Ethics Case Study – 4 – Ethics in Public Service
Ramanujan Shastri, secretary in the ministry of defence, is a respected and admired bureaucrat. Defence minister trusts Ramanujan and has given him a free hand in the ministry.
Ramanujan, who is at the fag end of his career, recently lost his elder son and wife in an accident and ever since , he has kept a low profile and has grown more fond of his other son who now just finished his graduation from an ordinary institution in the capital.
In a deal involving direct government to government contract with a major arms supplier, Ramanujan is tasked with speeding up the contract agreement and finalize the deal. The manufacturer, who will benefit immensely if the process is expedited, on many occasions has personally contacted Ramanujan and expressed his frustration in the slow movement of files in the ministry.
Ramanujan’s younger son wants to study in a world’s most reputed university for which he needs a lot of money and good references. Son has his father’s complete support and he himself is contemplating the idea of moving out with his son to a new place, but money is the constraint. The person from the company who is in touch with Ramanujan comes to know about this and in one of his meetings with Ramanujan, he assures him to look after his son’s entire higher education costs — from admission to placement to a well paying job — provided he speeds up the finalization of the deal.
Because of unexpected political circumstances, the defence minister now wants to scrap the deal. From his experience Ramanujan senses that the present controversy is temporary and somehow the deal will be inked later. Ramanujan who has few months of service left with him is in a dilemma. He doesn’t want to disappoint his son and at the same time he wants to be in good terms with the minister. The deal, if signed, doesn’t harm anyone’s interests. The products are of world class and is sure to add value to the country’s defence arsenal.
What should be Ramanujan’s course of action in this situation? (150 Words)