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UPSC previous year questions

Question: What do you understand by Values ‘ and ‘ Ethics “? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent?

Ans. Values ​​and ethics are often used interchangeably. However, a difference exists between the two. Everything we see or experience around us is seen and understood in terms of some predetermined ideas/values. Values ​​are yardsticks that help in measuring the desirability or undesirability of any task, behaviour or behaviour. Due to this nature of values, there may be some universal values ​​that are accepted by all cultures and societies.

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Ethics, on the other hand, are socially accepted theories that define what are good-bad, moral-immoral or desirable-undesirable in a particular society, ethics, in this context, becomes an expression of various values ​​in human society. Moral objectives are transformed into different colours to suit the human purpose and achieve their goals. Therefore, while values ​​are, more or less, universal in character, moral principles are the custom by every society to serve the interest of individuals living under its framework.

It is very important to be ethical in the performance of one’s duty. Only an immoral person can harm society, because professional qualifications, devoid of a moral basis, can only be a home for various vices. A moral person will strive for the common good, even if he lacks the high standards of his profession. Whereas a moral and highly capable person is seen as an ideal; A person without moral principles but a high professional qualification can become good for the society.

Question: (a) What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service?

(i) Integrity

(ii) Perseverance

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(iii) Spirit of Service

(iv) Commitment

(v) Courage of Conviction

Ans. (a) (i) Integrity: Integrity refers to the harmony of character. A civil servant should not be misled by material considerations. One must be committed to one’s duty. Since the duty of public servants is to serve the society as a whole, they should not allow themselves to be misled by the immoral influences that often come in various courses of action. Integrity is a value that gives strength to stand against all odds and circumstances, and does good to society. Thus, it is one of the basic characteristics of public servants.

(ii) Perseverance: It refers to the quality of character that must stand firm on one’s path of duty. A civil servant often faces difficulties in the performance of his duties. In this regard, it is important to develop a trait of perseverance. This quality gives the character consistency and conviction, which ensures that the ends are achieved despite the difficulties encountered along the way.

(iii) Spirit of Service: It refers to the quality of character that encourages one to pursue the goals of the organization with devotion. Every organization has some basic objectives, which are ethical in nature. In public services, it is particularly important that officials follow the ethical code and goals of a public organization. The goal of public organization is to benefit the society. Thus, public officials with a high sense of service can bring positive changes in society.

(iv) Commitment: This is one of the basic characteristics of a civil servant. Society can only benefit if workers are committed to the organization. A committed person follows the path of the organization, and strives for the highest ethical standards of the organization.

(v) Courage of Conviction: It refers to the speciality of public servants to serve society with a firm belief in organizational goals and objectives. The decisions of a public servant should not be guided by his personal welfare. Conviction refers to the performance of duty even in adversity and danger. It also means that personnel will express what is right and necessary rather than considering their own material as good.

(b) Indicate two more attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer.

Ans. Two more attributes that are necessary for the public servants are:

Objectivity: A civil servant will not differentiate between different people in the performance of their duties. This principle is one of the core people of any state organization. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law. Thus, public personnel should perform their duties, irrespective of civic class, caste, religion etc.

Empathy: A civil servant is expected to do good to the society. In this context, a person who strictly follows the rules of the organization cannot help the public. A civil servant should be sympathetic to the concerns of the poor and marginalized. In real cases, he must be willing to make appropriate amendments to the rules, to do good for the society. It is an important component of the characteristics of civil servants. As it is more important to aspire for the ends of the organization than to follow or follow the rules.

Question: Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. (150 words)

Ans. There is a difference between values ​​and mores. While corridors or norms keep changing, some values ​​are eternal in all societies. They are known as eternal values. There may be some values ​​that change, but then these values ​​should be considered separate from the norms. Some examples of eternal values ​​include “not killing an innocent”, “respect for truth and justice” and many more. However, there are examples of values ​​that change over time and therefore cannot be called universal values. For example, as women should do housework and not go out, that is changing today. The price at which elders should follow is changing, rational decisions must be taken and elders should not follow the wrong advice. It is also important that these changing values ​​should be distinguished from norms or coasts because the norms keep changing at a more frequent rate. Examples of criteria include changing dressing styles, hairstyles, changing routines. For example, late-night work is now a norm, whereas it was previously considered apostolic.

