggression in Europe;
- the Administration’s willingness to impose and maintain a variety of sanctions on Russia;
- the Administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) construct for guiding U.S. policy toward the Indo-Pacific region;
- the Administration’s more confrontational policy toward China, including its plan to increase funding for U.S. foreign assistance programs to compete against China for influence in Africa, Asia, and the Americas;
- S. trade actions that, in the view of these observers, are intended to make free trade more sustainable over the long run by ensuring that it is fair to all parties, including the United States;
- the Administration’s belated support of Hong Kong’s prodemocracy protestors, its criticism of China’s human rights practices toward its Muslim Uyghur population, and its emphasis on religious freedom as a component of human rights
Although, the trend of transition from Unipolarity to multipolarity is good, the lack of finances, US’s clout does matter. In a multipolar world, it is difficult to rely on USA for leading the global institutions and global alliances. The other nations should work together in tandem and help achieve the sustainable development goals.
4. The Centre’s recent move to block 59 Chinese apps has brought to the fore the inherently tricky ‘national security versus digital rights’ question. How do you view this? Give your opinion. (250 words)
Reference: The Hindu
The Government of India on Monday banned 59 applications, most of them popular Chinese applications such as TikTok, Shareit, Mi Video Call, Club Factory and Cam Scanner, citing threat to national security and sovereignty. This ban has once again spotlighted the vulnerability of Internet freedom at a time of national security.
Rationale of Government behind the ban and how it upholds national security:
- The ban comes amid continuing tensions on the border between India and China and covers a variety of applications from e-commerce to gaming, social media, browsers, instant messaging and file sharing.
- The IT Ministry said that this move will “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users”.
- The IT ministry’s move was based on receiving recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India. Consequently, the Government of India had decided to disallow the usage of these apps both on mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices.
- The Ministry said it was invoking its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.
Implications on Internet Freedom:
- Responsibility of a democracy:
- India is not only a constitutional democracy, but also one that is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- There is a certain basic understanding that regulation of the Internet or Internet-based services by governments has to respect basic human rights standards.
- Therefore, the necessity of blocking the app must be very clearly made out by the government.
- Non-following of the standards of Three Part Test:
- For a government to block service or to block any access to content or take other coercive steps that may intrude upon people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, it has to follow what in international law is called the three-part test.
- Less intrusive
- Proportionality test
- Standard of necessity
- Against right to freedom of internet:
- Recently, the Kerala High Court in Faheema Shirin v. State of Kerala recognised that interfering with someone’s access to the internet violates inter alia their fundamental right to privacy.
- Subsequently, the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India observed that an indefinite suspension of the internet could amount to an abuse of power.
- Against right to freedom of expression:
- The decision to block access to Chinese apps has significant consequences since a large part of the Indian population accesses those services regularly.
- For instance, TikTok has more than 100 million active users in India. Combined with more affordable internet recently, Tik Tok has brought marginalised people online in a way no other app has been able to.
- Trans, lower caste, independent artists from rural areas are creating and broadcasting content on TikTok in a way that was previously the monopoly of groups with greater social capital.
- Not only is the short-from video app convenient to use, but it is also more accessible for it has given people who don’t lead instagrammable lives or even speak English the confidence to share their work and showcase their skills.
- Since apps that provide a platform for expression and allow for the dissemination of information are protected by Art.19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.
- Against right to information:
- Another group that is severely impacted by the app ban are the Tibetan refugees in Delhi who use We Chat to connect with their families and friends back in Tibet.
- They also rely on this app to get access to news and information. They cannot use other global social media applications like Facebook or Whatsapp since it is banned in Tibet.
- Further, WeChat is easy to use, and voice messages do not require literacy in Tibetan, enabling refugees who do not read Tibetan to participate in groups.
- Similarly, in the past decade or so, many Indian students have enrolled in Chinese universities.
- They too depend on apps like WeChat to communicate with their colleagues and administrations.
- Right to livelihood affected:
- Reports demonstrate how TikTok gave a voice to entrepreneurs and small business owners in rural India.
