26 Nov 2017 | Target Mains | 14th Weekly Test with Official answers

Q.1) Among several factors for India’s potential growth, savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential? (Answer in 150 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)

Model Answer:

The savings ratio a big determinant of economic activity. Investment depends on saving rate If people save more, it enables the banks to lend more to firms for investment. An economy where savings are very low means that the economy is choosing short-term consumption over long-term investment. To starve the economy of investment can lead to future bottlenecks and shortages. Therefore, saving rate are most effective determinant. Thus, saving rate is the most effective factor for India’s potential growth.

The reduction in saving rate in India because of decline in Private saving and Government saving has been past few years

Other factors available for growth potential are following:

Foreign investment: it will increase the growth potential of the country. FDI and FII are the routes for foreign investment. FDI not just provides capital but also the technology for carrying out operations in India.  

Foreign aid: it also helps in boosting investment in the country. It adds to the capital stock of the country.

Investment rate: it has also significant impact on the growth of the country. More is the investment, better would be the chances of growth of the economy.

ICOR: Incremental Capital Output Ratio (ICOR) is the additional capital required to increase one unit of output. This ratio is used to measure the efficiency of an industrial unit or country as an economic unit. The lesser the ICOR, more efficient the organization. Thus, these factors along with savings rate play important role in boosting the growth potential of the country

Q.2) Explain various types of revolutions, took place in Agriculture after Independence in India. How these revolutions have helped in poverty alleviation and food security in India?

(UPSC mains 2017)

Explain the types of revolution- green, white, blue etc.

Role of these revolutions in poverty alleviation and food security

Answer: After independence, India witnessed green, blue and white revolutions in farm, fishery and dairy sector respectively.

Green revolution: it was initiated to achieve food security in the country. It included three components: continued expansion of farming areas, double-cropping existing farmland, using seeds with improved genetics. The Green Revolution resulted in a record grain output of 131 million tons in 1978-79. This established India as one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers. It addressed the concern of frequent famine occurring in the country and also the need of import of food was eliminated. However, green revolution strategy mainly benefitted the large farmers. Moreover, several ecological issues were also involved with excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

White revolution: Operation Flood is considered to be the world’s largest dairy development programme. Under this programme professionals were employed at every level, particularly in marketing and application, and science and technology. The central plank of the programme was to link the rural producers with urban consumers. The milk production in India increased from a level of 17 MT in 1950- 51 to about 100.9 MT at the end of 2006-07, i.e. at the end of the Tenth Plan. The per capita availability of milk increased to about 246 gm per day in 2006-07 from a level of 124 gm per day in 1950-51. Thus, this led to the poverty alleviation and food security in india.

Blue revolution : The Indian fisheries sector, which 50 years ago produced only 600 000 tonnes of fish, today produces 5 million tonnes, including 1.6 million tonnes from freshwater aquaculture. The Blue Revolution is being implemented to achieve economic prosperity of fishermen and fish farmers and to contribute towards food and nutritional security through optimum utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.

Silver revolution: It was centred around practice of raising poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, as a subcategory of animal husbandry, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. Grey revolution was launched in India to increase the manufacturing of fertilizer. Other agriculture revolutions like golden revolution meant for better fruit production, pink revolution meant for better prawn production, red revolution aimed for better meat production, yellow revolution aimed for better oil seed production etc. Thus, these revolutions have significant role in poverty alleviation and food security.

Q.3) India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically.

(UPSC mains 2017)



∙ Successful unmanned space missions in India.

∙ Feasibility of manned space mission Answer: Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar probe.

It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. The mission was a major boost to India’s space program, as India researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the Moon. Mars Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan is a spacecraft orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014.

It is India’s first interplanetary mission and ISRO has become the fourth space agency and first Asian nation to reach Mars. India is also the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt. Thus, India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions but has not ventured into manned space mission. Issues with Manned space mission in India:

Technology: preparation of a Crew Module, building of space suits, an environmental control and life support system on board the spacecraft, and the crew escape system – needed when the craft is back on earth are the technologies required for the feasibility of manned mission. These are all complex technologies as probability of failure has to be minimised. ISRO is in the process of developing manned missions in India.

Capital: ISRO has plans for a mission carrying a crew of two to three members, but the mission is pending approval from the Government. The expected cost of the mission is expected to be between 3 and 4 billion US dollars. Critiques have already questioned the wisdom of a country to invest in such endeavours when it houses largest number of poor and under-nourished in the world.

