25 Ethics Case Study for IAS Mains 2014 by S. K. Mishra, IAS (retd.)

  • by IAS Score

A careful collection of 25 case-studies, which covers all most all the topics of paper 4. These have been scientifically designed to test a candidate’s understanding on ethical choices and dilemmas in decision making; his/her approach towards decision making, which in fact would reveal the aptitude and attitude of the candidate. Similarly these also cover moral values, emotional intelligence, and work culture and corruption related choices and decision making issues.

Case Study 1. Very recently 6 national political parties have been declared as Public Authorities under RTI Act 2005. There is a politically conscious state where the people are very keen to know about one of the national party. The concerned political party has found its state office in a very bad condition, because records have not been put into order since long. The party has appointed you as PIO and has also requested you to set its office in order.

Answer the following, quoting also the relevant sections of RTI Act 2005.

(a) What could be frequently asked questions by the people? What will be your strategy to reduce your work load?
(b) What arrangement you will make to associate the people in formulation of the policy of the party.
(c) If some one asks what is the criteria of selection of candidates and allotment of party tickets, what will be your answer and why?
(d) If a person files a RTI application to know, why a particular M.P. has taken a particular position regarding an issue in parliament, what will be your reply and why? (250 Words)

Case Study 2. There is a poor person living in a rural area and wants to get his son admitted in a public school in a city. The school asks for T.C. and Character certificate and set out a deadline for submission otherwise the boy will not get admission. The father makes desperate attempt to procure the concerned documents, but could not get within time and the son does not get admission. In running from Pillar to Post, he met an accident and lost his two legs. His son meets you and requests you to help him in redressal of his grievances, including fixing accountability regarding injury to his father. You want to use provisions under RTI Act 2005.

(a) What are the various options available to you?
(b) Evaluate the merits and demerits of each option and suggest best course of action with justifications. (250 Words)

Case Study 3. You are head of a government office which has a large scale of public dealings. People normally come in the office for their routine problems like pension claims, insurance claims etc. There is an assistant who deals these subjects and there is complaint that he does not clear the claims before extracting a price for the same. He has the backing and patronage of a local influential politician. Other assistants are looking towards you for a decisive action. The work culture of the organization is reached to an all time low level. You have decided to act in the given situation.

(a) What are the various options available to you?
(b) Examine the merits and demerits of each option and suggest best course of action under the given situation? (250 Words)

Case Study 4. You are executive engineer of building construction deptt. and incharge of construction and maintenance of government quarters in a particular district. You have joined recently and has in course of your field inspection find large scale misuse of funds in both construction and in repair and maintenance of government quarters. You have started putting accountability on concerned asstt. and junior engineers. As a mark of protest all J.Es and A.Es have started a ‘go slow’ campaign. The financial year is going to close and still 50% of  funds remain unutilized. Your senior officers have suggested you to explore other options also.

(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Examine merits/demerits of each options and suggest the best course of action  with reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 5. You are head of a local anti-corruption unit and after getting a definite information raided a government office and found that two government officials are openly accepting bribes from two people. You had only a few other police personnel in plain cloth and all unarmed. The two corrupt officials started ‘crying’ that few robbers have entered into office and with the help of their colleagues got released 2 accused from your custody. In the process, few of your own people got injured.  When your senior officers came to know, they put the entire blame on you. Examine the case and answer the following.

(a) What are the ethical issues involved in the present case.
(b) What are the mistakes committed by you and what should have been ideal course of action. Give justifications for your answer. (250 Words)

Case Study 6. You are head of water supply board of a district town and incharge of supplying drinking water to the people. You had a detailed consultation with people regarding a citizen charger for water supply services. Based on the requirement and expectations of people, you had a discussion with your subordinates who were little reluctant about the charter but seeing your positive attitude ultimately agreed. You committed some hurry in implementation of charter and notice the following problems.

1. The quantum of water promised could not be ensured.
2. The quality of water did not improve.
3. One of your key functionary went on a long leave and you did not get his replacement.
4. The entire blame on the failure of charter came on you.

Ponder over the situation and answer the following

(a) What were the reasons of failure of citizen charter?
(b) What should have been ideal course of action and why? (250 Words)

Case Study 7. There is a panchayat level hospital for treatment of cattles, run and maintained by a group of three doctors of animal husbandary department of the state and is headed by you. The hospital has a reasonable infrastructure for both preventive and curative treatments of cattles. There are approximately 10 paramedical staff also available for providing various services. You along with your manpower hospital people (Doctors and Paramedical) and local villagers have jointly decided to introduce citizen charter for better and time bound delivery of various services.

(a) What should ideally be draft citizen charter?
(b) Discuss the merits/limitation of charter assigning proper reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 8. A political party has been formed in the background of anti-corruption movement and poor delivery of public services. They have successfully raised their voice against rise in electricity tariff, irregularities in Public Distribution System (PDS), poor state of affairs in health and sanitation sector. Its leader is a person of unimpeachable integrity and has sufficient experience of government working. In election speeches and in manifesto the party has promised following things.

