Public/Civil Service Values & Ethics In Public Administration
To prepare for ETHICS for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about Public/Civil Service Values & Ethics In Public Administration. It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the Economy syllabus (GS-IV.). Public/Civil Service Values & Ethics In Public Administration 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.
“It is not merely bigger government that ultimately matters: what is significant is that morality in administration alone could ensure better government. One would not doubt that the morality in administration is sustained by patience, honesty, loyalty, cheerfulness, courtesy and like traits.”
– Paul H. Appleby
- The word “Administration” originated from Latin word “administrationem”, Ad+Ministrare. It literally means to serve, to help, to cooperate Public administration means, to serve the public. It basically deals with functions performed by Bureaucracy.
- Bureaucracy was a French word which was originated from two words, Bureau means Desk or office and Cratie as rules or government power which literally called as Rules by govt. A bureaucrat is an official who implements such rules and performs functions of the Bureaucracy.
- Public administration as a discipline gained so much importance and relevant to the modern society. It plays crucial role in policy formulation, implantation and monitoring. But in India public administration suffering from colonial attitudes and traditional bureaucratic attitudes such as rigid hierarchy, too much importance to rules & regulations, means but not end important etc.
- Therefore, traditional bureaucratic paradigm needs to be changed and reformed and suited to the contemporary context of Indian bureaucracy.
MAX WEBER’s LEGAL-RATIONALITY MODEL OF BUREAUCRACY
- Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy is one of the pioneer studies in organisational models. Max Weber’s concept of bureaucracy is closely related to his ideas on “legitimacy of authority”.
- Since Weber believed that authority could be exercised as long as it is legitimate, he divided the authority in to three types based on sources of legitimacy for each authority. They are:
- Traditional authority – Hereditary, monarchy
- Charismatic authority – Powerful leadership and his followers
- Legal-rational authority
For Weber, this model of authority is best suited for any democratic form of government. The model of legal-rational bureaucracy described by Weber has the following features:
- Official business is conducted on a continuous, regulated basis
- An administrative agency functions in accordance with stipulated rules and is characterised by three interrelated attributes:
- the powers and functions of each official is defined in terms of impersonal criteria
- the official is given matching authority to carry out his responsibility
- the means of compulsion at his disposal are strictly limited and the conditions under which their employment is legitimate are clearly defined
- Every official and every office is part of the hierarchy of authority. Higher officials or offices perform supervision and the lower officers and officials have the right to appeal.
- Officials do not own the resources necessary for rendering the duties, but they are accountable for use of official resources. Official business and private affairs, official revenue and private income are strictly separated
- Offices cannot be appropriated by the incumbents as private property
- Administration is conducted on the basis of written documents
FEATURES OF OFFICIALS:
Weber also discussed in detail, as a part of his model of bureaucracy, the features of officials. They are:
- The staff members are personally free, observing only the impersonal duties of their offices
- They are appointed to an official position on the basis of the contract
- An official exercises authority delegated to him in accordance with impersonal rules, and his loyalty is expressed through faithful execution of his official duties
- His appointment and job placements depend upon his professional qualifications
- His administrative work is full time occupation
- His work is rewarded by regular salary and by prospects of career advancement
- There is a clear-cut hierarchy of officials
- He is subjected to a unified control and disciplinary system
- Max Weber felt that bureaucracy should be designed according to a rational principle. According to him, bureaucrats should be guided by rules and regulations which should override moral and ethical norms of personal conscience.
- If he given chance to skip rules and regulations he might resort to misuse of power while awarding contracts. A bureaucrat acts as a facilitator only. Hence, the bureaucrats should not use his discretion in public administration and their actions should be guided by standard operating procedures (SoP) set by political executives.
- However, from Indian perspective, the Weberian model of bureaucracy won’t help in achieving rapid socio-economic change. Weber’s theory is suitable for developed countries like France, Germany. However, developing countries like India need to undertake various socio-economic challenges like Poverty, Malnutrition, Caste inequality etc. and for this, what’s imperative is values/ethics in administration such as empathy, equity, compassion, integrity, non-partisanship, impartiality, etc.
- For example, poor old man without a valid document may not get his pension under the Weberian model of bureaucracy, on the other hand, there’ll be special provisions like positive discrimination to help the vulnerable sections of society under the “Development Bureaucracy.”
- Personal conscience is indispensable in personal life as well as bureaucracy. However, as Weber said, certain limitations must be laid on discretion of bureaucracy so that they do not misuse their power and could avoid ethical erosion and conflict of interest.
- We cannot think of the implementation of all the welfare and developmental programmes without the help of bureaucracy. The voluntary organisations and other forms of people’s organisations can only supplement the bureaucracy, but they cannot substitute the bureaucracy.
- In the context of developing countries, people look to the bureaucracy for their day-to-day requirements. Hence, the bureaucracy of Weberian type continues to find its relevance even today.
- Bureaucracy is the backbone of Indian administrative system. Its complexion is changing with the change in the socio-cultural and economic scenario.
- It must reinvent itself in the light of changing norms of neutrality and commitment, accent on NPM, Good Governance and New Public Service.
|TRADITIONAL BUREAUCRACY||CONTEMPORARY BUREAUCRACY|
|Based on Weberian Model of Bureaucracy||Based on developmental model of Bureaucracy|
|Hierarchy, rules & regulations, Specialisation are the characteristic features||Cooperation, Public service values and moral values, Distributive justice are the characteristic features|
|Bureaucratic morality overrides personal conscience and ethical values||Personal conscience, ethical values like empathy, compassion towards weaker section of people, integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency plays equal role along with rules and regulations|
|Centralisation of power||Decentralisation of power and delegated legislation|
|Some of the problems of this model are Red-tapism, corruption, Opaqueness, Political interference, gradual erosion of public service values etc||Right to Information, Good governance as well as New Public Management, Digitalisation and transparency so gradual reduction of political interference, Enhancing public service values|
“In the happiness of his subjects lies the happiness of the king” – Kautilya.