However, certain steps have been taken in this regard. The technologies necessary for human space flight are being developed as part of pre-project activities of a Manned Space Programme. On 18 December, 2014, ISRO successfully tested a crew module with a GSLV Mk III flight. Other major initiatives identified as part of the pre-project includes an Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS), a Crew Escape System (CES), and a flight suit for the Brahmanauts. The ECLSS and CES are expected to be completed by 2017. Thus, India is going to launch manned space missions soon.

Q.4) One of the intended objectives of Union Budget 2017-18 is to ‘transform, energize and clean India’. Analyse the measures proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to achieve the objective.

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • objective of union budget 2017-18
  • Measures to transform, energize and clean India.

Answer: Agenda for 2017-18 is: “Transform, Energise and Clean India” – TEC.

TEC India seeks to-

  • Transform the quality of governance and quality of life of people;
  • Energise various sections of society, especially the youth and the vulnerable, and enable them to unleash their true potential; and
  • Clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding

Ten distinct themes to foster this broad agenda:

Farmers : committed to double the income in 5 years; Target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of 10 lakh crores. To ensure flow of credit to small farmers, Government to support NABARD for computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional Primary Agriculture Credit Societies with the Core Banking System of District Central Cooperative Banks.

Rural Population : providing employment & basic infrastructure; Aim is to bring one crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty free by 2019. Against target of 5 lakh farm ponds under MGNREGA, 10 lakh farm ponds would be completed by March 2017.

Youth : energising them through education, skills and jobs; To introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in our schools. Innovation Fund for Secondary Education proposed to encourage local innovation.

The Poor and the Underprivileged : strengthening the systems of social security, health care and affordable housing; Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up with an allocation of ` 500 crores in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres. Affordable housing to be given infrastructure status.

Infrastructure: for efficiency, productivity and quality of life;

For transportation sector as a whole, including rail, roads, shipping, provision of ` 2,41,387 crores has been made in 2017-18.

Financial Sector : growth & stability by stronger institutions; Foreign Investment Promotion Board to be abolished in 2017-18 and further liberalisation of FDI policy is under consideration

Digital Economy: for speed, accountability and transparency; The Government will launch two new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM; these are, Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants.

Public Service : effective governance and efficient service delivery through people’s participation; To utilise the Head Post Offices as front offices for rendering passport services  

Prudent Fiscal Management: to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability;

For the first time, a consolidated Outcome Budget, covering all Ministries and Departments, is being laid along with the other Budget documents

Tax Administration: honouring the honest. These measures are aimed to Transform, Energise and Clean India.

Q.5) The Indian Constitution has provisions for holding joint session of the two houses of the Parliament. Enumerate the occasions when this would normally happen and also the occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof. (250 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)

The Indian Constitution provides provision for joint session under article 108 in case of deadlock over a bill in the Parliament.
The joint session can be called in following situations:
* Rejection of a bill in both the houses of the parliament.
* Bill pending for more than two quarters in one of the house of the parliament.
* The house has rejected an amendment proposal to a bill.
However the session can’t be called in the following situation:
* Money bill, which is practically the sole discretion on the Lok Sabha:
– The Rajya Sabha can suggest proposal; non-binding over the Lok sabha.
– The upper house can’t hold the bill for more than 14 days otherwise the bill
considered to be passed by the Parliament.
* A bill seeks to amend the constitution itself: a safeguard provided by the constitution makers to avoid the misuse of the power in case the government is in overwhelming majority.
* Passage of budget proposal: Rajya Sabha as an house of elder can just review it and in case the budget failed to pass in Lok Sabha it means the ruling government has lost confidence.

Joint session of Indian parliament has been called for only three bills i.e. dowry prohibition act, 1960, banking service commission act, 1977 and Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002 which were subsequently passed.

Q.6) To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? (250 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • Over the last 6 decades, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had managed to make the world’s largest democratic process free and fair. However, with technological innovation, population increase and politicization of issues certain challenges and issues has increased that electoral system has faced over the years.
  • In order to maintain trust and confidence of people, the ECI after conducting extensive study and research recommends certain changes whenever the need be. Among several reforms, one reform is being proposed by election commission in 2016 of which few points are as follows:

Suggested Reforms by Election Commission of India:

Constitutional Amendment:

  • Equal Constitutional protection to all the members of ECI as given to its head.
  • Making the budget to be charged rather than voted by Parliament.
  • A Permanent Secretariat for ECI

Electoral Rolls:

  • Use of common electoral rolls for Parliament, State legislature and local bodies.
  • Option of proxy voting for NRIs and Soldiers.