Question: What is “emotional intelligence’ and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions?

Ans. Emotional intelligence refers to being aware of, controlling and expressing one’s feelings, and managing interpersonal relationships judiciously and empirically. It is the ability to understand the feelings of others and act smartly. An emotionally intelligent person can act rationally and effectively, even if he is not very high intellectually. Emotional intelligence cannot be developed through formal instruction. Training of the mind is essential for making decisions in a wide variety of situations for the development of emotional intelligence. To be emotionally intelligent, one needs to develop self-realization and start thinking from the context of others.

It is important to know the mentality of others, their sensitivity and likes and dislikes. Additionally, it is equally important to know ourselves and which affects us in different ways.

Subsequently, it is important to be exposed to various emotional situations. By experiencing different types of emotional situations, we develop the ability to cope with different types of people and situations. In this regard, it is important to have a sympathetic attitude towards others. Only when we are able to understand and feel others can we communicate better.

Emotional intelligence is one of the main factors that determine the effectiveness of our decisions. An emotionally intelligent person can make decisions according to time and circumstances.

Furthermore, a person, who is emotionally intelligent, is aware of his values and principles. Thus, such a person acts ethically and acts equally. Thus, he ensures that the rights of others are not violated.

Question: What do you understand by the term ‘voice of conscience? How do you prepare yourself to pay heed to the voice of conscience?

Ans. The Voice of Conscious is the suggestion of our true moral self that guides us when confronted with critical situations. A great significance is attached to the conscience because it is the pure moral fibre contained in the human soul. The Voice of Cons is the inner voice that every human possesses and guides them in choosing the right course of action. However, some of us choose to ignore the conscience because the immoral path is the easier path in the short term and is more materially beneficial.

Those wishing to live a moral life should pay attention to the conscience. To be ready to walk on the virtuous path, we must listen to the conscience and ignore it even if it is not liked. In other words, if the voice says don’t lie to save your friend, but common sense says lie to save your friend and earn your respect, we should pay attention to the inner voice and even if its That means friendship, loss of reputation. Or monetary gain.

Question: What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience”? Narrate one incident in your life when vou were faced with such a crisis and how you resolved the same.

Ans. Crisis of conscience refers to the awkward situation when one’s actions are contrary to one’s beliefs and values. Sometimes, we are not able to act in a way that is in compliance with our values ​​and principles, either due to external exertion or due to physical greed or some other selfish reason. Under these circumstances, we fail to listen to our conscience and act in opposite ways. When this is done out of physical greed it debates our nature and kills our conscience. However, when we suppress the conscience, there are some external causes beyond our control. These situations create feelings of guilt and shame.

There was an incident in school when I faced a crisis of conscience. I stole a book from the library. As I was walking away, I heard the principal calling someone out. I thought he had seen me. 1 hid the book under my shirt and went without looking around. This was the time when I faced a crisis of conscience. I was feeling so bad and sad that I decided that I would not do such things again and that is how I solved the crisis of conscience.

Question: Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means to you in the present context:

(a) “There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Ans. I find Mahatma Gandhi’s statement highly relevant in the present context. The evils that we are facing today in any form, whether it is war or environmental destruction or morality crisis today are the source of our greed. Mahatma Gandhi followed a dictatorship of simple living and high thinking. However, the present world is the opposite. Increasing consumerism has led to a rapid depletion of resources.

Consumerist culture is based on greed. Increasingly, more people have every wish fulfilled and there is a greater demand even when there is no need, be it food, clothes, houses, cars, or any other item of goods. Still, people are not happy. They kept on growing. In our greed, we have destroyed the environment, cut down forests, degraded water resources, uprooted villagers and brought about mass destruction, Mahatma Gandhi gave us a happy and fulfilling life Has shown the way to live Discontent is increasing as the number of divorces, crimes and suicides.

In our greed, we have destroyed the environment, cut down forests, destroyed water resources, uprooted villagers and mass distribution. Mahatma Gandhi has shown us a way to live a happy and content life.