Public administration is a profession that offers and unusually array of opportunities to make moral or immoral decisions, to make ethical or unethical choices, to do good or evil things to people. Ethics provide a framework for accountability between the public and administration. Ethics and values have key role in smooth functioning of public administration system.
SIGNIFICANCE/IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:
- Public resource utilization: ethical use of resources ensures the efficient and effective development of society without corruption. It makes the one holding public office accountable for his/her actions.
- The ethical standards of Impartiality and objectivity bring merit into organization. thereby, increasing predictability, which improves economic efficiency.
- Outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests. Commitment and dedication to work improves the administration.
- Public trust and assurance: every section of public irrespective of race, religion, caste must be treated equitably and ethics ensures just and fair administration.
- Social capital: a just and ethical administration will have credibility and ensures citizen participation in administration. The trust thus generated makes the administration easier and synergetic.
- Curb corruption: Improving efficiency and break the unholy nexus between the administration and the anti-social elements.
- Adding the component of compassion to day to day works makes a lot of difference to the lives of vulnerable sections.
- The administration becomes responsive to the needs and aspirations of the public. For instance, creation of a separate public market for road side vendors before their evacuation in west Bengal.
- Ethical administration also helps in building rapport in international relations and economy.
- To provide guidelines and rules which can harmonize the relationship between civil servants and political executive. Thus, promoting the non-partisanship and impartiality in civil servants.
- To inculcate high moral standards in public servants and their ensure translation into actions.
Absence of ethics results in authoritarianism, suppression of minority rights, high corruption and impoverishment of the poor and the vulnerable. Historically it has only been disastrous whether it is the colonial administration or the authoritarian governments like that of Hitler/Stalin.
VALUES IN ADMINISTRATIVE ETHICS:
The salient ‘values’ envisaged in the draft ‘Public Service Bill’ are:
- Allegiance to the various ideals enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution
- Apolitical functioning
- Good governance for betterment of the people to be the primary goal of civil service
- Duty to act objectively and impartially
- Accountability and transparency in decision-making
- Maintenance of highest ethical standards
- Merit to be the criteria in selection of civil servants consistent, however, with the cultural, ethnic and other diversities of the nation
- Ensuring economy and avoidance of wastage in expenditure
- Provision of healthy and congenial work environment
NOLAN COMMITTEE (1994) on Standards in Public Life:
- Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
- Objectivity – Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
- Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
- Openness – Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
- Honesty – Holders of public office should be truthful.
- Leadership – Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
- Dedication – The quality of remaining committed to public cause and citizen welfare even in face of hardships, threat and temptation.
- Empathy and compassion– Empathy is about being able to accurately hear out and understand the thoughts, feelings and concerns of others, even when these are not made explicit. Compassion goes beyond empath and arouse an active desire to alleviate the suffering of others.
- Tolerance– It is a permissible attitude towards others especially when they have an opinion or view point opposite to one’s own opinion.
- Integrity– Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work.
Ethics guide human conduct and it help people to lead good life by applying moral principles. The same when applied to public administration will not only bring efficiency but also helps in developing an egalitarian, just and fair society.
OECD’s EIGHT KEY COMPONENTS FOR CREATING STRONG ETHICAL ADMINISTRATIVE FRAMEWORK:
- Effective Legal Framework– India has legal framework with provisions to cover various unethical and corrupt practices such as the breath of official trust and duties, abuse of power, misappropriation, and extortion, corrupt practices, acceptance of undue advantage and abuse of officials influence.
- Political Commitment– Political leadership and commitment are one of the most significant elements of ethical infrastructure of public life. Ethically committed leadership instil confidence in people who work with honesty and lead the way by being role models.
- An Active and Dynamic Civil Society – The effectiveness of civil society is determined by the level of public criticism of government tolerated in the particular society. The presence of free, unbiased and independent media is an important factor of exposing corruption and other unethical actions.
- Central Ethics Coordinating Body– Bodies that coordinate the overall ethics framework range from parliamentary committees, central agencies and departments or specially created independent agencies mandated to oversee ethics in the public service.
- Conducive Public Service Conditions – Public service conditions like salary, promotion, posting, transfers etc directly influence the conduct of civil servants. Public service conditions are also directly related to ability to attract and retain quality human resource.
- Professional Socialization Mechanisms– Professional socialization includes soundness of training programmes organized to inculcate public spirited values among administrators. It also includes administrative culture prevalent in the office or department.
- Monitorable codes of conduct – Code of conduct should be clearly and unambiguously worded. The values being promoted in code of conduct/ethics should secure genuine employee acceptance.
- Efficient Accountability Mechanisms– Accountability system is determined by the strengths and weakness of the existing organizational arrangements and procedures to detect and punish corruption and other unethical practices.
PUBLIC SERVICE VALUES:
- Public service values or civil service values are those values and ethics should be followed while carrying out their duties.
- Values such as Integrity, Honesty, Objectivity, Non-partisanship, Impartiality, Empathy, Compassion, Conflict of interest etc already studied in previous chapters.
- Patriotism and upholding national pride.
- Allegiance to the Constitution and the law of the nation.
- Objectivity, honesty, care and diligence, courtesy and transparency.
- Maintain absolute integrity.
- Discharge official duties with competence and accountability; without discrimination and in accordance with the law.
- Ensure effective management, professional growth and leadership development.
- Avoid misuse of official position or information and using the public moneys with utmost care and economy.
- Function with the objective serving public.
