Topic:Human Values-Lessons from the Lives of Great Leaders, Reformers & Administrators;

Topic:Human Values-Lessons from the Lives of Great Leaders, Reformers & Administrators;

GS4 Weekly

[2nd – 7th Feb 2015]

[The Undercover group]


Topic:Human Values-Lessons from the lives of great leaders, reformers & Administrators;

Q) What do you understand by the below quotes and do you agree to theirviews? Give examples to support your view from Indian context. (150 Words each)
(a) “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”– G.B. Shaw
(b) “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics” – Albert Einstein



Topic: Ethical issues in International Relations and Funding;

Q) The issue ofclimate changeconfronts seriousethicalissues of fairness and responsibility across individuals, nations, generations, and the rest of nature. Discuss with suitable examples. (200 Words)

Reference – 1

Reference – 2

Ans: Damage done to climate in one year sometimes takes decades to fix. That said, it is clear that Climate is God’s gift to humanity, animal kingdom and plants diversity equally. But indiscriminate exploitation of nature by humans has staked climate and future of bio-diversity. When there are lack of coherence thinking among nations, individual and generations toward taking steps to mitigate issues of climate change, there comes following ethical discussions:

(1.) Individual’s ethics: Individual based on the nation they are born in maintains a lifestyle and emit GHG per capita. for ex In developed nations per capita GHG emission is around 50 times more than some underdeveloped nations per capita emission. This shows stark difference in life style. Individual must take it as their responsibility to minimise the emission and waste management. Because, rich people are more capable to do more harm to nature, they must share more moral responsibility to lower their Carbon footprint.

(2.) Nations ethics: Developed nations must take responsibility for knowledge/technological sharing toward developing nations so that they can achieve economic prosperity following lesser polluting path. As developed nations are already economically saturated with history of vast pollution, they must phase out pollution. But with the thinking of “tragedy of commons” which says that, because climate is commonly shared hence, doing lesser pollution will not benefit them similarly doing high pollution will not harm them. This is ethically wrong. This is the same reason US has never ratified Kyoto Protocal and found reluctant to give any concrete and progressive committment toward lesser pollution.

(3.) Generations Ethics: It is our duty to give better future to coming generation and not the climate with uncertainity, drought, flood, diseases and food insecurity. But the current generation always find it ethical in individual perspective for ex. every parents wash vegetables and fruits before feeding to their children but same people do climatic harmful act outside their house like using multiple cars, not going paperless, more demanding in all terms leads to depletion of natural resources. This is because a person fails to see the effect of their present actions in future as they lack vision and foresight.

Climate is nature’s public good. It has to be passed in same or improved way to coming generation.

Topic:Human Values-Lessons from the lives of great leaders, reformers & Administrators;

Q) Today’s world is in need of reviving the Plato’s idea of “philosopher kings” or the Kautilya’s idea of “Rajarshi” (saintly king).Do you agree with this view and why? How far do you think does this hold good for present day political leaders? (200 Words)


Ans:Plato Idea of "Philosopher Kings", Desires the King or head to Be Wisdom Lover, Looking all aspects before taking any action .Kautilya Idea of Rajrishiare also for Virtuous or Wise king. They also state that Head should be Risen above his harmful temptation , must be vigil , open to Ideas ,Always promoting Security and welfare of people, Learning through various Sources,non violence ,Avoiding extravagance ,Indulging in Association to harm others and discouraging such association

Yes I do Subscibe to this Statement

For Instance , Imbibing Principles of Austerity[Anti-extravagance] , Crisis in Greece which are also causing suffering to other can also be averted , and Spurting crisis of extravagance in Turkey are also causing Distress ,Thus here Kautilya Ideas Appear to be Valid
~Another Stance Viz China requesting US to Include Beijig In TPP ,Despite known fact that such Move was Aimed at curbing Bejing expansion is also a wise stand based On "open to ideas' of Kautilya ideas
~Saudi Arabia non cut of Oil prices stance which is mainly Association to Harm others [US shale gas and Russia in one go] is also against the Kautilya ideas which could be averted and saving the precious Resources
~Israel -palestine Issue can also be solved , by both Heads though Opening of Ideas or Philosopher Kings , and adhering to non violence as imbibed in kautilya Ideas of Rajrishi.
~Russia _Pak Cooperation and Defence deals which may prove harmful Against India ,is also against the principles of above 2 theories.

