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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 February 2021


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

1. Write a short note on Pallava, Chola and Pandyan contributions to arts.(250 words)

Reference: Art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Introduction:

The history of the southern part of India covers a span of over four thousand years during which the region saw the rise and fall of a number of dynasties and empires. The Pallavas, Cholas and Pandyas shared the power in the Tamil Country. The Pallavas had risen to power in the far south with present Kanchipuram as capital somewhere in the 4th Century. By 850 AD, Cholas has raised to power and ruling the south Tamil Country from Tanjore under Rajaraja I (985 – 1018) and his son Rajendra Chola I (1018 -1048) Cholas conquered the whole Tamil country. Pandyas occupied the present Madurai and Tirunelveli District with part of old Travancore. They called in trade and learning. The Pandyas kingdom rose to fame during the 13th Century, Kafur conquered the kingdom in early 14th century.

Body:

Contribution of Pallavas:

  • The glory of the Pallavas still remains in their contribution to the art and architecture. They were the pioneers of South Indian art and architecture.
  • The Pallava kings had also patronized fine arts.
  • The Kudumianmalai and Thirumayam music inscriptions show their interest in music.
  • Yaazhi, Mridhangam and Murasu were some of the musical instruments of the Pallava period.
  • Both Mahendravarman I and Narasimhavarman I had remained experts in music.
  • The temple sculptures of the Pallava period reveal that the art of dance was popular in those days.
  • The paintings at Chittannavasal illustrate the nature of Pallava painting Mahendravarman I was known as Chittirakkarapuli.
  • He had also composed the book, Thatchina Chitram.
  • We have already seen that he was the author of the satirical drama Maththavilasam Prakasanam.
  • Thus, music, dance, paintings and drama were popular during the Pallava rule.

Contribution of Cholas:

  • Sculptures:
    • They depict socio religious ideas of the chola period.
    • Spiritual calmness is depicted in sculptural representations of alwars
    • The cholas made use of sculptures to decorate the walls, pillars and roofs
    • Scenes from ramayanam mahabharatam, puranas and lives of the 63 nayanars are sculptured in narrative panels on the walls of temples. e.g. nataraja bronze
  • Portraits:
    • The best specimens of portraits are found on the walls of koranganatha temple and nageswarasamy temple.
    • The portraits of cholamadevi and kulothunga-iii are there in kalahasti temple.
  • Paintings:
    • The art of paintings flourished, figures were painted with realism.
    • Rajaraja-I and Rajendra contributed more for the development of the art of painting during the chola period.
  • Music:
    • The hymns of alwars and nayanmars were sung in every temple.
    • Nambiandar nambi and nathamuni contributed much for the development of music.
  • Dance:
    • Bharatha natyam and kathakali were two types of dances performed during the chola period
    • There were two dance directors to coordinate these dancing girl
    • Natarajar temple at chidambaram and sarangapani temple at kumbakonam have dancing poses of lord nataraja.
    • Dance dramas were also performed on stages at festival times.
  • Drama:
    • Rajarajeswara natakam and rajarajavijayam were the dramas enacted during festival times. drama actors received honors from the chola kings.

Contribution of Pandiyans:

  • Sculptures:
    • Pandyan sculptures are beautiful and ornamental.
    • Some sculptures are engraved on single stone.
    • They have got more messages and values.
    • Pandya period witnessed renaissance in the art of sculpture. Sculptures of Somaskandar, Durgai, Ganapathy, Narasimha, Nataraja are very good specimens.
    • Sculptures at Kalugumalai, Thirupparankundram, Thiurmalaipuram and Narthamalai are very famous.
    • Vishnu sculpture at Kunnakudi and Nataraja sculpture at Thiurkolakkudi are on par excellence with the sculptures of pallava, chola period.
  • Paintings:
    • The beauty of the Pandya mural painting can be seen in the Chittannavasal cave temples constructed during the time of Srimaran and Srivallaba Pandyan.
    • The ceilings and pillars at Chittannavasal bear the paintings of dancing girls, the kings, the queens, plants and animals.
    • The picture of lotus, bathing elephants and playing fishes were good at Chittannavasal.
    • Oil painting are outstanding examples of pandiya paintings.
  • Sangam Literature:
    • Pandyas are mentioned in Sangam literature (c. 100 – 200 C.E.) as well as by Greek and Roman sources during this period.
    • Among them, Nedunjeliyan (“the victor of Talaiyalanganam”), Nedunjeliyan (“the conqueror of the Aryan army”), and Mudukudimi Peruvaludi (“of several sacrifices”) deserve special mention.
    • Besides several short poems found in the Akananuru and the Purananuru collections, there are two major works, Mathuraikkanci and the Netunalvatai (in the collection of Pattupattu), that give a glimpse into the society and commercial activities in the Pandyan kingdom during the Sangam age.

Conclusion:

Thus, the contribution of three major south Indian kingdoms to Indian fine arts is immense. The maturity and finesse improved over the years and spread across the globe.

 


General Studies – 2


 

2. Mechanisms for devolution of funds to panchayats and municipal bodies from the Fifteenth Finance Commission (FC) could catalyze accountability and effective governance at the grassroots. comment. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Introduction:

Panchayats and municipal bodies are the manifestation of democratic decentralization in India, which are institutionalized through 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act 1993. Despite the constitutional mandate, progress in the local governance has not been satisfactory mainly due to fiscal constraints. Recent recommendation of 15th FC is a positive step in strengthening the fiscal capacity of local governments.

Body:

Recommendations of 15th FC on Local governments:  

  • Performance based grants : Along with grants for municipal services and local government bodies, 15th FC also recommended performance based grants for incubation of new cities and health grants to local governments
  • Increase in grants : There is an increase of 52% over corresponding grants by 15th FC compared to its predecessor for 2015-20
  • Grants for local bodies recommended by 15th FC include all levels of rural panchayats , panchayats in schedule areas and cantonment boards : Under 14th FC , grants for local bodies excluded village panchayats in areas under 5th and 6th schedule areas and cantonment boards.

Importance of fiscal devolution in catalyzing the accountability and effective grass root governance

  • Enhancing the self reliance of common men: This begins with citizen participation in political process and effective service delivery of critical civic amenities such as roads, water, sanitation, primary education, health etc. More funds will increase the probability of reaching more beneficiaries.
  • To use local resources effectively: Greater access to financial resources can enhance the Prime Minister’s idea of vocal for local.
  • Decentralized planning and growth: with greater understanding of ground realities and effective fiscal support, local governments can become engines of inclusive growth.
  • Capacity building: local governments do not have the staffs to perform even basic tasks. Furthermore, most of the staffs are working on deputation basis thus they do not feel responsible towards local governance. Sufficient financial autonomy can thus help in building the manpower to cater to the needs of grass root governance
  • De-bureaucratization: with greater access to funds, local governments can decrease their over dependency on bureaucracy.

Challenges:

  • Performance based incentives hamper independent decision making, thus undermining cooperative fiscal federalism
  • Insufficient revenue mobilization: To spend enough on health, education, infrastructure without widening the fiscal deficit, local governments should start mobilizing enough revenues.
  • Lack of expertise to plan: effective functioning not only requires financial resources but also expert manpower to actualize the developmental plans.
  • Interference from state government in local decision making : Most of the grants are tied to priorities decided by the states

Way Forward:

  • As suggested by 2nd ARC in its report on local governance, there should be clear cut demarcations for functions of each tier of government
  • There is a need for bottom up developmental process , especially at the district level based on inputs from PRIs and ULBs
  • Training should be provided to local representatives to develop expertise, so that they contribute more in planning and implementation of policies.
  • There should be clear mechanisms to ensure that states comply with recommendations of Finance commission

Conclusion:

With genuine fiscal autonomy accompanied by fiscal responsibility, Panchayats and Municipalities can become drivers and enablers of inclusive growth. For that, union and state governments should comply with the recommendations of 15th FC and should adopt trust based approach to give more fiscal flexibility to Panchayats and Municipalities to meet the local needs, thus realizing the ideals of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

 

3. India’s nutritional shortfalls cannot be addressed solely by the government. In this context analyse the role public-private partnerships for combating nutrition and food security challenges. (250 words)

Reference: Business Line

Introduction:

Experience of pandemic and results of first phase of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 is a serious wake up call to rethink the issues related to India’s nutrition and food security challenges and accord these issues high priority.

Body:

Reasons for India’s nutritional shortfalls:

  • Absence of Agriculture-Nutrition link: Though 3/5th of rural households are agricultural in India (NSSO 70th round), malnutrition rates are particularly high in rural areas (NFHS-4).
  • Importance to cereal based diet and inadequate food fortification: This resulted in high calorific deficiency, protein hunger and micronutrient deficiency.
  • Under utilization of allocated funds for nutrition based schemes
  • Lack of health awareness: Poor breast feeding and unhealthy diets are major challenges in India’s nutritional shortfall.
  • Lack of adequate access to nutritional food due to corruption and leakages in Public Distribution System (PDS)
  • Shortage in trained manpower to cater to the nutritional needs of large population

Though government of India has launched many schemes like Integrated Child Development Services, National Nutrition Mission (Poshan Abhiyaan) to combat nutritional shortfalls, public-private partnerships are necessary to ensure effective last mile delivery of such schemes.

Role of PPP in combating nutrition and food security challenges:

  • Private sector has technical knowhow: This helps to make nutritional security more affordable and accessible ensuring quality. For eg: effective implementation of Take Home Ration scheme with the help of public private partnerships during pandemic.
  • Faster acceptance of food fortification and promoting food security : Partnerships with globally entrusted entities such as FAO and UNICEF can help increase the credibility of schemes addressing mal nutrition
  • Enhancing the human resource capacity in nutritional food delivery and safety: For eg, Impact4Nutritions pledged partners helped over 10 million vulnerable citizens with dry ration kits and cooked meals during lockdown.
  • Private companies can cater to nutritional needs of employees: This helps in not only safeguarding physical and mental well being of employees but also can boost the productivity of employees, thus contributing to economy.
  • Stakeholder engagement : It is necessary to involve all the stake holders to create awareness regarding criticality of a healthy diet in boosting immunity and thus  successfully achieving our commitment to UN SDGs

Conclusion:

Nutritional shortfall not only has negative impacts on people’s physical growth and cognitive development but also inhibits economic potential of a nation. Especially in emerging nations like India, nutritional shortfall and food security is too multidimensional and vast for government or the private sector alone to address by themselves. While private entities in the food sector could produce products addressing the malnutrition, these can be distributed more efficiently via PPP model thus realizing the dream of Kuposhan Mukth Bharat.

 

4. Discuss the features and significance of Juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Introduction:

The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 was amended in 2015 with a provision allowing for Children in Conflict with Law (CCL) to be tried as adults under certain circumstances. The Act seeks to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children as ratified by India on December 11, 1992. It specifies procedural safeguards in cases of children in conflict with law. It seeks to address challenges in the existing Act such as delays in adoption processes, high pendency of cases, accountability of institutions, etc. The Act further seeks to address children in the 16-18 age group, in conflict with law, as an increased incidence of crimes committed by them have been reported over the past few years.

The Union Cabinet has approved a slew of amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Body:

Features of JJ Act:

  • Replaced the 2000 act- the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  • It aims to Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  • It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
  • Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  • The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.
  • All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organizations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

Provisions of JJ Act:

  • The Act defines a child as someone who is under age 18. For a CCL, age on the date of the offence is the basis for determining whether he or she was a child or an adult.
  • The amended Act distinguishes children in the age group 16-18 as a category which can be tried as adults if they are alleged to have committed a heinous offence — one that attracts a minimum punishment of seven years.
  • The Act does not, however, make it mandatory for all children in this age group to be tried as adults.

