Ethics Case Study: In the face of acute famine in the district, you, as an area officer, have instructed your subordinates to procure food grains from the FCI godowns located in the adjoining districts. This would make the food grains available to the public through PDS shops. Considering the gravity of the situation, this task has to be done immediately, because majority of the people in the district are poor, and therefore can’t buy the food at the market prices. However, you were told that all the truck operators have formed a cartel and are asking for three times the usual transportation rate, in order to exploit the situation. This would nullify your effort, as the prices of the food grains would increase due to high transportation charges. (a) Following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the options: 1. Threaten the truck owners of severe consequences if they do not fall in line and cancel their transportation permits. 2. Transport the food grains by Railways, though it may take a week. 3. Agree to pay the truck owners the transportation charges they are demanding, so as to ensure the availability of food grains, but searching for alternative and affordable transportation. However, take legal actions against the truck owners at a later time. 4. Asking the state government for sending some help. (b) Also indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) the course of action you would like to follow, giving proper reasons for the same. (250 words)

Mentor’s Comment:

The answer should begin with the context and the gravity of the situation. There should be proper introduction to the issues involved in the case followed by the mention of all the stakeholders affected.

Next, in the main body with the given context, one should evaluate all the given options with possible merits and demerits.

In the conclusion, one should choose any of the given options or any other option of his/her choice with adequate reasons to conclude.

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