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Explain how ethics contribute to social and human well-being (Civil Services Examination 2016)

  • Ethics broadly refers to set of values which guides one to distinguish between right and wrong.it is continuous evaluation of existing value so as to ensure that they are rational and non-discriminatory. This practice of continuously studying values and moral standards has helped in social and human well-being in various ways which are as follow.
  • Ethics helps in positive deviation from discriminatory laws and tradition.e.g.institution of slavery and ‘varna system’ could not survive as they could not stand the test of modern values of equality, justice and liberty.
  • Women and ‘third gender’ toad enjoy equality which they were denied in the past. The modern ethical principle advocates equality for all that promotes social well-being.
  • Political system has become more democratic and citizen centric because values like collective good, human right, justice and fairness has become predominant compared to autocracy and monarchy in the past.
  • Business ethics says that only profit is not the sole purpose of business. Business houses should care people and planet also. This has given rise to corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.
  • Environmental ethics ask people to respect environment and ecology. This has brought into fore the importance of clean and pristine environment for overall human well-being,

Hence, ethics has helped immensely in introspecting over old and existing value system so that dignity of all living beings is maintained and collective progress and welfare is ensured.

Law and ethics are considered to be the two tools for controlling human conduct so as to make it conductive to civilized social existence.

(Civil Services Examination 2016)

A.Discuss how they achieve this objective.

B.By giving examples show how the two differ in their approaches

a.Law and ethics are two important wheels on which civilized society march forward. Theformer set and standards of value and morality in society and its institutions while the later seek to reinforce moral standard and deter people from deviating from accepted norms.

Both ethics and law try to reinforce each other, sometimes it is law which demand ethical conduct such are care for elderly, education and nutrition for children etc. and often value mandate rule of law like justice, fairness and human right. Right to education, food and development opportunities.

However, ethical approach is very different from law

  • Ethics aims at changing attitude and behavior through education, social influence and persuasion.
  • Laws are maintained by using force by state, it is often punitive i.e. If one does not respect women then he will be punished for his act.

b.it is often observed that lack of concurrence between law and ethics leads to conflict and unrest. This is due to the reluctance of either one to change with time and mood of society. For example,

  • There is increasing moral space for LGBt group and laws does not provide them space.
  • Similarly there are strong laws for protecting women from abuse but existing values are still patriarchal.

Hense, good balance of law and ethics are needed. Good law and corrupt morality and vice-versa cannot co-exists.

4.At the international level,the bilateral  relations between most nations are governed on the policy of promoting one’s own national intrest without any regard for the interest of their nations.This leads to conflicts and tensions between the nations.How can ethical consideration help to resolve such tensions? Discuss with specic examples.

(Civil Services Examination 2015)

Foreign policy of a country is governed by a number of factors.a country has economic,political and stratagic intrest of other nations.colonialism,world wars,bio-prospecting etc.are some of the examples (like tension between littoral states of south china sea).

However,such an approch has led to conflicts and tensions between the countries.these issues can be resolved by ethical considerations in the foreign policy.

Ethical consideration can help in the following manners:

Principle of vasudhaiva kutumbakamour principle of vasudhaive kutumbakam,i.e.,world is global village,can help in establishing peace and harmony in the world.it gives us the message that we meedto look beyond these man-made boundries,for the larger good of humanity.

Principle of Peaceful co-existance (panchsheel) instead of mutual antagonism,our foreign policy should be driven by idea of peaceul co-existence.countries can prosper only in peaceful global order. we need to understan that the present path leads us only to the destruction of the whole world.we nedd to change our course.

Respecting HumanityInstead of dividing people among various identity groups and then  discrimnating among them,

We need to see the larger picture.we need to ensure basic human rights for every one.we should strive to improve quality of life of people  around the world .

Share responsibility : if we want to save this world for our future generations,we need to take the responsibility collectively.we must ensure  conservation and sustainable use of available  environmental resources.

Renew the policiesrefurbishing policies  like non-allignment movement.so for the progress of humanity and for preserving our planet for future generations,we must include these ethical considerations in our foreign policy. 

6.a. All human beings aspire for happiness.Do you agree?What does happiness mean to you?Explain with examples.

(Civil Services Examination 2014)

  • Happiness is a state of possitive or plesent emotions ranging from contenment to intense joy.
  • Happiness leads to
  • High self confidence
  • Optimism
  • Freedom from stress,depression and anxiety
  • Integration with society

It is of such fundamental importance to the  human condition that  “life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were deemed  to be unalienable rights by the united states declaration of indipendence.thus all individuals do aspire for happiness.

However,different people have different level of happiness disposition i.e., inner tendency to remain happiness is a fuzzy  concept and can mean many differentthings to different people.

