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[ Day 50 – Synopsis ] 75 Days Mains Revision Plan 2023 – Indian Society & Ethics


Indian Society


Q1. The institution of marriage rests on equal partnership. Comment (10M)


The institution of marriage is a socially and legally recognized union between two people that establishes rights and obligations between them and their families. It is a universal human institution found in almost every culture and society. While traditional gender roles have historically influenced marital dynamics, recent trends indicate a growing emphasis on equality and shared responsibilities.


Institution of marriage rests on equal partnership:

  • Changing Social Norms: With the modernization of Indian society, traditional gender roles are being challenged, leading to a shift towards more egalitarian relationships. Both spouses are now expected to contribute to household responsibilities, decision-making, and financial matters.

A study by Aspiring Minds found that the percentage of           dual-income families in India increased from 28% in 2005 to 47% in 2018.

  • Economic Independence: As more women join the workforce and achieve financial independence, the dynamics of marriages are shifting. Financial contributions from both partners lead to a greater sense of equality in decision-making and resource allocation.
    • According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the female workforce participation rate in India has been gradually increasing.
  • Education and Empowerment: Increasing access to education, especially for women, has empowered individuals to pursue their aspirations and contribute actively to their family’s well-being.
    • As women’s education and career opportunities expand, they are more likely to engage in decision-making within the marriage, leading to a more equal partnership.
  • Communication and Mutual Respect: Open communication and mutual respect are becoming key components of modern Indian marriages. Partners are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings, and expectations, fostering understanding and a collaborative approach.
  • Shared Parenting: The concept of shared parenting is gaining traction, with both partners actively participating in raising children. This collaborative approach acknowledges that parenting is a joint responsibility, rather than solely the role of one parent.
  • Legal reforms and initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality, such as the Right to Marry, laws against dowry, and protection from domestic violence, are reinforcing the principles of equal partnership within marriages.
    • g. recent amendments in Maternity benefits act.
  • Urbanization and exposure to global perspectives through media and technology have influenced the expectations and aspirations of individuals, leading to a more balanced and equal approach to marriage.



We must recast our work policies and basic education system to foster equal partnership as a foundational value in marriage, so that we have less conflict, dependency and resentment, and we simultaneously support the right of women to participate in all walks of life.


Q2. Critically compare ‘Affirmative Action’ of USA and ‘Protective Discrimination’ for scheduled Tribes in India. (15M)


Affirmative Action” in the USA and “Protective Discrimination” for Scheduled Tribes in India are both policy approaches aimed at addressing historical inequalities and promoting social justice. While they share similarities in their intentions, there are also significant differences in their implementation, scope, and impact.


Comparison between Affirmative Action’ of USA and ‘Protective Discrimination’ for scheduled Tribes in India.

Basis Affirmative Action of USA Protective Discrimination for scheduled Tribes in India
Historical Context: ●       Affirmative Action was introduced in the USA during the 1960s as a response to historical discrimination against African Americans and other minority groups.


●       It aimed to provide equal opportunities in education, employment, and other sectors.

●       Protective Discrimination, also known as “Reservation” in India, was introduced to address historical social and economic inequalities faced by marginalized groups, especially Scheduled Tribes (STs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Scope: ●       Affirmative Action extends beyond race and includes considerations based on gender, disability, and veteran status.


●       It is applied in various domains such as education, employment, and government contracting.


●       primarily focuses on historically marginalized groups, with Scheduled Tribes being a specific target.


●       It aims to provide them with opportunities in education, public employment, and political representation.

Implementation: ●       Affirmative Action involves policies like preferential admissions in universities and colleges, setting quotas or targets for hiring underrepresented groups, and promoting diversity and inclusion. ●       Reservation policies in India involve setting aside a certain percentage of seats in educational institutions, government jobs, and elected bodies exclusively for Scheduled Tribes and other disadvantaged groups.
Criticism: ●       It has been criticized for potentially leading to reverse discrimination, where certain groups may feel unfairly treated.


●       Legal challenges have questioned the constitutionality of such policies, and there are ongoing debates about their effectiveness in achieving true equality.

●       While initially seen as a necessary step towards empowerment, there is debate about the effectiveness of reservations in achieving social equality.


