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Ethics is the first line of defence against corruption while law enforcement is remedial and reactive. Examine the statement with suitable examples.

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. Ethics is the first line of defence against corruption while law enforcement is remedial and reactive. Examine the statement with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

Its based on the theme of ethics and its role in preventing corruption.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role played by ethics as first line of defence against corruption.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Ethics refer to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, fairness or specific virtues. Laws are usually based on an ethical framework and aim to bring social order while controlling the immoral or unethical behaviour of individuals in the society.

Body:

Describe the importance of ethics and laws in preventing corruption.

Elaborate the statement while taking a stand on it and justify with examples such as – A typical example is the role of an administrator where discretion has to be exercised. Discretion provides ample opportunities for corruption and a person with weak ethics may easily fall prey to money-making even at the cost of society’s wellbeing. Therefore, ethics is the first line of defense, even if there is no law on the subject.

Conclusion:

Hence, it is ethics that act as a strong defence mechanism for all societies to prevent corruption whereas laws are reactive and only a remedy. A permanent solution for wiping corruption from its roots shall only come with the internalization and not from the external forces.

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