Election Management Issues:

  • Making of any false statement or declaration before Authorities punishable.
  • Proposal regarding filling of false affidavit, Uniformity in the procedure of voting system in the case of election of members of State Legislative Council and the Council of States by members of Legislative Assembly.
  • Section 126 of RP Act, 1951, Prohibition of public meeting and displaying anything by media during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
  • Retirement of Members in Council of States and Legislative Council.
  • Providing open ballot system in case of the election to ll seat/ seats in the State Legislative Councils.
  • Adjournment of poll or countermanding of election on the ground of bribery.
  • Empower the District Election Officer also, apart from the Chief Election Officer, to requisition of staff for election duties.

Nomination of candidates:

  • Restriction on the number of seats from which a candidate is fighting.
  • Disqualification of a candidate if he is a defaulter on public money.

De-criminalization of politics:

    • Persons charged with cognizable offences shall be de-barred from contesting in the elections.


  • Making bribery and using religious sentiments a cognizable offence with punishment of at least 2 years.


Political Parties:

  • Provisions for exemption of Income Tax should be made applicable only to political parties that contest elections and win seat(s) in the Parliament or Legislative Assemblies.
  • Compulsory maintenance of accounts by political parties.
  • Provisions for exemption of Income Tax should be made applicable only to political parties that contest elections and win seat(s) in the Parliament or Legislative Assemblies.
  • Use of electoral bonds.
  • Cap on expenditure by political party in election.
  • Limit the number of star campaigners.

Election campaign:

  • Ban on exit polls and opinion polls
  • Restriction on paid news

Election petition:

  • appointment of additional Judges in High Courts for trying election petitions
  • Fast track the election cases

Significance of the Reforms:

  • These lead to free and fair elections which are the backbone of democracy
  • These provide more teeth and power to ECI
  • These seek to decriminalize the political system
  • Increase in transparency and accountability
  • Decrease the use of money and muscle power during elections
  • Increase the intraparty and interparty democracy amongst political parties
  • In tune with various SC and HC directions.

Q.7) Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South-East Asian countries’ economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South- East Asia in this context (250 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • Historically, Southeast Asia has been hugely influenced by both India and China in the realms of art, culture, architecture, court etiquettes, religion and many other things. In fact the region was intertwined with Indian culture to such an extent that Europeans used to refer to it as “Further India” or “East Indies”.
  • These intertwined cultural relations of India with Southeast Asia are the important reasons to establish diasporic relation. However, their number and role varies from countries to countries in the region.

Roles of Indian Diaspora in these countries’ economies:

  • There is no uniformity in terms of social, political and economic prowess among Indians in Southeast Asia.
  • Indians roughly constitute about 8% to 9% of the total population in Malaysia and Singapore respectively. While in Myanmar and Indonesia, they are only about 4% and less than 0.5% of the total population respectively.
  • In Indonesia, traditionally the Sikhs, Sindhis and Tamils are engaged in various small businesses like sports goods, textiles and construction among many others. 
  • Recent trends indicate that the present Indian migration includes professionals holding senior positions in local and multinational companies in the fields of IT, education, and technology among other aspects. Overall, the Indian community is well respected in Indonesia.
  • Singapore is distinct in all the Southeast Asian countries as Indians are well represented in the judiciary, civil services and armed forces of that country. Some of the prominent persons of Indian origin include former President Late S. R. Nathan and Late S. Rajaratnam, as influential personality in the public life of Singapore, among many others.
  • The entrepreneurial success of some Indians in Hong Kong is a fabulous story. There are considerable and consistent contributions made by the Indian community in Hong Kong in the fields of business, trade, education and social services.
  • There is significant presence of Indian diaspora even to the Far East in countries like Japan, Korea, Brunei, etc. effectively contributing to the economies of these countries.
  • Cheap availability of Indian labour force and skilled manpower from India is well demanded by these countries. Moreover, the growing old-age population in these countries requires young Indian as labour workforce.
  • Deep linguistic and ethnic contact in terms of religion, language etc. attracts more Indians to these countries and the local population feels cooperative also with the absence of any politically motivated ideologies.
  • The presence of huge diaspora also attracts the dedicated policies from Indian government for ASEAN Economic Development such as Act East Policy.