●       Concerns include issues of creamy layer exclusion, stigmatization, and whether such policies can lead to the upliftment of marginalized communities in the long run.

Impact ●       Helped to improve the lives of historically disadvantaged groups ●       Helped to improve the lives of historically disadvantaged groups
Limitations ●       Can be unfair to qualified individuals from majority groups; can perpetuate discrimination ●       Can perpetuate the caste system; can fail to address the root causes of inequality

Comparative Analysis:

  • Key differences:
    • formal quotas are permissible in the Reservation System, but are not permitted under Affirmative Action.
    • Affirmative Action focuses on addressing racial disparities whereas the Reservation System focuses on addressing caste disparities.
    • Unlike the US, the Indian constitution explicitly provides for affirmative action in Articles 15(4), 16(4), and 46.
  • Scope and Target Groups: Affirmative Action in the USA is broader, encompassing a range of disadvantaged groups, whereas Protective Discrimination in India has a specific focus on Scheduled Tribes and other marginalized communities.



Both India and the US struggle with challenges in effectively implementing policies, resulting in continued vulnerability among marginalized communities. Unfortunately, political interests sometimes exploit vulnerability for their own agendas. However, both countries have the potential to develop more nuanced and context-specific policies that prioritize the well-being of all citizens.





Q3. What do you understand by the terms “Terminal values” and “Instrumental values”? Explain the importance of human values in the life of an individual. (10M)


Human values refer to the principles, beliefs, and ethical standards that guide and influence the behaviour and choices of individuals and societies. These values are fundamental to human existence and shape how people interact with each other. Some examples of human values are tolerance, compassion, honesty, respect, love etc


Terminal values:

  • Terminal values refer to the ultimate end goals that individuals or societies aim to achieve which are usually broad, guiding our long-term decisions and shaping our overall life objectives.

Instrumental values:

  • Instrumental values, are the means or methods used to achieve the terminal values. They represent the principles and behaviours that help to reach their ultimate goals.

Importance of human values in the life of an individual:

  1. Provide moral compass: The moral compass of values represents a set of core principles that individuals use to judge what is right or wrong. These values form the foundation for ethical decision-making and provide direction in various situations. Mahatma Gandhi withdrawal of NCM as it is against the value of Non-violence.
  2. Continuous self-improvement: Positive Human values foster personal growth and development, encouraging. TATA group one of the most trusted brand from India holds some values like social responsibility, innovation, fairness etc and it is continuously improving.
  3. Emotional well-being and inner harmony: Positive behaviour, aligned with one’s values, contributes to overall happiness and fulfilment in life and this helps in emotional wellbeing. Lord Rama always upholder of dharma and he was emotionally strong and happy even in the forest.
  4. Provide strength and resilience: Values helps individuals navigate challenges and adversity. Ajit Doval did so many secret operations for the security of India with no fear because of the values like honesty, braveness, dedication etc
  5. Compassion and social responsibility: Upholding human values like compassion motivates individuals to contribute positively to their communities. Raja ram Mohan Roy was compassionate to his sister in law who performed sati and he worked for elimination of sati.
  6. Ensures integrity and fairness: Upholding of human values ensures transparency, integrity & fairness in all aspects of life. T.N Seshan Ex Chief EC faced so many challenges and still ensured transparency and fairness of Election commission
  7. Meaning and purpose to an individual’s life: Even after 27 years of prison, values like forgiveness, compassion, love & harmony made Nelson Mandela to forgive the opponents , and made uplifting of underprivileged as his purpose of life
  8. Conflict resolution and decision consistency: Conflict resolution refers to the process of addressing and resolving the disputes in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner. Decision consistency refers to the ability to make and stick to decisions that align with one’s values, goals, and long-term objectives. Sardar Valla Bhai Patel united princely states with India by resolving conflicts and he is frim in his idea for Indian union.


Human values play a foundational role in shaping behaviour, guiding decision-making, and fostering a positive and harmonious coexistence. The importance of human values lies in their power to transform lives, build stronger communities, and create a positive global impact. By upholding and promoting human values, individuals contribute to a better world, where respect, empathy, and fairness are the cornerstones of human interactions.