- Public Servants are to serve as instruments of good governance and to provide services for the betterment of the public at large.
- Foster socio-economic development, with due regard to the diversity of the nation but without discrimination on the ground of caste, community, religion, gender or class and duly protecting the interest of poor, underprivileged and weaker sections.
- Constitutional morality means simply upheld the values enshrined in the constitution such as fundamental rights, social justice, liberty, Equality, fraternity etc.
- According to Ambedkar, constitutional morality would mean effective coordination between conflict groups to resolve them amicably without confrontation. By abiding to the constitutional values, a civil servant does his/her duty with utmost integrity and honesty with efficiency. Use his/her discretion in lines with constitution to create an equitable a society.
- Perseverance is acting consistently in times of adversity and difficult situation.
- It is inner strength to act when things not favour of yours. Civil servants are agents of change to bring socio-economic transformation in the society.
- In this process they face adverse and stressful conditions. Sometimes even life threatening. When you persistent, he/she can show consistency in their actions and can have such capability to take tough decisions.
- Discipline is the practise of punctuality, respecting rules and regulations. A disciplined life important for a smooth flow of life and as well an organisation’s success depends on discipline of employees.
- However too much strict in the organisation and showing discipline only before higher authority but lacking in self-discipline results in failure of an organisation.
- It will happen because of too much hierarchy, strict rules and regulations, no recognition to hard work, not satisfied with the job in terms of salary and objectives of the organisation etc. It will lead to following consequences:
- Moral corruption
- Counterproductive discipline behaviour such as not obeying rules of the organisation in true spirit
- It will discourage creativity and innovation
- Blindly imposing orders on subordinates without considering subordinates opinions causes harm to organisation and larger in society
- Gradual reduction in courage of conviction
- Therefore, to maintain discipline among superiors and subordinates, effective way is to maintain a positive work culture and respecting subordinates’ opinions in decision making process.
- In a democracy, government should not only be constituted by the people it should also be accountable to the people.
- In other words, government servants or the bureaucracy should function in public interest, and they must be held accountable for whatever they do or do not do. In reality, government is run by professional civil servants with the help of laws, rules and regulations.
- Because of the size of government and the distance between the people and the serving government servants, it is not always easy to know why some policies are adopted and how they are implemented.
- Accountability is the lifeblood of democracy. Openness of governmental operations and a system of holding the civil servants accountable for their actions make democracy real and functional.
- Thus, Accountability implies both ‘answerability’ (or giving an `account’ of actions taken) and ‘enforceability’ (or punitive measures for illegal, inadequate, and improper performance).
NATURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY:
- In discussing accountability, our major concern should be about how to ensure that those who wield power, exercise it responsibly, so that they can be held accountable for their actions.
- In modern day administration, this policy-making and policy-implementation dichotomy does not hold good. The administrators do participate in policy-making and their discretion in today’s big government is enormous. As the State has grown big and there have been abuses of power by the bureaucrats, so there must be clearer and more transparent public administration, and that the moral behaviour of public officials must be improved. In other words, the public demand in most democracies has been that there must be responsible use of power and authority and clearer means of administrative accountability. The notion of accountability carries two basic connotations:
- Answerability, which stands for the obligation of public officials to inform about and explain what they are doing
- Enforcement, i.e., the capacity of accounting agencies to impose sanctions on power holders who have violated their public duties.
|Significance and Purpose of Accountability
|· Controlling abuse of bureaucratic power and discretion
· There must be an assurance that performance will be in accordance with standards and quality
· There has to be a system promoting learning in pursuit of continuous improvement in governance and public management.
· There is the human dimension of accountability, subsuming values and ethics and creating trust in government
· Basic purpose of accountability is to make a close fit between administration and democracy
· Make laws work as intended with a minimum of waste and delay
· Exercise lawful and sensible administration discretion
· Recommend new policies and propose changes in existing policies and programmes as needed
· Enhance citizen confidence in the administrative institutions of government.
TYPES OF ACCOUNTABILITY:
|· It is at the core of public administration. It is more than obedience to laws and bureaucratic norms. A moral public official is the one who “strives for a moral government”.|
|Administrative accountability||· It is the traditional hierarchical accountability within the organisation, as laid down in the classical Weberian bureaucratic form of administration.|
|· It is concerned with the legitimacy of any public program and even the survival of the involved organisation. In other words, in a democracy, the administrators are “duty bound to recognise the power of political authority to regulate, set priorities, redistribute resources and to ensure compliance with orders.|
|· It relates actions in the public domain to the established legislative and judicial process. This is achieved either by a court action or by a judicial review of the administrative action. The public organisation or its officials are held accountable for not following legislative norms or legal delegations.|
TOOLS TO ACHIEVE ACCOUNTABILITY:
|Legitimacy||Constitutions and electoral systems for establishing government and decision-making bodies; bureaucratic systems of representation; Royal prerogative; legislations; letters of appointment; standing orders and formal delegations of authority|
|Moral Conduct||Upholding social values, concepts of social justice and public interest; professional values; training/induction programs|
|Responsiveness||Public participation and consultation; debates; advisory bodies; public meetings; freedom of speech|
|Openness||Parliamentary questions time; public information services, freedom of information laws: public hearings: green and white papers; annual reports|
|Optimal resource utilisation||Budgets; financial procedures; rules of vehement; parliamentary public accounts committees; auditing; public enquiries and participation; formal planning systems|
|Efficiency and effectiveness||Information communication systems; setting objectives and standards; programme guidelines; approval; feedback from public|
2nd ARC ON ACCOUNTABILITY:
- The public perception today is that government servants are unresponsive to the needs and concerns of citizens and the system does not address this problem because the mechanisms to ensure accountability, integrity and efficiency of public servants do not appear to be adequate.