Appraisal of Indian Diasporas role in these countries:

  • In the case of Malaysia, the political, economic and social status of Indians vis-à-vis Chinese and local Malays is not satisfactory.
  • The New Economic Policy of 1970 adversely affected the Indian community in Malaysia. “Only a small group of Indian businesses with political patronage has prospered by venturing into services, construction and related activities.”
  • In Myanmar Ethnic Indians have no social, political or economic clout. When Myanmar got independence in 1948, all the important spheres of society were populated by Indians. Later nationalization policies implemented by the government led to an exodus of Indians on a large scale.
  • Indian diaspora in Southeast Asia is numerically very small and does not enjoy the economic clout that may change the state policies to India’s advantage.
  • Foreign Direct Investments from these countries is meager. Same is the case with remittances when compared with those from Gulf or Western countries.
  • In the political realm, except for Singapore, Indians are not well represented politically in these states.
  • Even the administrative machinery constitutes few Indians. Therefore, the Indian diaspora has little utility for lobbying on behalf of India.
  • In addition to this, the region varies extensively in terms of polities. Very few countries are genuine democracies which again is a hindrance for lobbying. Terrorism in Philippines, Chinese aggression towards India etc. are another concern.


  • Though there are several challenges and concerns, still Indian diaspora provides significant economic and societal growth in various countries of Southeast Asia.
  • On the government of India’s part, it is important to create a conducive environment to ensure that the diasporic community always remembers its relationship with the homeland. Government initiatives such as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Pravasi Bharatiya Sammelan, and Trade Facilitation Centres for overseas Indians are all steps in the right direction.

Q.8) ‘Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will’. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India. (250 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • Poverty is a most threatening single challenge that needs a multidimensional approach. Considering that a broad spectrum solution is required to curb and control poverty, Government of India has taken various steps to alleviate poverty in the country. Explicitly the emphasis has been on removing poverty through two approaches i.e. training for rural self employment and provision of wage employment.
  • However, due to various corruptions, loopholes, middleman involved, nexus between contractors-labour head-officers etc. put these programs and policies ineffective. Further, lack of political will among the local representatives and unawareness worsens the situations.
  • Successive governments with different political preferences have appointed various committees since 1990 in order to change the criteria to classify poor which have been changed at least 5 times. The recommendation regarding magnitude of subsidization, fund allocation, identifying beneficiary etc. have seen reboot in the effort of each successive governments framing changed perspective of poverty alleviation. For example: Rajiv Awas Yojana for Urban is turned to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana to PMAY etc.
  • NREGA has been relatively successful in reaching the rural poor with shift in the pressure of newly mobilised political outsiders, including an activist judiciary and civil society groups. The programme reduced poverty by up to 32 per cent and prevented 14 million people from falling into poverty. However, despite flush of funds allocated it has been observed that less than 30% of the workers were paid on time in 2014-15.
  • The successive governments see the existing policies and programmes as the legacy of previous government and hence stops funds allocations/incentives to prove the program as not viable to cop up with the problems. When this passes on to the next government as legacy, the cycle continues.
  • India has for decades challenged the belief — sometimes called the “median voter theorem” — of political scientists that in democracies politicians cater to the voters who are most numerous: despite democratic institutions, and a predominantly poor electorate, effective public policies that benefit the poor have never been a priority for India’s ruling political elite.
  • Unfortunately, political will is something that can’t be boosted through a set of rules but something the parties will have to cultivate in themselves focusing more towards people. However, to keep check on its beneficiaries:
  • Every programmed that exceeds its budget or time frame should be automatically sent to an expert review team who will decide its further feasibility and not politicians.
  • A mechanism should be put in place to hold the legislature and bureaucrats accountable for failure/ delay of projects under them and subsequent responsibilities.

Q.9) Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multi-dimensional effects.  (250 words)

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. The term salinity describes the level of different salts e.g. sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulphates etc dissolved in water.  Sea water has strong salinity due to its higher dissolved salts content.
  • On an average, seawater has a salinity of about 3.5% (or 35 g/L). Sea water has almost all type of salts and other materials dissolved in it. This includes dissolved materials from Earth’s crust as well as materials released from biosphere (from living organisms).
  • Salinity is expressed by the amount of salt found in 1,000 grams of water e.g. 1 gram of salt in 1,000 grams of water; the salinity is 1 part per thousand, or 1 ppt. Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) can have dramatic effects on the water cycle and ocean circulation.

