Prelims Level
Mains Level

1. Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of seven sins (Civil Services Examination 2016)

Mahatma Gandhi a great political, social and moral preacher has asked people to refrain from committing following seven sins.

Politics without Principle Political office should be used to alleviate miseries of people. Using political office for power, money and self aggrandisement is a sin.

Business without MoralityBusiness should not mere be done for profit. Singular focus on profit is great sin which will lead to depletion and deterioration of resources and inflict severe pain to mankind. For example, during natural disaster people selling water bottle for Z100 can be considered as a sin.

Wealth without Work If one earns without work she/he will never understand the value of labour and also might use her/his wealth in unscrupulous way.

Pleasure without Conscience Happiness that is earned at the expense of others is no less than a sin. A person’s selfishness forces him to neglect the interest of others.

Knowledge without CharacterCharacter imbibes qualities of integrity and honesty in a knowledgeable person. Knowledge without character can make a person like Osama Bin Laden While knowledge along with character can make him like Dr Kalam.

Science without Humanity All the scientific innovation should be used for welfare of people. If human and humanity is not central concern of science then it can wreak havoc. For example. Agent Orange, nuclear weapon, ills of social media. 

Religion without sacrificeReligion today has been reduced to mere practice of rituals. Not bringing the essence of compassion, affection and brotherhood in our lives is a sin.

2. Analyse John Rawls’s concept of social justice in the Indian context. (Civil Services Examination 2016)

John Rawls’s concept of social justiceadvocates to take decision through veil of ignorance. Veil of ignorance means to imagine ourselves in a situation where one is unware of one’s position in term of caste, religion,gender etc. and then take decisions. The concept here is that when we don’t know our position then it is more likely that we take rational decisions for collective benefit of society.

This concept in India context finds following applications

Reservation IssueThat whether demand some high castes to get reservation is valid or not.we can also look any amendament in present reservation policy according to it.

Environment to maintain balance between biodiversity and development. For example increase in area of eco-sensitive zones.

Economy issues like increase in FDI,monetary policy or even present demonetization issue can be examined though spectrum Rawls’concept.

TraditionsWe can also examine and introspect various traditional practices and customs like jallikattu,entry of women in certain temples or religious places etc..

Others Similarly other issues like defence expenditure,progressive taxation,foreign policy with different nations,censorship need examination from this point of view.

Overall,john rawls through his veil of ignoarance providence us an opportunity to solve various issues in impartial and rational way.it has the potential to increase the transparency in system through proper efforts.Time is rights that we take aid of his theory and come at appropriate solution on different ongoing issues.

corruption causes misuse of government treasury, administrative inefficiancy and obstruction in the path of national development” Discuss Kautilya’s views. (Civil Services Examination 2016)

  • Kautilya was one of the foremost political thinkers of the world.he had a very pragmatic view on various issue including dealing with the menace of corruption.According to him,government servant is like a fish in the water.he saysit would be difficult to know,whether government servant in charge of any department is missusing his position or not.
  • According to kautilya a person’s lust or greed for money would make him to compramise his integrirty and therby increasing his administrative ineffeciancy.this reduces the collection of revenue to the state treasury due to misappropriation of funds that acts as a hindrance for the state to put aside the finance for ntional developmment.this caution of kautilya is valid even today.transparency and ease of doing business index ranks india very low because of precalling corruption.corruption has become core lubricant to run government machinaries.

Kautilya also gave following measures to fight corruption among government servant

  • Strict adhernce to law and reduce discretionary power.
  • To prevent and control corrupt practices,laws should be followed strictly
  • Continuous supervision and regular scrutinity of work of public employees.
  • Continuous transfer of officials among various department.
  • Whistle blowing i.e..one with information of corruption should have direct contact with king-ruler.

Modern administrators need to take kautilya’s views and suggestion on corruption laws are based on suggestion given by kautilys.

4. ”Max Weber said that it is not wise to apply to public administration the sort of moral and ethical norms we apply to matters of personal conscience.it is important to realse that the state bureaucratic morality.” Critically analyse this staement.(Civil Services Examination 2016)

  • Max weber conceived bureaucratic organisation as closed system i.e.. organisation is not influenced by socio-economic condition and values prevalling out side.the bureaucracy has its own rules and regulation which binds the administrator who is different in his own value system.
  • The closed system bureaucratic mode model had values like neutrality,stirct adherence to rules and regulation,impersonal attitude,efficiency.These values are suited only for ideal society where administrator work is restircted to maintaining status quo.
  • However in developing country characterised by inequality,poverty,discrimination and other social ills most important values needed are change,innovation,empathyand effectiveness.Hence,the administrator has to use his conscience has impact on welfare of the society.
  • For example,conductor in a bus may ask a passenger to vacate the seat for in favour of senior citizen.it is not the duty conductor to provide a seat,but it is his morality which guided him to do so.
  • Hence merely organisational rules alone are not sufficient in ensuring development and welfare;personal conscience is important to keep one self and entire organisation from deviating from stated objective.

5.a. A mere compliance with law is not enough,the public servant also has to have a well-developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties.Do you agree?Explain withhelp of two examples,where i.an act is ethicallu right but not legally and ii.an act is legally right, but not ethically.(Civil Services Examination 2015)

  • A civil servant needs to have ethical literacy ,ethical literacy,ethical competency and moral reasoning abilities,for effective discharge of his duties.