- The common perception is that initiation of disciplinary action against incompetent and erring government servants is more an exception than the rule.
- This is supported by a plethora of anecdotal evidence. Data obtained from the UPSC and the CVC clearly bring out that there are very few cases where disciplinary proceedings result in imposition of substantial penalties.
- The life-long job security provided to a government servant further leads to such a distorted incentive structure, because it is a fact that under the present system, very rarely is a government servant punished or removed for poor performance.
- In addition, the Commission feels that there is also need to find a systemic solution to the issue of complacency that stems from the lifelong job security coupled with lack of penal consequences for non-performance or inadequate performance.
- At present, Annual Confidential Records (ACR) of civil servants are the only mechanism to assess the performance of a government servant and these records are used to evaluate the fitness of a civil servant usually at the time of promotion. The Commission is of the view that there is need to have a comprehensive in-depth assessment at important milestones in an officer’s career. These assessments, in view of the Commission, should be carried out on completion of 14 and 20 years of service.
INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS TO PROMOTE ACCOUNTABILITY:
|OUTSIDE THE STATE (VERTICAL)|
|To the people through elections||High Effectiveness|
|Through RTI Act to citizens|
|Citizen’s oversight committees||
|Civil societies/ watchdog bodies|
|Service delivery survey||Low to Medium Effectiveness|
|WITHIN THE STATE (HORIZONTAL)|
External (Outside the executive)
Internal (within the executive)
|· Superior officers
2. Disciplinary procedures
3. Performance Management System
· Internal Audit
· Grievance Redressal Mechanisms
Accountability also means answerability i.e., questions asked of public officials have to be answered by them. There are two types of questions that can be asked:
- One type as under the RTI Act merely seeks information/data and involves one-way transmission of information. It promotes transparency and to a much lesser degree accountability in Government.
- The second type of question enquires not just as to what was done but why; and therefore, involves a consultative two-way flow of information with the citizens usually providing a feedback in respect of the working of government departments and service delivery of public agencies. Such mechanisms include citizens’ charters, service delivery surveys, social audits, citizens’ report card and outcome surveys.
- A system of two intensive reviews – one on completion of 14 years of service, and another on completion of 20 years of service – should be established for all government servants
- The first review at 14 years would primarily serve the purpose of intimating to the public servant about his/her strengths and shortcomings for his/ her future advancement. The second review at 20 years would mainly serve to assess the fitness of the officer for his/her further continuation in government service.
- The services of public servants, who are found to be unfit after the second review at 20 years, should be discontinued. A provision regarding this should be made in the proposed Civil Services Law.
- Besides, for new appointments it should be expressly provided that the period of employment shall be for 20 years. Further continuance in government service would depend upon the outcome of the intensive performance reviews.
STATUS & PROBLEMS IN PUBLIC SERVICE VALUES:
Present day civil services facing value deficiency in following public services values. The relevance of such values are universal and time tested. They can be followed in letter and spirit. The present status and underlying problems in following such values in day-to-day administration are:
- Mechanised life – Man is running after the clock. His life became mechanical and materialistic in nature. In this process he is not giving time to himself. Therefore, there is no self-growth and lack of enthusiasm to self-development. At the end, he unable to recognise what is good and bad in his actions. Awareness camps, mid-career training sessions, spiritual knowledge, staying most of the time with weaker sections of the society helps to develop such values.
- Nature of Selection – UPSC conducts civil services exam every year to select eligible candidates into civil services. In this selection process aspirants running after the books and there is no filed level experience to understand what are the problems faced by various sections of the society. We can’t expect someone to be ethical who is scoring high marks in ETHICS paper.
- Training – We are still following Colonial training attitude while training selected trainees. For example, its unnecessary to waste resources to train how to ride a horse. Training module should be changed to meet the present-day challenges like Human dignity, Human rights, to meet technological progress like IoT, AI, 5G, Machine learning, Block chain technology, Human resource development, Gender equality, Climate change, Nutrition deficiency etc.
- Fitness Bar – As career progressing there is no performance appraisal to measure civil servants’ integrity and honesty. According to 2nd ARC report, Civil servants should be reviewed for every 14years whether they are suitable to the present-day administration challenges.
Ethical dilemmas are question of right or wrong. What decision should be taken in times of crisis. What ethical decision should be taken at what time and in what context are deal by this topic. Civil servants are facing ethical dilemmas in their official duties. The list of ethical dilemmas in public and private life are:
- Secrecy Vs Transparency
- Conflict of interest
- Duty Vs Personal relationships
- Superior orders/Rules/Law Vs Conscience
- Conservation Vs Tribal rights
- Non-Discrimination Vs Preferential treatment
- Business Vs Social responsibility
FRAMEWORK FOR ETHICAL DECISION MAKING:
- First define what is the ethical dilemma present
- Collect available data and information and find out affected stakeholders
- Next step is to write down strengths and weaknesses of each Ethical approaches like Utilitarianism, Consequential or Non consequential ethics, Situational or Universal, Means or Means and Ends both, Golden rule etc. Then pickup best approach according to needs of the ethical problem
- Use your conscience and aptitude to solve a problem
- Take a final decision
Some of the ethical dilemmas already dealt in various part of this document so let’s discuss rest of the ethical dilemmas.
Secrecy Vs Transparency:
|Ethically correct if:
· If that information deal with national security and revealing such information may treat to Integrity and sovereignty of India
· Defence related information should be maintained secrecy but they should be unclassified after certain number of years like UK un-classifies for every 40 years
· Budget preparation information to be keep it as secret until it is officially presenting in the parliament
· Tender or bidding or auction related information
· It is unethical to maintain secrecy anything which related allocation of resources in the governance process
|When to be maintain Transparent?