Why variation in salinity?

  • The relative amount of evaporation or precipitation in an area causes variations in ocean salinity. If there is more evaporation than precipitation, then the salinity increases; considering the fact that salts are not evaporated into the atmosphere along with water. If there is more precipitation than evaporation then the salinity decreases.
  • Fresh water flow from rivers and in Polar Regions reduces salinity of ocean. e.g. Nile, Amazon, Ganges, etc considerably affect the salinity due to its little or no salt content.
  • Any change in temperature and density of water which are interrelated affects ocean salinity. By transferring water to other areas, winds are also factors of salinity variation.
  • The Pacific Ocean is more saline because of its shape and large areal extent. The influx of melted water from Arctic Region also affects ocean salinity.
  • As per the information by NASA Science (EARTH), ‘highest concentrations (which is about 37 practical salinity units) of salt water are present the mid-Atlantic Ocean and lower-Atlantic off the coast of Brazil, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Lower concentrations are found near the Arctic and Antarctic and the coastal regions of East Asia and western North America’.

How it impacts?

  • Salinity affects seawater density, which in turn governs ocean circulation and climate. 
  • We know that the wind drives upper ocean currents, however ocean current can also flow deep below the surface. These deep-ocean currents are driven by differences in the sea water density. As sea water density is controlled by temperature and salinity, these factors make the oceans very dynamic in nature.
  • The term thermohaline circulation (THC) (thermo– temperature and haline – salt content) refers to a part of the large-scale ocean current circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and salinity of the sea water. The thermohaline circulation is also known as the Ocean conveyor belt.
  • The Ocean Conveyor Belt is the principal mechanism by which the oceans store and transport heat. Since salinity is a key ingredient in the global thermohaline circulation, its measured value will help to discover how its variation induces change in global ocean circulation. Salinity is a major factor in ocean and atmospheric science because it affects the ocean currents that further control the climate of the planet.
  • Variation in ocean salinity affects marine organisms and plant community. Coral reefs which are important for marine biodiversity can thrive only in saline water.
  • Evaporation is controlled by salinity of the oceans thus the tropical cyclones which are driven by evaporation are indirectly controlled by salinity. The freezing and boiling points are greatly affected and are controlled by addition or subtraction of salts in seawater.

Q.10) Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas, particularly in many of the developing countries. Explain its implications. 

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful products such as petroleum naphtha, gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas. Oil refineries are typically large, sprawling industrial complexes with extensive piping running throughout, carrying streams of fluids between large chemical processing units.
  • For Petroleum refineries, the raw material sources were less decisive factors for industrial location. Because industries were already setup in coalfields and did not move away due to industrial inertia.
  • Petroleum refining does not lead significant weight loss, unlike the aluminum/copper/sugarcane/timber processing. Virtually all the by-products can be used. Therefore, refineries can be set up
  • near the raw material or
  • near the market or
  • at an intermediate break of the bulk location (ports/coastal locations)

However, there are disadvantages of setting refineries near producing areas because:

  • Refinery will become useless after oil is exhausted from oil well. So whatever the money invested will lead to wastage.
  • Oil refining close to production site represents a weightloss of 10-11 % only i.e. not much cost saving in transport even if located near raw material site.
  • After 1970s, many of the Middle East and African countries started nationalizing their oil operations. The ownership of refineries/oil wells were transferred from MNCs to government owned PSUs. Hence nowadays, MNCs are reluctant to setup refineries in this region for the fear of nationalization.
  • The development of large tankers and pipelines helps in bulk-transportation of petroleum possible. This provides favorable condition for locating refineries and petrochemical industries near the market and near the ports for export activities.
  • Environmental Constraints is a very big thing nowadays. Often the oil producing areas are very environmentally sensitive and refinery cannot be set up near that area.

Implications of setting industries away from producing sites:

  • Setting refineries near market will enable to use raw material (crude oil) supply from more than one oilfield of more than one country. So even if oil well is exhausted from country X, the supply continues from the other countries.
  • Multinational companies do not feel confident to setup refineries inside the middle-east or South America because:
  1. During Arab-Israeli war, OPEC members stopped supplying oil to countries that had supported Israel.
  2. There have been war/war-like situations due to Israel-Palestine conflicts, Iran-Iraq, Iraq-Kuwait. Such instability, destruction, aerial strikes are not good for business.
  3. In South America, there have been frequent (and violent) changes in the regimes.
  • In India it has helped in the development of the cities such as Mathura, Panipat by providing
    employment opportunities.