It is signifiacant due to the following reasons

  • For better interpretation of law and its enforcement.
  • Ethics fill the gap which is left by law.it caters to the dynamic nature of administration.
  • For better understanding of needs of people.
  • In adopting effective and holistic approch towards problem solving.
  • For bridnging the gap between people and administration.
  • For better policy formulation and implementation.
  • Optimum utilisation of available resources.

So,both compliance with law and ethical sensibility are needed for a civil servant.however,there are situations were oyone of them fulfilled.

  • Ethically right,Legally wrong A doctor may wish to administer euthanasia to a terminally ipp patient,to relieve him of the unberable pain.though,it is morally right for him,he can’t do it as it isnot permitted legally in india.
  • Legally Right,Ethically wrong Legally,it may be right for army personnel to conduct raid and even kill a suspect in states where armed forces (special power) act is applicable.But ethically,it is wrong.it involves depriving the citizens their basic human rights including their right to get justice from the court of law.
  • So,far effective public service delivery, a public servant must be ethically sensitive alongwith complying with the law.

b.How do the virtues of trustworthiness and fortitude get manifested in public service?Explain with example.

  • Virtues of trustworthiness and fourtitude are needed for effective public service delivery.

They get manifested in the following form.

  • Upholding principles Fidelity Governance is alla bout relationshps.trust is required between government and public,political executive annd civil servant and among the team members.this increases the effciency of administration.if trust is lost everything is lost.this trust is reflected when commitments are fulfilled.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of information in public interest not disclosing budget details before formal announcement.
  • Transparency and participative approch it can develop credibility and trust among people.eg.,panchayat system enhances trust and teamwork between people and administration.
  • Upholding rule of law there may be cahallenging circumustances,when it becomes difficult to uphold the law.it requires moral and fortitude to uphold the rule of law and to work fr relising the values enshrined in the constitution.so upholding it reflects our virtue of fortitude eg., not taking in to account the inappropriate influence by the political boss,which can hurt public interest.
  • Dedication to service There are many temptations to make personal gains at the cost of public interest.it requires moral fortitude to overcome these temptations and remain dedicated to the service of the ppeople,so,our deication to service reflects our fortitude.

6. today we find that In spite of avrious measures like prescribing codes of conduct,setting up vigilance cells/ commissions,RTI,active media and strenghtning of legal mechanism,corrupt practices are not coming under control

Evluate the effectiveness of these measures with justifications. (Civil Services Examination 2015) 

The present initiatives have met with limited success in curbng corruption.

The main reasons are

  • Code of conduct they have been defined comprehensively,but lack of strict enforcement,mechanism,use of legal language and different interpretations make them of little use lack of revision is another problem.
  • Vigilance cells/commisssions they have been effective in unearthing many corruption cases but due to lack of autonomy and limited powers along with political intervention,they have not been able to make much difference eg.,CBI was recently reffered to as a cagged parrrot by the supreme court.
  • RTI Active Media they have been succeful in unearthingman scams like 2G scam,coal block allocation scam,etc..but they are also misused sometimes also killing of RTI activities pose a challenge.All these obstacles have limited their effectiveness.
  • Legislative Measures though with time,amendnents have been done to curb various types of corrupt practices,but implementation and regulatory mechanism are weak.tjis provides loopholes to the corrupt people.
  • Judicial measures They are expensive,time taking and difficult to be undestood by an ordinary citizen.These limitations have made the judiciary ineffective in providing justice to the people.

suggest more effective stratagies to tackle this menace (Civil Services Examination 2015)

A multipronged approch is required to takle the menance of corruption by using persuasion punishment and pprevention(3P’s).This approch can target every facet of corruption.

Preventive measures are

  • By reducing discretionary powers with the help of e-governance.
  • By increasing transparancy and accountability by laws like RTI act,Citizen’s charter and whistle blower act

Punishment/deterrent measures are

  • Strict formulation and implementation of curruption laws and fast disposal of these cases.
  • By formulating comprehensive performance appraisal mechanism.
  • Appointing and strengthening lokpal/ lokatukta in every state.
  • Changing attitude of people towards corruption by making them understand that bribe giver is also responsible for spreading corruption and by spreading awareness about the corruption related laws.
  • Inclucating moral values in children so that they can motivate their subordinates.

In all,citizens have to relise the harmfuk effects of corruption,if we really need to eradicate this meance.

what do you understand by the term ‘voice of conscience’?How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience?(Civil Services Examination 2013)

  • Consience may be defined as the special act of mind that comes in to being,when the intellect passes judgement on he merit of a particular act,it is not a feeling or an emotion but a particular judgement on the morality of an action.voice of conscience is the inner voice which helps in making ethical decisions.itassumes significance in situations,where there are no rules or laws to guide the behaviour.it tells us whether the action we have taken or are about to take is right/wrong,ethical/unethical.
  • To heed to the voice conscience,the first requirement is to free oneself from extenal influences and selfish interests.one should pause and think abour all the dimensions of the issue befor making the decision.practising the power of silence in such a situation can also be useful.

what is meant by’crisis of conscience’?narrate one incident in your life,when you were faces with such a crisis and how you resolve(Civil Services Examination 2013)

  • ‘crisis of conscience’ Is a sitiation in which it is difficult to decide,what is the right thing to do.the individual feels that he has done something wrong because he acted contrary to his voice of conscience or he cannot act in accordance with the voice of conscience in the immidiate situation.
  • In myschool days,I used to fight a lot.their was an enemy group.once one of the members of thae group met with a small accident and was crying for help.initially I neglected his call and tried to move away but suddenly I realised that this is not the right time for showing rivary and I should help him.so,I resolved this crisis of conscience by understanding the need of the situation with a humane angle.
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