· Fund allocation to various departments and various schemes
· Funds utilisation
· List of beneficiaries of govt services and subsidies
· Govt servants’ personal financial assets
· If any govt servant receives private gifts to be keep in record
· International funding to social activities
· Status of developmental works in a locality
· Private individuals and private corporates funding to political parties. They should be open to RTI
Duty Vs Personal relationships
|· Nation goals and priorities first and personal relationships are only to be next in line.
· There is no Nepotism in official duty and in selection of officers in recruitment
· Officials use social media only to engage with public than self-promotion. Too much active in social media diverts attention from his official duty
· If there is any conflict of interest which involves his/her family & relatives, he should declare his statement regarding that and to be fair she/he should stay away from it.
|· Before entering into civil services officials took oath to abide by the constitutional values and duty first. Therefore, family should understand his official responsibility and give him/her support to perform his/her duty better
· Family members can’t use govt assets for personal interests (Use of govt vehicle for personal trips)
· There is a treat to family members from goons while carrying his/her official duty in honest way so its duty of the govt to protect his/her family members
Superior Orders/Laws/Rules Vs Conscience
|· If there is any pressure from superiors or ministers on officials to be in favour of them, request them to written communication instead of just oral communication
· Rules & regulations and law are just means to achieve societal development but not ends
· If there should any relaxation in rules superior’s permission to be sought and convince them for approval.
|· Any action which is not in line with our conscience to be considered as unethical, so listen to your conscience before taking any decision
· Actions should be rational and compassionate towards weaker sections
· If there is any urgency to act according our conscience in situations like communal clashes, send a detailed report of higher authorities in support of your decision.
Non-Discrimination Vs Preferential Treatment
|· Should not be discriminated based on solely religion, caste, gender etc.
· Rule of law – Everyone should be treated equally and should be impartial and non-partisan
|· Preferential treatment given to those only for weaker sections of society to uplift them on the development ladder – Positive discrimination
· Promotes compassion and empathy towards weaker sections and vulnerable sections of the society
· To be given only till certain period till they uplift
· Preferential treatment can’t be given strategic sectors like R&D, Defense, secretary level posts. They should be based on merit but not on reservations
Business Vs Social responsibility
|· “Commerce without morality” is a sin therefore business should run on ethical and moral values which does not affect public health, environment.
· Business should be based on ethical capitalism but not on crony capitalism
· They can earn profits to run business but profit is not the only motive for such businesses
· Survival of negative goods industries like tobacco, alcohol is itself an ethical question but they are creating an employment opportunities so higher taxes on such negative goods should be a ethical but same time its unethical to encourage them because they affect public health
|· Cost reducing in office expenditure can save money which can be diverted to social responsibility
· During COVID-19 pandemic most of the corporates donated money to PM-CARES fund
· Encouraged to adopt villages under social responsibility
· If people lost land due to industry setup in their locality it’s her moral responsibility to provide livelihood to the people and creating social infrastructure
APPROACHES TO SOLVE THE ETHICAL DILEMMA:
|· According to Virtue school of ethics, character of agent determines the morality of task. Thus the government official acts according to his virtues to reach the ideals which have been set by him.
· According to Plato, these virtues can be courage, wisdom, temperance and justice.
· In ethical dilemma, moral actor following virtue approach asks himself whether the decision represents the kind of person he is or he want to be.
· Criticism: There is no objective list of virtues for the government functionaries. Further virtues are culture as well as context dependent thus changes from individual to individual leading to non- uniformity in resolving ethical dilemma.
|· According to categorical imperative, a person has to always choose duty principle over other values.
· Thus ethical dilemma can be solved by doing the right things so that people are treated as ends and thus their own rights can be fulfilled.
· Criticism: Only rights of people cannot be sole factor in resolving ethical dilemmas as economical, social as well as environmental costs are also involved.
Law As Source
Of Ethical Guidance
|· Laws are rules and regulations made by the state which aims to regulate the decision making and conduct of its citizens. Since law derives its authority from the constitution, citizens themselves as their elected leaders frame it and are based on best practices followed worldwide to uphold human rights; they are one of the legal and widely opted sources for resolving ethical dilemma.
· For civil servants constitution is final arbitrator in case of ethical dilemma as it is the supreme law based on which other laws are framed.
· Criticism: Inconsistency in laws, loopholes, coercive and collusive nature of laws render them ineffective and thus act as incompetent guide to resolve ethical dilemmas.
|· In modern day ethical dilemma the context and the situation in which a decision has to be made is also very important.
· So, considering and assessing the background of an action also becomes important for resolution of any ethical dilemma.
|Conscience As Guide To
Resolve Ethical Concerns
|· Conscience is an internal dialogue of man with himself about right and wrong.
· These are the internalized values which make us reflect on life and ask “what is it that I should do to make the ethical choice”, and that ethical choice is not influenced in any way by any other person and event.
|· Mahatma Gandhi’s Talisman is a novel approach to solve the ethical dilemmas. Consciously reminding it when needed helps to make moral decision in larger public interest.|
|· Justice approach focuses on treating the individuals equally in the ethical dilemma. Also if there is any difference in treatment then the difference should be justified.
· Criticism: principle of justice can harm the social welfare in long run.
|· In ethical dilemmas, the value can be chosen by finding out which option will produce the most good for maximum number of people. This approach takes into account the economic and social welfare of larger number of people.
· Criticism: It is not always possible to measure goodness of outcomes. Also, utilitarianism focuses on maximum happiness for maximum number which in turn discriminated the minority.
Common Good Approach
|· Common Good are certain general conditions that are usually to everyone’s advantage. The common good describes specific goods that are shared and beneficial for all or most members of society.
