Ethics and Human Interface

Ethics and Human Interface

To prepare for ETHICS  for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about the Ethics and Human Interface. It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the Economy syllabus (GS-IV.).Ethics and Human Interface terms are important from Ethical perspectives in the UPSC exam. IAS aspirants should thoroughly understand their meaning and application, as questions can be asked from this static portion of the IAS Syllabus in both the UPSC Prelims and the UPSC Mains exams. Even these topics are also highly linked with current affairs. Almost every question asked from them is related to current events. So, apart from standard textbooks, you should rely on newspapers and news analyses as well for these sections.


  • Since time immemorial Ethics was practised by several personalities across the ancient India such as Buddha’s Ashtanga Marga and Ashoka’s realisation after Kalinga war.
  • But Ethics became more relevant after Industrial Revolution started when man became greedy and started exploiting the nature, colonisation, imperialism and rich becoming richer, poor becoming poorer, crime and discrimination started every nook and corner of the society.
  • As a civil servant, he has to gone through various critical circumstances in his service. Therefore, it’s important to study Ethics and inculcate those values into administration. It is not only helping him in decision making but also give him opportunity

to uplift the weaker sections of the society.

  • Why Ethics?
    • To satisfy basic need
    • Create credibility
    • Improve decision making
    • Self realisation



Etymologically the term “Ethics” correspond to the Greek word “Ethos” which mean Character, Habit, Customs or Way of behaviour, etc. Hence, Ethics, defined as Systematic study of human actions from the point of view of their rightfulness or wrongfulness. Simply it’s “A set of principles which guides us what to do and what not to do the way acceptable to the society.”


But what is acceptable to society and what is not acceptable to society?

What is right and what is wrong?

What is good conduct and what is bad conduct?


What Ethics is not about?

  • Ethics is not morality
  • Ethics is not religion.
  • Ethics is not following the law
  • Ethics is not following culturally accepted norms
  • Ethics is not likes and dislikes
  • Ethics is not beliefs



Essence is the intrinsic quality of something that determines its character.

  • Ethics originate from the sense of justice prevailing in a particular society.
  • Ethics operates at different level like individual, organisation, socio-cultural, political and international. Ethics at each level affect each other.
  • Ethics are interrelated to each other. E.g. – honesty, truthfulness, integrity; values of equality and justice cannot exist without tolerance etc
  • Ethical behaviour leads to various benefits for an individual as well as the society at large. Ethics leads to peace, harmony, respect, justice etc.
  • Ethics preach a certain kind of behaviour to us. It tells us how should people behave.
  • Ethics are abstract and subjective in nature i.e., they are affected by individual’s emotion and perception.
  • Ethics are determined in a social setting at a given point of ti A society’s history, culture, values etc. determine ethical standards which may vary from society to society.
  • Ethics is not an objective universal concept. Its understanding varies from time to time, person to person, society to society.
  • Ethical standards may transcend the narrow stipulations of law and code of regulations.



The basic components of essence of ethics are:

  • Choices – Certain preferences and priorities makes us to decide what we want. Such choices which we made reflects in our actions
  • Actions – Choices in turn shown through our actions physically.
  • Behaviour – It is the way we act or conducts ourselves. The behaviour in which we exhibit influenced by choices we made and acts we did.If its ethical, it called as ethical behaviour for example, treating others with respect or no respect.


  • To regulate social relationships
  • Ethical values help in Growth and Development overall
  • For self-satisfaction
  • To live a happy life and meaningful
  • Making a good citizen
  • Man, as social animal by nature is so selfish and exploit others for his own benefit and satisfaction, therefore to achieve greater good ethics are required.




Consequences for individual Consequences for society
·       Happiness

·       Positive outlook toward society

·       Elevated sense of being

·       Credibility

·       Accomplishment

·       Acceptability and likeability:

·       Interpersonal relations:

·       Decision making

·        Peace and harmony

·        Good governance

·        Justice and inclusion

·        Equitable and inclusive development

·        Future generations:

·        Environment

·        Healthy society

·        Faith




Source Ethics
Historic Texts ·        Ashoka’s giving up war and spreading dharma

·        Harshvardhan’s Charity and truthfulness

Ramayana & Mahabharat Ideal governance, consequences of bad intentions, Nishkam karma
Gandhi Ethics Non-Violence, Self-sustenance, swaraj, satyagraha, Courage of conviction, sustainable development
Constitution Liberty, Equality and fraternity, secularism, justice etc.
Buddhist Ethics Four Nobel truths, middle path, non-violence
Jain Ethics Not harm to anyone including small creatures
Sikh Ethics Langar, brotherhood
Islamic Ethics Collectivism, code of conduct


Laws lay down the basic framework for ethical action, and indicate the

guidelines for such action.

Society It plays a crucial role in laying down the norms for acceptable community behaviour.
Conscience Our inner conscience perhaps serves as the final point, where the actual decision-making about what is ethical, and what is not, are eventually made.
Human values​ The determinants of ethics are often regarded as the universal human values such as truthfulness, honesty, integrity, etc.


  • Ethics in India
    • Historic Texts
    • Ramaya and Mahabharth
    • Gandhi Ethics
    • Constitutional values
    • Buddhist Ethics
    • Jain Ethics
    • Sikh Ethics
    • Islamic Ethics



  • Person: Depends on mental make-up of individual. It depends upon how the person has internalised personal attitudes and values regarding ethical behaviour.
  • Place: It refers to the external environment which includes family, school, etc. For example, as kids we were told by our parents and teachers to not to steal things. As we grow up we tend to carry such knowledge and apply it to real world. Similarly, work place teaches us ethics of teamwork, punctuality, responsibility, etc.
  • Time: Different individuals, societies and culture have different set of moral codes at different times. It was once considered ethical to own a slave. But today such a practise is unethical.
  • Object: It is unethical to lie despite any circumstances, purpose or intention. Telling a truth to intentionally harm a person is also unethical as the intention of telling a truth is not pure.
  • Circumstances: Stealing is unethical. But a poor person stealing to feed her children reduces unethically of the act. Such situation ethics bring subjectivity as it often makes morality subjective.
  • End purpose: To give donation to a poor person is good but if such donation is to lure poor person to do something for you, then it becomes immoral.
  • Culture: Culture has profound effect on shaping individual values. As western culture surrounds around individualistic and Indian culture based on universalism.
  • Role Models/Celebrities/Famous Personalities: The leadership or role models and celebrities of a society or an organization or nation also helps to determine the conduct of their followers or admirers is ethical.
  • Constitution: Constitution of various countries also is a way to establish moral disposition of their society.
  • God & Religion: Every religion and god advocate universal peace and ethical practices. Religious textbooks teach how one should behave in a society and how the society should be.
  • Conscience & Intuition: A person who follows his conscience & Intuition feel that what is good is good because it is good and what is bad is bad because it is bad. Intuition don’t need any justification while following its actions. But conscience is justified based on his actions because of its moral nature and it has reasoning and justification.
  • Family: Family is the first interaction where a children personality develops since his birth. Today’s Children are tomorrow’s citizens. Therefore, its utmost important that Family environment teaches what is ethically correct.


Ethical Management and Management of Ethics:





Ethics Values Morals
Ethics are standards of human conduct that society adopts for itself. Ethics are a set of dos and don’ts that govern human conduct in a social setting.


Values can be defined as qualities that are instrumental to us. Values are benchmarks or standards on which the desirability of an action can be measured. Values act as an internal compass which help a person evaluate different choices of conduct and behaviour. E.g. honesty, integrity, empathy, courage, dedication, compassion etc. Morals are principles of right and wrong held by an individual. Unlike ethics, morals are standards of behaviour pertaining to an individual and not social conduct. Morals arise from personal experience, character, conscience and so on. For instance, Homosexuality might be moral form individual’s perspective. But it might be unethical in a society’s point of view.



  • A belief is most common term used to explain the behavioural component of a person. It is an internal feeling that something is true, even though that belief may be unproven and irrational.
  • g. My belief is that god plays important role in success and achievements in life.
  • g. Gandhiji believed that swaraj can be attained within one year of launching non-cooperation movement.
  • Belief can be peripheral (weak) and core (strong). Beliefs which are formed by direct interaction are generally strong.
  • Belief is also referred as cognition.

Essence of Ethics in Human Actions:

  • Essence of ethics in human actions refers to the influence of ethical values in human conduct. Ethics is a set of standards that society places on itself and which helps guide behaviour, choices and actions.
  • What kind of conduct a person follows reflects in his actions. Either he wants to follow good ones which will make him a good human being or he wants to follow the bad one that will cause only harm to him as well as to the society.
  • But standards alone don’t ensure ethical behaviour which requires a robust culture of integrity. The crux of ethical behaviour does not lie only in standards, but in their adoption in action and in sanctions against their violations.
  • Deciding between Good and Bad is not easy. Our Course of action decides which is good and bad. Because good is not always pleasurable but bad always attracts us which is by nature easy thing to do.



  • Habituating to smoking is easy but Quitting smoke is very much hard to achieve. By smoking, we get pleasure but quitting smoke requires we need self-determination.
  • Therefore, our Course of action decides our Ethical conduct. The underlying principles to decide whether it is ethical or not decided by factors like larger public good, conservation and sustainable development.



Consequences of Ethics means consequences of human actions which are guided by ethical practices. This means, if there is an action then definitely there is a reaction so being ethical will bring you good consequences like awards, rewards, appreciation etc but it will also bring bad consequences like transfers at work place, societal stigma, fear of harm to family members etc.





·        20 year old girl, Rukhsana Kausar, from the Kashmir won the Indian National Bravery Award for the killing of Terrorist.

·        IAS officer Ashok Khemka transferred more than 50 times just because he is honest civil servant.


Consequential Ethics – where an act can be considered as good if it’s able to produce positive results.






At Individual level

At Individual level it will builds self-confidence, courage of conviction, trust and credibility.


·        Court ruled out accusation charges against Ex Chairperson of ISRO Madhavan Nair and also asked govt to pay compensation for his mental suffer.