- That the ban has come into being during the pandemic is particularly unfortunate given the sense of community that the platform brings people during isolation.
- For a government to block service or to block any access to content or take other coercive steps that may intrude upon people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, it has to follow what in international law is called the three-part test.
Internet freedom vs. National Security:
- In order to know whether the diplomatic and security interests sought to be achieved through the geoblock outweigh civil liberties affected by the move, a careful examination of the procedural and the substantive safeguards relied upon to curtail the right is crucial.
- The adequacy of existing safeguards help in understanding whether the geoblock in the manner in which it has been imposed excessively curtails civil liberties when compared to the interest sought to be achieved.
- In Justice Puttaswamy (Retd.) v Union of India as well as the decision concerning Modern Dental College the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that rights cannot be viewed as distinct compartments.
- They must be viewed as a network of interconnected freedoms that complement each other.
- The most obvious right to get implicated by a geoblock is the fundamental right to access the internet.
- While granularly tailored geoblocks could be constitutionally permissible and proportionate, whether the decision to block access to these 59 Chinese apps specifically without any clear and cogent classification invites a closer constitutional inquiry.
- At present, the precise scale at which cyber threats could result in a public order breakdown is not clear. There is a potential concern about users amplifying disinformation on platforms such as TikTok which is no doubt corrosive to the democratic process.
- However, this concern persists on virtually every internet platform (e.g WhatsApp) which deals with misinformation and it is unclear how a ban will solve anything. News reports have also highlighted how TikTok perpetuates existing hierarchies and promotes hate mongering.
- While these are valid concerns, stray instances of cybercrime using these apps could at best be considered to compromise law and order, a threshold not adequate to legitimately restrict the fundamental right to access the internet.
- A restriction on access to the internet also has to be fair, just and reasonable and not arbitrary at the very least. Consequently, a restriction which is arbitrary also affects the right to equality under Article 14 of internet users in India, since they are entitled to fair, just and reasonable restrictions to access to the internet.
- The Supreme Court in the issue of Internet shutdowns in the Anuradha Bhasin judgment said very clearly that any order blocking people’s rights to liberty, especially in relation to the Internet, requires it to be published.
- The restriction must be on access to specific platforms on the internet and not access to the internet as a whole.
- There is an urgent need to review the Section 69A of IT act to bring clarity and wider reforms.
- The need of the hour is to bring in clear strategy on cyber security.
The differential treatment of Chinese apps results in arbitrary and unjust denial of access to the internet realistically. While there may be valid national security concerns, a content-agnostic and category-agnostic measure sets a worrying trend of executive discretion.
General Studies – 3
Reference: Financial Express
The financial services industry has proved to be an enthusiastic adopter of Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven by the availability of data and investment appetite. Creative implementation of AI by start-ups and fintechs has helped further this trend. Customers expect faster, personal, and meaningful services and interactions with their banks and little tolerance for generic unsolicited messages. Therefore, banks must leverage AI to balance the need for privacy and security with personalisation and engagement. That said, the Indian banking sector has some amount of catching up to do.
AI is strengthening competitiveness of banks through:
- Enhanced customer experience: Based on past interactions, AI develops a better understanding of customers and their behavior. This enables banks to customize financial products and services by adding personalized features and intuitive interactions to deliver meaningful customer engagement and build strong relationships with its customers.
- Prediction of future outcomes and trends: With its power to predict future scenarios by analyzing past behaviors, AI helps banks predict future outcomes and trends. This helps banks to identify fraud, detect anti-money laundering pattern and make customer recommendations. Money launderers, through a series of actions, portray that the source of their illegal money is legal. With its power of Machine Learning and Cognition, AI identifies these hidden actions and helps save millions for banks. Similarly, AI is able to detect suspicious data patterns among humungous volumes of data to carry out fraud management. Further, with its key recommendation engines, AI studies past to predict future behavior of data points, which helps banks to successfully up-sell and cross-sell.