(b) “Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”           – Abraham Lincoln

Ans. Lincoln argues in this statement that the real test of man’s character is when he is given power and authority. In comparison, the ability to withstand adversity is not a test of a person’s character because every person has to face adversity given the lack of available options. However, only a man of great character is able to withstand the urges of greed and tyranny, even though he has enormous power.

In current society, this argument is a lesson for many who are responsible to the people. A person’s character cannot be tested by evaluating his or her ability, but it is tested only when he is placed in a position of power.

Power and authority provides a person with various options to further his self-interests. In such circumstances, only a man of noble character can withhold the urges of material pleasure. The present society has been suffering at the hands of such people, who come to power somehow but cannot remain level headed.

(c)  “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who      – Aristotle

Ans. “I count him as a Brewer who turns his desires away from him who overcomes his enemies.” This statement of Aristotle stated the morality of his virtue in one sentence. Overcoming enemies is a matter of physical strength, while overcoming internal desires is a habit of mental discipline. If a person’s mind is disciplined, a person can overcome all kinds of physical challenges and adversities. It may be recalled that Gandhi was physically a small man, but had captured a powerful colonial empire and left him on Indian soil. Gandhi was non-violent, but not weak as he controlled his passion and mind in the spirit of Aristotle’s order. There is happiness for and happiness is accomplished by completing virtuous tasks. Overcoming desires makes us more perfect and separates us from animals, while overcoming enemies is a matter of physical strength, overcoming desires is a matter of mental strength. It seems that our unique function is reason: by reasoning things, we achieve our end, solve our problems, and therefore live a life that is qualitatively different from that of plants or animals. Good for a human is different from good for an animal because we have different abilities or abilities. We have a rational ability and exercising this ability thus completes our nature as human beings. , Life goal

Question: “The good of an individual is contained in the good of all.” what do you understand by this statement? How can this principle be implemented in public life?

Ans. The word Sarvodaya means ‘universal uplift’ or ‘progress of all’. The term was first written by Mohandas Gandhi as the title of his 1908 translation of John Ruskin on political economy, “Unto This Last”, and Gandhi used the term to idealize his own political philosophy Came for Later Gandhians, such as Indian non-violent activist Vinoba Bhave, incarnated as a name for the social movement in post-independence India, which strived to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all levels of Indian society. Gandhi received a copy of Ruskin’s “Unto This Last” from Mr Henry Pollack, a British friend, working as a lawyer in South Africa in 1904. In his autobiography, Gandhi remembers the twenty-four-hour train ride from Durban (since) when he first read the book, in the grip of Ruskin’s thoughts that he could not sleep: “I spent my life according to the book’s ideals Determined to change. ” 2 Gandhi advances the concept of Sarvodaya, which it was. Based on three core principles:

  • That the good of the person lies in the good of all.
  • The work of a lawyer is as important as that of a barber, as everyone has the same right to earn their livelihood from their work.

It is a life of labor, that is, a life of clay and handicrafts is worth living. The first of these I knew. Second, I was retarded. Third, I never happened. “In the Last ‘as daylight for me made it clear that the second and third were contained in the first. I was born with the dawn, ready to reduce these principals to practice.

Question: It is often said that ‘politics’ and ‘ethics do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with illustration.

Ans. They have to go together! Politics without morality is only a struggle for power. If contemporary politics only looks like a power struggle, then our politics is no longer guided by moral principles. And that’s a bad thing. The struggle against the absolutist monarchy was based on the moral principle that the ruler should rule with the consent of the people. The French Revolution preached the moral principles of Liberty, equality and fraternity. The abolition of slavery was based on the moral principle that the sale and exchange of human beings is evil, and that humans have a dignity that must be accepted and respected. Limited working hours laws, restrictions on child labor, and minimum wage and safety regulations are all based on ethical principles that human beings should treat well in the workplace, their safety is important, they should gain something from their work, and That is, children should not be made to work under inhuman conditions.

The suffrage movement for women’s voting rights was based on the principle that women are equal to men and should be considered equal in political, economic and social spheres. The civil rights movement and the anti-colonial struggles used the same moral principles for ethnic minorities and colonial subjects. Opposition to the excesses of Nazism and Communism was based on the moral principle that humans cannot be massacred indiscriminately in cold blood, especially on such a vast scale.

