Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Examples of Ethics

GS Paper 4

 Syllabus: Application of ethics


Source: TH, TH


Example 1: 

V.K. Pandian, an influential bureaucrat and the private secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has become a target of criticism from the opposition and certain factions within the BJD party.

The complaint raised concerns about his use of state transportation, public receptions, and announcements of new projects, suggesting a violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules.

The elaborate security measures and protocols accompanying Mr Pandian’s visits resemble those of chief ministers and union ministers, blurring the line between a politician and a bureaucrat.


Ethical Issues concerned:

Ethical Issues Description
Violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules Concerns about adherence to ethical standards are expected from government officials such as Anonymity.
Blurring of Lines between Politicians and Bureaucrats The elaborate security measures and protocols accompanying Mr Pandian’s visits, similar to those of chief ministers and union ministers, raise ethical questions regarding the distinction between political and bureaucratic roles.
Concentration of Power Ethical considerations related to accountability, transparency, and democratic principles.
Favoritism and Nepotism The close association between Mr Pandian and the Chief Minister, as well as the allegations of him being a “gateway” to the Chief Minister, may raise ethical concerns related to favouritism, preferential treatment, and equitable distribution of opportunities and resources.


Example 2: Discrimination in Cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has issued an apology following a report that revealed systemic discrimination within English cricket. The report, conducted by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC), highlighted instances of racism, sexism, and class-based discrimination within the sport.

The ECB expressed remorse for failing to prevent these forms of discrimination and acknowledged the need for significant changes. The report made 44 recommendations for reform, including equal pay for male and female international players by 2030.

Ethical values highlighted: Inclusivity, Equality, Anti-discrimination, Accountability, and Reform and improvement


Example 3: ‘Selflessness’ in Public Life 

  • Cricketer Tendulkar reported on national duty after his father’s death
  • Virat Kohli played a match-saving knock for his team after his father’s death
  • Anil Kumble bowled with a broken Jaw (2002) against West Indies. He said, “At least I can now go home with the thought that I tried my best.


All these examples highlight the importance of ” selflessness ” when it comes to ethics in public life/service.


Example 4: Lessons on Emotional Intelligence in Cricket 

Test cricket, unlike most other sports, requires long-term, targeted behaviour and provides insights into how the mind experiences time, reward, threat, and anxiety.

Understanding our ABCs (alarm-beliefs-coping) and managing our mind’s reaction to time is crucial in cricket and life alike. Being emotionally intelligent helps players better their performance and reduce anxiety.


Values extracted:

  • Self-awareness (recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions)
  • Self-regulation
  • Building resilience to anxiety through cognitive reattribution training (CRT);
  • Being flexible and adaptable in response to changing circumstances, and developing strategies to cope with anxiety and negative emotions
  • Recognizing how anxiety can elongate the perception of time and impact sleep, diet, and emotional stability, and managing it effectively.