06th January, 2016 (MAINS)

TODAYs ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM GS-IV

Q1. “A mere compliance with law is not enough, the public servant also have to have a well-developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties” Do you agree? Explain with the help of two examples where (i) an act is ethically right, but not legally and (ii) an act is legally right, but not ethically.  

[10marks/2015/GS-4] 150 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • DVM

    The governance of the Indian Democracy has been based on the “Rule Of Law” where parliament is the highest Decision making body which frames the Laws for the proper, effective and Inclusive administration of the country. The civil servants has to work in their respective fields in accordance with the rules framed by the parliament from time to time. India is a country with the largest number of it’s population below the poverty line who lacks the basic means of livelihood, there were widespread problems of Undernourishment, Malnutrition, Illiteracy which leads to the vicious cycle of poverty which in turns leads to the law and order situation. civil servants faced the dilemmas when they faces the problems where there is a conflict between the ethical values and law prescribed in rule book. below are the scenarios where act is ethically right but not legally and a act which is legally right but not ethically.

    A. ACT WHICH IS ETHICALLY RIGHT BUT NOT LEGALLY:

    1. Due to rise in population and increased in the process of urbanization there is widespread migration of the people from rural to urban and semi-urban to urban areas for the means of sustenance which leads to the problem of illegal slums in various parts of city. Legally its been mandatory for the civil servants and civic administration to demolish the illegal structures but ethically it’s not right because if we will demolish these slums then the people will lose their basic means of livelihood.

    2. There is also problem of illegal hawking in various parts of the city which leads to the congestion in different parts it’s not legally right to allow hawking but ethically its not right to evict such people which will leads to the further unemployment and will leads to loss of their means of sustenance.

    B. ACT WHICH IS LEGALLY RIGHT BUT NOT ETHICALLY :
    1. Under the garb of economical development of the country there is widespread destruction of forest cover which not only leads to the environmental issues like global warming but also leads to law and order situation because the tribal people are uprooted from their ancestral place, it leads to the problem of Naxalism. It seems legally right to protect the industries from the tribal attack but ethically it’s incorrect to uproot the tribal from their ancestral land and to destroy the forests.

    2. The capital punishment given in the country is legally right but it’s not ethically because loss of life will not leads to the reduction in crime rate. but in India the capital punishment is given in the rarest of rare case which is one of the great initiative by supreme court of india but still some civil servants are advocating for abolition of capital punishment.

    There were and always will be the conflict between what is ethically right and what is legally right, in order to avoid the conflict there is need of an active participation of people in decision making process by involving them through the process of discussion and suggestion by making effective use of ICT. The civil servant has to be proactive in reaching to people for their grievances, They should bring the effective changes in the law before the people representatives like Ministers which help them in making appropriate amendments to the Law which in turn will help in reducing the conflict between ethical and legal dilemmas. In order to develop sustainably and inclusively there is urgent need to address this conflict by bringing effective amendments as well as inclusive schemes, which in turn will help in developing a dynamic society which will help in reaping the benefits of great demographic divident attributed to tour country.

  • Ashi Agarwal

    GS4 2015 mains question solved.
    Q1. “A mere compliance with law is not enough, the public servant also have to have a well-developed sensibility to ethical issues for effective discharge of duties” Do you agree? Explain with the help of two examples where (i) an act is ethically right, but not legally and (ii) an act is legally right, but not ethically.

    Answered in 154 words
    Yes, I do agree with the above statement because:
    1.Public servants are responsible for managing resources on behalf of the community, delivering services to the community and taking decisions that affect a citizen’s life.
    2.Though law often embodies ethical principles, law and ethics are different.
    3.The law does not prohibit many acts that would be widely condemned as unethical. And the contrary is true as well.
    4.The law also prohibits acts that some groups would perceive as ethical. For example lying or betraying the confidence of a citizen is not illegal, but most people would consider it unethical.

    Example 1:
    •Euthanasia is ethically right but not legally.
    •Humans are meant to be the highest life form, yet legally in some countries they are unable to choose to die even though there is no hope for them.
    Example 2:
    •Breaking promises is generally legal, but is widely thought of as unethical.