Even today, political leaders use moral arguments to justify the policy, and those who hold political opinions actually express their moral opinions. The conservatives place more importance on the political values ​​of stability and tradition, the liberals emphasize choice and consent, and the socialists value political values ​​of equality and solidarity. All these values ​​are moral values ​​which are all equally important in our society. We cannot deny any of them. Politics is an attempt to determine the ideal balance of these values ​​according to context.

Today, however, with the rise of sentimentality in politics and nihilism in politics, it is common to think that politics does not do morality. But this is a downfall. Just because contemporary politics seems divorced from morality, it is wrong to assume that this is always the case.


Question: In the following questions, carefully study the cases presented and then answer the questions that follow :

A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other employees also who were party to these decisions, Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.

The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but his particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed, turned out to be wrong. Ile comes to you for advice.

The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the option:

(i) The PIO could refer the matter to his superior officer and seek his advice and act strictly in accordance with the advice, even though he is not completely in agreement with the advice of the superior.

(ii) PIO could proceed on leave and leave the matter to be dealt by his successor in office or request for transfer of the application to another PIO.

(iii) The PIO could weigh the consequences of disclosing the information truthfully including the effect on his career, and reply in a manner that would not place him or his career in jeopardy, but at the same time a little compromise can be made on the contents of the information.

(iv) The PIO could consult his other colleagues who are party to the decision and take action as per their advice.

Also please indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) what you would like to advice, giving proper reasons.

Ans. Option (i) can be resorted to, but there is a possibility that the superior may recommend some unethical route, which would be unethical from the PIO. Thus, it is to follow the advice of the superior by the word. The PIO may accept his advice, but must judge the value of the same and act with his intelligence.

Option (ii) may be followed, as the PIO has vested interests in the case, and the Constitution provides for the declaration of such vested interests, and the transfer of the case, to ensure fairness and the effectiveness of justice. Thus, the PIO can declare its vested interest in the matter and ask for transfer of the case to another PIO.

Option (iii) would be unethical on behalf of the PIO. As a public official, he has a duty to communicate the facts impartially. By manipulating the facts, the PIO will take an unethical and unprofessional action.

Option (iv) is controversial, as coworkers may advise him to take an unethical approach. Since the PIO is an honest and dutiful person, he will rely on his principles to take appropriate steps.

Thus, it would be advisable for PIOs to declare in writing to their superiors to be involved in the matter, and follow appropriate instructions.

Question: You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards completion, the Junior Engineer have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications. However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunar which, in your opinion, are likely to affect the safety of the flyover, Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area. When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion, it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the project for completion in time.

However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should not be left unaddressed.

Question: What will you do in such a situation? Some of the options arc given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons.

(i) Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.

(ii) Make an exhaustive report of the situation bringing out and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and seek for written orders from the Chief Engineer.

(iii) Call for explanation from the Junior Engineer and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.

(iv) Highlight the issue so that it reaches the superiors above the Chief Engineer.

(v) Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report.

Ans. It would be unethical to follow option (i). Although it is in compliance with the norms of organizational structure, it violates ethical principles. Since the project has been seen to have serious flaws in quality, it is unwise to proceed with it.

Option (ii) may ensure that the Chief Engineer has taken note of the lakuna in the project, and is still ordering it to continue, it will properly protect the concerned executive from a formal point of view, as it would by any implication engineer. Will happen. However, from an ethical point of view, it is too mindless to carry with the project.

Option (iii) is a plausible option, as junior engineers, the in-charge of the project should be called for clarification for defaults in the project. In addition, all possible steps will be taken to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time frame. Contractors should also be dealt with vigorously, and held accountable for deficiencies in quality standards.

The Chief Engineer is adamant about moving on with the project, option (iv) may be resorted to. Since there would be no option left, if the Chief Engineer was adamant about his decision, the Executive Engineer would have to approach the superiors with a detailed report.

Option (v) would be an attempt to avoid the problem while ignoring one’s moral responsibility. Thus, it would be unethical for the executive engineer to flee his / her duties.

An ethical and necessary course of action would be to stop the project immediately, and prepare to work again. Since public safety is involved in this case, it cannot be left to chance. Any kind of resentment from the public will be dealt with. In addition, those responsible for flaws in the project will be strictly dealt with.