In brief If Ideas aforesaid were practised various crisis and Problems associated could have been averted, had our head of Government though Beyond their "temptations"

Topic:Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;

Q) ‘In a democracy, people get the government they deserve and they deserve what they get.’ Critically analyse the statement and give your opinion regarding it. (150 Words)


Ans: Democratic govt refers to the govt run by people or representatives of people. So in democracy people are themselves responsible for the decision making. If the chosen govt is good then progress may be there in the nation or if the govt is not upto the mark then it may happen that govt won’t be able to achieve progressive path for the nation.

The statement is said in the light that if people are able to choose good representatives then they will have a good govt otherwise not. So it is dependent on the citizens’ ability to choose right govt.

For ex if people are narrow minded and choose govt on the basis of religion, caste and not on the basis of abilities of leaders then it may happen that leaders are also tilted in favour of particular section of society and only concerned about that particular strata, so this kind of govt will hinder the development of the entire nation.

On the contrary if people are capable of choosing leaders on the basis of merits the development will take place in the nation.

Topic: Corporate Governance;

Q) Answer the following questions in about 150 words:

(a) ThroughCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR), organizations seek to achieve a balance between economic, environmental and social imperatives. Discuss.

(b) Some argue that management’s sole focus onmaximizingprofits (with in the framework of law) rather than thinking about societal good.CriticallyAnalyse.


Ans:(a) The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is to help build a mechanism where industrial giants give back to the society for goodwill in return. It creates a “win-win” situation where a link of interdependence exists between achieving commercial goals of the industry, economic goals of the nation and social goals of the people. For example the recently announced amendments to the Companies Act said that contributions to ‘Swachh Bharat Kosh’ and ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ would come under CSR framework. Set up to attract funds, from various entities including corporates for activities related to Swachh Bharat initiative.

(b) Every corporate is a part of the society. They use public resources and infrastructure for purposes of production, transportation and communication. They obtain labor from people who are willing to utilize their skills for the company in return for payment. They gain profits from consumers for goods and services provided. Maximizing profits without keeping society’s welfare in mind may lead to legal but unethical practices. No industrial body can function as an island entity secluded from the society. Since welfare of the society is invariable for long term well being of any company, management cannot solely focus on monetary gains ignoring interests of the general public

Topic:Human Values-Lessons from the lives of great leaders, reformers & Administrators

Q) “Morality is a private and costly luxury.” – Henry Adams
What do you understand by this statement? How much of it true in the Indian context? (150 Words)


Ans: “We talk on principle but act on interest.” Being a man of morals and principles in this world has never been easy, but it has also never been as difficult as it is now.

With the rising inequalities in standards of living and temptations of the rich life brought to us through media, people are in a hurry to make a quick buck and settle down early in life. This leads to many being willing to accept corruption as a way of life.

People consider it “ok” to blink away injustice happening around them. We have seen incidents of crowds indifferently watching a helpless woman being molested in public spots. This is because they fear to involve foreseeing future consequences and let humanity take a back seat.

People who hold on to inflexible principles often tends to lose out on temporary paybacks. We have seen how honest public servants sometimes are punished with transfers for their sincerity. While easily bribed bureaucrats jump up promotions with political influence.

In the Indian scenario there have been instances of brave straightforward citizens who have had to pay with their lives for sticking to their principles. The best example for this is murdered whistle blower Manjunath who was killed by goons for revealing illegal practices taking place at the firm he was working for.

At the end of the day it is up to each personal choice as to what he or she considers valuable, an alluring temporary payback or a life with clear conscience free of guilt and regrets.

Topic:Accountability and ethical governance, strengthening of ethical and moralvalues in governance;

Q) Please read carefully the following case and answer the question asked at the end of the case within the word limit specified.

Ashok on completing his management degree from India’s most prestigious college decided to enter civil services to serve the nation. He gave up all the lucrative placement offers and started preparing for the civil service examination. He got selected into IAS in his third attempt after four years of intense hard work.

He was posted as Additional collector in a backward district in Karnataka and his excitement knew no bounds. However, his excitement soon started withering away. He began to notice that funds from grants were being mismanaged and misallocated. The recruitments, tenders and official statistics were all a big sham. His repeated attempts to address and bring the issue to the notice of higher authorities fell on to deaf ears. In fact, they started convincing him saying, “Things were always the same. They will remain the same. Do your best with the available framework”.

Ashok soon started becoming disillusioned as he would never opt for unethical path. His conscience is telling him to quit the job and get into private sector where he will be paid far better salary.