·        Edward Snowdon’s leaking of highly classified CIA personal data monitoring across the world

·        Wiki leaks founder Julian Assange’s home arrest by Leaking US army’s intelligence mischief.



At organisational Level

At organisational Level, its brand quality improves, creates trusts among people. But whistle blowers may face life threat for leaking mischief happening in the organisation


·        Election Commission of India – Even after seven decades it conducting elections free and fair manner. People and political parties posed tremendous faith on ECI for conducting elections

·        TATAs known for their social service. Its brand never become as history even after independence.

·        Recent Infosys whistle-blower’s letter to SEBI regarding mischief happening in management salary structure. Such an organisation protects such whistle blowers.


At societal level

At societal level, it creates social capital, communal harmony, absence of greed, distributive justice.


·        Bhutan is one the happiest nation across the countries because they measure wealth in terms of Gross National Happiness




Ethics plays and instrumental role in human life and society. Ethics helps in arriving at decisions more quickly as it assist making choices. It reveals the value dimension of a decision that would otherwise seems value free. However, loss of ethics could cause following consequences:


Dimension Consequences
Individual level Petty crimes, domestic violence, urinating and spitting on public spaces, abusive and filthy language, crime against aged, jumping rad light.
Social level Corruption, Rise in crime rate, acknowledging goons and mafias, joint family, parent’s respect, drug addiction, regionalism, castes.
Organisational level Nepotism, Corruption, rise in inequalities, loss of trust, decrease in efficiency, economy and effectiveness, destruction of work culture, loss of trust in the administration, lawlessness.
Political level Hung parliament, corruption, criminalisation of politics, Coalition govt.
International level Trust deficit, frictions, disputes, unhealthy competition, damage to the environment and unsustainable development, disregard to international conventions and laws.
Bioethical level Abortion, animal rights, cloning, artificial intelligence, consent, confidentiality, GM organisms, Suicide.
Environmental level Loss of flora and fauna, unsustainable development, polluter shall pay principle is diminishing, increase in pollution levels, disregard to Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR)



  • Since human born, he will undergo several stages of personality development. The basic pillar on which his Behaviour depends on the Values he adopted in his life cycle.
  • A strong value system defines character and character allow him to follow specific code of conduct. Such conduct finally turns into Behaviour. Therefore, a strong value system makes a person stronger either they are good values or bad values.




“Values are defined as a set of standards of Human Conduct which are important for humans based on human preferences, beliefs & Knowledge “



Core Values


·        Universal across the time and space

·        Examples: Love, self-lessness, Compassion

Peripheral values


·        Changes with time and space

·        Examples: Truthfulness, Impartiality


“All Ethics Are Values. All Values Are Not Ethics”






Bad Values Good Values
·        Believe in Patriarchy and women subordinate to men

·        Generation “Ok boomer”, who believe in Climate change is a myth

·        Killing of animals

·        Corruption

·        Opaqueness in a Govt organisation

·        Kindness

·        Respecting elders, women

·        Protecting Environment

·        Honesty

·        Tolerance



Personal Values vs. Social Values


Personal Values Social Values
·        Important for individual wellbeing.

·        Examples: self-respect, comfortable life, freedom etc.

·        Important for other people’s wellbeing.

·        Examples: equality, social justice, national security, world peace etc.


A positive and fulfilling life requires a coordinated and balanced pursuit of both self-serving and other serving values.


Different Types of Values:

We are having different types of value system based on where they are applicable according to the time and space.


Strong Values: No change in his value system . Not subjected to others influence
Weak Values: Frequent change and subject to influence by others
Universal Values: Does not changes Time& Space they are Universal in nature
Time specific Values: Changes according to time & Space


Individual Values: Follow according to his conscience
Social Values: Untouchability, Child Marriage, Gender equality, Social Justice etc
Economic Values: Fair in Trade, Economic Justice, Adulteration, Crony capitalism etc
Ethical Values: Honesty, Truthful, Integrity etc
Political Values: Public Service, Democracy, Rights etc



Indian values

·        Tolerance

·        Atithi devo bhava

·        Universal Brotherhood

·        Non-Violence

·        Vasudhaivaa kutumbakam

·        Living with Nature etc


Western Values

·        Liberal

·        Individualism

·        Egalitarian society

·        Materialism

·        Privacy etc




Universal Values

·        Universalism

·        Benevolence

·        Compassion

·        Empathy

·        Self-Sustenance

·        Sustainable Development

·        Universal Brotherhood

·        Service to Mother earth and Humanity

·        Selflessness


Source to the Universal Values:
  • Universal Values derived from Primary laws that is Nature
  • Vedas and other religious scriptures Talk about primary laws which are always universal.
  • Example: Selflessness


Knowledge and wealth always beneficial to the people so if we hit a tree with stone it will give fruits instead of hitting us back. Universal values are primary, unconditional & self-lessness. Service based on complete Compassion and Love.

Relative Values: Relative values are –

  • Depends on time and space
  • Secondary values
  • Subject to change



  1. Untouchability & Slavery was considered as upper-class value but its abolished over a period of time
  2. Child marriages was banned which were considered earlier customary practice
  3. Dowry system
  4. Sea voyage was a sin to Hindus but its misconception was removed by Raja Rammohan Roy after travelling to England through sea route.


Values can also be classified as:

  • Terminal Values: related to an ultimate goal or end of a person
  • Instrumental Values: related to means of achieving the desired outcome or an end


Terminal Values Instrumental Values
·       Beauty

·       Equality

·       Family Security

·       Freedom

·       Inner harmony

·       Self-Respect

·       Wisdom

·       True friendship

·       National Security

·       Salvation

·       Sense of accomplishment

·       Ambitious, Hardworking and aspiring

·       Broad and open minded

·       Courageous

·       Honesty

·       Self-Control

·       Obedience

·       Intelligent and reflective

·       Politeness

·       Forgiveness

·       Helpful and welfare oriented

·       Cheerful, light hearted and joyful

·       Competence and effectiveness


ETHICS (What Is Right?) Vs VALUES (What Is Important?)


Set of principles which are accepted by the society Values are nothing but Choices of Individuals
Macro in Nature Micro in Nature
Basically, at societal level Individual level
It can be only good choices made by individuals It can be either good or bad



  • Attitudes are views, beliefs, or evaluations of people about something (the object). The attitude object can be a person, place, thing, ideology, or an event. Attitudes can be positive or negative.
  • g.: I hate men with long hair. In this example, the person is having a negative attitude towards men who grow long hair.
  • Both Attitudes and Values are the beliefs (views)of a person. However, attitude is the belief (views) of a person towards ‘something’. Examples: I hate snakes, I don’t like big cars.
  • Thus you can see that attitude is all about whether you like or dislike something.
  • Value is also a belief (about what is important)but it’s not towards anything.
  • Value can exist in itself.
  • Then how is attitude connected with value? Attitude is the view of a person regarding a value.


Attitudes vs. Values


Attitudes Values
What do you like / dislike? What is important for you?
Derives from Beliefs Derives from Beliefs
E.g. They like honest people E.g. They value honesty



  • Ethics, Morals and Values often use interchange. Morals are part ethics based on concept of goodness.
  • Here Bad part of ethics excluded. Morality is standards of individuals for right and wrong. Derived from Latin word ‘Moralitus’ which means character.
  • Examples: Being Honest, Transparency, Fair choice to everyone in recruitment exam etc


Private Morality Public Morality Political Morality
This is called Inter personal Morality Inter group Morality Morality among rulers
Obligations to our children, spouse, parents, teachers and relatives Harmony between different religious-philosophical groups generated by the exercise of self-restraint Political morality specifying what rulers and the ruled owe one another and also subjects owe obedience to their king. But the ruler too owed something to his subjects to ensure the good of all
Here Morality is guided by unarticulated emotions among members of family As there is no personal attachments, Individual goals and self-interest guides morality. There is no commonly held ethic either. Values such as political freedom, solidarity, shared traditions and cultural heritage guides morality as citizens are subjects of political state.
We have a duty towards those under our special care, including the aged, ‘servants’, animals and, occasionally, strangers. Neither hate speech nor speech glorifying oneself was acceptable as part of public morality The core of political morality is a commitment to justice, to impartiality.
We can’t completely escape from being impartial because obligation towards our personal relationships Some degree of partiality exists We have to overcome our loyalty to blood relations, not pursue only our private interests, and commit instead to using power grounded in shared principles and complete impartiality and no discrimination
One’s private life automatically guarantees high moral stature in political life. Public morality transforms to elect morally correct leaders Political morality need not be shown private morality after assuming the power


  • Constitutional morality is substantive content of the constitution in the form of Ethical Ideas that underlines formal provisions.
  • Justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, can be taken as elements of modern constitutional morality.
  • According to the Ambedkar, constitution could be at best provides a legal framework, a necessary but not sufficient condition for such a transformation.
  • To be effective, constitutional laws have to be rest upon substratum of Constitutional morality. It is not a natural sentiments but has to be cultivated.
  • Constitutional morality:
  • Enhances values like liberty, equality and fraternity
  • Secularism i.e., respect for plurality
  • Political, social and economic justice
  • Open culture of dissent and constructive criticism
  • Tolerance, restraint and mutual accommodation in public life
  • Respect for formally prescribed rules and procedures
  • Constitutional morality is the basis for which any statutory acts should be made.


  • It’s part of sub conscious state that which instructs us to act in a particular way. Power to think decisions about value system. Here Ends have given more importance than means.
  • Voice of Conscienceis our ability to make a practical decision in light of ethical values and principles.
  • Voice of Conscienceis a person’s moral compass of right and wrong as well as the consciousness of one’s actions. It is the small voice from inside and also voice of god. But usually, we don’t pay heed to such voice so we end up taking wrong decisions.
  • Man loses his state of mind and for moment he will act and later realisation happen with punishment. Lot of criminal cases happens when a person loses his state of mind and don’t listen to his Voice of Conscience.