Question: Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is known for its manufacturing clusters on firecrackers and matches. The local economy of the area is largely dependent on firecrackers living in the area. So far as child labour norms for hazardous industries like firecrackers industry arc concerned, International Labour Organization (ILO) has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India, however, this age is 14 years. The units in industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and non-registered entities. One typical unit is household  based work. Though the law is clearon the use of child labour employment norms in registered/non-registered units, it does not include household- based works. Household-based work means children working under the supervision of their parents/relatives. To evade child labour norms, several units project themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside. Needless to say that employing children saves the costs for these units leading to higher profits to the owners.

On your visit to one of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has about 10-15 children below 14 years of age. The owner tells you that in his household-based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that several children smirk, when the owner tells you this.

On deeper enquiry, you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to satisfactorily establish their relationship with each other.

(a) Bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.

(b) What would be your reaction after your above visit?

Ans. (a) The matter involves very important issues related to human and child rights. First, young children are employed in dangerous factories, putting their lives at risk. This is a clear violation of their child rights. Secondly, since it is highly likely that the children working in those units are not relatives of the owner, it may be possible that those children were forcibly brought to the production centre. Thus, it includes the case of child trafficking, which is a criminal offence under the Indian Constitution.

Thirdly, it is also highly likely that children are being forced into inhuman conditions, deprived of opportunities for education and development.

Such imprisonment of minor children is immoral and immoral. This is a clear case of violation of child rights as well as fundamental rights, which are enshrined under our Constitution. By having children work in dangerous conditions, the owners of the production unit are risking their lives, violating every opportunity for self-development.

(b) My response, as a common man, speaks of the provisions of the Constitution in relation to the employment of children in dangerous situations. Next, I will try to find out if the child is really his relative. Based on my strong suspicions, I will report the matter to the local police station, and request them to investigate the matter. Also, it will be necessary for local non-governmental organizations and the Commission for the Rights of the Child, so that adequate investigation can be initiated.

As a long-term measure, I will file a PIL in the Supreme Court regarding the imprisonment of minor children in dangerous production units under the guise of relative production. In addition, I will write to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) about the gross violation of child rights in the relevant area.

Apart from this, I will also try to investigate the number of such children working in domestic units in that area.

Question: You are heading a leading technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an interview panel shortly under your chairmanship for selection of the post of professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the Personal Secretary (PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your intervention in favour of the selection of a close relative of the functionary for this post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the long pending and urgent proposal of our institute for grant of funds for modernization, which are awaiting the functionary’s approval. He assures you that he would get these proposals cleared.

(a) What are the options available to you?

(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.

Ans. (a) Since the Personal Secretary (PS) is asking for an undue favour, it would be highly unethical to succumb to the pressure and make an unethical decision. Thus, following are the possible course of action, that might be legitimate:

1. Reject outright, the offer of the PS, and prepare to face the consequences.

2. Negotiate with the PS trying to make him understand that this would be unethical and unprofessional.

3. Inform the PS that you would talk to the interview board in this regard, and do as per their suggestion.

4. Contact the superior authority of the PS, regarding the PS’s action, and ask for their help.

5. Lodge a complaint with the Anti-corruption cell.

(b) It would be unethical to comply with the PS’s directions, but since the stake of the institute depends on the grant of the aid, an outright attitude might bring negative consequences for the institute. Thus, it might not be rational to reject his offer outright. An attempt should be made to make the PS understand that his course of action is ethical unjust and unprofessional. However, this course might not address the concern if the PS would not change his mind. Trying to communicate to the interview board about the PS’s proposal is a justifiable idea, as the interview board takes the decision together. However, such communication should make it clear that any demand of such unjust favour would not be answered.

Contacting the interview board would also help the chairman to know about the different opinion in the interview panel, and if the PS had tried to persuade any other member of the board. However, this option might not address the concern of the institute’s grants.

Lodging a complaint with the anti-corruption cell might not be practical as there would be no evidence to support the allegations and the case would ultimately be discarded without any disciplinary action. This might also offend the PS and he may create complications in approving the grants.

