[Ethics Case Studies] Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service

Syllabus mapping

Paper 4 | Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude | Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service


This initiative is a part of Target Mains programme for Mains 2017.

You can post your answers in the comment section. But mentor review of answers will not be available. Just like various other CD community initiatives, this will also be a peer-to-peer review exercise.

Model answers are available below in PDF format and can be used for personal evaluation.

Question 1:

You are posted as DSP who is known for his integrity and sense of duty. You find two people violating traffic rules and when you give them challan, they tell you they belong to ruling party and refuse to pay challan. When you insist, they start misbehaving with you. You have a heated argument with them. They ask you to leave them or ask you to be ready to face the consequences.

Next day you get a call from a local politician that you should apologise to the party workers else you will be transferred to a remote area. You have lived all your life in metro cities. Even your husband advises you to apologise, as he has a permanent job in the city and if you are transferred you might face family problems.

Given below are some options. Discuss them with their merits and demerits. Also suggest which course of action would you take and why? Your course of action could be different from the options given below.

(i) Apologise from the leader so that you are not transferred.
(ii) Asks your husband who also knows some senior minister to help you get out of the matter.
(iii) Be firm on your stand and decide to go to your new posting.
(iv) Highlighting the matter in the media to get more people support.

Question 2:

You are a District Magistrate and also assigned the work of Returning Officer of a constituency where by-election is being announced by election commission due to death of an MLA (who happened to be the Chief Minister of the state). This constituency is very sensitive and high profile because of the candidates contesting there.
As an officer your duty is to ensure free and fair election. You found that the voters are being influenced by distributing money and gifts by the candidates and political parties. This all is being done with very secrecy. The voters also seek benefits out of the elections in form of freebies and they don’t see this distribution as illegal. However, use of money power in elections goes against the ethos of democracy. You have been an upright officer all your life and want to ensure that elections are conducted fairly.

1. Considering the above facts what are the options available to you?
2. Discuss the merits and demerits of each option. Also, choose the option which you consider best with suitable justification.

Question 3:

‘Jaridharla’ is a village on the extreme north-eastern side of India-Bangladesh border where local residents use to cross the border to reach a town ‘Moghulhat’ (just a 15 minute walk away) in Bangladesh to get even the basic necessities of day to day living. The village lacks basic facilities like Hospital, concrete road, drinking water facilities, school, police station and so on, and nearest Indian town falls about 100 km away from the village.
The people of the village have no other option than to cross the border to get their health checkup and necessary medicines. Often in an emergency, the people use to carry the patients on their shoulders across the border where Border Guards of Bangladesh stops them for security reasons which delay patient’s treatment.

Consider the following statement:
1. The area falls under your jurisdiction of being a district collector. In the above facts what course of actions do you think are possible?
2. A district magistrate has authority to do many things and if he wants he can transform the village into modern one. How will you act in this situation and what contribution will you make for the village?
3. Bordering areas are too sensitive and causes security problems. Open border with Bangladesh has many of such implications and caused many such damages in local areas like robbery, killing, smuggling etc. How will you manage to such security scenario?

Question 4:

You are working for Air India Ltd. The Managing Director has asked you to write a speech that will be delivered at an International Air Transport Association gathering in Geneva, Switzerland. Air India is suffering from financial difficulties, and the MD hopes to use the speech as a springboard to open discussion about the subsidiaries and increased investments in State-owned carriers. MD holds that decrease in subsidiaries and investments create problems for the consumers as the State Carriers are forced to increase fairs and reduce the standard of service.
Your deadline is immediate and you have the worst writer’s block ever had in your life. Through some random electronic searches, you find the perfect speech on YouTube. It was delivered by a member of Labour Party who opposed the UK Government’s proposal to cut subsidiaries of the country’s state-owned airline and was posted with subtitles.
You are ready to copy it and present it to the MD because it is exactly what you have been directed to write. But you are feeling uncomfortable because you know the speech will not be your own work. The deadline is immediate. What will you do?
Justify the ethical values in the case with proper explanation. Discuss what ethical principles will guide you in decision making in this case? Make a decision and offer a brief rationale.

Question 5:

Modern education in India is often criticized for encouraging rote learning, rather than comprehension, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Students spend most of their time memorizing a syllabus with no thought given to learning or playing. Textbook knowledge, rigid ideas, and test scores take precedence over open debates and logical reasoning. Little room is left for creativity to thrive.
Moreover, there are growing concerns about student learning outcomes, teacher training, curriculum quality, assessment of learning achievements, and the efficacy of school management. Faced with such problems, many children drop out of school before even completing five years of primary education. Those children who do stay on often learn little.
Most resources and research are directed towards improving quantifiable factors such as enrolment, dropout rates, teacher-to-student ratios, etc. while not enough has been done to examine the quality of education given to India’s children.
You are posted as a Sub Divisional Magistrate and are assigned to look after the problems of Education System. What suggestions would you like to give in order to improve the education system?

Question 6:

A newly appointed Medical Superintendent of a district Government Hospital receives complaints about the negligent attitude of the doctors in times of casualties. The patients are not properly attended. Incidentally it is the only hospital in the city and the vicinity for the poor and needy. While on the round in the hospital, the Superintendent finds that the doctors were not found on duty, there was no proper display of duty timings and shifts. The relatives of the patients complained about the negligent attitude of the doctors.
1. What do you propose the Medical Superintendent should do? Evaluate various options and suggest suitable measures to improve the condition.

Question 7:

Your state has been witnessing on and off Monsoon showers for quite some time now. You are local MLA and in your Constituency majority of your electorates are from weaker section of society. You have come to know that five members of a family have been washed away in flash flood and only two children of the poor family having age of 12 years and 8 years have survived. The children are weeping bitterly as they have nothing to eat and depend upon. On the spot visit, you find the situation to be very pathetic.
How you would handle the situation. Discuss various options that are available before you? What course of action would you take and why?

Question 8:

One Evening, driver of the state MLA was driving his personal vehicle within the limits of the city. He was driving faster than the prescribed speed limit. He jumped a red light and consequently he was stopped by the traffic police officer. The policeman confronted the driver and proceeded to write challan for the offence. The driver stopped him from writing the challan and blatantly informed him that he is the driver of the state MLA. The policeman is in dilemma as the driver may work as influence for the policemen for getting some personal benefits with the support of MLA.
Do you think, policeman is under certain obligation? What are the various options available to him? What suggestion you would like to provide to policeman in order to help him overcome from dilemma?

Question 9:

Mr. Biswas is a civil servant in the PMO office. Lately there has been a lot of activity happening around the present education policy and the right to education. Mr. Biswas gets an invitation from a news channel to a debate on the issue. The news channel assures that it will be a non political intellectual debate. The other invitees will be from other prominent field of education.
What should Mr. Biswas do? Whether he should express himself on a public platform or not being a civil servant? Suggest Mr. Biswas a suitable action in this regard

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥FREE for 24 Hours Prelims Notes
This is default text for notification bar