    • When we have to choose between family or organisation in a case involved from your family, it is the conscience guides you what decision you have to take.
    • When appointing Vivekananda as chief disciple of Ramakrishna paramahamsa he asked to steal rice from home with condition of nobody watching but Vivekananda replied that, “his inner conscience always watching himself”.
    • Famous business woman and her husband Indrani Mukherjee killed her own daughter. In this world only snakes kill their own babies where their inner conscience became blind.



It means you will do what you believe and have that courage to accept what you believe. If you have the courage of your convictions, you have the confidence to do what you believe is right, even though other people may not agree or approve.



  • Gandhiji fought against discrimination happened to Indians and blacks in South Africa
  • Raja Rammohan Roy fought against sati abolition
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar fought against child marriages and supported widow remarriage


  • It is a situation in which it is very difficult to decide what is the right thing to do. It’s one of the ethical dilemmas but in strong sense.
  • Example: To withdraw Non-cooperation movement Gandhiji underwent such situation. If withdraws the movement he will face backlash from fellow leaders and if it was not withdrawn it will lead to more violent nature. But he followed what he believed and subsequently withdrawn.




·        Ethics are standards of human conduct that society adopts for itself. ·        These are principles of right and wrong held by an individual.
·        Ethics are a set of dos and don’ts that govern human conduct in a social setting. ·        Self-regulation in a personal life
·        Ethics is the standards of “good and bad” distinguished by a certain community or social setting. ·        Morality as something that’s personal and normative


·        ethics is the term used in conjunction with business, medicine, or law ·        Moral connotation linked theology and spirituality
·        Uniform across the cultures ·        Vary person to person and culture to culture
·        Examples: Ethically adultery is wrong ·        But at personal level you may either support to adultery or you feel it’s wrong.


Relationship Values Examples
Ethical & Moral Selflessness & Integrity Helping to downtrodden section of people or any act which is in consistency between moral and ethics
Ethical but not moral Neo-liberal values like freedom and liberty Live-in relationship moral to youngsters but not acceptable to older generations. Another example is Home sexuality
Moral but not ethical Selfishness, cultural values War




Ethics means the science of a standard human conduct. The law is defined as the systematic body of rules that governs the whole society and the actions of its individual members
Ethics comprises of guidelines and principles that inform people about how to live or how to behave in a particular situation. The law consists of a set of rules and regulations
Ethics are governed by an individual, legal or professional norm, i.e., workplace ethics, environmental ethics and so on. The law is created by the Government, which may be local, regional, national or international
It cannot be found in written form. The law is expressed in the constitution in a written form or statute books
It is internal – Intrinsic It is externally driven – Extrinsic
Breach or violation may not result in immediate punishment. The breach of law may result in punishment or penalty, or both
Ethically acceptable can also be acceptable to the law Legally acceptable need not be Ethical
Ethics has no such binding on the people Legally binding
Ethics that are the code of conduct that helps a person to decide what is right or wrong and how to act. The objective of the law is to maintain social order and peace within the nation and protection to all the citizens.



  • Every day we come across several ethical and moral dilemmas in our daily life. Dealing with these moral issues is often perplexing. How, should we think through an ethical issue?
  • What questions should we ask? What factors should we consider? Therefore, to solve an ethical dilemma the first step in analyzing moral issues is to get the facts.
  • But having the facts is not enough. Facts by themselves only tell us what is; they do not tell us what ought to be. In addition to getting the facts, resolving an ethical issue also requires an appeal to values. Philosophers have developed five different approaches to values to deal with moral issues. They are:
    • Utilitarian approach
    • Rights approach
    • Justice approach
    • Common good approach
    • Virtue approach

Utilitarian Approach

  • Utilitarianism was conceived in the 19th century by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill to help legislators determine which laws were morally best. Both Bentham and Mill suggested that ethical actions are those that provide the greatest balance of good over evil. To analyze an issue using the utilitarian approach,
  • First identify the various courses of action available to us.
  • Second, we ask who will be affected by each action and what benefits or harms will be derived from each.
  • Third, we choose the action that will produce the greatest benefits to the greatest no of peoples with the least harm.


“The ethical action is the one that provides the greatest good for the greatest number.”


Rights Approach

  • Proposed by Immanuel Kant and similar thought of philosophers, who focused on the individual’s right to choose for herself or himself. According to this school of philosophers, what makes “human beings different from mere things is that people have dignity based on their ability to choose freely what they will do with their lives, and they have a fundamental moral right to have these choices respected”.
  • In deciding whether an action is moral or immoral using this approach:
  • Does the action respect the moral rights of everyone?
  • Actions are wrong to the extent that they violate the rights of individuals
  • The more serious the violation, the more wrongful the action.


People are not objects to be manipulated. It is a violation of human dignity to use people in ways they do not freely choose. Some of the examples of individual rights are right to privacy, right to truthful, right to not be harm by anyone.


The Fairness or Justice Approach

  • The fairness or justice approach to ethics has its roots in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who said that “equals should be treated equally and unequal unequally.”
  • The basic moral question in this approach is:
    • How fair is an action?
    • Does it treat everyone in the same way, or does it show favouritism and discrimination?
  • Favouritism gives benefits to some people without a justifiable reason for singling them out; discrimination imposes burdens on people who are no different from those on whom burdens are not imposed. Both favouritism and discrimination are unjust and wrong.


The Common-Good Approach

  • This approach to ethics assumes a society comprising individuals whose own good is linked to the good of the community. Community members are bound by the pursuit of common values and goals.
  • The common good is a notion that originated more than 2,000 years ago in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. More recently, contemporary ethicist John Rawls defined the “common good as certain general conditions that are equally to everyone’s advantage.” In this approach, we focus on ensuring that the social policies, social systems, institutions, and environments on which we depend are beneficial to all.
  • Examples of goods common to all include affordable health care, effective public safety, peace among nations, a just legal system, and an unpolluted environment.


The Virtue Approach

  • There is another kind of approach apart from above four, The virtue approach. In this approach, certain ideals strive towards full development of our humanity. These ideals are discovered through thoughtful reflection on what kind of people we have the potential to become.
  • Virtues are attitudes or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop our highest potential.
  • They enable us to pursue the ideals we have adopted.
  • Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues.
  • Virtues are like habits – that is, once acquired, they become characteristic of a person.
  • Moreover, a person who has developed virtues will be naturally disposed to act in ways consistent with moral principles. The virtuous person is the ethical person.
  • In dealing with an ethical problem using the virtue approach, we might ask:
  • What kind of person should I be?
  • What will promote the development of character within myself and my community?


Ethical Problem solving using above approaches:
  • Using the above five approaches, once we have ascertained the facts, we should ask ourselves five questions when trying to resolve a moral issue:
    • What benefits and what harms will each course of action produce, and which alternative will lead to the best overall consequences?
    • What moral rights do the affected parties have, and which course of action best respects those rights?
    • Which course of action treats everyone the same, except where there is a morally justifiable reason not to, and does not show favouritism or discrimination?
    • Which course of action advances the common good?
    • Which course of action develops moral virtues?
  • This method, of course, does not provide an automatic solution to moral problems. It is not meant to. The method is merely meant to help identify most of the important ethical considerations. In the end, we must deliberate on moral issues for ourselves, keeping a careful eye on both the facts and on the ethical considerations involved.


Challenges to Ethics :

Although value conflicts occur in manifold areas and at all levels of the public service, there are specific challenges to current public service values which are considered here. They arise in the context of:

  • New modes of governance
  • Market-based reforms
  • Politicisation
  • Agencification
  • Decentralisation/relocation
  • Changes in HRM and recruitment
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Red Tapism



Branch of Ethics Description
Meta Ethics ·        This branch seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties and judgments such as if truth values can be found and the theory behind moral principles.

·        Determines validity of theories advanced in normative ethics branch. Its described by thinkers as study & origin of meanings of ethical concepts.

Normative (Prescriptive) Ethics ·        Focuses on what is right things to do? Also called as prescriptive ethics. It is study of ethical acts.

·        The largest branch, it deals with how individuals can figure out the correct moral action that they should take. Philosophers such as ​Socrates​ and ​John Stuart Mill​ are included in this branch of ethics.

Descriptive Ethics ·        Kohlberg’s moral education explains this kind of ethics. Studies history and development of ethics.

·        This branch is more scientific in its approach and focuses on how human beings actually operate in the real world, rather than attempt to theorize about how they should operate.

Applied Ethics ·        Analyses the application of ethical issues.

·        This is the study of applying theories from philosophers regarding ethics in everyday life. This uses application of moral knowledge to practical problems and uses philosophical methods to identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life.


Consequentialism Ethics:

Consequentialism is based result-based ethics. It gives us this guidance when faced with a moral dilemma. It is based on two principles:

  • Whether an act is right or wrong depends only on the results of that act
  • The more good it produces, it treated as a good act


Different forms of consequentialism are:

  • Utilitarianismstates that people should maximise human welfare or well-being (which they used to call ‘utility’ – hence the name).
  • Hedonismstates that people should maximise human pleasure.
  • Other forms of consequentialism take a more subtle approach- for example stating that people should maximise the satisfaction of their fully informed and rational preferences.



Ethics can be classified into different categories based on its Nature and area of application.

  • Depends on its Nature (Theoretical Dimensions):
  • Deontological Ethics – Both Means & End important
  • Teleological Ethics – End is the only Important means are not important


  • Depends of Area of Application (Applied Dimension):
  • Personal Ethics Kind, Truthful, Donations from his earnings etc.
  • Societal Ethics – Respect to each weaker sections, Social service, Social Responsibility etc
  • Administrative Ethics – Honesty, Integrity, Transparent, Attitude and Aptitude etc
  • Media Ethics
  • Ethics Of Journalism
  • Corporate Ethics – trusteeship etc.
  • Business Ethics
  • Bio-Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics – Sustainable development, Conservation, Resource efficiency etc.
  • Medical Ethics – Treat every patients without discrimination, Service to Humanity etc.
  • Professional Ethics – Business Ethics, Corporate governance, Safe work place for women, Equal opportunities in the Organisation etc.


