You are on page 1of 18

VISION IAS

www.visionias.in

Approach Answer : General Studies Mains Mock Test 748 (2016)

1.(a) The crux of ethical behavior lies not only in standards, but in their adoption in action and issuing
sanctions against their violation. Illustrate.
Approach:
First, mention the importance of having high standards of ethical behavior. Give examples.
Next, discuss the importance of action in accordance to ethical standards and codes of conduct.
Examples can be related with good governance.
Finally, discuss the need for answerability, sanctions and punishment for compliance.
Answer:
Ethics is a set of standards that a society places on itself and which helps guide behavior, choices and
actions. Standards, though important, do not by themselves ensure ethical behavior; that requires a
culture of integrity. The crux of ethical behavior does not lie in bold words and expressions enshrined as
standards, but in their adoption in action, in sanctions against their violations, in putting in place
competent disciplinary bodies to investigate allegations of violations and impose sanctions quickly and in
promoting a culture of integrity.
For example, the government runs various campaigns for effecting a behavioral change, such as Swachh
Bharat, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, etc. However, in absence of sanctions both social and legal, not much
progress can be achieved. Similarly, there are strong laws against corruption, sexual offence,
environmental degradation, etc. Poor enforcement of these laws (laws can be considered as the
minimum standards which the society agrees to adhere to) has led to continuous deterioration in
respective areas.
Corruption, for example, is a manifestation of failure of ethics and value system in a society. In many
cases, corruption is considered as necessary to grease the wheels of the system. Despite condemning it
as immoral, many people engage in it, willfully or forcibly. This signifies both poor ethical standards and
poor enforcement of the existing mechanisms. Unless strong standards are codified and values restored,
nothing much can be done to improve the conduct of human beings. Independent institutions for
monitoring adherence to these values and a properly designed system of incentives and disincentives for
enforcing them are of utmost importance in promoting ethical conduct by public servants.
A holistic approach for conforming to the Codes of Ethics, which guide the ethical behavior, requires their
clear formulation (setting standards) and an optimum mix of punitive and preventive measures. Punitive
measures act as a deterrent whereas preventive measures reduce opportunities for digressing by making
systems transparent, increasing accountability, reducing discretion, rationalising procedures etc.

1.(b) Ethical qualities of a civil servant come handy in times of a crisis. Elucidate using the example of a
natural disaster.
Approach:
Briefly mention the civil service values that are expected in a civil servant.
Next, highlight the challenges of administration faced during a natural disaster. One can take examples
from Kashmir floods, Odisha cyclones or Nepal EQ.
Illustrate the crises faced and the manner in which civil service values come in handy to resolve them.
One can give examples illustrating impartiality, responsiveness, empathy, quick decision making, etc.

1 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Answer:
Core civil services values comprise of selflessness, honesty, integrity, empathy, leadership, objectivity,
efficiency and openness. Besides, civil service neutrality, perseverance, fortitude, etc. are other values
that are desirable in civil servants.
During a disaster, the administration is faced with number of crises and has to make competing choices
in order to minimize the impact of disaster on the community. Natural disasters are generally
characterized by loss of livelihood, of resources critical for survival like food and shelter, of means of
communication, etc. Besides, there are differing capacities of every individual member to cope with the
disaster. Vulnerable groups such as women, children, elderly, those living in slums or squatters, etc. need
special attention.
To deal with such situations, there are elaborate mechanisms prescribed by the NDM Act, 2005. While
implementing these, civil servants must make sure of the special needs of the people in such situations.
Some of the crises where competing choices have to be made include:-
Pre-disaster when resources have to employed, say between strengthening of existing asset and
building a new one.
During the disaster- Allocation of limited resources such as food, shelter, aid, etc. to different
sections.
Rescuing operations where capacity to rescue is limited- E.g. during Kashmir floods or during
Uttarakhand floods when tourists had to be prioritized over locals.
During rehabilitation phase, when incoming aid is to be distributed or when livelihood provisions are
to be made.
During pre-disaster phase, the decision to spend funds and in which locality must be taken objectively

)
om
with due diligence and without any bias.

l.c
During crisis, empathy is the foremost value to help people in distress. While making crucial decisions of

ai
gm
rescue and relief, vulnerability of people and their ability to cope up should be given priority.

@
Responsiveness and quick decision making should inform the actions as time is a crucial factor. In
27
h0
distributing aid, efficient utilization of non-governmental resources should also be undertaken. It should
s

be made sure that resources are spread out evenly and not merely in areas that have better access.
ru
u
(p

After-crisis, socially backward communities should be prioritized for rehabilitation as they are the most
m

vulnerable. Distribution of aid such as medicine, clothes, monetary claims, etc. is vulnerable to
tta
ho

corruption. Ethical values of the civil servant will play a major role in ensuring that the needs of the
us

people are not compromised.


ur
rP
ka
an
uv

2.(a) The bailout package offered to large financial corporations in response to global financial crisis raised
rS

important ethical questions. Discuss the ethical issues involved in giving bailout packages to financial
fo

corporations using taxpayers' money.


ed
is
al

Approach:
on
rs

Brief impact of financial crisis on different stake holders.


pe

The demands of organizations to get the financial package.


ti
en

The ethical dimensions involved with respect to tax-payees, overall social responsibility and impact on
m
cu

countries financial health.


do

Answer:
is
Th

A bailout is a situation in which an interested party such as the government offers money to a failing
business in order to prevent the consequences that arise from its downfall. It is a financial aid, generally
provided to minimize the potential loss to the economy in general. It may or may not require
reimbursement.
During the financial crises, huge bailouts were provided to the big financial institutions so as to prevent
them from failing. This has raised ethical concerns of financing private property through pubic resources.
Similarly, it has been alleged that schemes such as UDAY and bailout package to sugar industries
incentive poor management practices and provide scarce taxpayers money to private companies in guise
of public welfare.

2 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


To determine the ethical issues involved in such bailouts, it is important to separate the cause and the
effect. Failure of large financial institutions or organizations is a result of factors like adverse business
cycles, low demand, willful mismanagement, etc. On the other hand, the effects of these bailouts range
from recovery and provision of safety net to large number of people (like small deposit holders, farmers)
and containment of contagion effect in the economy to continued mismanagement with no measurable
recovery. The only ethical justification for bailouts could be if they aid in economic recovery and are
targeted for the vulnerable.
Bailouts that are relatively frequent and almost certain (such as for DISCOMS), create a moral hazard for
persons who own and manage firms eligible to receive these bailouts. If left free to gamble with the
governments money, many would do so. For this reason, firms eligible to receive predictable bailouts
usually must comply with capital requirements, restrictions on use of capital, periodic inspections, and
other regulatory restraints.
For firms such as large private financial institutions, where there is less certainty of bailouts being
provided, mechanisms for external monitoring of risks are also weak. In such situations, even though
there may not be a moral hazard, firms engage in spurious activities, outside regulatory domain to
generate short term profits. As the clientele grows, so does the political influence. After that, there are
more chances of bailouts becoming the norm in such cases also. Therefore, there is double jeopardy of
operating in less regulatory oversight and the government deeming them as too big to fail.
Also, there is the issue of who decides which company/institution to bailout. Since the decisions are
taken by government, there is the issue of conflict of interest about which company/institution should be
allowed to fail and which should not. For example, during 2008 crisis, Lehmann Brothers was allowed to
fail while others were bailed out.

