You are the leader of a 5 member team that has been assigned to carry out social impact assessment of a project proposed in a Naxal area. Members have been allotted a remote village each to conduct surveys and ascertain views of local people. You are under strict instructions not to disclose the identity of respondents outside the project. While compiling data, you are puzzled by the responses from one of the villages. You accompany the point-person for that village next day for verification. You randomly pick a person from the list of respondents and ask her for clarification of the response she had given earlier. She seems confused and denies any knowledge of the survey being conducted, let alone she being questioned. You try to verify this from other respondents and get similar replies. This raises serious doubts about the integrity and credibility of the survey process. What are the ethical issues involved in the situation? As a team leader accountable for credibility of the survey and working on a hard timeline, what are the possible options before you? List their merits and demerits. Giving reasons, state the course of action you would follow. 10 marks

Mentor’s comment-

  • In the introduction, briefly explain the case study.
  • In the body, first write the ethical issues involved in the case. Then evaluate the merits and demerits based on ethical dimensions of public service such as honesty, commitment to work in adversity, etc. Clearly state your course of action with logical connections of merits and how it will address the demerits listed above.
  • Conclude with a fair and balanced approach.
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