Q.11) (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real-life example. (150 Words, 10) 

(b) Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse. (150 Words, 10)

(UPSC mains 2017)


  • Integrity is a term used to describe a person’s level of honesty, moral commitments, and willingness to do what’s right. For example, we expect our doctors to be honest with us about diagnoses, won’t try to prescribe medications we don’t need, and will generally work in the best interest of our health and well-being. We expect this because, in most societies, doctors are perceived to be people of great integrity with strong moral compasses.
  • Integrity helps a person to be loyal with his/her organisation, to serve utilitarianism, to have love, empathy, compassion for the vulnerables, not to abide to any illegal offer etc. One of the best real life example is Mr. Ashok Khemka (a 1991 batch IAS officer of the Haryana Cadre) who has been transferred 51st times in his 24 years of Civil Service career. He is being awarded the S R Jindal Prize in 2011 for ‘crusade against corruption’ for his effort in exposing corruption in high places.
  • Compromising with integrity undermines the work ethics and puts public resources in danger. This brings reputation of individual and institution in danger downgrading public perception. Mahatma Gandhi worshipped truth and non-violence throughout his life. To maintain integrity with his principle he cancelled the Non-Cooperation movement. The refusal to continue movement was good in his perception rather than compromising with integrity even if many were against his decision to drawback the movement. He maintained the truth and integrity with his principles even in crucial times.
  • The nut and shell of the above discussion is that integrity is of utmost important in all circumstances in every individual’s life.

Q.12) You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organisation. One day one of the workers died on duty. His family was demanding compensation. However, the company denied compensation because it was revealed in investigation that he was drunk at the time of the accident. The workers of the company went to strike demanding compensation for the family of the deceased. The Chairman of the management board has asked for your recommendation.

What recommendation would you provide the management?

Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendations. (250 Words, 20)

(UPSC mains 2017)

Answer. The case presents an ethical dilemma to choose between objectivity and compassion. Basing decision on objectivity and rule of law, compensation must be denied but on compassionate ground it must be given. Following are other issues and values involved in the case:  

  • Value of fraternity among the workers.
  • Workers safety at the work place.
  • Feeling of injustice among workers.  
  • Accountability of administration for drunken worker getting inside the workplace.  
  • Threat of strike and Loyalty of the workers to the organization.
  • Sound worker-management relation for higher productivity.  
  • Work culture as a common good.

Based on the above consideration I will make following recommendations:


  • Give the compensation.


Compensation will not put heavy financial burden on the company. It will express management’s compassion for the workers leading to greater social capital. Loyalty and motivation of workers will increase and also their productivity. Any present and future threat of strike will also be averted.

However fulfilling the demand for compensation my lead to more such demands in future and encourage lackadaisical attitude of workers. Discipline at workplace may be hampered as a bad precedent will be set. Work culture may also get destroyed because of such techniques of collective blackmailing.


  • Give fifty percent compensation


Grievance of workers may be satisfied partially by this option and it may also lead to a win-win situation for both the parties. Some relief will be there for the family of the deceased as it was not their fault. However, this will not provide a permanent solution to the problem. Unprofessional attitude of some workers may still continue in future. Unjustified demands in future may also see a rise.


  • Ask workers to contribute in the compensation.


This will allow the value of fraternity to get expression. This will also lead to combined responsibility of all the workers leading to check on each other in future. It may also provide a long-term solution as a combined employees welfare fund can be created with contributions from both sides.

However, it may cause delays in the proceedings thus extending the strike. It may also bring negative publicity in media, damaging its social capital. Company can also be accused for putting undue burden on the workers.

I will stress to the management to accept my first recommendation as it includes the acceptance of management’s fault as well to fail to stop drunken worker from entering the work place. Gandhiji said that corporate are trustees of workers. The decision that company takes must be in the spirit of this philosophy of Gandhiji.

Apart from this long term measures has to be taken like:

  • Ethical training of workers
  • Gate check for alcohol consumption.
  • Random check at work place.
  • Safety audit.
  • Improvement in worker-management relation through dialogues and events like social gathering etc.


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