· Being able to live together in community requires that attention should be paid not just to individual good but also to common conditions that are important for the welfare of all.
· Criticism: Individuals can become free riders while taking the benefits of the Common Good while refusing to contribute and support the Common Good.
|· Rights are justified claims on others. The justification of a claim is dependent on some standard acknowledged and accepted not just by the claimants but also by society in general.
· Human beings have conscience or ability to choose between right and wrong due to which humans have dignity. Rights are given to protect this dignity.
· Right comes with duties as liberty and equality goes together.
· This approach starts from the belief that human have a dignity based on their ability to choose freely what they do with their life.
· Criticism: Right should not be the soul consideration in Ethical Decision making. In some instances, the social cost/injustice that would result from respecting a right are too great and accordingly that right may need to be limited. Sometimes the rights themselves may be in conflict with each other and one has to decide which right has priority.
STEPS FOR RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMA (6R’s)
- Register – where details of the conflict of interest are declared and registered. (In low risk situations this single strategy may be sufficient.)
- Restrict – where restrictions are placed on the officer’s involvement in the matter.
- Recruit – where a disinterested third party is used to oversee part or all of the process that deals with the matter.
- Remove – where the officer chooses, or is requested, to be removed completely from the matter.
- Relinquish – where the officer relinquishes the private interest that is creating the conflict.
- Resign – where the officer resigns from their position with the agency. (This strategy should be considered only if the conflict of interest cannot be resolved in any other workable way.)
SOURCES TO THE ETHICAL GUIDANCE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Source to the ethical conduct in public administration to be brought in two ways one through statute and another through inner conscience. Let’s look at them.
LAWS, RULES & REGULATIONS:
Laws/Rules/Regulations such any kind of statutes main objective was to bring expected code of conduct among civil servants. They have double edged motives, one to be reward and other should be penalised for those who broke the rules.
|· Laws are the enactment of the legislature. They are the rules that have sanctity and support of the state.
· Laws are rigid in nature and their violation may attract punishment from the state. Law by nature are incomplete and they are generally formed in response to certain situation or event.
· Laws are made to regulate the actions of the individual. Laws are context specific and they guide the decisions and conduct of the individual in that particular context.
· E.g. RTE Act 2009, National Food Security Act, 2013 etc.
|· Rules are set of instructions made by the people to explain how things are to be done.
· Rules can be made by government as well as private organizations.
· Rules made by the government can have force of law and applicable for all example- traffic rules; while the rules framed by the private organizations are limited to that particular organizations and its employees.
· Rules can be framed in different contexts like rule for house set by parents, rules of organization set by managers, even rules of games and sports.
|· Regulations can be understood as subsidiary legislations.
· They are made by the executive in order to fill in the gaps that remains in the law.
· Regulations are standards and rules adopted by administrative agencies that govern how laws will be enforced.
· Regulations also need acceptance/ approval of the legislature to be enforceable.
· As such they carry the same force as the law. But regulations have to adhere to the broader limits set by the parent or enabling law.
· Regulation are rigid like laws and their violation also attract penalty from the state.
What is Ethical Law/Rules?
- They should not discriminate between any particular community and any particular religion
- They should reflect what is ideal for the society
- They should uplift the values enshrined in the constitution
- They should not harm anyone
- They should not enforce by force
- Should be acceptable to majority and minority both
- There should not be any opaqueness and vague terms in the rules so can be interpreted by officials for their personal benefit.
- There should be a monitory mechanism for the implementation of such law/rules.
What is unethical Law/rules?
- Benefits one community and harms another community
- They should be passed or implemented without consensus
- Human rights violations
- No transparency in implementation
“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Conscience refers to the Inner listening. It guides us what to do and what not do in any ethical dilemma situations. If we listen to our conscience we can behave ethically and morally right.
Modern man lacks silence. He is leading materialistic life and revolves his life around Work, Entertainment, Fun etc. He didn’t have time to spend with himself. He doesn’t lead his life; he is led by events. It is a race against the clock. Even God Himself can’t get anything else in.
As Swami Vivekananda said “If you talk to yourself daily you can bring a better person out of yours”. Therefore, it is vital to make a space somewhere in his life.
Obstacles Between conscience and you:
|· Fear, Fear is the first obstacle when we want to listen our inner conscience. Fear makes us deaf.
· Hasty decisions, before you take a decision listen to your conscience one minute. Don’t act in haste.
· “Me” attitude, if there are no discussions with peers and subordinates then we can’t expect to bring best results from ours.
· Negative feelings, like Jealous, angry, hatred, ego etc makes our conscience deaf and blind.
Components of Inner Conscience:
- Connection: It is good to get into a peaceful, reflective and prayerful mood to seek inspiration. Reading something inspiring, like a holy book from your or any tradition that you find appealing or a speech that has inspired you or an article in a magazine or a newspaper that has lifted your spirits. This helps to establish a connection with your inner Self or Higher Wisdom or the Divine (what you call it is not as important as knowing it inspires).
- Correction: The first time you try the Quiet Time, review your life as you have lived so far. “A life not examined is not worth living!”. See where you have fallen short of your own values and convictions -write them down. Reflect on how you can make amends for things you have done wrong. It often helps to share these with a trusted friend. The four absolute moral standards of:
- Unselfishness and
- Love serve as good measuring tools.
You start comparing your life against these standards, writing down where you have fallen short of each standard and putting right what can be put right. This may need to be a daily process to review the previous day to see what could have been different and take corrective steps. This leaves you free to seek inspiration for the task ahead.
- Direction: Turn your attention outward and see what you feel you need to change and if you have a role in it. It could be in your locality or community or you may get a thought to speak to someone who can bring far reaching changes on a large scale to benefit a lot of people. Remember it needs to be done with inspiration and humility.