)
om
l.c
ai
gm
@
2.(b) There is an entrenched perception in our country that the police is biased against the minority
27
community. Why does such a perception exist? Suggest steps to bridge the police community gap.
s h0
ru

Approach:
u
(p

First bring out alleged perception of bias in Indian police towards minorities. Give examples which have
tta

reinforced them.
ho
us

Explain the reasons for such a perception.


ur


rP

Enumerate the steps required to bridge the gap.


ka
an

Answer:
uv
rS

There is a perception among large sections of minority population that the countrys policing system is
fo

biased against them. This perception of bias exists because of many reasons:
ed

Since police personnel are part of the society itself, they reflect the prevailing communal currents in
is
al
on

the society. Many a times, their actions also reflect these currents and therefore, there is a
rs
pe

perception of bias.
s

Terrorism: Islamic fundamentalism has led to stereotyping of the minority community and led to
ti
en

biases and prejudices against them in police. False apprehensions of number of innocents have led to
m
cu

entrenchment of perception of bias.


do

Police attitude: Total passivity, callousness and indifference of Police during riots. This has been
is
Th

brought out by various commissions like Ranganath Mishra Commission (Anti-Sikh riots1984), D.P.
Madon Commission, B.N.ShriKrishna Commission, etc.
Poor representation of minority in Indian police
Failure of criminal justice system: Though Muslims comprise only 14.2 percent of the total
population of the country (2011), they constitute 26.4 percent of the prison population. While
Muslims constitute around 30 percent of all prisoners, in the 'pre-trial phase', the number of
convicted Muslim prisoners stands at only 16.4 per cent. Activists point out that the last statistics
clearly points to a 'prejudiced' police system across the country, where minorities are 'targeted' by
the law enforcement agency.

3 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Steps to bridge the police community gap:
Implementation of police reforms (SC -2006 Prakash Singh case) to shield the personnel from
political influence. During the riots in UP (2013), it was alleged that politicians had abstained the
police from taking action against culprits.
Separation of law and order maintenance and investigation functions of police. Community policing
should be made part of the law and order domain.
Developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to kick in immediately in case of communal riots.
Reforms in criminal justice system (as observed by SC in 2014)
Improving interface levels between the Muslim community and police, such as PoliceMinority
youth engagement.
Training programs must sensitize the force towards secularism.

3.(a) India's abysmal record in sex ratio and gender violence reflects the general attitude of the society
towards women. Discuss. In this context, how could an attitudinal change be brought about?
Approach:
The question is about bringing attitudinal change in the society towards women.
Start with a brief account of the prevailing attitudes
Discuss the possible reasons.
Mention the strategies to bring attitudinal change. P.S. the focus should more be on attitude of individual
and society towards women, and less on other factors that contribute to their vulnerable position.

)
om
Answer:

l.c
ai
Sex ratio is one of the yardsticks of judging the position that a society accords its women. Indias child sex

gm
@
ratio has been on decline continuously in the past 3 censuses. Further, there is widespread gender
27
violence prevalent in India both at home and outside. A survey reported in December 2012 that 78% of
s h0

women had experienced harassment in the past year, while other studies have shown that 4 rapes a day
ru
u

occur in India.
(p
m

All this reflects an attitude of apathy and disdain towards women.


tta

Further, denying basic freedoms, such as that of movement, wearing clothes of choice, etc. can at best
ho
us

be described as a conservative and patronizing attitude or worse, are means to exercise dominance.
ur
rP

A number societal norms and attitudes contribute to a widespread culture of violence against women in
ka

India. Some of these are:


an

Attitude of Indifference - Holding the victim responsible and justifying everything from lewd
uv
rS

comments to sexual assaults as partly a doing of the victim signifies virtual acceptance of
fo

inevitability of such incidents.


ed

Feudal and Patriarchal mindset perpetuates misogynistic culture. Large sections of the society still
is
al
on

consider women as being worthy to be confined to their traditional roles only. Not only are women
rs

seen as unequal to men and therefore deserving of lesser human rights many victims of gender
pe
s

violence are perceived as subhuman by their attackers.


ti
en

Poor rate of conviction - lack of fear of being held guilty.


m
cu

Therefore, a holistic approach is needed to fight this menace and bring about attitudinal change.
do

Addressing the target audience in a manner most suited to work on them should be undertaken. For
is
Th

example:
People with such attitudes in upper/middle castes in villages of North India, where women have least
freedoms can be persuaded with involvement of influential personalities (people of high social
standing- achievers, celebrities).
In rural setting, people are more likely to be persuaded by promotional activities of the kind being
undertaken by the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign. Street plays and performances have high
impact on this segment.
In urban areas, where the reach of the media is maximum, rigorous promotion of values of gender
equality and justice should be undertaken.
Children can be made the means of change through incorporation of gender sensitive issues in
school and college curriculum.
4 www.visionias.in Vision IAS
Sensitivity training towards women must be imparted to the leaders in all fields.
To promote respect for women, we need to showcase the achievements of women in diverse fields.
For example, in sports, business, film industry etc.
Certain families can be picked from within the society to encourage gender empowerment. This
would go a long way in spreading the benefits of gender justice in the society.
It is vital to make men a central part of the solution (UN campaign of He4She). Since, mens attitudes
and behavior sit at the heart of the problem, and that any efforts to change these attitudes must
treat men not merely as perpetrators of violence, but as agents of change.
Reforming the Criminal justice system is necessary for creating deterrence among the perpetrators.
This should include sensitizing the police, fast tracking the trial etc.

3.(b) In the parlance of governance, probity is often used in conjunction with integrity. How do you
differentiate between the two? What is their importance in public life? What measures can help
promote these values in governance?
Approach:
First, explaining the probity, and its relation with integrity.
The next part should discuss why it is important for better governance.
Finally, the answer should end with some suggestions.