Case Study


Q4. You have just completed your graduation in Engineering and you are recruited to a high paying Multi-National Corporation (MNC). Your father has expired in your childhood days and that pushed your family into abject poverty. Your mother struggled to educate you and she now finds solace and meaning for her agony in the fact that you have got a job and she wishes to lead the life ahead peacefully under your care.

You have become the favorite subordinate of your boss. After three months, some shocking facts comes to your revelation. Your boss is a Hindu from upper caste background and he likes you for being not only a Hindu but also for belonging to his caste. Above all, every year he has recommended poor performance rating to his subordinates from Islamic community. This not only reduced their increment in salary but also led to loss of job for some. Also, he allocates burdensome tasks to Muslims and easier ones to Hindus. He is rude to Muslims and polite to Hindus.

You are deeply disturbed by this conduct of your boss; you are unable to work enthusiastically and productively under him. You come to know from a colleague that he does not take any opinion on religion that is contrary to his opinion and he even discriminates Hindus if they are secular. He suggests you to resign the job if he is psychologically uncomfortable in this company.

What are the options before you in this situation? Analyse their merits and demerits.



In the above situation one’s choices affect not only personal values but also impact the well-being of others, making ethical discernment an essential component in striking a balance between principles and practicality.

Factors to be Considered:

  • Personal Values: How ethics align with my work situation.
  • Family Dependence: mother’s financial reliance on my job.
  • Career Growth: Opportunities for advancement and skill development.
  • Ethical Responsibility: Addressing religious discrimination and standing against injustice.
  • Psychological Well-being: my mental health in a discriminatory environment.

Dilemmas/Issues Involved:

  • Ethics vs. Job Security and family financial stability.
  • Confrontation vs. Harmony and tolerating discriminatory behavior.
  • Emotional Health vs. Career.
  • Principle vs. Pragmatism.
  • Immediate gains vs. Long-term and long- lasting consequences.

Possible decisions that could be taken

Option 1: Resigning from the job

Justification Pros / Values upheld Cons
●       This option adheres to the principle of non-discrimination, emphasizing the importance of treating everyone equally without bias or prejudice. It reflects a commitment to ethical conduct that values diversity and inclusivity.


●       Upholds the principles of justice and equality.

●       Refusing to participate in or support discrimination based on religion or caste.

●       Advocates for individual dignity and challenges systemic injustice, fostering a workplace environment founded on fairness.

●       Sends a compelling message against discriminatory practices.

●       May lead to financial instability for my family.

●       Misses out on career growth and experience in the MNC.

Option 2: Confronting the Boss

Justification Pros / Values upheld Cons / Challenges involved
By resigning, you prioritize the individual dignity and worth of all employees, advocating against a work environment that undermines or marginalizes certain groups based on their religious identity. ●       Sends a compelling message against discriminatory practices.

●       Promoting a workplace environment that respects and values diversity.

●       Demonstrates moral duty, personal integrity and ethical courage.

●       Could strain the boss-subordinate relationship.

●       May result in financial instability for my family, given mother’s dependence on your income.

●       Misses out on potential career growth, skill development, and experience within the high-paying MNC.

Option 3: Seeking support within the company

Justification Pros / Values upheld Cons / Challenges involved
It emphasizes the role of individuals in creating an inclusive work culture.

Provides an opportunity to engage higher management in addressing ethical concerns, potentially leading to corrective measures and positive change.

●       justice and fairness by addressing systemic bias.

●       commitment to upholding corporate ethical standards.

●       fostering a workplace that values diversity and inclusivity.


●       The formal investigation might take time, causing emotional stress and uncertainty for you and affected colleagues.

●       There’s potential for office politics or negative repercussions as the issue gains visibility within the organization.

●       The process might not guarantee an immediate resolution, requiring patience and perseverance in pursuing the matter through internal channels.

Course of action:

Taking a principled stand, I would confront my boss about the discriminatory behavior, urging a shift towards inclusivity. Simultaneously, I’d escalate the concern to higher management, seeking their intervention to address the issue formally. This approach aligns with integrity, challenges bias, and promotes a just and equitable workplace.


In navigating this ethical dilemma, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. resonate: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Upholding values empowers positive change and paves a just path forward.


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