I feel happy when the following situations occur

  • In the morning ,when I read news paper,I feel happy by reading possitive news.
  • I feel happy when I reach my work place on time.
  • I feel happy,when I complete my daily assaignments on time.
  • I feel happy after learning something new.
  • The most important thing which makes me happy is,when my speech and thoughts are reflected in my action.

b.What does ethics seek to promote in human life?why is it all the more important in public administration?

(Civil Services Examination 2014)

Ethics is concerned with formulating coherent set  of rules or principles by which people ought to live.being  ethical is indispensable for human life. Ethics promotes following ideas in human life:

  • Being fair,honest and ethical is one of the basic human needs and thus,its fulfilment leads to higher self esteem and low dissonance.an individual,who is believed to be driven by moral values,is respected in the society.thus ethics promotes credibility.
  • It helps in uniting people and leadership.
  • Greater enforcement of lae.often ethics succeds law in safeguarding the society.
  • Ethics promotes ability to take decision more quickely as it assists in making choices.
  • Ethics promotes higher order thinking and good for all.

Public administration is the executive branch of the government,which is responsible for the implementation part of the plans and policies.without ethics,the administration will be like a stoic machine,without life and emotions.

So,it is necessary that administration will be guided by ethics,as it promotes.

  • The concept of welfare state and social justice as,ethics promotes empathy and ompassion in decision ,making.
  • It improves the coordination between the citizens and the administration as ethics inculcates the values like honesty,integrity,transparency and accountability in the public officials.

Presence of ethics reduces corrupt tendencies and also improves the quality of public expenditure and in the due course public gets their rights in fair manner.

  • How could social influence and persuasion contribute to the success of swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA)?

(Civil Services Examination 2016)

Swach bharat abhiyan was started to make India open defection free and clean roads, streets, infrastructure and surroundings.in India, task of maintaining cleanliness was considered to be task of particular community, hence, people never felt that it was their responsibility to keep surroundings clean. This attitude is still evident when people litter on streets, scribble on monument and spit on streets. Open defecation today has become behavioural problem as despite having toilet in houses, around 40% population prefer to defecate in open.

SBA has realized that cleanliness issue is behavioural and emphasizes more on social influence and persuasion to change attitude and behavior of people. Celebrities, eminent citizen and political leaders through constant campaign are trying on convey importance of cleanliness. School curriculum includes lesson and practice of cleanliness, this will have long –term impact on children.vanarsena a group of children in Indore have become watch dog of cleanliness. Certain communities have started campaign like No Toilet No Bridge campaign.

Some states have made toilet mandatory to contest for local elections. Government has instituted various awards like Swachh school award, swachh bharat awards etc… To incentivize efforts of institutions and communities.

Bangladesh has reduced open defecation to less than 3% from 30% in 1990 mostly by employing social influence like latrine review in house of prospective groom, pressure on parents from school children and infrastructure was minor component of the programme. Hence, by focusing on behavioural change India can accomplish objective of swachh bharat abhiyan.

2.Our attitude towards life, work other people and society are generally shaped unconsciously by the family and the social surroundings in which we grow up.some of these unconsciously acquired attitudes and values are often undesirable in the citizens of a modern democratic and egalitarian society.

A.Discuss such undesirable values prevalent in today’s educated Indians.

B.How can such undesirable attitudes be changed and socio-ethical values considered necessary in public service be cultivated in the aspiring and serving civil servants?

(Civil Services Examination 2016)

  • Education is one of the most important means which helps in socialization but other factors like family, community, culture and religion have equally strong impact on human attitude and behavior.
  • Hence, despite good education most Indians still have undesirable values like

Caste and religion prejudice:

There are various instances that people from particular caste or religion are denied rented accommodation.
Gender prejudice: still most of the unpaid care work is done by female. Social physical mobility of female is restricted. Dowry system is still prevent, desire for male child is still strong.

Regional prejudice: concept of son of soil and negative attitude towards migrants.
Growing intolerance: Hectic lifestyle in cities have made people impulsive. There are several instances of murder just over parking issues. Lake of concern for cleanliness in public places and common goods like air and water.

  • various methods of social influence could be used to bring attitudinal change like

Sensitivity training: Training civil servants in basic constitutional value and emphasis on their importance in sustainable national development.by rewarding values like honesty, probity, competency and diligence by citiation of president’s medal for distinguished service and other award.

  • Annual confidential report of civil servant should have parameters which helps in evaluation of ethical conduct of civil servant.
  • Counselling at various levels of services, motivation and also situation based training and games like role playing helps in highlighting undesirable behavior.
  • Civil service laws are also important for avoiding undesirable behavior.
  • Like punishment for those deviating from constitutional values even compulsory retirement for those reluctant to change.
  • Proper setoff value are very important in civil service and right mixture of training social influence, reward and punishment can help in creating an ethical and moral civil service.
  • Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public towards their work have been identified as the bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude
  • distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and demerits.