)
om
Answer:

l.c
ai
gm
Probity means upholding the highest standard of conduct in pubic life. It is about diligently discharging

@
ones responsibilities and upholding others rights or entitlements. It includes three things:
27
h0
accountability, transparency and responsiveness. Integrity, on the other hand, means adherence to
s
ru

standards, values, principles, in personal or professional life.


u
(p

Integrity may differ in different contexts, but probity means to uphold public interest. Probity includes
m
tta

integrity, trust, character, justice, honesty, rectitude and uprightness. As a result, probity becomes the
ho
us

super set which includes all good qualities, including integrity. In probity there is a societal expectation
ur
rP

that decision makers will make decisions in good faith.


ka

Thus, there is a very subtle difference between them. But both are necessary for effective and efficient
an
uv

public administration, because public servants are trustees of public interests and national goals.
rS

Integrity provides a kind of energy by ensuring that one would not compromise on certain desirable
fo
ed

ideals while performing ones duty.


is
al

And to channelize this energy there is need of probity, which gives that energy a direction, which is to
on
rs

uphold public interests and ensure effective and efficient governance. This is ensured by improving
pe

measures of accountability, transparency, and responsiveness.


s
ti
en

For promoting these values in governance, the Supreme Court advised the implementation of Nolan
m
cu

Committee recommendations on Standards in Public Life. It included seven principles of selflessness,


do

integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. Apart from these other measures
is
Th

could be as follows:
Sensitivity training to civil servants regarding the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Development of values through institutional support. Values like, honesty, integrity, commitment to
public service etc. must be made part of general training. These must also be strictly followed
through enforcement of Code of Conduct, and Code of Ethics.
Effective implementation of RTI, Whistleblower Act, Benami Transaction Tax, Citizens Charter.
Though these measures are important in the short term. But ultimately these values should be self
enforced and for this to happen we have to focus on development of desirable values.

5 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


4.(a) How does the use of social media influence political participation and civic engagement? Discuss with
examples.
Approach:
Define social media and its types in brief.
Using examples bring out how social media is being increasingly used in political participation and civic
engagement.
Conclude along with pointing the positive and negative aspects of both.
Answer:
Social media can be define in general terms as a web-based communication tools that enable people to
interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information. Social media platforms, such as
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube provide new ways to stimulate citizen engagement in political life, where
elections and electoral campaigns have a central role.
Influencing political participation
Various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google plus etc. were used for
various objectives in electoral process like general awareness, propaganda by respective parties,
track general trends of peoples mindset etc.
Election Commission also have used such platforms to increase the awareness about some basic
issues and information concerning to a voter such as, procedure of voting, important documents
required at the time of voting, geographical location of election booth etc.
In 16th general election in India social media played a vital role. Politicians have taken part in

)
om
Google+ Hangouts, televised interviews organized by Facebook and using smart phone messaging

l.c
app Whats App to connect with millions of tech-savvy urban voters.

ai
gm
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google etc. had started several features in their own websites

@
homepage, specifically made for the purpose of General Election-2014 for example Tech giant Google
27
has revamped its election hub to include features like Pledge to Vote campaign, a Google score tool
s h0

for politicians, search trends info graphics, YouTube election playlists and Hangout details for users.
ru
u
(p

Using Social Media to Increase Civic Engagement:


m
tta
ho

Citizen participation and civic engagement are the building blocks for good governance and social media
us

play important role in this such as


ur

Social media platform can act as a vital tool for ensuring accountability by not only airing the
rP
ka

grievances of the general public but also disseminating information regarding government
an

programmes and activities.


uv
rS

It could act as a bidirectional feedback providing mechanism highlighting the achievements and
fo

pointing to shortcomings in real time


ed

Example being help provided during Chennai floods and active usage of Twitter by the railway
is
al
on

ministry
rs

In India, Prime Minister Office has used social media as a potent tool to engage people in the
pe
s

governance process by asking for their suggestions, providing information for several government
ti
en

welfare programmes and policies etc.


m

Social media platform is acting as a vital tool for increasing transparency in government functioning
cu
do

and holding the mighty state responsible for its acts not only in urban areas but in any part of the
is
Th

nation.
Disaster management through social media has been proved a better tool to involve active
participation of communities during crisis.
While social media empowers citizens by giving them a voice, it is also an unregulated medium where
false and defamatory views are sometimes expressed, which may create law and order problem in the
society. Further, its misuse has led to tension in communally sensitive places as has been seen in the case
of India.
In a nutshell, social media can be used by Government agencies as a mechanism to solicit response on
policy planning, flaws/drawbacks in implementation thereby helping the agencies becoming more citizen
friendly.

6 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


4.(b) What are the objectives behind the creation of Citizens' Charter? How does a Citizens' Charter ensure
transparency and accountability in governance? What are the impediments in its effective
implementation?
Approach:
Objectives of Creation of Citizen Charter.
How does it ensure transparency and accountability.
Challenges in implementation of Citizen Charter.
Answer:
A Citizens Charter is a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service
which it delivers.
The Objectives of Creation of the Citizen Charter is to empower the citizens in demanding committed
standards of service by ensuring:
Quality - improving the quality of services;
Choice - for the users wherever possible;
Standards - specifying what to expect within a time frame;
Value - for the taxpayers money;
Innovate and improve the service delivery
Use resources effectively and imaginatively
The Citizen Charter ensures:
Transparency in rules, procedures, schemes and grievance redressal
Accountability of the service provider (individual as well as Organization);

)
om
The Citizen Charter contains the Vision and Mission Statement of the organization. This gives the

l.c
ai
outcomes desired and the broad strategy to achieve these goals and outcomes.

gm
In the citizens charter, the organization states what subjects it deals with and the service areas it
@
broadly covers. 27
h0

It also makes the users aware of the intent of their service provider and helps in holding the
s
ru

organization accountable and transparent in functioning.


u
(p
m

Challenges in the implementation of Citizen Charter:


tta
ho

Lack of public awareness: While a large number of public service providers have implemented
us
ur

Citizens Charter, only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the
rP

Citizens Charter.
ka
an

Government agencies often formulate Citizens Charters without undertaking adequate groundwork
uv

in terms of assessing and reforming its processes to deliver the promises made in the Charter.
rS

Civil society organizations and end-users are generally not consulted when Charters are being
fo
ed

formulated.
is
al

Citizens Charters have still not been adopted by all Ministries/Departments


on
rs

In order to make Citizen' Charters effective tools for holding public servants accountable, the Charters
pe

should clearly spell out the remedy/penalty/compensation in case there is a default in meeting the
s
ti

standards spelt out in the Charter, only then will they serve their real purpose.
en
m
cu
do
is

5.(a) RTI is termed as a master key to good governance. Highlight the role of RTI in making the
Th

administration and governance of our country more ethical and responsive.