  • Derived from the word “Deont” means duty. The MEANS or instruments adopted to achieve outcome is very much important along with the desired END. Both MEANS and ENDS both should be good.
  • Thinkers like Gandhiji, Vivekananda, Kant, Nehru Comes under this category.
  • Example: Gandhiji’s recalling of Non-cooperation movement is example of Deontological Ethics. After the Chauri chaura incident he called off the movement before it gets more violent. Gandhiji always believed in Non-Violence.


  • Derived from the Greek philosophy. Telos means Ends/Goals. According to this school of thought if the outcome is good then the actions followed to reach that goal or objectives or ends are also considered as good actions.
  • Thinkers like Epicurus, Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, JS Mill and Bentham’s Utilitarian principle, Karl Marx etc who are considers ends are more important than means.
  • Example: Robbin Hood – He Plunders the food and distributes it to poor.


  • Since Ancient times Indians started living with Nature. We respect the rights of the animal species and plant species. But after the Industrial revolution and LPG era India entered into POLLUTERS CLUB having members include USA, China, EU.
  • Emergence of New concept “Anthropocentrism”, is the belief that HUMAN BEING is the most important entity of this Universe. Then humans started exploited the nature and disturbing the Natural cycle.
  • We are heading towards SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION. India took several Initiatives to protect our Environment like enacting acts like Wild life Protection Act, Environmental Protection Act etc, setup National Green Tribunal (NGT), to protect endangered species took initiatives like Project Tiger, Project Elephant, ZSI Red data book etc. Even Judiciary too time to time interfering where Environment is at stake.
  • Examples: Uttarakhand High Court declared River Ganga as living entity where it has equal rights along with Human beings.


Some of the noted Initiatives across the Globe are India’s pledge towards going green with Renewable Energy, Friday for Future, EU net zero carbon emissions by 2050 etc. Therefore, Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice is the way forward.

Thomas Aquinas: If there is a Conflict between Primary laws (Natural Laws) and Secondary laws (Manmade), We shall always prioritize Primary laws.

Environmental Ethics

  • Anthropocentric
    • Consequentialistic
    • Deontologic
      • Chritsian stewardship
      • Nature Mangement
      • Kentensian
      • Rawlesian
  • Non-Anthropocentric
    • Consequentialistic
    • Deontologic
      • Animal Protection
      • Biocentric individulism
      • Animal rights
      • Biocentric Holism


Approaches to Environmental Ethics:

To solve ethical problem in solving environmental ethics we should adopt a liberal, conservative and ecological approach which means we should promote development while conserving the other species and didn’t harm to ecological balance.


Economic Development Vs Environmental Conservation

Hence, Ethical values help in Growth and Development overall. But the question here is, whether we should limit to just Economic Growth or Overall Sustainable Development? Growth is important for a country like India but without sustainable development that growth can never be an Inclusive growth. While giving more importance to Ethical& social values but at the same time we give equal importance to economic values. Capitalism is not bad but never let crony capitalism rule the country.

  • Liberal
  • Ecological balance
  • Conservation
  • Environmental Ethics



Pillars and Principles to be followed in Medical Ethics:

  • Autonomy
  • Beneficence, act of charity, mercy and Kindness
  • Confidentiality
  • Non – Maleficence/ Do no harm
  • Equity/Justice
  • Dignity
  • Service oriented
  • Examples: Padmashri Award 2019 winner Dr. Ravindra and his wife Dr. Smita who dedicated their entire life to serving to the rural people who don’t have access to medical facilities and there is no proper infrastructure. With minimum equipment they learnt basic surgeries.



Bioethics is commonly understood to refer to the ethical implications and applications of the health-related life sciences. Components of bioethics are:

  • Genetics:
  • Much of medicine today is about genetics, whether for disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or reproductive decision-making.
  • Emerging genetic technologies and knowledge generate numerous value conflicts. Consequently, bioethicists ask what is ethically appropriate if individuals have a mutation for a serious and now untreatable genetic disorder.
  • Ethics in Clinical trials:
  • Clinical trials are research studies performed in people that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical or behavioural intervention. Patients who are involved in clinical trials are not used as a means to an end.
  • Clinical ethics is a practical discipline that aims to resolve ethical questions or disagreements that emerge in the practice of health care. Clinical ethicists work to identify, analyse, and resolve value conflicts that arise when providers, patients, families, surrogates, and other stakeholders disagree or are uncertain about the ethically best course of action.
  • For example, patients or their surrogates may refuse recommended treatments or demand non-beneficial treatments, which puts their requests at odds with providers’ medical judgment.
  • Clinical ethicists help to identify and clarify ethical questions, find ethically acceptable courses of action, encourage honest and respectful communication between all parties, and recommend ethically acceptable solutions for the case at hand.
  • Clinical ethics also works to improve institutional responses to ethical dilemmas through education and policy formation.


Ethical Issues Involved:

  • Protection of Trail subjects
  • Prior informed consent
  • Quality of data
  • Regulation and Monitoring the trail
  • Compliance with Trial protocol
  • Professional Competence
  • Accountability and Transparency
  • Privacy & Confidentiality
  • It should be voluntary
  • Useful for advancement of society but not for profits


Rights Of Participants:

  • Right to prior consent
  • Access to information
  • Privacy
  • Post trail access to remedy
  • Compensation for side effects if trail fails


Contemporary Ethical Issues Involved In Bioethics Are:

  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Cyber-attacks against medical devices
  • Bio hackers
  • With growing level of technology treating, one’s own disease with the help of internet and machines
  • Accessibility of quality treatment
  • Bio terrorism
  • Sexuality becoming technological where physical relations at stake



  • COVID-19 vaccine volunteer sued 100cr against serum institute, Pune for making him ill in the trail
  • A scientist in China using CRISPER technologies to edit baby human genome for desired characters.


Growth Sustainable Development
Value Neutral Value Centric
Quantitative Qualitative
Either Positive or Negative Always Positive
Social Attitude and Behaviour plays very minimum role Social Behaviour plays an important role
E.g.: GDP growth or Indian per capita increase etc E.g.: Open Defecation free by 2022 and Success of Swachh Bharat Mission.


  • Ethics are part of every religion but can a person be ethical without religious? This is a long-standing debate. Central aspect of ethics is “good life”. Greeks called it is a happiness. The ancient Greeks believed happiness was brought about by living one’s life in accordance with virtue– positive traits of character.
  • Virtue in the highest sense, in an adult who has been brought up well, will not just involve good personal habits such as courage and temperance, but also friendship and justice and intellectual virtue. The essence of virtue is in the wholeness of the person brought about by

God as a basic requirement of ETHICS – Immanuel Kant


If religion has a role in moral decision-making, then what should be that role?


  • For many individuals, their religion is a centrally defining characteristic of who they are, such that they would be nearly incapable of making ethical decisions independently of their religious beliefs.
  • Further, some of our most basic moral sentiments are directly connected to religious ideology.
  • Examples:
  • Most people agree that things like murder and adultery are always wrong, regardless of circumstances.  Most major world religions echo these sentiments
  • In some of the catholic countries it is illegal to abortion
  • The link between religion and morality is best illustrated by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you”. In other words, we should treat others the way we would want to be treated. This is the basic ethic that guides all religions. If we do so, happiness will ensue.


  • Ethics in Technology and Innovation becomes the important area of study due to advancement in science and technology. With the growing innovations like automation, data management, artificial innovations, gene editing etc poses huge challenges to the ethical practices.
  • Some of the recent incidents where technology misused are:
  • Cambridge Analytica – Voters social media profiles scanned to observe their voting behaviour
  • Tech giants Google & Facebook – Pro govt sand elected hate speech content removal
  • Automation and artificial intelligence able to control humans in future
  • Gene editing technologies


  • Humans have something called “a moral compass”. It is an area of our cognition (mental processes of gaining knowledge and understanding) which tells right from wrong. When you see an injustice, your brain tells you something is not right.
  • The standards of your moral compass strongly depend on your upbringing and environment. This ‘moral compass’ and environment is also what companies build their ethics on, i.e., to decide what is right and what is wrong.
  • AI is a technology that could affect public values, human rights or public decision-making and hence there is a strong need for ethics here. In the same way that parents raise a child, companies must teach and test their AI systems to learn, communicate, make unbiased decisions and comply with norms and regulations. Artificial Intelligence is a very vast field, and today most of the AI code developed across the world falls under the bucket of Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). There should not be any pre-existing bias in the data that is collected from the real-world.
  • Examples:
  • Gender bias – when you search for ‘Doctor’ on a search website, the results for Doctor images might mostly come up as ‘male’. Whereas for ‘Nurse’ most results would be ‘female’. This shows inherent bias in the search results.
  • AI model for face recognition identifies a person as a criminal incorrectly – this will lead to a loss of that person’s reputation and false criminal charges against the person


Pillars of Ethical AI:


  • AI Systems should be built such that they are fair and inclusive for all. Impartial behavior of AI model without any discrimination should be our goal. Unfair models can create improper outcomes, for example, the AI model for face recognition identifies a person as a criminal incorrectly – this will lead to a loss of that person’s reputation and false criminal charges against the person. Unfair models can injure people, damage reputations and become legal liabilities. The consequences of biased AI systems could be an injustice at a large scale.
  • AI models are highly susceptible to all sorts of attacks, including many based on adversarial AI methods. In these methods, adversaries exploit AI models for potential gain, in most cases, by predicting the decisions machine learning models will make and then manipulating subsequent sets of data to produce the attacker’s desired outcomes—rather than the correct decisions.
  • When AI systems are to be built using sensitive data, we need to consider the privacy implications in using it. Legal & regulatory requirements, social norms and individual expectations should be obeyed. If AI models remember or can reveal the sensitive data that they have used, rules should be put in place to ensure that the data is safe. The possibility that AI models reveal data can be decreased by applying various techniques.