Should Ashok quit his job? What are the other options before him? Substantiate your stance with logicalarguments. (200 Words)


Ans:Serving the society was never and will never be an easy road. Getting disillusioned due to problems in government was acceptable but still he has multiple avenues in front of him to choose for his future.

Possible options:

1. keep his job and wait to get some authority/seniority as he is junior so that he can make changes in the functioning of the government. like former CAG vinodrai who waited patiently and finally when in position of authority brought so many corrupt politicians , bureaucrats to justice.

2. He can always go to political executive and persuade them about the reforms he wishes to introduce in the department to stop all the ill functioning. In this way he is also performing his duty as a public servant

3. He can quit his job and can still do great for the society by starting a NGO , join politics , can become a social activist and work outside the bureaucracy and create pressure on government to bring changes. like AAP convener Arvindkejrival

4. He can quit his job and live a luxurious life from the money
he'll get in private sector.

Among the options available and ashok's desire to serve the people i think he should not quit his job and can go for option one and two

Topic:ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;

Q) “If capital punishment by itself is abhorrent and has no place in a modern society, executing prisoners using ineffective lethal injections is outright barbaric.” Comment. How can one decide which is more humane – lethal injections or hanging to death? (200 Words)

Ans: Capital punishment may look legitimate in case of hardline criminals but on minute close analysis it is not humane and correct.

Few arguments against why Capital punishment are unethical:

(1.) Capital punishment always runs with a risk of executing innocent people. Capital punishment are irreversible, Life is taken is permanent damage. It is found that many a cases later it is found that innocent were executed but it was not made public to avoid public outrage.

(2.) Biasness for awarding capital punishment to minorities, inferior races: It is found in US reports that Judges and prosecutors awards capital punishment to poor, racial inferior and black against white and rich people which goes unexamined and ethically wrong.

(3.)DeathPenality is incompetent and incoherent with basic human rights. As per the UNHRC, Right to Life is basic human right.

(4.) Death Penalty doesn’t deter Crime: Main aim of awarding Punishment is to instill fear and deterrence among prospective criminals. But, there are little evidence found that Capital punishments are actually acting as deterrrence.

(5.) Public Opinion is not always Right: Often public sentiments and emotions run high on certain occassions like Nirbhaya case of December 16 where public demanded Execution for all convicts including juveniles. Public support for the death penalty does not necessarily mean that taking away the life of a human being by the state is right. There are undisputed historical precedences where gross human rights violations had had the support of a majority of the people, but which were condemned vigorously later on. It is the job of leading figures and politicians to underline the incompatibility of capital punishment with human rights and human dignity.

(6.) There are better punishments like Parole-less life time penalty and giving the money earned by Prisoner for social goods, improving condition of Prison and prisoners like in US recently bill passed.

(7.) Poor Quality of Defence mostly leads to Capital Punishment: In many cases when the alleged perpetrator of crime is poor and financially incompetent to hire good lawyer for himself, Public lawyer takes his defence and because of poor quality and insincere defence leads to Capital Punishment.

(8.) No Civilians job should include executing a person: Often person executing a prisoner suffers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is similar case when combat soldier often suffers with guilt and PTSD after killing an enemy on line of duty.

(9.) As per the Constitution of all Democratic Nations we the people are actually the State, If state is executing someone, it means we are executing a prisoner, Any mistake on State’s part is our shame also.

(10.) Many a times mentally ill are executed: As per the Amnesty International research often mentally incompetent people who are not aware of court proceeding are punished. Many mentally ill defendants are unable to participate in their trials in any meaningful way and appear unengaged, cold, and unfeeling before the jury. Some have been forcibly medicated in order to make them competent to be executed.

Hence, Capital punishment is social vice and should be banned.

Let us take Capital punishment as a process where Death is the consequence while lethal injection or hanging is medium. Now for a Consequentialist (Teleological Ethics ) ideology, both hanging and administering lethal injection are wrong because they are leading to death and capital punishment. We already discussed why capital punishment is wrong. In Consequentialist ethics consequences are judgement point of an act.

Now if we consider this case in perspective of Non-Consequentialist (Deontological ethics) ideology, administering punishment with lethal injection is more humane, because here Consequence is already fixed only the duty or the process is analysed.

Hence it is difficult for one to decide as to which is a more humane way to execute a person, when we know that executing in first place itself is wrong.

Topic:Information sharing and transparency in government;

Q) “The difference between the fourth estate (media) and real estate is blurring.” Why should media be held to higher ethical standards in a democracy? How can we fight the ills that have crept into Indian media? Analyse. (200 Words)