Approach:
Few lines of introduction to RTI as a key to good governance
Then its role in making administration and governance more ethical
Then separately its role in making them more responsive
Answer:
RTI has been termed as a master key to good governance by second administrative reform commission as
it ushers in an era of transparency, openness, participatory democracy and people centered governance.
It has brought a significant shift in our administration and governance culture.
7 www.visionias.in Vision IAS
Its role has been important in making the administration and governance of our country more ethical
owing to the following:
Creating indirect pressure on officials and politicians because of the possibility of its usage by RTI
activists to question their actions. Thus, it promotes transparency and a continuous accountability of
administration and government for their decisions unlike the ballot box accountability.
Improves citizens trust in government agencies and its functioning A recent of fast tracking of
disbursal of pension dues with interest on filing an RTI application regarding the same to the Western
Railway signifies the importance of RTI in bringing justice to the weaker sections
Containing corruption RTI has helped in unearthing some of the biggest scams in our nation like 2G
scam, coal scam etc.
Eliminating nepotism - In 2013, an RTI-based investigation showed that many MPs had employed
close relatives like fathers, children, spouses as their Personal Assistants to keep the sanctioned
allowance within the family and many had employed personal staff in violation of norms prescribed
by the DoPT. The reports prompted the Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee and the government to
intervene and put an end to such practices by ministers.
It also has big role in increasing the responsiveness of the system in the following manner:
Timely accessibility to information The act calls for keeping information in an organized manner,
keeping records up to date and ensure proper storage & timely retrieval. It also increases
responsiveness as the time cut on gathering the records is reduced
Better participation of citizens Citizens can contribute in decision making in a better way with all
the facts in their hands. It has started a culture of asking questions in the citizens.
Increasing transparency has become the norm. The governments decision for e-auctioning of mines

)
and spectrum signifies the change that has begun to creep in the governance and administration of

om
l.c
our country

ai
The more than 45 RTI users who have been killed bear testimony to just how much the act threatens

gm
@
vested interests. It has become the most potent weapon in the hands of the weak against arbitrary
power of the state. 27
s h0
ru
u
(p
m

5.(b) Differentiate between persuasion and social influence. How can persuasion be made effective to bring
tta
ho

about an attitudinal change? Give two examples where you brought about a positive attitudinal
us

change through persuasion.


ur
rP

Approach:
ka
an

Explain the difference between persuasion and social influence.


uv


rS

Describe how effective persuasion can be made.


fo

Cite examples from your life where you brought attitude change through persuasion.
ed
is

Answer:
al
on
rs

Social influence is the efforts made by one or more persons to change the attitudes or behaviors of one
pe

or more others. There are different types of social influence i.e. persuasion, conformity, social norms,
s
ti

compliance and obedience. Thus, social influence is the broader term while persuasion is one of its
en
m

forms.
cu

The process of persuasion is aimed at changing a person's or a group's attitude or behavior toward some
do
is

event, idea, object, or other persons, by using written or spoken words to convey information, feelings,
Th

or reasoning, or a combination of them.


To make persuasion effective following features must be incorporated:
Using experts to deliver the message as their arguments carry more weight than non-experts.
Message must be designed in a way so that they dont appear to be directed at changing attitude.
Persuasion should generate strong emotions among the audience. Also, message should provide
recommendations about how the change in attitude or behavior will prevent the aforesaid negative
consequences.
The attractive source has more influence on audience. The advertisement companies utilize this
concept.

8 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


People are more attracted at persuasion when they are distracted by some extraneous event than
when they are paying full attention.
If the audience is holding attitude counter to the intended, then its better to use two sided message.
Strongly supporting one side while accepting that other side has some good points disarms the
audience and makes it difficult for them to resist sources conclusions.
Examples of persuasion from my life:
My younger brother was callous toward his studies. I persuaded him to study by invoking the
outcomes if he fails in the exam. For example, his summer trip will be cancelled; he will be mocked
by his friends and will have to study with his now juniors, will lose the love of parents and teachers,
and will not get a good job like me. This invoked fear in him of losing many privileges and he became
serious with studies.
My friend was going through a rough patch after a failed relationship. He was not attending to his
work. I persuaded him by asking whether brooding and sulking will make things better. Wont it be
better if he worked harder and try to find someone even better and more compatible? Similar
arguments which invoked reason were able to bring him back to normalcy.

6. In spite of the existence of a Code of Conduct for public servants, its implementation has been tardy
and of limited success. Discuss. Further, suggest steps which could be taken to improve the efficacy of
the Code of Conduct. What role can Code of Ethics play in reinforcing the Code of Conduct in public life?
Approach:
Describe briefly code of conduct.

)
om
Bring out the reasons for the limited impact the code of conduct.

l.c
ai
Suggest steps which could be taken to improve the efficacy of the Code of Conduct.

gm
Explain how code of ethics will help in improving efficiency of Code of conduct.
@
27
Answer:
s h0
ru

Code of Conduct is a set of rules, standards, principles and values outlining the expected behavior for the
u
(p

members of an organization. The purpose is to regulate the conduct of members on various decisions
m
tta

and processes. Most of the public organizations follow some code of conduct. These have been designed
ho

to comprehensively cover almost all the situations in which public servants find themselves. Yet,
us
ur

widespread corruption occurring is indicative that it has proved to be ineffective. Following reasons can
rP

be attributed towards the minimal impact of code of conduct in dealing with corruption in public life:
ka

Legally not binding: Not all the provisions of code of conduct are legally binding. For example, only
an
uv

provisions of Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules which are violated under the Prevention of
rS
fo

Corruption Act invite punishment. Else, their enforcement boils down to departmental discretion.
ed

Similarly, Model Code of Conduct by ECI is not legally enforceable and only its provisions violated
is
al

under the RPA attract punishment..


on

Code of conduct has to be supported by strong accountability and transparency mechanisms. This is
rs
pe

still to be achieved.
s
ti

Poor awareness about the code of conduct among the public officials and public.
en

Lack of proper training about dealing with situations amounting to conflict of interest. As a result
m
cu
do

officials often fail to follow code of conduct.


Legal rules alone cannot ensure transparent and fair governance. What is needed is self-regulation
is
Th

but there has been rapid erosion of values in public servants.


Following steps can be taken to enhance the effectiveness of Code of Conduct:
The Code should be legally binding. Arbitrariness is against the Rule of Law and hence, it should be
eliminated. Every provision should unambiguously describe the course of action that has to be taken
in case of violation of the code.
A comparative evaluation of effectiveness of code of conduct in public and business organizations
indicates that there has been considerable impact of the Code of Conduct in business organizations.
Hence, the methodology for implementation of the code of conduct can be adopted and modified to
suit public organizations.