(a) They will create an anti-corruption agency which will investigate and punish the corrupt public servants within 6 months of instituting the criminal case.
(b) Reduce the power tarrif by half and also ensuring 24 hrs electric supply.
(c) Clean and sufficient drinking water to all citizens, free of cost.
(d) Ensuring the sale of vegetables also through P.D.S.
What could be limitations of political party in getting the above promises implemented, once they return into power (250 Words)

Case Study 9. You have recently joined as head of a district level government office which registers the unemployed people and provides necessary help and guidance so that they could get gainful employment. You find that office is full of dirt and file and records have been kept in most arbitrary manner. The subordinate officials are very rude to the visitors and ask money for providing various services to the youth, who come for seeking various assistance. As head of the organization what will be your specific response to the following with suitable justification.

(a) What step will be taken by you for keeping the files and records in proper order?
(b) What will be your specific action for creating a suitable grievance redressal mechanism for unemployed youths?
(c) What you will do regarding attainting the goals and objectives of your organization?
(d) What you will like to contribute for improving the work culture of your office? (250 Words)

Case Study 10. A state government has set up an anti-corruption unit to take a decisive action against prevailing corruption in various deptts. You have been chosen to head the unit because the government thinks that you are efficient, honest upright police officer. The unit has jurisdiction over practically every government deptt. of the state. You have been given a free hand to choose a team of 20 officials who will be assisting you.

(a) What are various choices before you regarding selection of your team with their merits and demerits?
(b) How you will build the capacity of the team so that it could effectively meet the challenges? (250 Words)

Case Study 11. You are commandant of an anti-terrorist unit that has been entrusted with the task of flushing the terrorists out who had been hiding in a religious place. They have also made 10 civilians as their hostages and are demanding a heavy ransom for their release and safe passage for them. It  is expected that number of terrorist is 4 whereas you have hardly 12 troops to assist you. Your subordinates are tired. Your senior officers are putting pressure on you to resolve the issue without any further loss of time.

(a) What are the various options available to you?
(b) Evaluate the merits/demerits of each option and suggest best possible option with justifications. (250 Words)

Case Study 12. An 8 years old male child of the businessman is kidnapped while returning from his school by an armed gang of criminals having strong support of a ruling party Minister. The gang has set out a time limit of 3 days to pay a heavy ransom amount otherwise they might kill the child. The conduct of some of the local police officer is doubtful. You are superintendent of district police and are under tremendous pressure to recover the child. The Controversial Minister was instrumental in getting you posted in the district and is putting indirect pressure on you to take the kidnapping as a routine crime.

What are the various options before you? Consider the following probable options. Discuss their merits/demerits and suggest best option with suitable justification.

(a) Go on a long leave so that the issue could be resolved in your absence.
(b) Mediate in the matter by using your personal relation with Minister.
(c) Lead personally, raiding the hide outs of criminals so that they could release the boy.
(d) Make a recommendation to state headquarter for investigation of the case by a special CID team. (250 Words)

Case Study 13. You are D.M of a district and an old window of 80 years meets you in your office and starts crying. What you could make out is that her two married sons have disowned her and are not allowing her to enter into their house. The lady had approached the local revenue officials and also elected representatives of PRIs but without any result. She neither has money nor any support system to rely upon.

(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Examine the merits/demerits of each option and suggest best option with reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 14. There is a busy railway station where the waiting rooms are unhygienic, there is no proper safe and clean drinking water facility, the enquiry system is dysfunctional and on reservation counter, the touts dictate everything. You are station superintendent and there is an advisory committee to look after the interest of railway passengers. You have decided to improve the work culture of the railway station. Your officials are willing to cooperate but reluctant to share responsibility.

(a) What are the options available to you?
(b) Examine the merits/demerits of each option and suggest the best course of action giving reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 15. You are a middle rank land revenue officer posted in rural area. There is river which has to be crossed for going other side. Your jurisdiction also is on the other side of the river. Every year settlement of ferry services are made and the highest bidder arranges the local boats on which people cross the river. The rate of ferry services are fixed by you. Unfortunately, this year, during Moonsoon, one of the boat capsized in the river which resulted into drowning of 10 people. You have been warned by higher authorities that you should take safety measures, otherwise face the consequences. You have decided to act strictly. Following are some of the options. Examine the various options with their merits and demerits and finally suggest best course of action with justifications.

(a) Put a sign board on the bank of river warning the people of using ferry services, at their own risk.
(b) Request the district police chief to depute sufficient police for ensuring safety of the people.
(c) Ask the person who has taken the annual settlement to ensure safety of people.
(d) Depute a field level revenue official for ensuring safety, who should be always available on the river bank. (250 Words)

Case Study 16. You are an executive engineer of state road construction dept, and you have to construct an all weather road connecting a big village to a state highway. You find there is encroachments on either sides of the road. The Contractor in an influential person from a local village and is willing to help you. Your subordinates are obedient, but inefficient, The attitude of the local gram panchayat elected people is by and large corporative.

Answer the following questions.