The latest amendments:

  • Empower the District Magistrates (DM) to issue adoption orders as well as monitor the implementation of the law.
  • Empower the DMs and the additional DMs to monitor the functioning of agencies responsible for implementing the JJ Act.
  • The District Child Protection Units will function under the DMs.
  • Before someone sets up a shelter home for children and sends their proposal for registration under the JJ Act to the State, a DM will have to assess their capacity and conduct a background check.
  • A DM could also independently evaluate the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee, Special Juvenile Protection Units and registered childcare institutes.

Need for amendments:

  • NCPCR in its survey of 7,000 children’s home found that 1.5 % of the homes do not conform to rules of JJ Act and 29 % of them had major shortcomings in their management.
  • It also that not a single Child Care Institution (CCI) in the country was found to be 100 % compliant to the provisions of the JJ Act and children are living in unsanitary conditions.
  • CCIs can be government-run, government-aided, privately run or run through government, private or foreign funding & they fall under the CWC.
  • The state child protection units have little oversight and monitoring & new children’s home can be opened without the sanction of the DM which creates many problems.

Conclusion:

The recent amendment approved by the Cabinet is one of the much-needed steps to ensure proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act. But the real change will occur only if the amendment becomes the Act along with the proper training of officials.

 


General Studies – 3


 

5. The Himalayas are a divine entity and like its presiding deity, Lord Shiva, it can be both benign and destructive. Immediate regulation of all activities is urgently needed. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Introduction:

The Himalayan mountains are one of the most sensitive as well as an important part of our environmental ecosystems. The mountains, due to its source to rivers can impact people even living far from it. In recent years due to rapid development, the ecosystem is undergoing existential threats. Being ecologically fragile, the region calls for special kinds of safeguards in order to preserve their sensitive character at a time of want of rapid development, and the need to face threats of climate change and imminent environmental damage.

Body:

Major Threats to Himalayan ecosystems:

  • Over the past 20 years, both China and India have been competing with each other to build hydroelectric dams in this ecologically fragile and seismically vulnerable area.
  • There are two hydropower projects in the works in Arunachal Pradesh on the tributaries of the Brahmaputra: the 600 MW Kameng project on the Bichom and Tenga Rivers and the 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectricity Project.
  • On the other side of the border, China has already completed 11 out of 55 projects that are planned for the Tibetan region.
  • In executing these hydroelectric projects at a maddening pace, the two countries overestimate their economic potential and grossly underestimate the earthquake vulnerability of the region.
  • To take a more recent example, the 2015 Gorkha earthquake of magnitude 7.8 in central Nepal resulted in huge losses in the hydropower sector. Nepal lost about 20% of its hydropower capacity consequent to the earthquake. About 30 projects with a capacity of 270 MW, mostly located along the steep river valleys, were damaged.
  • The cost of physical damage is calculated to be about $200 million.
  • The study published in a 2018 paper in Geophysical Research Letters, by Wolfgang Schwanghart and others, for example, is quite revelatory on the earthquake-borne damage sustained by hydropower projects in Nepal.
  • The main mechanisms that contributed to the vulnerability of hydropower projects were found to be landslides, which depend on the intensity of seismic ground shaking and slope gradients.
  • Heavy siltation from giant landslides expected in the project sites and headwater region from future earthquakes will severely reduce the water-holding capacity and life expectancy of such dams.
  • Even without earthquakes, the steep slopes made of soft rocks are bound to slide due to deforestation and road-building.
  • These activities will get intensified as part of the dam-building initiatives.
  • Desilting of dams is not an economically viable proposition and is technologically challenging. From these perspectives, the northeast Himalayan bend with its deep gorges is the most unsuitable locale within the Himalayas for giant dams.
  • Climate Change: It is a well-accepted fact that climate change is the main factor contributing to the accelerated glacier retreat observed in the mountainous regions.
  • Encroachment: The increasing population pressure and intensified greed of human beings push them to usurp the forests, mountain regions, and even ecological sensitive areas.
  • Infrastructure Development: The competition to develop the economy, increasing urbanization, attaining energy security, connecting remote areas intrudes massively in the natural ecosystem of the Himalayan region.
  • Waste Disposal: Human populations, their habitat, discharge from the industries in mountainous regions give rise to unimaginable non-biodegradable wastes and toxins.