Therefore, in our busy life, we can choose to live reactively or reflectively. It means ‘making space for grace and reflection for direction’. Take time every day to sit in silence to listen to the voice of love and truth that speaks in your heart. Early morning is best. To open your heart and mind without pretences or defences. It also helps to write the thoughts down. These thoughts can be measured against the absolute principles that follow – common to all religious traditions.
ETHICAL & MORAL VALUES IN GOVERNANCE
THE NEED FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE:
- Although man possesses the resources and the technology to create a poverty-free world, about a quarter of the human population on earth continue to live in extreme poverty. According to the UNDP, Human Development Report, 20% of the richest people in the world receive 82.7% of the Global Income.
- Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said: “Poverty is not simply the lack of income. It is also the lack of a voice, of a responsive local administration that can redress local needs; the lack of a system of governance that is transparent and accountable to people it supposedly exists to serve”.
- Among the many crises facing by the India, the one that is the crisis of Good Governance. It affects the life and working environment of millions, who consider themselves free citizens of welfare states. In the last fifty years, we have witnessed a growing restlessness with the systems and instruments of Governance. Available evidence suggests a continuous decline in the quality of governance in most developing countries.
Some of the obvious elements of this crisis are:
- Inefficient delivery of services
- Dichotomy between the political and executive wings of governance.
- Breaking down of existing institutions Corruption in the polity and economy
- Lack of societal involvement in governance.
Key indicators of Governance
|· Voice and accountability, which includes a number of indicators that measure various aspects of the political process, civil liberties and political rights.
· Political stability and absence of violence, which consists of several indicators that measure the chances that a government will be overthrown by unconstitutional means.
· Government effectiveness is about the quality of public service provision, the bureaucracy and its competence and independence and, most critically, the credibility of the government’s commitment to policies.
· Rule of law includes several indicators that “measure the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society. These include perceptions of the incidence of crime, the effectiveness and predictability of the judiciary, and the enforceability of contracts”
· Control of corruption which is about all the things we know and could set up world-class universities in. It includes the tendency of the elite to engage in “state capture”.
THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE:
- Good Governance means eliminating poverty by empowering the poor, unprivileged and the exploited and also a system and a structure that are democratic, transparent, clean, efficient, equitable, sensitive and accountable.
- Good Governance requires, “not so much additional resources as better personnel policies and sound delivery mechanism. Unless teachers attend schools and teach, unless doctors attend health centres and provide health care, and subsidies reach the poor, mere increase in the social sector expenditure would only result in further leakage”
- To understand the roots of governance we need to first look at the elements of excellent service-oriented governance. If we treat the recipients of the service (citizens) as customers, and also look at the state as another stake holder, the dimension of Good Governance could be listed as under:
- Empathetic orientation towards citizens / customers: The Administrators’ ability to understand the customers’ need and requirements, from their perspective, and realistically appraise whether or not something is doable.
- Commitment to excellence: Individual commitment to help citizens in achieving their goals / objectives within the given resources. Responsiveness: Administrators taking responsibility for creating a delightful experience for citizens / customers and solving their problems.
- Reliability and trustworthiness: The administrator’s ability to generate trust and win the confidence of customers / citizens.
- Creative problem-solving ability: The administrator’s ability to come up with innovative solutions to customer problems within the given constraints.
- Timeliness: An administrator’s ability to accomplish things within time constraints and deadlines.
- Tolerance for pressure: An administrator’s ability to maintain control and poise in the face of adversity and political pressures.
- Service recovery mind-set: An administrator’s ability to undo the bad service experience of a citizen / customer by taking the required corrective action there and then itself.
In a nutshell, good Governance is all about, an accurate and sensitive understanding of peoples’ needs, and creative responses to these needs with a resourceful mind.
THE UNDERLYING PROBLEMS:
While the elements required for good Governance are clear, why is it so rare? What are the underlying bottlenecks and problems which keep administrators from giving their very best to the public? The problems are:
- Conflicts between one’s duties in the public domain and one’s personal life
- Inability to respond speedily because of the fear of rapid change and chaos all around
- Inter-personal conflicts between people (e.g., from IAS & IPS) because of egos
- An inner conflict between one’s values and professional ethics on the one hand, verses “the pressures” of political bosses and public expectations on the other. These conflicts were cited as affecting issues like postings / transfers / appointments and even normal professional functioning
- Problems arising from a lack of inter-departmental co-operation and teamwork
- Dealing with immature and arrogant bosses
- Feelings of helplessness and powerlessness in the face of the above issues,
- Problems of low morale of staff due to low wages and low opportunities for promotion,
THE ROOTS OF THESE PROBLEMS:
- “Everything that an administrator does originates from his / her mind. The view that s/he holds, and the underlying beliefs and paradigms from which s/he operates affects the administrator’s thoughts, words and actions.
- His/ her effectiveness is a direct function of the kind of consciousness, which underlies the person’s work and life. Just as the wise gardener does not expect his garden to thrive on the basis of fragmented attention to the different parts of his plants – the leaves, roots, bark, or flowers, but rather accomplishes the good of the whole by attending to the roots, we need to focus our attention on the underlying roots of everything.
- Another way of looking at what is happening at the roots is to use the analogy of a bright light (our unbounded awareness) getting slowly covered by soot. As long as the soot is covering the bulb, it will not be able to radiate light. To regain the light, the soot has to be cleaned away. This is exactly what happens to the human experience. The infinite creative and positive power that is naturally present in each and every one of us by virtue of our own consciousness can be rendered ineffective if not tended to properly. The stress of our lifestyle, the pollution of our environment, and the collective stress of our world keeps us from functioning at our full potential.
