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[ Day 38 – Synopsis ] 75 Days Mains Revision Plan 2023 – Ethics



Q1. How does the lack of socio-economic development in certain regions of India contribute to the rise of extremist ideologies and activities? Illustrate with examples. (10M)

There are always groups in every state who feel alienated because they perceive that they are left out of the developmental efforts. Such perceptions coupled with inefficient and corrupt governance create an ideal condition for extremism and militancy.


The linkage between lack of socio-economic development and rise of extremist ideologies; –

  • Marginalization and Disenfranchisement: When certain regions or communities are consistently left behind in terms of economic opportunities, education, and basic amenities, it fosters a sense of marginalization and disenfranchisement.
    • For instance, the Naxalite movement in several states of India, particularly in regions like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha, has its roots in the socio-economic grievances of tribal communities.
  • Unemployment and Lack of Economic Opportunities: High unemployment rates and a lack of viable economic opportunities can make youth susceptible to extremist ideologies that offer a sense of purpose and belonging, even if it means resorting to violence to achieve their objectives.
    • g. In Kashmir, the prolonged conflict and lack of economic development have led to high youth unemployment, making vulnerable individuals more susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by extremist groups.
  • Religious and Ethnic Tensions: Socio-economic disparities can amplify existing religious or ethnic tensions, providing extremist groups with an opportunity to exploit these divisions for their gain.
    • g. The communal violence in some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Weak Governance and Law Enforcement: In regions where governance and law enforcement are weak or corrupt, extremist groups may find it easier to establish their presence and operate with relative impunity.
    • g. insurgency in North east.
  • Governance issue
    • Political deprivation leading to hopelessness or a sense of powerlessness among the deprived classes.
    • Nexus between local administration and political mafia.

Hence this multifaceted form of exploitation in the absence of any developmental propaganda forms the major cause of spread of extremism in the country.


Way forward:

  • Countering Radicalization: Develop and implement targeted counter-radicalization programs that promote tolerance, diversity, and peaceful coexistence. These programs should engage community leaders, educators, and religious institutions to counter extremist narratives.
  • Socio-Economic Development: Focus on inclusive economic growth, job creation, and equitable distribution of resources in regions prone to extremism.
    • Providing opportunities for education, skill development, and employment can help reduce the appeal of extremist ideologies.
  • Inclusive Growth: Ensure that the benefits of economic development reach all sections of society, including marginalized communities, to prevent feelings of exclusion and alienation.
  • Strengthening Law Enforcement: Enhance the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to identify and prevent extremist activities. Improved intelligence gathering, surveillance, and inter-agency coordination are essential.
  • Women’s Empowerment: Promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through education, skill development, and providing opportunities for women to participate in the workforce.



An ideology based on violence and annihilation is doomed to fail in a democracy that offers legitimate forums of grievance redressal. Through a holistic approach focusing on development and security-related interventions, the rise of extremism ideologies can be successfully tackled.



Q2. What are the implications of cyber threats and disinformation campaigns orchestrated by external state and non-state actors on India’s internal security? Suggest measures to address them. (15M)


India has been facing challenges on the front of internal security since independence from various state and non-state actors.  Advancement in technology has provided a new tool in form of cyber threats and disinformation to external state and non-state actors threatening India’s internal security.


Implications of cyber threats and disinformation campaigns orchestrated by external state and non-state actors on India’s internal security:

  • Threats to Critical Infrastructure: Cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, such as power grids, transportation systems, and communication networks, can disrupt essential services and affect public safety.
    • for instance, RedEcho campaign that caused a power outage in Mumbai.
  • Economic Impact: Cyber threats can harm India’s economy by disrupting businesses, financial institutions, and trade networks. Attacks on intellectual property, financial fraud, and data breaches can result in substantial financial losses. g. Ransomware attacks.
  • Cyber Espionage: State-sponsored cyber-attacks can aim at stealing classified information, military strategies, and diplomatic communications, leading to compromises in national security and sovereignty.
  • Surveillance and Privacy Concerns: Cyber threats can compromise the privacy of individuals and organizations, leading to surveillance and data theft. This poses challenges to personal privacy and national security.
    • g. India banning Chinese mobile applications.
  • Political Instability: Disinformation campaigns aimed at sowing discord, promoting extremist ideologies, or influencing public opinion can create political polarization and social unrest. These campaigns can undermine trust in democratic institutions and lead to instability.
    • g. Using social media to promote disinformation in Kashmir.
  • Social Unrest: Targeted disinformation campaigns can exacerbate existing social and communal tensions, leading to inter-group conflicts and violence. Misinformation can spread rapidly through social media platforms, triggering misinformation-driven mob violence.
    • g. Recent Manipur violence.
  • Misinformation during Crises: During national emergencies or disasters, disinformation campaigns can hamper response efforts, spread panic, and obstruct official communication channels.
  • Diplomatic Strains: Cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns carried out by foreign state actors can strain diplomatic relations between India and other countries. These incidents may lead to accusations, counter-accusations, and diplomatic standoffs.