Recommended actions to ensure ethics in AI:

  • Chalk out exact goals for ensuring fairness and inclusion so there is no pre-existing bias
  • Representative datasets should be used
  • Analyse performance – Real-world scenarios
  • Identify Potential threats to system and find solutions to face cyber attacks
  • Learn and stay updated
  • Handle data responsibly
  • Limit usage of sensitive data as much as possible.
  • Obey the laws, standards, privacy principles etc. Provide users with clear notice and give them any necessary controls over data use. Follow best practices such as encryption (the process of converting information or data into a code, mainly to prevent unauthorized access).
  • Masking, Anonymizing and/or aggregating the data (i.e., the process of hiding original data with modified data, i.e., characters or other data) using some techniques (data scrubbing, etc.). E.g., consider removing personally identifiable information (PII) like Date of Birth etc
  • Implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Union (EU) law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). It requires companies to protect the privacy of their EU customers. Hence the appropriate measures must be put in place to prevent privacy breaches


There is no one size fits all approach to privacy protection. In real-world, we must iterate to find an approach that balances privacy and utility for the task we need to work on to make use maximum benefits from AI for the progress of Human kind.


  • Media refers to communication channels through which we disseminate news, music, movies, education, promotional messages and other data. Media from the value development point of view, they are the most important medium through which we get influenced our biases. The role of the mass media in influencing the values is becoming increasingly very high.
  • Examples:
  • The recent TRP scam case one of television media resorted to fake TRP ratings by bribing subscribers
  • Journalist crime investigation in the actress suicide case.

These are all few examples where values and ethics degrading in media houses and journalism.


Media’s Positive role in shaping our values Negative role
·        Eradicating stereotypes

·        Telecasting some of the inspiring stories across the world

·        High coverage of some of social issues prevailed in the society

·        Example: Swachh Bharath Abhiyan

·        Supporting some of the pro people’s movements

·        Example: RTI movement

·        Sensationlisation of News articles covering only partial news poses risk to objectivity and impartiality

·        Media trial

·        Fake news

·        Media trails in criminal cases

·        Hatred and social disharmony by telecasting socially disturbed news

·        Obscene and violent content

·        Paid news


Role of Media in fighting against Corruption:

  • A free media has a crucial role in the prevention, monitoring and control of corruption. Such media can inform and educate the public on corruption, expose corruption in government, private sector and civil society organizations and help monitor codes of conduct while policing itself against corruption. Investigative reporting by media or reporting of instances of corruption as they occur can be a significant source of information on corruption.
  • Daily reporting of instances of corruption as they occur is another type of contribution. Timely action should be taken by the authorities to immediately respond to such reports and to take steps to bring the culprits to book and to keep the press and the public informed from time to time of the progress of such action.
  • It has been observed that sometimes under pressure of competition, the media does not verify allegations and information before putting them in the public domain. Occasionally, such allegations/complaints are motivated. It is necessary to evolve norms and practices that all allegations/complaints would be duly screened, and the person against whom such allegations are made is given a fair chance to put forth his version.
  • Therefore, the second ARC opined that since the electronic media plays a role as important as the one played by the print media, there is need to have a code for the electronic media covering different aspects of its functioning.



  • It is necessary to evolve norms and practices requiring proper screening of all allegations/complaints by the media, and taking action to put them in the public domain
  • The electronic media should evolve a Code of Conduct and a self-regulating mechanism in order to adhere to a Code of Conduct as a safeguard against malafide action.
  • Government agencies can help the media in the fight against corruption by disclosing details about corruption cases regularly


The media has played an important role in positive developments like the fight against racism, gender bias, unemployment, poverty and spreading awareness about the need for world peace. That’s why media called fourth pillar of democracy.


  • Journalistic ethics are basically a set of principles, standards, guidelines and code of conduct prepared for professional journalists. It deals with conduct, character and behaviour of a journalist and how s/he works before, during and after the news gathering and dissemination.



  • Since the days of ‘Yellow Journalism’ many leading newspapers were partisan, biased, sensational, intrusive, propagandists, manipulating and distorting the facts, passing off rumours as news. Since quality of information directly reflects the health of a democracy.
  • Examples: Vernacular press act during British Raj to supress Indian newspapers who supported national independence
  • Such biased, partisan, manipulated media, slowly a concerted campaign started to bring in ethics and principles with a set of guidelines and code of conduct for news media and journalists. In the US, for the first time, in 1922, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) adopted a set of ethical principles. It proposed six key principle:
  • Responsibility
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Independence
  • Truth and Accuracy
  • Impartiality and Fair Play.
  • Another landmark intervention came in 1940s when Hutchins Commission in the US articulated in its report the principle of Social Responsibility of the Press. The Commission reiterated that while the freedom of press is paramount, it also has a moral obligation to consider the well-being of the general public when making its decisions and choices.


Why it is Important ethics in Journalism?

  • Journalism plays a crucial role of keeping the citizens informed about the issues and ideas of public interest.
  • Journalism must be socially responsible, serve the people with devotion, and educate them while avoiding sensationalism, distortion and manipulation of facts.
  • As the fourth estate of democracy, free and vibrant news media is treated as a key parameter for the success of a democracy.
  • Journalism with such so much influence and power comes with great responsibility. Therefore, news media must follow the principles and norms of journalism and be transparent and accountable.


Principles of Journalist Ethics:

  • Should be non-biased and non-Sensetionlisation
  • It is expected from the news media outlets and its professional journalists to not only strictly follow these principles and norms but to also self-regulate in alignment with them.
  • There should be code of conduct for journalists. Though its voluntary in nature but it should be followed with utmost respect
  • Do not get influenced by powerful corporate lobby to influence govt decisions against public interest
  • There is always public good as first motto
  • To become the voice to voiceless
  • Ideas like objectivity, fairness, truth, accuracy, impartiality and independence.
  • In a democracy everyone is accountable to the people, and so is the media. The Indian media must develop a sense of responsibility and maturity.


In India, the Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory and quasi-judicial body functions as a “watchdog of the press, for the press and by the press. Similarly, NGO the News Broadcasting Standard Authority (NBSA) oversees the news channels.


Case study: Fall of Media Mogul

Not long ago even the incredibly influential Media Mogul, Rupert Murdoch, was forced to shut the publication of his 168-year-old tabloid, ‘News of the World’, in the UK after it was found regularly indulging in gross violation of ethical norms and standards and even breaching the law.


Therefore, there is a need for serious introspection from news media outlets and the journalists’ community to take steps to minimise the flouting of ethical norms, and to improve the quality and standards of the news media in India. In this context, professional bodies like the Editors Guild of India, NBA, PCI etc. can take lead and initiate debate and discussion and propose remedial measures.




Business Ethics is defined as “the application of ethical values to business behaviour”.


What is Ethical & Unethical in Business:

  • Profit is ethical but sole motive of profit is unethical
  • Capitalism is ethical but crony capitalism is unethical
  • Going against public good is unethical
  • Organisations can be compliant to internal processes and fulfil all statutory laws yet be unethical.
  • Promoting alcohol consumption is banned on national television. If a company advertises an alternative product with the same brand name, it is indirectly trying to increase brand recall to the intended product. Legally, the company is not flouting any law. However, the practice is clearly unethical.
  • Harmful cosmetics without providing harmful chemicals in it.
  • Advertising about fairness creams that promotes colourism
  • Threat to conservation is unethical



Ethical Framework for Corporates:

A strong ethics framework is required to drive the culture of ethics across the board. The elements for such a framework include:

  • Ethics programme with the continued support of middle and lower-level teams.
  • An ongoing dialogue across levels to address tough questions that may arise during the business ethics journey.
  • A two-way communication process, cutting across levels, to foster an environment of openness and trust.


Corporate Governance:

  • Fair & transparent business
  • Corporate governance framework should protect and facilitate the exercise of shareholders’ rights and ensure the equitable treatment of all shareholders, including minority and foreign shareholders.
  • Ensure that timely and accurate disclosure is made on all material matters
  • Integrity should be a fundamental requirement in choosing corporate officers and board members.
  • Protection to Corporate whistle-blowers


Code of Conduct for Business:

  • It specifies the general principles of behaviour which employees and other stakeholders are expected to follow.
  • It is a mix of rules to be adhered and aspirations towards which the organisation seeks to evolve.
  • Top leadership acts as a role models, senior managers should practise principles of ethics in their day-to-day dealings.
  • To deal with ethical dilemmas an effective training programme should be organised on how to deal ethical dilemmas
  • Integrity at two levels: the hiring process and every performance appraisal cycle.
  • Building a team of Ethics Counsellors is often seen as a good practice.
  • Unethical behaviour demands prompt action. Gifts and Hospitality While it may be customary to exchange gifts/ offer hospitality as part of cultural practices, such exchanges sometimes mask the act of bribery or corruption. Hence organization must delve into decide the nature of gifts.
  • Employees and stakeholders must be encouraged to speak up against any suspected or known situations or persons where the Code has been compromised and report the dilemmas faced.




Administrative ethics are “The values and morals should be followed by a bureaucrat during his public duty”. We will study about Administrative ethics in detail in various chapters. In brief they are:

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Strict adherence to code of conduct
  • Respecting rules and regulations
  • Showing empathy and compassion towards downtrodden people
  • Non-discrimination
  • Ensuring good governance




Professional Ethics Personal Ethics
It is a Code of Conduct imposed by an organisation on its employee to expect some kind of desired behaviour. It is a Code conduct and personal values which governs one’s individual personal life
Learns relatively later in life when she joins any work force Learns from Childhood through Family, Society, Education system and Religion
Acts according to the Laws or rules or customs of an Organisation where she works Acts according to her own Conscience
Duty Bounded and Very strict Code of conduct at work place. Value Bounded and Freedom to do what she believes.
Examples: Integrity, Punctuality, Time Management, Accountability, Transparency, Confidentiality, Loyal to the organisation etc. Examples: Kindness, Truthful, Honesty, Empathy, Service oriented etc



Ethical values has a wide-ranging impact on individuals. But it vary from situation to situation with time and space and it also different from public to private relationships.