- Cognitive process automation: This feature enables automation of a variety of information-intensive, costly and error-prone banking services like claims management. This secures ROI, reduces costs and ensures accurate and quick processing of services at each step. Cognitive process automation fundamentally automates a set of tasks that improvises upon their previous iterations through constant machine learning.
- Realistic interactive interfaces: Chatbots identify the context and emotions in the text chat and respond to it in the most appropriate way. These cognitive machines enable banks to save not only time and improve efficiency, but also help banks to save millions of dollars as a result of cumulative cost savings.
- Effective decision-making: Cognitive systems that think and respond like human experts, provide optimal solutions based on available data in real-time. These systems keep a repository of expert information in its database called knowledge database. Bankers use these cognitive systems to make strategic decisions.
- Robotic automation of processes: AI reviews and transforms processes by applying Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This enables automation of about 80% of repetitive work processes, allowing knowledge workers to dedicate their time in value-add operations that require high level of human intervention.
Pros of AI in banking:
- Artificial Intelligence is the future of banking as it brings the power of advanced data analytics to combat fraudulent transactions and improve compliance.
- From personalisation to customer service, fraud detection and prevention to compliance, and risk monitoring to intelligent contract documents, AI has helped banks gain better control and predictability.
- AI algorithm accomplishes anti-money laundering activities in few seconds, which otherwise take hours and days.
- AI also enables banks to manage huge volumes of data at record speed to derive valuable insights from it.
- Features such as AI bots, digital payment advisers and biometric fraud detection mechanisms lead to higher quality of services to a wider customer base.
- All this translates to increased revenue, reduced costs and boost in profits.
- While Indian banks have explored the use of AI, it has primarily been used to improve customer experience by adding chatbots as an additional interface for customers like SIA by State Bank of India, Eva by HDFC and iPal by ICICI.
Cons of AI in banking:
- State-owned banks have been slow to leverage AI, largely because AI implementation requires banks to operate outside of the traditional privacy framework.
- Reliance on legacy systems, lack of data science talent, and cost constraints have impeded seamless adoption of AI.
- Lack of credible and quality data
- Diverse language set
- Lack of skilled engineers
- Unavailability of people with right data science skills
- Lack of clarity of business goals
- No clear internal ownership of testing emerging technologies
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) needs to take a commanding and dynamic role in framing regulations on emerging technologies, data privacy and ensuring the business interests of the banks.
- Banks must adopt new business models simultaneously to integrate AI into their strategic plans and explore the use of AI for analytics and to improve customer experience.
- A consortium could help uplift these small banks and enable them to be integrated seamlessly into a broader nationwide secure banking network.
- Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform customer experiences and establish entirely new business models in banking.
- To achieve the highest level of results, there needs to be a collaboration between humans and machines that will require training and a reassessment of the future of work in banking.
- Mass customization is the key to unlocking significant opportunities in the future and can be tapped only through technologies like AI and blockchain.
General Studies – 4
Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is referred as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare and to promote positive social and environmental change.
CSR is based on the philosophy of Trusteeship believes in inherent goodness of human beings. Companies have to spend at least 2% of last 3 years’ average net profits on CSR activities. This may sound costing companies on their profit but in reality it can make companies more profitable and sustainable.
- Corporate Social Responsibility links Corporate Sector to Social Sector
- Upholds Trusteeship: Corporate social responsibility gives a chance to the organization to contribute towards the society, environment, country and so on.
- Promote Relationship: Relationship is the oxygen of life. It enhances the “social quotient” of the company hence help in getting appeal for its product from people. Ex Lifebuoy soap success story
- It imparts an ethical, responsible character to company’s profile, helps it to justify its product, growth and create a distinct aura of company in public sphere. E.g.: Nanhi Kali project of Godrej group.
- Competitive advantage: Businesses that show how they are more socially responsible than their competitors tend to stand out. Research shows that a strong record of CSR improves customers’ attitude towards the company. TATA group enjoys much social appeal when compared with fellow competitor The Classmate notebooks which contributed Rs. 1 towards social welfare gained appeal over other brands.