Measures taken to address them:

  • Develop quantum-resistant systems: India should start implementing and developing capabilities in quantum-resistant communications, specifically for critical strategic sectors.
  • Budgetary provision – According to Rajesh Pant committee, a minimum allocation of 25% of the annual budget, which can be raised up to 1% has been recommended to be set aside for cyber security.
  • Awareness: Government and Private organisation should conduct a periodic awareness campaign to aware people about cyber security threats.
  • Policy and Governance: A robust and effective policy is the need of the hour. Further, duties and responsibilities should be defined clearly for smooth functioning and better coordination among departments and stakeholders.
  • Collaborating with international partners: India can sign agreements with other like-minded countries and international organizations to share information and best practices on cyber defense, and to jointly combat cyber threats.
  • Periodic auditing: There should be periodic cybersecurity audits to check if the guidelines are being adhered to.
  • Research, skilling and modernisation: investing in modernisation and digitisation of ICT, setting up a short and long term agenda for cyber security via outcome-based programs and providing investments in deep-tech cyber security innovation.
    • Also creating a ‘cyber security services’ with cadres chosen from the Indian Engineering Services can be way forward.
  • Crisis management: For adequate preparation to handle crisis, the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) recommends holding cybersecurity drills which include real-life scenarios with their ramifications. In critical sectors, simulation exercises for cross-border scenarios must be held on an inter-country basis.


By adopting proactive measures, India can mitigate the impact of cyber threats and disinformation campaigns, ensuring internal security, and safeguarding the country’s socio-political stability.





Syllabus: Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information

Q3. Explain the ethical necessities that makes information sharing a crucial aspect in a democratic country such as India. Also, elucidate some of the steps taken by the government in recent times to encourage information sharing (10M)


Information sharing promotes transparency, accountability, and informed decision-making by citizens. The right to access information is a fundamental aspect of democracy and empowers citizens to be active participants in the governance process.


Ethical Necessities for Information Sharing in India:

  • Accountability and Transparency: enables the public to monitor and scrutinize government activities, thereby reducing the scope for corruption and misuse of power.
  • Informed Decision-making: Access to information empowers citizens to make informed choices and decisions. In a democratic setup, well-informed citizens can actively participate in elections and policy discussions, leading to better governance.
  • Right to Information (RTI): The Right to Information Act, 2005, is an ethical imperative that allows citizens to seek information from public authorities. This fosters a culture of openness and enables citizens to hold the government accountable.
  • Participatory Governance: in decision-making processes. When citizens have access to relevant data and policies, they can contribute meaningfully to shaping public policies and programs.
  • Equity and Social Justice: helps identify disparities and inequalities in various sectors like health, education, and welfare schemes. It allows the government to address these issues and work towards a more equitable society.

Steps Taken by the Government to Encourage Information Sharing:

  • Digital India Initiative: The government’s Digital India campaign aims to make government services accessible to all citizens through digital platforms. This initiative enhances information sharing and transparency in various government services.
  • Open Government Data (OGD) Platform: The OGD platform provides access to a wide range of government datasets, promoting data-driven decision-making and fostering innovation.
  • National e-Governance Plan (NeGP): The NeGP promotes the use of information technology to deliver government services to citizens effectively. It improves accessibility to information and eases the process of obtaining government services.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: to inform citizens about their right to information and how to use the RTI Act to seek information by various state Information commissioners.
  • Proactive Disclosure: Government departments are encouraged to proactively disclose information related to their functioning, budgets, policies, and schemes on their websites, making it easily accessible to the public.



As Tim Berners-Lee  said “When information is open, it enables people to hold the powerful to account and to build a better society.” and in India’s democratic fabric, information sharing is a cornerstone of ethical governance.