Private Relationships Public Relationships
It is between the people we personally connected It is between the people that we externally connected out of personal space like community, Colleagues at office, govt-citizen
Relations build in a closed space called Family, friends, spouse. Builds at office, society, community.
Based on personal values, morality and family values Based on societal and personal norms
Not codified generally Generally Codified
Violation generally goes unpunished but can have social consequence e.g. Loss of reputation in society Legal, social, professional and such implications if norms are violated
Relations here permanent in nature Temporary in nature in the form of transfers, moving different company
There is no limit to express our emotions here. For example, we can get anger on between family members There should be a desirable way of emotion expression. Example, there is a limit to express our anger on subordinates
There are expectations between closely connected people There won’t be any expectations between members of the public life
Regulated by emotional bonding Regulated by rules, regulations, laws
Get punished by parents if we hurt others or apology in words Penal provisions there for wrong doings
Partiality between members can be shown No partiality and no discrimination unless specifically made by law.
Ethics For Private Relationship: Love and care, Confidentiality, Truthfulness, Responsibility, Perseverance Ethics For Public Relationship: Openness, Honesty and integrity, Respect, Rule of law, Equality and uniformity, Accountability.


Reasons for such separation:

  • Although all citizens are subject to the laws of the land, in the case of public servants there must be standards of behaviour more stringent than those for an ordinary citizen.
  • Personal emotions always mix of emotions. Such mixed emotions brings undesirable consequences in the administration
  • There should be a conflict between public action and private interest.
  • High Emotional intelligence required for those who serve in public life.
  • Keeping public and private relationships separate helps in preventing conflicts of interest.
  • Society tends to judge people separately in their public and private sphere, and hence it’s better to keep them separate.


Common ethics for Public and private relationship:

  • Honesty: Both kinds of relationships expect truthful behaviour without which there is loss of trust and confidence.
  • Interpersonal factors: Both relationships are not mechanical but involve interpersonal behaviour. Therefore, both require individuals to have basic sensitivity, empathy, care etc. so that both parties understand each other better.
  • Accountability: We are held responsible for our behaviour in both relationships. We must answer and account for our actions to maintain trust and confidence.
  • Compassion: Helping others is a good deed which is desirable in both public and private relationships.



  • Private life integrated with family members, life partner, friends, colleagues etc. These kinds of relationships based on emotional attachments, personal bonding with them rather than simply a formal mechanism. Our habits, our lifestyle, our behaviour in society all gets influenced by a people we are personally attached to them.
  • Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharat a classic example of ethics in private relationships. Either they are good side or bad side they will reflect in our actions. Here Ethics in private life lays the foundation for ethics in public life.
  • Self-Morality – Ethics in private life starts with self-morality. Just mere having good values not enough they should put into practice and before you preach.



  • Once an old lady brought his son to Gandhiji to preach him stop eating sugar. But didn’t say anything that moment and asked that lady come back after one month. In this gap Gandhiji practiced stop eating sugar because he has same habit. After one month he said that young boy not to eat sugar.
  • Satya Harischandra always speaks truth



  • Family is the first foundation where ethical values seeds into one’s own mind. Interaction with parents and the instruments adopted by them shapes children behaviour. If a family encourages and supports you in times of crisis then you can take any hard decision which is ethically correct.
  • A person’s ethical orientation towards others is determined to a large extent by his/her spouse.
  • Also, parent is the first friend and guide to a child. They teach him not to be greedy, kind towards others, be empathetic. It will helpful in shaping child’s intellectual ability and cognitive skills.



  • Role of friends play in moulding one’s personality. One famous quote says “Our friend circle tells our character “



Though Karna individually Ethical and having greater war skills than Arjuna but his decision to fight along with Kauravas’s side makes him unpopular which led to his death in Kurukshetra. It’s just because he promised his friend Duryodhana to help in the war.



Public life also refers to collection of a person’s relationships, interactions and dealings with the society at large. Every Individual’s interaction with his/her surrounding environment. He should adhere certain moral values while behaving in society.

  • Though he has freedom to roam and live anywhere but on certain conditions like health his freedom of expression may be curtailed
  • Social responsibility
  • Help towards others as a Good samaritan


Importance of Ethics in Public life:

  • Ethics in public life are the ends to achieve any ethical principles such as responsibility and accountability.
  • In democracy, every holder of public office is accountable to the people. Such accountability is enforced through a system of laws and rules. Ethics in public life provides the basis for the creation of such laws and rules.
  • It is the moral ideas of people that give rise to and shapes the character of laws and rules.
  • It strengthens the trusteeship relationship between the public and the officials.


Dimensions of Ethics in Public life:

  • The role of ethics in public life has many dimensions. At one end is the expression of high moral values and at the other end, public functionary can be held legally accountable for his actions while performing duty.
  • Any framework of ethical behaviour must include the following elements:
  • Codifying ethical norms and practices.
  • Disclosing personal interest to avoid conflict between public interest and personal gain.
  • Creating a mechanism for enforcing the relevant codes.
  • Suitable mechanism for incentivizing ethical behaviour.
  • Providing norms for qualifying and disqualifying a public functionary from office.
  • Accountability mechanism in place.


A system of laws and rules, however elaborate, cannot provide for all situations. It is highly desirable, to govern the conduct of those who occupy positions in the lower hierarchy where they don’t have any discretion. But the higher officials in public service, the greater is the ambit of discretion. And it is difficult to provide for a system of laws and rules that can comprehensively cover and regulate the exercise of discretion in high places.



One of the most comprehensive statements of what constitutes ethical standards for holders of public office came from the Committee on Standards in Public Life in the United Kingdom, popularly known as the Nolan Committee, which outlined the following seven principles of public life:

  • Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  • Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  • Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  • Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  • Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership.


These principles of public life are of general applicability in every democracy. Arising out of such ethical principles a set of guidelines of public behaviour in the nature of a code of conduct becomes essential for public functionaries. Indeed, any person who is privileged to guide the destiny of the people must not only be ethical but must be seen to practice these ethical values.




Although all citizens are subject to the laws of the land, in the case of public servants there must be standards of behaviour more stringent than those for an ordinary citizen. It is at the interface of public action and private interest that the need arises for establishing not just a code of ethics but a code of conduct.

  • A code of ethics would cover broad guiding principles of good behaviour and governance
  • Code of conduct should, in a precise and unambiguous manner, stipulate a list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and action.


  • Following social distance and wearing mask during covid-19 pandemic. As a responsible citizen to not get infected and wastage of national resources.
  • Flushing after toilet in public toilets
  • Throwing dust only in dustbin
  • If you face an incidence of someone who met with an accident and joining in a hospital
  • Social awareness
  • Patriotism and service to the nation in times of need


Ethics in Private life Ethics in Public life
More about welfare of family members and friends Welfare of society
Guided by personal morality Guided by social values
There should be partiality shown towards members of private life Non-discrimination and impartiality
Ethics in private life laid foundation for ethics in public life Private life ethics will be first step towards achieving ethics in public life
Can be enforceable informally Can be enforceable legally



Currently, the concept of ethics has extended itself to involve all major areas of human existence. There are certain prominent aspects of ethics in public administration. These are summarized as following maxims:

  • Maxim of Legality and Rationality:​ ​An administrator will follow the law and rules that are framed to govern and guide various categories of policies and decisions.
  • Maxim of Responsibility and Accountability:​ An administrator would not hesitate to accept responsibility for his decision and actions. He would hold himself morally responsible for his actions and for the use of his discretion while making decisions.
  • Maxim of Work Commitment:​ An administrator would be committed to his duties and perform his work with involvement, intelligence and dexterity.
  • Maxim of Excellence:​ A bureaucrat would ensure the highest standards of quality in administrative decisions and action and would not compromise with standards because of convenience or complacency.
  • Maxim of Fusion: An administrator would reasonably bring about a combination of individual, organisational and social goals to help evolve agreement of ideals and imbibe in his behaviour a commitment to such a fusion.
  • Maxim of Responsiveness and Resilience: An administrator would respond successfully to the demands and challenges from the external as well as internal environment. He would adapt to environmental transformation and yet sustain the ethical norms of conduct.
  • Maxim of Utilitarianism:​ ​While devising and implementing policies and decisions, an administrator will certify that these lead to the greatest good (happiness, benefits) of the greatest number.
  • Maxim of Compassion:​ An administrator, without violating the prescribed laws and rules, would establish compassion for the poor, the disabled and the weak while using his discretion in making decisions.
  • Maxim of National Interest:​ Though universalistic in orientation and liberal in outlook, a civil servant, while performing his duties, would keep in view the impact of his action on his nation’s strength and prestige.
  • Maxim of Justice:​ ​Executives who are responsible for formulation and execution of policies and decisions of governance would ensure that respect is shown to the principles of equality, equity, fairness, impartiality and objectivity and no special favours are given on the criteria of status, position, power, gender, class, caste or wealth.
  • Maxim of Transparency:​ An administrator will make decisions and implement them in a transparent manner so that those affected by the decisions and those who wish to evaluate their rationale, will be able to understand the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of information on which these decisions were made.
  • Maxim of Integrity: An administrator would accept an administrative action on the basis of honesty and not use his power, position and discretion to serve his personal interest and the illegitimate interests of other individuals or groups.


Human Values- Lessons from Lives of Great Leaders, Administrators & Reformers

  • Leader – leadership is the exercise of high-level conceptual skills and decisiveness. It is envisioning mission, developing strategy, inspiring people, and changing culture.
  • Reformer – A reformer is a person who wants to improve the prevailing conditions in society by bringing about reforms in any area of human activity. e.g. politics, social customs and religion. E.g. Social reformer, religious reformer, political reformer.
  • Administrator is one who is responsible for carrying out administration – a process of working with and through others to accomplish the agreed goals efficiently.


Common Values: Leader, Administrator and Reformer

  • Attitude to serve the people,
  • Uplifting the downtrodden,
  • Impartiality and integrity,
  • Benevolence and compassion
  • Tolerance


Lessons from the Lives of Great Administrators Lessons from the Lives of Great Leaders Lessons from the lives of Great Reformers
Verghese Kurien, M. S. Swaminathan, Sam Pitroda, E. Sreedharan, V.P, Menon, T. N Sheshan, etc. Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Nielson Mandela, Nehru, etc.