9 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Certain practices in business organizations have resulted in employees identifying themselves with
the organization and its objectives. These best practices should be adopted by public sector.
Inculcation and rejuvenation of public service values at an early age and throughout the career of
employees should be done through activities and training.
Code of conduct should be supported by service delivery standards and strong accountability and
transparency mechanisms to reign in corruption.
Code of ethics provides for the value system that public servants can look up to in times of crisis and
dilemma. A Code of Ethics creates a framework upon which all decisions are made. This helps create a
cohesive understanding of the boundaries within an organization and the standards set for interacting
with stakeholders. The ARC II fervently pitched for Code of ethics and related reporting systems. Thus, it
will be complementary to Code of Conduct. However, values need institutional support to be sustained.
Hence, its important that Code of Conduct be made legally binding, with penalty provisions. If both the
codes are followed in letter and spirit, corruption and misuse of public office will be curbed to great
extent.

7. Given below is a quotation. Bring out what it means to you in present context.
The intellect has sharp eye for methods and tools, but is blind to ends and values. Einstein.
Answer:
One of the greatest scientists of human history Albert Einstein had told the above statement to show the
importance of ends and values. The intellect or human mind is considered as rational, logical and
pragmatic. When a person faces any problem, his mind (intellect) and heart (emotions) starts finding

)
solution. Both may have different solutions because the approach of mind and heart is completely

om
different. Mind in general tries to sort out the problem with best possible means and tools, overlooking

l.c
ai
ends, values and consequence. While heart is considered as soft which have the room for considering

gm
ends and values.
@
27
For example, the intellectual inventions such as sophisticated weapons, nuclear arsenals etc are great
h0

inventions in terms of science and intellect but have overall negative consequences on human lives.
s
ru
u

Many examples of intellect like cyber crime, ponzy schemes for money making, misuse of genetic
(p
m

engineering, high energy consuming machines have negative effect on human lives and environment. No
tta

one can deny the great intellect behind these but the overall impacts are detrimental.
ho
us

Intellect gives short term solution of a problem skipping its long term effect. It is best to adopt intermix
ur

of intellect and emotions in the decision making and actions so that the sustainable result with best
rP
ka

means and ends can be generated. The above statement is best suited in present context where people
an

as well as states choosing intellectual path without considering the ends and values for example
uv
rS

exploiting nature and environment, cyber crime, mass surveillance, weapons of mass destruction etc.
fo
ed
is
al

8. Your 16 year old cousin, Leena, loves to play basketball but her peers mock her short height, so much
on
rs

so that Leena has developed a negative attitude towards all sports. As a responsible elder cousin, how
pe

will you convince Leena to take up sports once again?


s
ti
en

Approach:
m
cu

Explain briefly the problem of attitude here.


do


is

Discuss the methods that can be taken to change the attitude.


Th

Answer:
Leena's negative attitude towards all sports is a result of negative social influence. Height is not the only
factor that determines one's ability to play a sport, and at such a young age, she should not be
disheartened by the remarks of her peers so much so that she quits the game altogether.
I will try to increase her self-esteem by citing the names of short-heighted albeit great NBA players such
as Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas. I will show her matches involving these players. She might see
them as role models.
Also, she is too young to think that she will not grow in height. For Leena to believe that she has the
capability to be a basketball player is of utmost importance. I will ask Leena to think about how her
attitude change will affect her life.
10 www.visionias.in Vision IAS
Attitudes are what a person expresses based on their self-perception. Aristotle suggested people can
change their self-perception by first changing their behavior. I can ask Leena to play basketball in the
park with me, just for fun. This way I can encourage her by complimenting her each time she performs
well. She can in fact become better at the sport, simply as she practices it.
The aspiration to become better at this sport can act as an incentive that I can use to push Leena to come
for practice. As her peers mock her, she might not be comfortable initially playing in the school. So, I will
arrange for a membership in a sports club, where she might find people with a more healthy and
respectful attitude.
Optimism is a choice. And one should have a high self-esteem so that such regressive comments can be
overlooked. By practice, and a change in behaviour, Leena will be able to change her outlook towards the
game she likes so much.

9. You are the dean of an engineering college. You have received a complaint regarding prejudice against
students from lower castes by some senior professors. These professors have contributed a lot
academically to the university. However, this particular instance has disturbed peace and harmony in
the campus.
(a) Discuss the immediate steps you would take to contain growing discontent among some students.
(b) Discuss the action to be taken if the professors are found to be guilty and also evaluate the steps if
it comes out to be a false case against the professors.
(c) What should be the responsibilities of professors and students to create positive social ambience in
the campus?

)
om
Approach:

l.c
The case is about social discrimination- perceived or actual. The answer should be written from the

ai
gm
perspective of the Dean and not any other party.

@
List the facts of the case. 27
h0
To clarify the course of action, list the priorities. Mention the constitutional values and your duties as a
s
ru

dean.
u
(p

One must choose the right course of action and make it acceptable to all. As such, whatever course you
m
tta

choose, there should be accompanying explanation about how to convince others about it, i.e. you
ho

should address the demerits.


us
ur
rP

Answer:
ka

(a) Facts of the case are:-


an
uv

There is a complaint against some senior professors for their prejudiced treatment of students of
rS

lower castes.
fo

The peace and harmony in the campus is disturbed.


ed
is

There is discontent amongst the students about the treatment of some of their fellows by the professors.
al
on

As a dean, my immediate responsibility would be:


rs
pe

To ensure that no untoward incident occurs in the University, i.e. peace and harmony is maintained.
s

To make sure that both the constitutional values of social equality and presumption of innocence
ti
en

unless proven are protected.


m
cu
do

Steps needed to be taken:


is
Th

Students should be pacified first. Foremost, audience should be given to the student leaders and
their grievances should be noted. They must be assured of swift redressal.
An enquiry should be ordered into allegations. The panel of independent experts should be
appointed in consultation with student representatives. It should be made sure that it submits its
report in a time-bound manner.
Help should be sought from student union president /office bearers to reach to student community
and maintain tranquility and peace.
Students should also be given warning of not taking the law into their own hands and demanding
mob-justice. Acts of indiscipline and ruckus on campus should not be allowed to take place.
(b) Maintaining the dignity and credibility of institution among students and academic ecosystem should
be the priority of any office bearer of educational institution. Discrimination on the basis of caste is a
11 www.visionias.in Vision IAS
breach of fundamental right of an individual. As a dean of the university, I must protect as well as be
seen to protect the values of social justice and equality.
In case the committee after giving both parties opportunities to present their case, finds the professors
guilty:-
Immediate suspension and disciplinary proceedings would be ordered for such conduct. It is of little
consequence whether they have contributed academically or not. In fact, as a senior faculty, they
must have been more responsible for their conduct with students.
If they are not found guilty:
Students should be asked to explain why disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated against
them. They must be given the opportunity to apologize before any disciplinary proceedings are
initiated.
(c) An educational institution is not merely a learning center. It is also a place of interaction of students
from various cultures and backgrounds. The college administration as well as the professors must make
special effort that a positive social ambience is maintained at all times in the University.
Administration/Professors role:
Have to be impartial in their treatment of students. Decisions such as mentoring of students should
be done according to the merit of the project and not on perceived capability of the student,
especially by factoring in of caste.
Providing equal accessibility to all would help in maintaining trust.
Giving mental and psychological support to the students who are vulnerable and deeply sensitive to
such issues.