Ecological fragilities:

  • Uttarakhand is located in the midst of young and unstable mountains, and is subject to intense rainfall.
  • The 2013 Kedarnath floods and the flash floods that have swept through the Alakananda Valley earlier this week suggest that ham-handed development in the name of god, or otherwise, can come at an agonising cost.
  • For years’ geologists, glaciologists and climate experts have voiced their fears about an impending disaster due to climate change, rapid and indiscriminate construction activities, and the subsequent ecological destruction in the region.
  • Experts also identified large-scale human settlements and expansion of agricultural activities leading to massive deforestation, as a possible trigger.
  • The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report (2019) had pointed out that one-third of the Hindu Kush Himalaya’s glaciers would melt by 2100 even if all the commitments under the Paris Agreement were met.
  • It also warned that any ecologically destructive activities would lead to more intensified disasters like landslides.
  • Experts and activists have incessantly asked for scrutiny into the construction of hydroelectric power projects in Uttarakhand.
  • An expert committee led by Dr. Ravi Chopra, instituted to assess the role of dams in exacerbating floods, provided hard evidence on how haphazard construction of dams was causing irreversible damage to the region.

Long-term crisis response mechanisms:

The need of the hour is to invest in long-term crisis response mechanisms and resilience solutions. A few immediate steps include:

  • investing in resilience planning, especially in flood prevention and rapid response.
  • Climate proofing the infrastructure such as by applying road stabilization technologies for fragile road networks and strengthening existing structures like bridges, culverts and tunnels.
  • Strengthening embankments with adequate scientific know-how.
  • Reassessing development of hydropower and other public infrastructure.
  • Investing in a robust monitoring and early warning system.
  • Establishing implementable policies and regulatory guidelines to restrict detrimental human activities, including responsible eco- and religious tourism policies.
  • Investing in training and capacity building to educate and empower local communities to prevent and manage risks effectively.

Way Forward:

  • In a recent article in Nature, Maharaj K. Pandit, a Himalayan ecologist, says in recent years, the Himalayas have seen the highest rate of deforestation and land use changes.
  • He suggests that the upper Himalayas should be converted into a nature reserve by an international agreement.
  • He also says the possibility of a Himalayan River Commission involving all the headwater and downstream countries needs to be explored.

Conclusion:

The time for wake-up calls is long behind us. India needs to urgently rise up to the challenge by applying innovative and inclusive solutions that support nature and marginalized communities, to restore and rebuild a resilient future for Uttarakhand.

 

6. Kishore, works with an mining company’s on a contract basis at low income and is trustworthy .He has been recommended by local manager to the company to hire him on a permanent basis at the local site , where he currently works, which would be a position of greater responsibility along with a stable income.

During one of the conversation, local manager mentions an incident in the 1980s wherein thousands of birds had died because of a mining blast and other related issues, though at the time no damage was found, and no mention of this was made to the press. When Kishore mentions that the law requires him to report all the issues , local manager reminds him that no harm had been done and reminds him that the company can’t have a person who does not value loyalty and respect confidentiality.  (250 words)

(a) Identify the ethical issues involved in the given case.

(b) What are the options available to Kishore in this situation? Evaluate each of them.

Introduction:

The case involves an ethical dilemma faced by Kishore who has to choose between better opportunity for himself versus legal and environmental non compliance which he needs to report.

Even though no harm was done at the time of mining blast, Kishore’s conscience reminds him about the noncompliance of environmental law time and again until it has been reported.