Mahatma Gandhi, Raja Ram mohan Roy, Kabir, Vivekananda etc.
·        Integrity

·        Non-discrimination

·        Discipline

·        Citizenly-duty

·        Social Equality

·        Lawfulness

·        Sense of ethical accountability

·        Loyalty

·        Courage

·        Solidarity and respect

·        Love for Justice

·        Selflessness

·        Respect for Humanity Dignity for all

·        Loving and caring behaviour

·        Peace loving

·        Non-violence

·        Benevolence Compassion


·        Respect for Humanity

·        Dignity for all

·        Humanism

·        Reason and Inquiry for seeking the truth Kindness and compassion

·        Contentment Social Equality



Let’s have a quick look at the lessons from the lives of eminent persons. We shall deal with each of them in detail in the coming chapter:


Personalities What they Valued
Mahatma Gandhi


Simplicity, Minimalism, Satyagraha, Sarvodaya, Secularism, Ahimsa, Non-Violence, Truth, Forgiveness, Self-Sufficiency, Dignity of labour etc.
Jawaharlal Nehru


Democracy, institution building, consensus building, socialism, secularism, self-determination, internationalism etc
Nelson Mandela Service, dignity, self-belief, equality of the human race, freedom, fairness, justice, etc
Abraham Lincoln Humanism, equality of the human race, integrity, idealism, honesty, freedom etc.
Martin Luther King Jr Self-belief, equality of the human race etc
Raja Rammohan Roy


Social equality, equality of the human race, women empowerment, scientific thinking etc
Swami Vivekananda Self-belief, equality of the human race, patriotism, compassion etc
B R Ambedkar Self-belief, equality of the human race, radical thinking, compassion etc
Mother Teresa Compassion, altruism, helpfulness, kindness, cleanliness, determination.
Verghese Kurien Self-belief, co-operative societies, entrepreneurship, innovation, farmer welfare etc.
E. Sreedharan Punctuality, self-belief, integrity, high-quality standards etc.
M .S. Swaminathan Sustainable development, green revolution, poverty alleviation, farmer welfare etc.




Importance of Value inculcation:

Values are a certain principle possessed by an individual which guide them towards desirable behaviour. They are either moral, immoral and amoral but inculcating moral values very much important. They are important because:

  • Inculcates ethical behaviour like honest, service towards nation, kindness towards poor
  • They make an individual bold and strong. They will have lifelong impact on our lives. For example, Hunger strike unto death by Shri Potti Sriramulu to achieve separate Telugu state.
  • They socialise an individual. Example, gender sensitisation, equality
  • Acts as an anchor to exhibit certain way of behaviour where society accepted
  • They shapes our personality
  • Inculcating values in early age will have long lasting effect. So, we can make good citizens in future through moral values.


Process of Value Inculcation

Lawrence Kohlberg developed six stages of moral education among the people. He proposed three levels and six steps to inculcate values.


Level 1: Preconventional level (Child stage)


At the preconventional level, morality is externally controlled. Rules imposed by authority figures are conformed to in order to avoid punishment or receive rewards. This perspective involves the idea that what is right is, what is personally satisfying. Level 1 has two stages:

·        Stage1: Punishment or obedience orientation- Behaviour is determined by consequences. The individual will obey in order to avoid punishment.

·        Stage 2: Instrumental purpose – Behaviour is determined again by consequences. The individual focuses on receiving rewards or satisfying personal needs.

Level 2: Conventional level (Teenage stage)


At the conventional level, conformity to social rules remains important to the individual. However, the emphasis shifts from self-interest to relationships with other people and social systems. The individual strives to support rules that are set forth by others such as parents, peers, and the government in order to win their approval or to maintain social order.

·        Stage 3: Good boy/girl orientation: Behaviour is determined by social approval. The individual wants to maintain or win the affection and approval of others by being a “good person.”

·        Stage 4: Law and order: Social rules and laws determine behaviour. The individual now takes into consideration a larger perspective, that of societal laws. Moral decision making becomes more than consideration of close ties to others. The individual believes that rules and laws maintain social order that is worth preserving.

Level 3: Post conventional or principled level (Maturity stage)


At the postconventional level, the individual moves beyond the perspective of his or her own society. Morality is defined in terms of abstract principles and values that apply to all situations and societies. The individual attempts to take the perspective of all individuals.

·        Stage 5: Social contract orientation– Individual rights determine behaviour. The individual views laws and rules as flexible tools for improving human purposes. That is, given the right situation, there are exceptions to rules. When laws are not consistent with individual rights and the interests of the majority, they do not bring about good for people and alternatives should be considered.

·        Stage 6: Universal ethical principles– According to Kohlberg, this is the highest stage of functioning. However, he claimed that some individuals will never reach this level. At this stage, the appropriate action is determined by one’s self-chosen ethical principles of conscience. These principles are abstract and universal in application. This type of reasoning involves taking the perspective of every person or group that could potentially be affected by the decision.

·        Examples: Gandhiji, Raja Rammohan Roy, Martin Luther king JR, Rosa parks who was unwilling to stand her from bus seat causes civil rights movement – All are examples for last level who driven individual morality than societal conditions


Sources of Values

At an early age of children, we can mould like, clay pot, good desired behaviour by inculcating moral values. The various sources where values inculcate are:

  • Family
  • Society
  • Education



Family is a social institution where we will spend our half of life together with family members. During formative years of his/her age our behaviour gets it shapes where our family values and morals have an impact on it. These formative years shapes personality development. Being ethical or not is nothing but a part of personality and this, family plays a critical role in determining ethics in human action.


How Family Imparts Values?

  • Parents as role models: For anyone the first person who has influence is either father or mother. And also, grandparents bed time stories guides us what is right and wrong through moral stories from Panchatantra, religious books, moral books etc.
  • Examples:
  • I, myself learnt discipline from my father and being hygiene and cleanliness from my mother
  • Thomas Alva Edison can able to study at home when his school kicked off from school and became great scientist only because of his mother.
  • If elders taught us about king treated equally in his kingdom, such perception develops a positive thought in children mindset where they treat everyone equal in the society.
  • Respect towards others and Lower sections of people: Respecting elders and mingling with downtrodden sections of people by family members creates positive attitudes towards lower sections of people. Then he/she will treat everyone equal and develops a habit of empathy towards lower section kids which makes him soft hearted personality.
  • Charity: If parents are doing charity work children too develops such habit ff donating. This instils kindness in children.
  • Examples:
  • Manipuri 6yrs old boy and Bengaluru 6yrs old girl donated all their savings to PM CARES fund during lockdown
  • In Chennai, A saloon shop owner, on request of his daughter he spends all his savings saved for his daughter education spent on poor people who were suffering with basic necessities. Even she, Netra 13, appointed as UN good will ambassador to the poor.
  • Pampering or Punishment: Pampering makes parents eyes and ears blind and deaf when their children do wrong things. Parents should be in a position to make them realise their wrong acts. Even harsh punishments results counter results. Therefore, counsel them and treat them like friends so they won’t afraid to share their thoughts with parents. Hence, in order to inculcate good values parents should not pamper the kid but limited freedom to be expected.
  • Examples:
  • Instagram Boyz locker room – All the members of this group including admin who created this group on Instagram having age group below 15 where they are discussing sexual comments against their class girls
  • Nirbhaya case in 2012 – A juvenile involved in such heinous crime
  • Dignity of Labour: Children should adopt doing their own work that is self-help. This instil a kind of dignity of labour and respect towards the daily wage workers. Parents should teach them how it’s important to self-help.
  • Examples:
  • In India we feel that cleaning our own toilets is not our duty, its someone’s else comes and cleans our toilets. India should adopt from western societies where they feel it’s embarrassing when someone clean their toilets. It should start with elders, starts cleaning our own washrooms. This kind of attitude creates an egalitarian society.
  • Open defecation is very much prevailed even today. Children should start teach parents that open defection is not good practise.
  • Observational learning: Children observe what happens at home and begin to see such behaviour as normal and morally correct. This is a basic process of attitude formation. For example, children who witness domestic violence and gender discrimination at their home themselves develop similar vices and fail to develop values of gender equality.
  • Joint family: The joint family structure stands for certain values like tolerance, cooperation, sacrifice, care etc. Living in a joint family and its healthy functioning imparts these values to the children.
  • Traditions and customs: Families follow certain practices as a norm which are always adhered to by the children. Traditions themselves become a value for children due to regular and repetitive behaviour.


Strengths In Role Of Family In Value Inculcation:

  • First stage of moral education start from family so it acts as bedrock in shaping one’s ethical personality
  • Family as permanent source of ethics and value. There is no brokage of relationships here.
  • Family consists of all kinds diverse people, elders, youngsters, women, men, children, adults. Therefore, there is chance to learn diverse views and opinions.
  • Family is the first place of creating trust
  • Family is the first place where self-confidence develops
  • Family punishes and rewards for bad behavior. Therefore, it’s a fist place learn both good and bad.


Problems In The Role Of Family

  • Anti-Social– Family as studied as a first place to learn values; hence it can be as a first place where we can become anti-social by adopting various means which is not acceptable to society
  • Harsh Means- Sometimes parents adopts harsh and regressive measures to bring desired behaviour, this creates a sense of fear and erodes a self confidence among the children.
  • Outsourcing Parental care– Parents more time spend with children; they get to know about their children. If parents get busy with their work and outsourcing children care it will bring negative consequences
  • Grandparents care– Children also need grandparents cares and their bed time stories so keeping them children away from elders may leaving a good chance to learn values
  • Patriarchy vs Gender equality, bribing vs Honesty – Children should not confuse between those two values families’ certain kind of behaviour. They should practice what they preach.