)
om
A vigil should be kept on those elements which try to foster discontent and exploit social divisions to

l.c
their vested agenda.

ai
gm
Students responsibility:
@
27
Not engaging in divisive university politics but keeping the administration abreast with the issues
s h0

they face in a democratic and harmonious manner. Student union must be active and address
ru
u
(p

grievances of students without aggravating the situation.


m

The students must not take law into their own hands and concentrate on their studies. However, high
tta
ho

quality teaching from the professors is one important thing that can keep them engaged.
us
ur
rP
ka

10. You are working in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and posted in a rural area. There
an
uv

are many government programs being run by your Ministry under which people are given financial
rS

help after verification of the required documents. Every day you encounter some cases, in which people
fo

from weaker section are not able to avail the benefits due to faulty or insufficient documents.
ed
is

However, there are also some instances of people trying to forge documents, which makes verification
al
on

important. What will be your approach towards cases wherein those from the weaker section are not
rs
pe

able to avail the benefits due to insufficient documents - will you go by the rule book or exercise
s

discretion in selected cases based on your experience. Discuss both options available to you and
ti
en

evaluate them.
m
cu

Approach:
do
is

In such cases, it is better to list the merits and demerits of the options and then analyse the alternatives. Any
Th

approach can be taken up. However, a viable solution to the demerits should also be given.
Critically analyse the situation and identify the key dilemma involved.
Provide an ethical perspective for this dilemma. Give you justification for both options mentioned in the
question.
Suggest your own solution for this ethical dilemma.
Answer:
The case is an example of dilemma where going by the rule book may start to act as a hindrance to attain
social objective of a scheme. This situation can be described as an ethical dilemma in which teleological
v/s deontological ethics are at conflict. In this context, here is the evaluation of given options:

12 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


1. Insistence on verification - As a public servant, I have a responsibility to uphold the rules governing
my official duty. Digression from duty would be considered unethical as well as illegal.
Merits:
As availing of benefits requires producing valid documents, it would be a breach of rule if they are
not verified beforehand.
Also the reasoning for verification process is sound and logical it is a tool to filter out the cases
where people forge documents to take undue advantage of government schemes which are meant
for weaker section.
It is discretionary decisions in public distribution that are most prone to corruption. It is an important
part of good governance to minimize discretion and usher in rule based delivery of services.
Demerits:
The socially deprived not only do not have such identification documents, but it is also very difficult
for them to obtain them. In absence of basic identification certificates, they will be denied amenities
that may be necessary for some meaningful survival.
2. Exercising Discretion- Public servants must not only abide to the rule book, but also possess qualities
of empathy as well as flexibility. Their adherence, foremost should be to the constitutional values,
such as social justice, and if any rule may impinge upon realizing it, they should be able to take
discretionary decisions. They must make sure that it is based on objective criteria and is unbiased
and fair.
Merits:
Most of those deserving the benefits will now be covered. Through my experience, I can exercise

)
value judgment to allow some people to take benefits of schemes even if they do not have

om
insufficient document.

l.c
ai
I would have upheld the civil service values of being empathetic and objectively taking decision in

gm
favour of the deprived.
@
Demerits: 27
s h0


ru

Foremost, this will provide impetus to the ones who forge documents.
u
(p

There are high chances of corruption. It is a slippery slope to allow bending of rules. Initially they
m
tta

may be bent to serve the social purpose, but experience has shown that eventually the corrupt part
ho

also catches up.


us

It would be legally held against me and I may be held responsible for any misdoing in allocation of
ur
rP

the benefits.
ka

Both the approaches have some flaws. Bureaucracy should have a human touch, should care for the
an
uv

weaker section of the society and imbibe compassion and empathy to achieve that. At the same time,
rS

relaxing rules can be taken for granted by people who forge documents to take undue advantage.
fo

A third approach can be implemented where although rules of verification are complied with,
ed

arrangements are also made to help those that do not possess the requisite documents. First of all, a
is
al

grace period can be provided to the people for compliance. Assistance centers can be setup which will
on
rs

guide the people to have their documents made in a time-bound manner. In this way, I will help the
pe

government achieve its objectives of minimizing corruption and maximizing benefits.


s
ti
en
m
cu

11. You have been recently posted as Superintendent of Police of a district which has a famous temple.
do

Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in your district on the issue of allowing
is
Th

entry of women in the temple. The women were trying to break the allegedly 400-year-old tradition of
the temple, which banned women from entering its inner sanctum. Recently a 350-strong group of
women was stopped by the the temple administration from entering the temple. This led to a scuffle
wherein few women participating in the protest were manhandled. There is a pressure on you from
local politicians who want you to prevent any such forced entry as elections are approaching.
(a) Do you think there is a dichotomy between progressive values guaranteed to women by the
Constitution and regressive traditions which continue in the garb of religion? How can this
dichotomy be resolved?
(b) How would you manage the law and order situation created by the forced entry?
(c) How would you manage and mould patriarchal attitude of the temple administrators and male
elders to ensure harmony.
13 www.visionias.in Vision IAS
Approach:
The answer should first give a brief introduction of the case and issues involved.
Then it should explain the apparent clash between constitutional values and regressive traditional value
involved in the case.
Then it should bring out the steps required to manage the law and order situation.
At last it should explain the measures required for changing patriarchal attitude of the elders.
Answer:
In the past decades women have broken many traditional barriers. Be it entry to politics or elevation to
higher echelons of corporate world, women have made their presence felt in every walk of life. Yet, there
are few areas where discrimination still exists. Most prominent among these is religion. Although women
in ancient Vedic times were given equal status in religious ceremonies but slowly there emerged few
traditions that discriminated against them. The ban on entry of women in the inner sanctum in various
Indian temple is one such example. These issues pertain to socio- religious sphere of life which raises
emotions among common masses as religion is considered to be sacred. Therefore handling such issues
require emotional intelligence and tact.
(a) The values of the constitution are enshrined in the preamble to the constitution. These values are
equality, freedom and justice. In the above case there is apparent conflict among these values and
also between traditional cultural values and constitutional values.
Constitution guarantee of personal freedom v/s religious freedom
Modern notions of justice and equality v/s older religious practices.