(a) What precautions you propose to take before you start the project and why?
(b) What are the problems you anticipate and how you would be able to overcome the problems? (250 Words)

Case Study 17. You are a senior district level revenue officer incharge of revenue administration of the district. You have come to know that 3 poor landless families have made out a temporary structure over a vacant government land. In course of your inspection, your subordinate revenue officials report that the vacant land is of substantial value and inspite of their persuasion, 3 families are not vacating the land. You can not allow all these people to continue to occupy a valuable government land, as it will create a bad precedent, but uprooting them will not be morally correct. You are in a dilemma.

(a) What are the options before you?
(b) Examine the merits and demerits of each options and suggest best course of action with reason. (250 Words)

Case Study 18. You are a SHO posted in a tribal dominated remote area having considerable Naxalite problems. Under your jurisdiction there are three pickets where 20 troops each of central para military force are under charge of a sub inspector level CPMF officer. You have been entrusted with the work of taking interest in development work as well combing and flushing out the armed Naxalites from your area.

(a) What initiative will be taken by you for spreading and speeding development activities?
(b) What will be your strategy for ensuring peace and security and also flushing the armed naxalits?
(c) What special steps you propose to take to secure your police station safe and also your armed piekets? (250 Words)

Case Study 19. There is a residential high school for harizans and tribal girls in a remote area, where roughly 200 girls from 6th to 10th class standard study and live. Principal and teachers also live in the same premiss. Unfortunately examination results for the last three years has been found to be unsatisfactory and also health related problems of the girls appear time and again. The girls and their parents also raise security related issues from time to time. The principal has been provided with reasonable financial support. As school principal…

(a) What specific steps you should take to improve the annual results?
(b) How principal will take care of health related problems?
(c) What would be course of action of principal to remove fear from the mind of girls and their parents? Each of your answer must be along with benefits and limitations.
(250 Words)

Case Study 20. You are a medical officer incharge of a government dispensary in rural area. There are two other doctors, besides half a dozen para-medical staff posted under you. The dispensary has a support system from National Rural Health Mission. Suddenly you notice that ‘Dengue’ has spread over under your jurisdiction and four people died where as approximately 60 more cases of the disease reported from various parts. You want to face the challenge with the help of your fellow doctors and paramedical staff.

(a) What are various course of action you propose to take?
(b) Examine merits/demerits of each option and suggest best course of action with suitable justification? (250 Words)

Case Study 21. You are a block level development officer, incharge of rural water supply drinking water and sanitation. To help you, there is an Asstt Engineer and two Junior Engineers. Under your jurisdiction there are 45 villages which are prone to water borne disease. The elected panchayat members do not take much interest in the twin programs of drinking water and sanitation. There are 3 NGOs who are keen to take up the work, but last year each were provided with Rs 15 lac each for awareness generation and for petty repairs and maintenance of hand pumps, but they have not properly utilized the allotted money nor submitted the proper utilization certificates. There is enough of resoures at your disposal for these programme.

Answer the following questions on the basis of above situation.

(a) If you have to install 10 additional hand pumps, what will be your approach to ensure that the outlet is used by the villagers?
(b) How you will utilize the services of NGO’s and also make them accountable?
(c) There are 20 middle schools under your jurisdictions, how you will utilize your funds for making available sanitations and drinking water facilities in these schools?
(250 Words)

Case Study 22. An annual cattle fair is held every year which remains for 15 days and approximately 50 thousand people come every day for buying and selling their cattles and majority of them stay in the premises for many days together. There is a big pond in which the cattles and people both take their dip and some time also use water for drinking purpose and for cooking their meals. There is a temple, where the previous year four people lost their life due to stampede. There are few makeshift hotels and restaurants and other temporary arrangements for security, law and order, entertainment, medical facility etc.

You are a senior revenue officer of the district incharge of entire fair and have cantioned by your senior officers for taking necessary measure so that this year cattle fair goes well.

(a) What are various steps taken by you?
(b) Examine the advantages/limitations of these steps and suggest best course of action with reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 23. You are head of private enterprise that has come into existence by providing land by the state government at a concessional rate. Your unit is producing motorbikes and scooters in good numbers and the annual profit of the unit is 550 crores (average). The board in the meeting has decided that from current year a small part of the profit should be utilized for provision of medical services for adjoining villages which are prone to leprosy, tuberculosis etc. You have submitted following proposals for consideration of board.

(1) Construction of a hospital for the purpose.
(2) Appointing few medical specialists and supporting paramedical staff.
(a) Examine the merits/demerits of these steps.
(b) Suggest best course of action with its advantages. (250 Words)

Case Study 24. You are a very senior Engineer of state government incharge of rural road sector. Your state government has successfully negotiated a deal under which a global financial institution has come forward to assit. the state government with a loan of 1500 crores for increasing the network of roads but expects that state government will submit a DPR (Detailed Project Report) in which sufficient safe guards are available against leakage of funds, repair and maintenance of roads for at least 10 years and timely completion of projects.

(a) What will be salient features of the DPR?
(b) Examine their merits/demerits and suggest best course of action with reasons. (250 Words)

Case Study 25. You are Municipal Commissioner of a Corporation and after joining found that the whole corporation is divided into two camps, including your corporation employes. Whole city is full of garbage, stinking everywhere. Corporation is being criticized by media and local people. What steps you propose to take to normalize the situation?

(150 Words)