Stakeholders:

  • Mining company and its local affiliate
  • Kishore and his job security
  • Environmental safety ,wildlife and people in surrounding areas
  • The government

Body:

  • Ethical issues involved
    • Non compliance of laws and hiding of irregularities
    • Environmental ethics being violated
    • Pressure from higher authority in the name of loyalty and confidentiality towards company
    • Personal interest of good job opportunity versus Public interest  of protecting  environment and wildlife
    • Setting wrong precedence in complying with environmental laws
    • Transgression of moral principles

 

  • Options available to Kishore

Option 1:  Kishore must report the mining blast as soon as he is made aware of this.

Merits:  Kishore’s integrity and self-satisfaction towards healthy environment and wildlife will remain intact. He would not be held liable for withholding the information.

Demerits: He might lose his well paying job and also might jeopardize his future job prospects due to disloyal behavior towards his organization.

This unaccountability might lead to further negligence from company and thus having destructive impact on environment, wildlife and people associated.

Option 2: Kishore must ignore what happened in the past.

Merits:  Kishore’s future will be secured with well paying job.  Moreover, no damage was done at the time of blast and hence he does not have to be guilty.

Demerits:  Kishore will be ignoring ethical responsibility towards the environment and wildlife.  This negligence might result in larger industrial disaster like that of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, claiming more damage to wildlife and human lives. This inherently would mean a guilty conscience for Kishore.

Conclusion

Among the available options, Option 1 is more ethical.  Though Kishore might lose his job, it will be a clear victory of his character, as clear and innocent conscience fears nothing.  A right means can help him reach the right destination with greater rewards.  Also it will be Kishore’s duty towards his nation under article 51A to protect and improve the natural environment, thus contributing towards nation building process.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

7. Discuss the Causes for the decline Of Integrity in civil services. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Introduction:

Integrity is the practice of synchronization of thought, words and actions. It can be correlated to honesty but unlike honesty it’s more a professional value. It’s related to institution. It advocates sacrifice of personal gains in favor of organisational objectives

Body:

Integrity in its bare-bones essence means adherence to principles. It is a three-step process:

  • Choosing the right course of conduct
  • Acting consistently with the choice even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so
  • Openly declaring where one stands.
  • Accordingly, integrity is equated with moral reflection, steadfastness to commitments, trustworthiness.

Reasons for decline in civil service integrity:

Historical Causes:

  • In India, corruption has its roots in the colonial rule of the past. British administration was not interested in the overall development of the country.
  • After World War II, scarcities led to many types of controls.
  • It gave added opportunities to these low paid employees to resort to corrupt practices.
  • Then it became habitual. It was during World War I1 that corruption reached the highest mark in India.
  • The climate for integrity which had been rendered unhealthy by wartime controls and scarcities was further aggravated by the post-war flush of money and the consequent inflation.

Environmental Causes:

  • The second important cause of corruption in public service is ‘fast urbanisation and industrialization where material possessions, position and economic power determine the status and prestige in the society.
  • Since salaries are low and inflation is unabated, poor civil servants fall easy prey to corrupt practices in order to maintain status in the society.

Economic Causes:

  • Inadequate remuneration of salary scales and rising cost of living is probably one of the important causes of corruption.
  • In recent years, the fast rising cost of living has brought down the real income of various sections of the community, particularly the salaried classes.
  • The urge to appear prestigious by material possessions has encouraged those who had the opportunities to succumb to temptations.

Lack of Strong Public Opinion Against the Evil of Corruption:

  • People do not report to government against corrupt officials.
  • Instead they offer bribes to get their illegitimate claims accepted. People must fight against corruption and build a strong public opinion against corruption.

Complicated and Cumbersome Procedures and Working of Government Offices:

  • It is alleged that the working of certain government departments, e.g., the Customs and Central Excise, Imports and Exports, Railways, Supplies and Disposals, Police, Income Tax, etc., is complicated, cumbersome and dilatory.
  • This has encouraged the growth of dishonest practices like the system of ‘speedy money’.