  • Ethics are set of standards which are acceptable to the society. Therefore, it’s the society is the main pillar where ethical values mould their shape.
  • History of human civilisation divided into two phases
  • Pre-Industrial society
  • Post Industrial revolution society


Nature of society Pre-Industrial Society Post Industrial Revolution society
Family System Joint family; Children here opportunity to learn from grand parents Nuclear Families
Economy Sharing & Caring Business and profits
Role of Money Money didn’t play much important role Techno- Economic advancement gave importance to money
Society Village based society and not materialistic societies, Peaceful and no communal clashes Urban based society and became materialistic, more violent society and communal clashes
Ways to happiness In Human relations and family members Momentary pleasures
Education Value based Education which consist of Morals and Ethics Education mainly focussed on marks and grades and how to earn money instead of how to earn ethical assets
Form of Entertainment Plays, dramas picked up from Ramayana and Mahabharata Movies, Erotic content, Violent reality shows for ratings (WWE)
Role of Technology Technology did not enter into personal lives of people Technology running human kind now. We are running on computer simulation where mobile and gadgets part of our lives.
Environment Living in harmony with nature and Sacred groves Exploitation of nature; Pollution and taking away tribal and forest inhabitant rights


Capitalistic Society: Ethics Vs Capitalism

  • Emergence of Capitalism gives maximum importance to capital intensive machinery or technology. Objective is to maximise profits. Capitalism strengthened Physical, Financial and Huma infrastructure in the society but the most important Ethical Infrastructure it ignored.
  • Adam smith to be considered as father of capitalism. He gave moral boost to Capitalism laid foundation for ethical capitalism. His concept of Invisible hand creates demand and in turn it promotes growth. But over a period of time profits and business takes place and started exploiting ethical infrastructure. In place of capitalism crony capitalism adopting.


Human relations in the capitalistic society:

  • Human relations became materialistic
  • Joint family became nuclear family
  • Breakdown of marriage system and high rate of divorce
  • Growing child care homes and old age homes where elders don’t have time for their children and age-old parents


  • Education defined as ‘adjustment ability to a changing situation and environment’. Education should be a means to empower children and adults alike to become active participants in the transformation of their societies. Education means a change in man’s conduct of life. It means the upgrading of a man’s ability to choose the best alternative available in any circumstances he faces. It means the development of the person to prepare him to adopt the best approach to a problem at any given time.
  • Learning should also focus on the values, attitudes and behaviours which enable individuals to learn to live together in a world characterized by diversity and pluralism. Education therefore has a crucial long-term role in developing a knowledge and understanding of human rights, the values base they represent and the skills required to strengthen a democratic culture.


Purpose of Education:

  • The purpose of educationis to educate individuals within society, to prepare and qualify them for work for an economy as well as to integrate people into society and teach them values and morals of the society.
  • Role of educationis means of socializing individuals and to keep society smoothing and remain stable.
  • After the family a person spends most of his/her life with educational institutions starting from school. Even after schooling during graduation and post-graduation education helps to develop ethical behaviour in the students.



Role of Educational Institutions:

  • Producing new generation that enable in solving the real problems in our society.
  • Community service is another area that can help in cultivating and instilling the sense of national identity. It includes the activity that stressed about tolerance and harmony value regardless religion and race aspect.
  • Youths’ development toward a positive sense of ethnic identity.
  • It can give them an opportunity to interact in others from various backgrounds.
  • Produces leaders and develops leadership qualities.


Problems In Today’s Education System

  • Today’s Modern education deals only knowledge-based education but not value based education.
  • Educational institutions running after marks and trophies but there are no specific chapters on ethics or how to be happy in the curriculum.
  • Consequences is that we are producing number of professionals like doctors, engineers or lawyers but not producing a good human being.
  • We are creating professional without kind heart but with intelligent mind just like a robot.
  • We are facing a moral crisis in the education system which leads to suicides among the students those who are failing at subjects and not in a position to accept failures in life.
  • Forcing children to take the areas of subjects where parents are interested instead of exploring children’s creativity.
  • Even parents too run after the competition with neighbour children’s and relatives.  


Measure To Improve Value-Based Education System

There is a need to overhaul the educational system in India. More importance should be given to value-based education along with rationality and science. We are teaching them how to be successful but not teaching them how to be happy.

  • Inculcate discipline and punctuality starting from early days of schooling
  • Charity habit should inculcate among the students. Example: Coins for the Country Initiative: Hyderabad based school took an initiative to encourage students to save money at home while reducing unnecessary expenditure and without borrowing money from anyone. At the end of academic year, saved money will be used for the betterment of society.
  • Constitutional values should be part of every level of education curriculum.
  • Field visits to rural areas and teach how land & farmer inter linked so they will understand the value of food and stop wasting the food.
  • Develop scientific temper among the children and it’s a part of school curriculum. Example:
    • We can adopt Nordic countries education system
    • Fundamental duties mentioned in the Article 51A of the Indian constitution reads that “to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”
  • Happiness curriculum become part of the school books. So, it helps students not worrying about marks and grades. Example: Delhi govt’s Happiness curriculum. American first lady visited one of the Delhi school and interacted with students and enquired how these happy hours to be implemented
  • Stop giving too much importance to only engineering and medicine. Let’s encourage students to explore various areas of subjects. Example: New Education Policy 2020 has such provisions. It should get implemented in letter& spirit.
  • Teach students how to accept failures
  • Education should happen at mother tongue at primary level.



Birth and Death not in our hands so the essence of human life is to remain happy forever. Happiness should be our ultimate objective.


What is Happiness?

  • It’s a state of mental and emotional stage with positive and pleasurable feeling with intense joy. For an average common man happiness all about securing a good salary job, family, weekend fun, less uncertainty about future, success in professional career etc.
  • But that’s not the real happiness, A real happiness should be forever. All human relations are transitory in nature so they can give us only momentary pleasure and joy.
  • A real happiness should be:
    • Permanent
    • It can’t be taken away from our life that is It should be something internal happiness but not external happiness
    • Should not be attached to any material thing.



Why we need to be Happy?


Positive Reasons Negative Reasons
·        For peace of mind

·        Happiness is an emotion in which there is no limitations so we can joy utmost happiness

·        Our positive state of mind also impacts on others

·        If we are happy, we can make others happy

·        Helps us in more productive and efficient

·        Disturbed state of mind

·        Paves the way for allowing other negative emotions like sad, angry, depression etc which leads to sudden heart attacks and other diseases.

·        Our productivity levels decrease

·        Failures may welcome into our life

·        Short life span

·        People surrounds us don’t like to stay with us if we are not happy and always sad and depressed.


How to be Happy forever:

  • Gratitude: Help selflessly without expecting anything in return.
  • Don’t complain, be grateful that you have.
  • We can be really happy only when we do right actions, right conduct
  • Believing in the philosophy of “Good actions will bring you good fruits” – As you sow, so shall reap
  • Able to differentiate between goodness and badness.
  • Bhagavat Gita – Nishkam karma – Act selflessly without expecting anything in return
  • Buddha – Find an enlightened soul to be happy forever
  • Veda Vyas – परोपकार: पुण्याय पापाय परपीडनम्
  • “Doing good to others conduces to merit and doing harm to them leads to Sin”



  • Even every other religious scripture preaches how to be happy by following only good actions.

Previous Year Questions:

Theme Question Year
Essence of ethics “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” 2019
Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam 2019
Dimensions of ethics – Constitutional ethics What is meant by the term ‘constitutional morality’? How does one uphold constitutional morality?


Ethics in private and public relationships What are the basic principles of public life? Illustrate any three of these with suitable examples. 2019
Human Values The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss. 2017
Human Values The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss. 2017
Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators  “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte. Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country. 2017
Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. they are father, the mother and the teacher.” Abdul Kalam. Analyse. 2017
Consequences of Ethics in human actions.


Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly. What do you understand by this statement? Explain with illustration in the contemporary times. 2017


Consequences of Ethics in human actions. Explain how ethics contributes to social and human well-being. 2017
Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte. Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country. 2017
Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values


Our attitudes towards life, work, other people and society are generally shaped unconsciously by the family and social surroundings in which we grow up. Some of these unconsciously acquired attitudes and values are often undesirable in the citizens of modern democratic and egalitarian society. (a) Discuss such undesirable values prevalent in today’s educated Indians. (b) How can such undesirable attitudes be changed and socio-ethical values be cultivated in the aspiring and serving civil servants? 2016


Essence of ethics


Law and ethics are considered to be the two tools for controlling human conduct so as to make it conducive to civilized social existence. (a) Discuss how they achieve this objective. (b) Giving examples, show how the two differ in their approaches 2016


Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”


Determinants of Ethics in human actions We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. 2015


Dimensions of ethics – Environmental Ethics What is meant by ‘environmental ethics’? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one environmental issue from the viewpoint of environmental ethics. 2015
Essence of ethics Social values are more important than economic values. Discuss the above statement with examples in the context of inclusive growth of a nation. 2015


Essence of ethics + Dimensions of ethics Differentiate between the following (200 words); a) Law and Ethics; b) Ethical management and Management of ethics; c) Discrimination and Preferential treatment; d) Personal ethics and Professional ethics. 2015
Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values We are witnessing increasing instances of sexual violence against women in the country. Despite existing legal provisions against it, the number of such incidences is on the rise. Suggest some innovative measures to tackle this menace. 2014


Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators Which eminent personality has inspired you the most in the context of ethical conduct in life? Give the gist of his/her teachings giving specific examples, describe how you have been able to apply these teachings for your own ethical development 2014
Ethics in private and public relationships The current society is plagued with widespread trust-deficit. What are the consequences of this situation for personal well-being and for societal well-being? What can you do at the personal level to make yourself trustworthy? 2014
Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators Which eminent personality has inspired you the most in the context of ethical conduct in life? Give the gist of his/her teachings giving specific examples, describe how you have been able to apply these teachings for your own ethical development. 2014
Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions All human beings aspire for happiness. Do you agree? What does happiness mean to you? Explain with examples. 2014
Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions What does ethics seek to promote in human life? Why is it all the more important in public administration?


Essence of ethics What do you understand by ‘values’ and ‘ethics’? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent? 2013
Determinants of Ethics Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. 2013
Human Values There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed. Mahatma Gandhi. 2013
Human Values Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. —Abraham Lincoln. 2013