Case study


Q4. Mr. X was the Secretary of Ministry of Defence. He is an intelligent dealmaker and he secured a deal with a foreign country for weapons purchase, along with transfer of technology. In order to secure the deal, he makes some compromises upon oral orders from your Minister viz. Minister of Defence. The pricing of the weapons is over-invoiced and the surplus amount will accrue to the defence company which supplies weapons. The amount is not exorbitant but Rs. 5 Crores only. This information is kept out of public access using Official Secrets Act by Mr. X.


Mr. X is transferred to Personnel Ministry now. Interestingly, a whistle-blower has disclosed the over-invoicing done by him but she lacks any evidence. She files RTI to access pricing details of defence deal. Chief Information Commissioner concluded that under the present RTI Act, the information is ought to be disclosed. The Personnel Minster and Defence Minister have decided to amend the RTI law to reduce powers of CIC and create loopholes such that some compromises made for securing national interest by any Ministry is kept in dark.

As a Secretary of Personnel Ministry, Mr. X is supposed to give green signal to weaken the RTI law by amendments and Personnel Minister asks him to do so. What should Mr. X do in this case?

(20 marks, 250 words)



The case presents an ethical dilemma for Mr. X, the Secretary of Personnel Ministry raising concerns about transparency, accountability, and the balance between national security and public interest.



  • X, Secretary of Personnel Ministry
  • Whistle-blower who disclosed the over-invoicing
  • Chief Information Commissioner
  • Personnel Minister and Defence Minister
  • Public and citizens’ right to access information


Factors to be considered:

  • National security and the need for certain information to remain classified.
  • Transparency and accountability in governance.
  • The right to information and citizens’ access to government decisions.
  • The role of whistle-blowers in exposing wrongdoing.
  • The integrity and ethical responsibility of public officials.
  • Securing the best possible defense deal for the country.


Dilemmas in the case:

  • National Security vs. Transparency.
  • Public Interest vs. Secrecy in certain matters confidential for national interest.
  • Whistle-blower Protection vs. Evidence Requirement.
  • Ethical Responsibility vs. Ministerial Orders: rule of law or serve people in power .
  • Means vs the ends- can defense security goal be riddled with unethical practices.


Option 1: Approve the amendments to weaken the RTI law

Justification Pros / Values Upheld Cons / Challenges Involved
Avoids potential conflicts with the ministers.

May protect his career and position in the personnel ministry.

Defence deal goes through, benefitting the country.


●       Loyalty: Upholding his duty to obey the Minister’s instructions.

●       Stability: Ensuring a smoother working relationship with the Minister.

●       National Interest


●       Compromising transparency and accountability in governance.

●       Potentially facing legal and ethical consequences if the actions are exposed.

●       Contributing to a culture of corruption and dishonesty.

Option 2: Refuse the amendments to weaken the RTI law

Justification Pros / Values Upheld Cons / Challenges Involved
Demonstrates commitment to the principles of transparency and accountability.

Stands for the public interest and democracy.

Future defense deals will be done with more consideration  and less scope for corruption.

●       Maintaining his personal integrity and ethical values.

●       Demonstrating strong leadership and commitment to the rule of law.

●       Facing potential backlash or retaliation from the Minister..

●       Risking his position and future career prospects in the Ministry.

Option 3: Seek advice

Justification Pros / Values Upheld Cons / Challenges Involved
Consultation with legal experts and constitutional experts to assess the implication of the proposed amendments.

Consult the cabinet secretary.



●       Promotes transparency and accountability within the government .

●       Ensuring he acts within the boundaries of the law and ethics.

●       Demonstrating a willingness to find a balanced solution by getting a clearer understanding of his options and their implications

●       Facing uncertainty in the outcome of seeking advice.

●       Potentially involving other officials in the dilemma.

●       Potential pressure from higher authorities to comply with the Minister’s request.



Mr. X should choose Option 2 and reject the amendments to weaken the RTI law. By upholding transparency and respecting the role of whistle-blowers, he can demonstrate a commitment to ethical leadership and ensure that the public’s right to access information is protected.

He has already acted with less integrity by making some compromises and over-invoicing in defense purchases. As Woodrow Wilson said  “The greatest danger to our freedom is not the foreign enemy; it is domestic tyranny.”  By amending the RTI law Mr. X would initiate a process of shielding away corruption leading to tyranny in future.

Mr. X should redeem himself and act with complete honesty. He should consult seniors or legal experts to resolve his dilemma.


Encouraging a culture of openness, protecting whistle-blowers, and engaging in dialogue with relevant stakeholders can lead to a more balanced approach that safeguards both national interests and democratic principles.


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