Inadequate Laws to Deal with Corruption:

  • Indian Penal Code and other laws which deal with corruption cases are outmoded and provide insufficient penalties.
  • It takes too much time to get a corrupt officials punished under the laws.
  • Summary trials and stricter punishments should be awarded to end corruption.
  • Therefore, the laws will have to be changed accordingly.

Undue Protection Given to the Public Services in India:

  • Article 311 of the Indian Constitution which provides protection to civil servants, as interpreted by our courts, made it difficult to deal effectively with corrupt public servants.
  • Reluctance of higher officials to take disciplinary action against corrupt officials due to their collusion with them has further aggravated the situation.

Collusion of Commercial and Industrial Magnates and Others to Serve their Individual Interests:

  • Big businessmen, dishonest merchants, suppliers and contractors, bribe the civil servants in order to get undue favors from them.
  • Sometimes they share a portion of their ill earned profit with the government servants.

Pressure Groups:

  • Pressure Groups like Indian Chamber of Commerce, ‘Trade Associations, State Chambers of Commerce, are said to help in breeding corruption through their activities of getting favors for their communities.
  • They influence ruling elite through dinners, parties, luncheons. Etc.

Measures needed:

  • Raising of pay, consequently, is a basic means to wipe-out the widespread bribery in the civil services
  • Delays must be prevented and officials made fully responsive to the needs of all the people.
  • the elimination of corruption requires a widespread and steadfast opposition to it, coupled with the courage to act against it.
  • High Officials having considerable discretionary powers must be thoroughly disciplined to refuse gifts, invitations and other favors.

As an administrator, ways to inculcate integrity:

  1. Recruitment process should be completely merit based rather based on nepotism and favouritism or corruption: Role of UPSC in upholding merit based selection, in appointing civil servants impartially.
  1. Examine our own morals and ethics:
    Analysing source situations and reactions in which our morality. E.g. we think we wouldn’t steal, but whenever we are in the supermarket you try a few grapes before buying a bunch, are we living by your own values and morals?
  2. Be a role model of integrity for others-
    Being consistent, open and clear with your morals and ethics. Encourage those around you to question you and others, especially when you/they don’t appear to be acting with integrity. E.g. If a colleague proposes an approach that you think is questionable in regard to your ethics around inclusion, you could say “Tell me about how what you just suggested fits in with our values around inclusion?” This approach is curious and collaborative rather than conflictual.
  3. Stand Up for What We Believe in – Always looking at the long term vision rather momentary pleasures-
    We’ll always feel better about yourself for standing up for what you believe in. we can do this in a respectful and positive way. Always ask “How could I satisfy my ethics while also accommodating your outcomes?” Aim for a win-win, it is possible with some positive and creative thinking.
  4. Keeping our Agreements:
    Keep your word to yourself and others. Every day we make promises, so many that it’s easy to forget them and when we do we jeopardise our relationships. Every small broken promise erodes trust. If you make a commitment, write it down and only cross it off once it’s done, or let the person know if you can no longer fulfil it.
  5. Surround yourself with people of integrity-
    Choosing the right company will make it easier to keep your integrity. Limit time spent with those who don’t hold your values and ethics and if you are in a position to recruit people, consider how you hire people that have similar morals and ethics to you.
  6. Fulfilling promisesBeing committed to our word. For Eg: Lal Bahadur Shashtri kept his promise to prison warden and return even during death of his daughter.
  7. Examining reactions towards people: How we make longer-term commitments (e.g., attending events, completing projects, etc.). Use this introspection to become self-aware, keep score and improve.

Conclusion:

Integrity is consistently rated as one of the most important character traits of a respected leader, when integrity is missing from our relationships, our leaders or ourselves, a breakdown in trust occurs, support disappears and as a result no one achieves their goals. Aligning our internal values with our external behaviours sounds easy, but putting it into practice can be a challenge.


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