(Civil Services Examination 2015)

Bureaucratic Attitude: The attitude of public servants to strictly and rigidly follow decision-making process according to the laid down rules and guidelines is the bureaucratic attitude. Some basic attributes of this attitude involve objectivity, neutrality, secrecy, elite, approach, etc..

Merits of bureaucratic attitude are:

  • Strict compliance of standard operating procedure.
  • Since consultation with public is not needed, so decision can be taken quickly.

Demerits of bureaucratic attitude are

  • Red-tapism, as there is no urgency in achieving targets.
  • They are opposed to changes in the system,leading to stagnation.
  • It is rigid; hence public service delivery may not be effective.
  • Apathy towards common people.

Democratic attitude The attitude of public servants to encourage participation of people in decision-making process and delegate authority to other members of the team is called democratic attitude.it involves values like compassion,transparency,accountability.tolerance,responsiveness,etc. in a democratic country like India, it is necessary for the administration to adopt democratic approach,for giving services according to the needs of the citizens.

Merits of democratic attitude are:

  • It ensure participation of people in governance
  • It improves effectiveness of public service delivery, as it is according to the ‘felt needs’ of the people.
  • It allows flexibility in programme designing and implementation.

Demerits of democratic attitude are

  • Since it involves wider consultation,so it may be time consuming.
  • It becomes difficult to arrive at wide consensus on certain issues
  • It slows down decision-making process.
  • Is it possible to balance the two to create a better administration for the faster development of our country?(Civil Services Examination 2015)

Yes it is possible to balance the two.it can be achieved by following methods.

Demarcating separate Areas in certain areas of governance, we need democratic attitude of bureaucrat and in other areas, we need bureaucratic attitude. These should be demarcated,eg.,areas having larger public interface require democratic attitude like in case of field posting.where as areas that require quicker decision-making need bureaucratic attitude,like in day-to-day functioning of administration at higher levels.
Laying Down of guideliines with provisions for Flexibility Guidelines and standard operating procedures should be issued at macro level,while there should ne provisions for flexibility.this will ensure bureaucratic attitude at macro level and democratic attitude at micro level.in this way,both these can be balanced for creating a better administration for faster and inclusive development oof the country.

5.In the context of defence services,’patriotism’ demands readiness to even lay down one’s life in protecting the nation.According to you,what does patriotism imply in everyday civil life?Explain with illustrations and justify your answer?

(Civil Services Examination 2014) 

True patriotism in context of defence services calls for a person,who loves his country and is ready to sacrifice his all including his life for her cause and whole-heartedly works for the welfare of his motherland.But in civil life,patriotism in the context of internationalism and humanism.

Patriotism lends a great dimension to a man’s personality and it exalts him to rare heights of nobility.A patriot is not a person confined within the narrow limits of his family and his intimate circle of friends.Patriotism enlightnes us about our paramount duties to our nation,our motherland,as dear and sacred as our own mother.

Patriotism may imply for a citizen.

  • To abide by the constitution
  • To follow the noble ideals,which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  • To uphold the sovereignty,unity and integrity of INDIA.
  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious,linguistic and regional or sectional
  • To renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

Thus patriotism can be the glue that can hold us together,our foundation and we can achieve itby courage,love and most importantly good

6.What  factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems?in our society,contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems.what contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society?How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes?

(Civil Services Examination 2014) 

Attitude refers to learned,enduring pre-disposition to act,think and feel in particular ways toward a class of people,objects or an idea.it is a positive or negative evaluation of just about anything in your environment including social problems.
Factors determining such attitudes are

  • Awareness and communication among the people socialisation.
  • Emotions related to social problems.
  • The cognitive compoonents,which refer to the beliefs,ideas,thoughts and attributes we associate with a social problem.
  • Past behaviours or experiances regarding an attitude event.

Different people have different attitudes towards different social problems.in fact,India can be regarded as the land of social contrasts due to existence of untouchability and caste system,women exploitation and practices like dowry and female foeticide,reservation to backword classes and economic and social inequalities.
Contrasting attitudes present in the society about the caste system are

  • Upper caste people who have benefitted from this division of labour/ labourers are possitive about caste system and try to legitimise it on the basis of historical documents.on the other hand,lower caste people are against this division.
  • There is also a distinction present in rural and urban areas.Urban centres and younger generation are more flexible about the caste system than rural areas and older generation.

It has also been found that many people who don’t really support the caste system still would not marry their children with other caste children.presence of rservation for the lower caste people is making this distinction more stronger.

some causes of this distinction are

  • Stereotypes and prejudices held by people based on improper wrong,manipulated,half people.
  • Lack of education and lack of required activitis of civil society.
  • Caste based politics.
  • Stubborness not give,equal space to lower caste and women.
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