The most practical solution to this problem could be to reject the demand of the PS tactfully, and contacting the superior authority of the PS regarding the PS’s action and the unjust basis of it.

In any case, there shall be no submission to the unjust demand of favour. Even if the PS attempts to delay the grants approval without any reason, the option of RTI might be resorted to for getting the reasons for disapproval. On further problems, the institute may lodge a complaint with the appropriate authority.

Question: As a senior officer in the Finance Ministry, you have access to some confidential and crucial information about policy decisions that the Government is about to announce. These decisions are likely to have far reaching impact on the housing and construction industry. If the builders have access to this information beforehand, they can make huge profits. One of the builders has done a lot of quality work for the Government and is known to be close to your immediate superior, who asks you to disclose this information to the said builder.

(a) What are the options available to you?

(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options which you would adopt, giving reasons.

Ans. (a) The various options available are:

  1. Tell the senior of the impropriety of the act, and try to persuade him.
  2. Ask him for written instructions, as it is against the procedure, and you would require special permission do to the same.
  3. Reject his claim outright and complain to his seniors.
  4. Lodge a written complaint against him.
  5. Divulge the information as the builder has a good quality service record.

(b) Since it is against the established procedure, in no way can the information be leaked. If the builder is really good, he would automatically get the contract from the government anyway.

You should try to persuade the senior of the unjust and unprofessional action that he is suggesting. However, if the senior does not change his mind, you should ask him to give his written instructions for the matter, as divulging the information to any particular builder is against the established procedure, and you would require the special written orders of the senior to execute the command. It is most probable that the senior would not agree to give the written order, as he would be aware of the illegal nature of these directions.

Rejecting the directions of the senior outright might offend him. However, in no case shall the inappropriate act be undertaken.

Lodging a complaint with the anti-corruption cell might also prove ineffective, due to the lack of evidence against the senior. Thus, the most practical solution in this case would be consult the superior authorities regarding the matter, and reporting to them the details.

Question: You are the Executive Director of an upcoming Infotech Company which is making a name for itself in the market. Mr. A, who is a star performer, is heading the marketing team. In a short period of one year, he has helped in doubling the revenues as well as creating a high brand equity for the company so much so that you are thinking of promoting him.

However, you have been receiving information from many corners about his attitude towards the female colleagues; particularly his habit of making loose comments on women. In addition, he regularly sends indecent SMS’ to all the team members including his female colleagues. One day, late in the evening, Mrs. X, who is one of Mr. A’s Team members, comes you visibly disturbed. She complains against the continued misconduct of Mr. A, who has been making undesirable advances towards her and has even tried to touch her inappropriately in his cabin. She tenders her resignation and leaves your office.

(a) What are the options available to you?

(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the options you would adopt, giving reasons.

Ans. (a) This is a very sensitive matter, and shall be dealt with great responsibility. The various legitimate options available are-

Option (I) Inform the female employee about the credentials of Mr. A and ask her to ignore the issue.

Option (II) Call an urgent meeting about the issue and take disciplinary action.

Option (III) Immediately expel Mr, A for such an immoral act.

Option (IV) First, talk to Mrs. X and calm her, as she is under a traumatic condition. And assure her that a strict disciplinary action would be taken at the earliest,

(b) Option (I) might not be advisable as it would be highly unethical to expect Mrs. X to forget the issue, Issues of sexual harassment shall not be ignored.

Option (II) might be considered, as no decision can be taken arbitrarily, and proper channels have to be taken. However, given the exigency of the case, it is of atmost importance to take some immediate actions, while protecting the privacy of the lady employee.

Option (II) might appear just, but might not be the best course of action, because in an organization decisions are made through proper channels and procedures. Thus, while there is no doubt that Mr. A shall be given severe punishment for his offence, this shall be done through organizational procedure.

Option (IV) is the most apt course of action, as it addresses the immediate as well as long-term needs. Since Mrs X has faced an assault, she is in a disturbed state, It is the foremost duty of the head to calm her and make her understand that justice would be done. She should also be assured that her privacy would be protected, Further, the perpetrator should be dealt with strictly, as there have been multiple proved incidences of sexual advances from his side. Thus, as the final decision, Mr A shall be expelled from service, with an appropriate legal action taken against him.

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