)
om
l.c
According to constitution law, which is supreme, unless temple has the constitution right to prohibit

ai
women, it cannot prevent women from entering the temple.

gm
@
This dichotomy can best be resolved by socio-political movement which will raise the consciousness of
27
the masses against the alleged prejudice and discrimination. There is also a need for religious reform
s h0
ru

movement which should align religion with changing times, otherwise contradictions between modern
u
(p

notions of justice and fairness would be in conflict which religion.


m
tta

(b) Maintaining Law and order would be my first priority.


ho

I must refrain from making any adverse distinctions against, or giving undue preference to,
us
ur

individuals or groups of individuals. Neutrality must be my supreme value.


rP

I would separate the two sides and try to talk to them so that the both sides are heard.
ka
an

If there are no specific laws which restrict women entry I would make the villagers aware of this. At
uv
rS

the same time I would warn them about any use of force against women.
fo

If situation is out of control I would detain leaders from both the sides. This will avoid any escalation
ed
is

of the conflict.
al
on

If situation demand, prohibitory orders can be placed in and around the temple till elections, which
rs
pe

can help in buying time.


s
ti

(c) Patriarchal attitudes cannot be changed overnight. Following steps are needed:
en
m

Traditional notions of purity and impurity of menstruating women should be challenged. This can be
cu
do

achieved through sex education.


is

Few liberal religious leaders can be roped in for a campaign strategy for creating awareness against
Th

such discriminatory practices. This would persuade people because the source of the message will
have more credibility than district administration.
Ancient texts which exhort equal status to women can be distributed among passes and local media
can be roped in spreading awareness.
Religious tolerance should be promoted by the religious leaders.
Courts can be approached against alleged discrimination and fear can be used against the village
elders to persuade them to agree to the entry of women.

14 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


12. You are a manager in a sales firm. Mr A and Mr B are two juniors working under you. Mr. A is a
hardworking person who completes his work before time and hardly takes a leave. His work is
meticulous and you have never received any complaint about his work. However, in your personal
meetings with Mr. A, you realized that he kept to himself and spoke only when required. You received
similar feedbacks from his colleagues as well. Mr. B is not as hard working and completes his work at
the very last moment. You also come to know that using his rapport with his colleagues he gets his
work done by them. In your meetings with him, he comes across as a confident person but lacking in
sincerity. Both are expecting promotion this year, but you can promote only one of them as you have
only one vacant position. In this context, answer the following questions:
(a) Discuss the merits and demerits of choosing one amongst the two for promotion.
(b) Based on your evaluation, whom will you choose for the job?
(c) What steps will you take to keep all the employees motivated who did not get promotion on
expected lines?
Approach:
List the facts of the case.
Discuss the merits and demerits of choosing each one of them and based on the evaluation decide
whom to choose for the job.
Explain the steps that you will take to keep the employees motivated.
Answer:
Facts of the case:
Both the employees are expecting promotion but only one cane be promoted.

)
om
It will be de-motivating for the one not promoted.

l.c
Mr. A is sincere but not communicative while Mr. B is communicative but not sincere.

ai
gm
I need to keep the employees motivated under all conditions.

@
(a) Choosing Mr. A: 27
h0
Merits:
s
ru

Hard working and sincere who is committed to organizational goal as evident by his not taking much
(p
m

leave.
tta

His work is perfect and timely which is expected of any employee.


ho
us

Nobody has ever complained about him. It implies that he is a good co-worker.
ur
rP

Demerits:
ka

He is shy and keeps to himself. Thus, he is not a team player.


an
uv

He has been doing work that is assigned to him. Lacks initiative taking capabilities.
rS

He does not communicate with others which will hamper his performance in leadership roles.
fo
ed

Choosing Mr. B:
is
al
on

Merits:
rs
pe

He is good at communicating with others thus can be a good team player.


s
ti

He is able to persuade others to do work thus possesses leadership skills.


en
m

He is confident, which is an important trait at higher levels.


cu


do

He is able to meet the deadlines which mean that he can manage his work.
is
Th

Demerits:
Has somewhat callous attitude towards work which can reflect badly on his team members.
A leader should lead by example but Mr. A is dependent upon colleagues to get his work done.
It is not ethical to get your work done by others without delegating through proper channels.
Not much information about his initiative taking capabilities.
(b) It is a dilemmatic situation to choose from as both have certain advantages over each other.
However, as Elton Mayo said that as we move up the organizational ladder, the technical knowledge
is replaced by people management skills for efficient organizational performance.

15 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


According to Goleman success at work is predominantly determined by emotional intelligence rather
than IQ. Based on the analysis, it seems that Mr. B has better people management skills or better
versed with emotional intelligence. It makes him more suitable for higher level tasks. His limitations
on technical fronts can be eliminated with appropriate training. Also, with appropriate training,
guidance and feedback channels he can be made to realize his potential and thus inculcate sincerity
in him. His communication skills and people management skills can be groomed for leadership tasks
that are needed at higher levels of the organization.
(c) Since, it is not possible to promote everyone in the organization, it is important that they are
motivated towards achieving personal and organizational goals. It can be done in the following ways:
Make them believe that they are invaluable to the company. There are many opportunities in the
future they can grab through their performance thus giving them hope.
Different personalities are motivated by different things like monetary incentives, emotional
support, personalized feedback or praise. For this I will devise mechanism for developing
individual development plans for my employees.
I will share the rewards of the company's success. This can take forms like profit sharing, equity,
and clear and transparent milestone-driven bonuses. Making employees feel like an owner vs. a
cog in the wheel is what drives people to go the extra mile.
I will regularly communicate with them, and let them know how the business is progressing. The
can be done through a daily huddle of few minutes.
The list is not exhaustive but will definitely help to keep the employees motivated and identify with
the goals of the organization.