- Boosts employee morale: CSR practices have a significant impact on employee morale, as it reinforces his confidence on Company’s empathy.
- Presence and involvement of company in CSR activity will provide a soft corner to it in government’s approval, preferences. Its active involvement to implement government flagship program like Swaccha Bharat Mission enhances company’s credibility in government’s eyes.
- Promotes Socio-Economic Development: If the company is engaged in CSR programs it attracts foreign investment and helps the country to get valuable foreign exchange. This in turn leads to socio-economic developmental activities.
- Attracts FDI: If the company is engaged in CSR programs it attracts foreign investment and helps the country to get valuable foreign exchange
Socially beneficial activities involve an element of welfare, charity and providing maximum good to maximum number of people. While doing them the donator will definitely get benefitted in terms of positive wishes, economic gains or prestige enhancement. Hence Corporate Social Responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable
7. You are aspiring to become an IAS officer and you have cleared various stages and now you have been selected for the personal interview. On the day of the Interview, on the way to the venue you saw an accident where a mother and child who happen to be your relatives were badly injured. They needed immediate help. What would you have done in such a situation? Justify your action. (250 words)
Reference : Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon
Conflicting priorities in life pose challenge to an individual’s emotional intelligence and the strength of his/her ethical framework. The case presents an ethical dilemma to me where I have to choose between my personal well-being by attending the interview and social and personal responsibility of helping my relatives who are accident victims.
In the above case, Stakeholders involved are the mother and child, me, society at large. The ethical dilemmas involve personal cost v/s my civic and moral duty as dutiful citizen, Crisis of conscience, Compassion towards the accident victims.
Leaving my relatives may help me achieve my dream and enter the most coveted services of India. As an IAS officer I can serve more people as compared to the present situation. Philosophers like Bentham and schools like Egoism may support me in this regard. Going for the interview and final selection will enhance my social recognition as well as prestige of my family. Since stakes are high, my relatives will also understand my decision.
But any such action may lead to a crisis of conscience. It may also be unjust as I’ll enjoy the benefit but burden will fall upon the relatives. It’ll also be against my virtues of empathy, altruism and integrity. It will also set a bad precedent for the society and may reduce social capital (common good) in long term.
My action of running away from duty it not right as per Kant’s categorical imperative. Humans should always be treated as ends rather than means. Also I can’t afford to make it a universal principle.
Thus, I have to use my emotional intelligence and take a prudent decision. Aristotle has said that moral actions are mean between two extremes of excess and deficiency. I have to control my excessive emotion of love and affection for my relative and not allow any deficiency of sense of social and moral responsibility. Hence I would take following measures:
If any of my family members are with me, they can attend to my accident victim relatives and I may head for my interview. If I have my mobile phone with me I can arrange for some help and ambulance. In the mean while I’ll attend to my relatives and provide first aid with the best of my abilities. When help comes then I can leave for my interview.
Since UPSC interview will be held in city, there would be some ‘good Samaritans’. I can take their help for speedy admission to hospital and responsibility thereof. I can convince bystanders to help by telling them about Good Samaritan guidelines by the Supreme Court. I can also provide reward from my pocket. With this, I can quickly move for interview.
If no help can come forth then I would assume all the responsibilities myself. The purpose of clearing civil service interview is to earn an opportunity for public service and if I help accident victim relatives, I already did public service!
My career prospects would be temporarily diminished, but I can definitely work harder next year. Doing this good work will also make me ethically stronger, a prerequisite for any aspiring IAS. Buddhism says that “compassion is the root of all dharma”, this will be my conviction in facing this situation.
Simultaneously I may try to communicate with the UPSC about my condition and seek postponement of my interview. Some may call this decision irrational but as Kant has said, altruism is rational as it is irrational not to help others knowing that someday you also will need their help.
The above actions, on one hand, will ensure timely medical attention for the accident victims, and will also help me take care of the interview, without compromising my responsibilities either as a citizen, relative or as an aspirant.