)
om
l.c
ai
13. Mr. A is an honest senior bureaucrat who retired some time back. He has worked across many

gm
positions and wields immense influence in the corridors of power. His wife was working in a consulting
@
27
firm. She has now quit her job and started her own consulting firm that will bid for government
s h0

contracts also. Mr. A himself intends to contribute his experience and insider knowledge about the
ru
u

government operations to prepare for the bid. When prodded about any conflict of interest, Mrs. A
(p
m

argued that she always wanted to own her own consulting firm and bid for government projects so
tta
ho

that she could improve the quality of government operations through her services. But earlier she
us

could not since her husband was a bureaucrat in the same city and various government rules
ur
rP

prevented her from doing so. As he has now retired she can take up this job.
ka

(a) What are the ethical issues involved in this case?


an
uv

(b) What are steps that can be taken by Mr. A to resolve these ethical issues?
rS

(c) What is the best option for Mr. A? Support your answer with appropriate reasons.
fo
ed

Approach:
is

Analyze the case and bring out the ethical issues involved.
al
on

Suggest steps that can be taken by Mr. A citing merits and demerits of each.
rs
pe

Choose the best step with appropriate reasons.


s
ti

Answer:
en
m
cu

(a) The ethical issues involved in this situation:


do

The insider knowledge of Mr. A will give him extra advantage over competitors in preparing bid.
is

It is not guaranteed that people in the government office will not be partial towards him considering
Th

his influence. They may also favor him hoping him to return their favor using his contacts and
influence.
Even if she is careful not to use her husbands clout, the competitors will get an impression that she
will use it. This will dissuade many bidders from bidding and reduce their trust in the process. This
can also reduce public trust in the process.
Even if she gets the contract fairly, it will be presumed that Mr. As contacts have helped creating
mistrust among competitors. Some may even file a court case which can lead to delay in the whole
process affecting public service delivery.

16 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


(b) Thus, there are ethical issues which need to be resolved by Mr. A. Following steps can be taken by
him:
i. Recluse himself from working with the firm at any level.
Merits:
He will not be associated with the company at any level. Thus, he will avoid consciously using his
influence and knowledge to bid for the projects.
Demerits:
Since, the firm is being operated by his wife, speculations will remain about his involvement. His wife
or other employees can use his name to gain leverage. Probability of government officials being
partial towards him remains.
ii. Ask his wife to operate in another city.
Merits:
He can use his expertise and at the same time possibilities of interference will also be minimized. In a
new city, people wont know him and he can avoid any speculations.
Demerits:
This may be arduous for his wife. They may face different problems in a new city and incur extra cost.
Moreover, possibility of kickbacks cannot be avoided.
iii. Ask his wife to drop the idea of the company and continue with her job.
Merits:

)
om
This will avoid any conflicting situation from arising.

l.c
ai
Demerits:

gm
@
It will be unfair to his wife as she had been waiting for her husbands retirement to start her own
27
h0
company. It will be ethically wrong to curb the ambitions of another person.
s
ru

(c) Based on the above discussion, the best way out for Mr. A will be to excuse himself from any
u
(p

engagement with the firm at all the levels. Make sure that Mrs. A firm bids only for the projects
m
tta

where bidding process is transparent and before public scrutiny. He should also ask her to put all the
ho
us

details on the firms own website so that utmost transparency can be maintained. It is the best
ur

option because it will avoid unwanted speculations. At the same time it will avoid hardships to Mrs. A
rP
ka

in operating in a new city when she wanted to work in this city since long. It will also be respectful to
an

the intentions of Mrs. A. It is true that still some people may have doubts but it cannot be negated to
uv
rS

zero. In the end we have to trust the individuals, institutions and processes to operate, else,
fo

government business will always remain stuck.


ed
is
al
on
rs
pe

14. You are an undergraduate student in a leading Law University. You go with your college friend
s

Surender to his village to attend his sister's marriage. Surenders parents are farmers and are
ti
en

financially very poor. They have somehow managed to send him to the university by selling their land.
m
cu

After interaction with the family relatives attending the marriage, you find out that the bride is not of
do

marriagable age, which makes it a case of child marraige. The family wants early marriage of the
is
Th

daughter to avoid huge demands of dowry in the future. You are well aware that child marriage is
illegal in India. So, you discuss the issue with your friend who says that he is helpless and cant do
anything. Your friend feels that his family is already doing too much for him and he cannot argue and
change his parents decision. In this situation, what are the possible actions you can take? Evaluate the
merits and demerits of each of them.
Approach:
Introduce the situation briefly
Suggest possible actions and evaluate them
Take your final stand in the conclusion

17 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Answer:
The given situation is of child marriage in a village where every person in family feels their hands are tied
due to some reason. However, being aware of this social illness and that child marriage is illegal in India; I
cannot allow it to happen. There are several options available to stop this event such as
1. Persuade the family with the help of Surender
Firstly, the dilemma of Surender needs to be cleared. He must be told that it is his responsibility to tell
parents about the implications of child marriage. Further, his hard earned education will be of no use if
he cannot save his little sister from orthodox, outdated social traditions dowry and child marriage.
Once Surender is convinced, we both can persuade the parents through following arguments:
Making them aware that the child marriage is illegal and it is similar to destroying theirs beloved
daughters whole life
Removing theirs primary apprehension of dowry demands by telling them that is illegal practice.
Encouraging them to make their daughter educated and skilled. It will make her independent and
then she would be able to choose her best partner herself. Citing some successful women will be
useful
The sisters education expenditure can be met by Surendars earning from job in near future
If this persuasion gets successful in stopping the marriage from happening then there is apparently no
demerit in this action.
2. Bringing the matter into the notice of local panchayat
However, if the parents do not get convinced and still holds the event, then the local leaders from
panchayat can be informed.

)
om
l.c
Merits:

ai
gm
The panchayat can create social pressure on the family to stop the marriage

@
It will serve as an important example to bring social change in the community27
h0

Demerits:
s
ru
u


(p

The family may not abide by the panchayats persuasion and will also bring the personal matters into
m
tta

society
ho

The parents and friend may get angered on me and may also threaten me
us
ur

However if still they decide to hold marriage, the FIR should be registered with police station.
rP
ka

3. Registering the complaint with the police


an
uv

Merit:
rS


fo

The most important objective was to stop child marriage from happening will be achieved
ed

The case will act as deterrence against future practices of child marriage in local area
is
al
on

Demerits:
rs
pe

It will bring whole family into the criminal proceeding which will hamper the education of both the
s
ti

children. This could further push the family into deep poverty which was the primary reason for child
en

marriage. So, instead of removing the root cause, this solution will be superficial in nature.
m
cu

On evaluating all the above scenarios, I must persuade the family by all means to stop the child marriage
do

from happening. In this process, we can involve all educated and reform oriented relatives and local
is
Th

people. The registering of police complaint should be avoided till all options are exhausted because it has
huge repercussion on the family and lives of brother and sister.

Copyright by Vision IAS


All rights are reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise, without prior permission of Vision IAS

18 www.visionias.in Vision IAS