- Building on the above, we can think of an administrator as having infinite potential, which is temporarily covered up. When it is covered up, the administrator operates in a limited way. When it is open, and functioning freely, the administrator is a creative force for positive change.
- Inner Transformation is simply the process of shedding our illusions, limiting beliefs, negative thoughts and ideas of lack, which block the glory and abundance of the real Self. It is awakening to our Essence, which is always there, but which we are not conscious of.
- ‘Whatever (there is the spirit) of Krishna, the master of yoga (The master of vision), (and) wherever (there is the spirit of) Arjuna, the wielder of the bow (the hero of action), there, I am convinced, wealth, victory, welfare, and unshakable justice (shall prevail)’.
- As Swami Vivekananda has said: “Arise, Awake! Awake from this hypnotism of weakness. None is really weak; the soul is infinite, omnipotent, and omniscient. Stand up, assert yourself, proclaim the God within you. Teach yourselves; teach everyone, his real nature. Call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come and everything that is excellent will come, when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity”.
- The more administrators can expand their understanding and consciousness, through Inner Transformation, and be more present to the here and now, the more they will become instruments of life’s positive forces. They will become a blessing, not only to themselves, but to the millions of our country people who today cry for clean, compassionate and competent governance.
INTERNATIONAL ETHICS & FUNDING:
- International ethics refers to the international interactions, exchanges, relations can bring good to our planet earth and to all life forms and can bring harm by unfriendly, hostile, uncooperative behaviours.
- One country can do good as well as harm to another country and to the international space and relations. Therefore, international ethics offers insights into how nations and other entities treat other nations and its people. Knowledge of international ethics provides us with insights to assess the good and harms, the rights and wrongs, which can occur in the international space.
- In international space, UN has been promoting various principles of friendly and cooperative and peace related humanitarian international actions by all the member countries. This community of nations which stands to respect other nations and their interests, is itself harmed by the dominant nations willing to impose their interests and will on other poorer nations and poorer nations those who are unwilling to cooperate without being treated as equals.
- Various agencies of the UN by their presence and action in various countries, promote certain universal principles that transcend the boundaries of individual nations and the ethical principles pursued by individual nations.
- International ethics are not simply an ethics of some dominant country, it is not simply an ethics of a powerful country having obligations towards others because of the power they have over others. International ethics may be fruitfully defined as that which enables one to participate more actively in shaping and building good international community.
- The vision of international community that every country has and reality of an international community provides us with food for thought on what ought to be the nature and purpose of investing in international relations to build an international community.
TYPES OF INTERNATIONAL FUNDING/AID:
|Bilateral Aid||Assistance given by a country directly to another country is called bilateral aid.|
|Multilateral aid is provided by international organizations like World Bank, United Nations, IMF etc.|
|Under tied aid the recipient country must spend the aid in the donor country or in a group of selected countries.|
|Under project aid the resources donated to the recipient country are ties to a particular project like hospital or school.|
|Military aid is never altruistic or charitable. Military aid generally comes with terms that necessitates that the recipient buys arms or defence contracts with the donor country directly.|
|Voluntary aid||Voluntary aid is usually in the form of charity like Doctors Without Borders.|
PHILOSOPHY OF INTERNATIONAL ETHICS:
REALISM VS INTERNATIONAL ETHICS:
- Realism is a theory of balance of power that maintains the power balance in the world. It simply means, realism is that the most powerful nation on earth will have no one to challenge its power and so there will be peace. This is just a conventional thinking.
- Realism focuses on an international power. It is the power that one nation has to influence another nation directing and shaping its destiny in the direction it desires and protecting its interests at the cost of the other.
- In the international realm, realism holds that the only thing that really matters is power, nothing else matters, morality, ethics, law, and political systems, legal systems, cultural systems, are all irrelevant.
- The argument appears to be that in international sphere human nature is such that no one can be trusted each seeks to dominate the other. Either one country will dominate the other or the other will try to dominate the first, so it is better to be the dominating or dominant country.
- The realist approach to international sphere or international relations is simply to deny any role for common or shared ethics, and create an ethically neutral zone or an ethics free zone which can be filled by the power of one who is dominant. The old saying may be invoked implicitly, that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. When power is the sole basis of international relations and international action, assessments will be coloured by such perceptions.
- Consequences of Realism:
- It will lead to anarchy
- Threat to human dignity and human rights violation may happen
- International conflicts arise which leads to war
- Prefer to go war than to negotiate with dialogues and peace
- Detrimental to our common good and common values
FACTORS THAT PROMOTE INTERNATIONAL ETHICS
- Idealism focuses on “common interests” between nations, and not necessarily at the power or power distance or at power balance. It seeks to build the international sphere on the basis of idealist values that are of common interests to nations participating in any international issues and problems.
- Idealism has the potential to create more lasting hopes of peace and of a growing international sphere where mutual interests and common concerns are addressed more earnestly in the true spirit of pursuing what can be regarded as human purposes of human flourishing.
- Thus, the rise of idealism holds out a promise, even though conflicts remain. In idealism, thus ethics, morality, laws, legal systems, international institutions all have a central place. Thus, idealism contrasts sharply with realism which emphasized only power. The world becomes less dramatic and less dangerous, even though conflicts are far from removed.
- Trade as a common interest – Global supply chain
- International treaties that promote common good like Paris pact
- Constructivism focuses on things like foreign policy, diplomatic initiatives, etc to shape international relations and the international sphere where a country has credible influence.
- In these things the focus is on domestic politics and how it shapes foreign policy with what goals in mind. Every nation and every state create a sense of national identity in various ways and nurture it through historical and cultural celebrations and means.
- Basically, constructivism allows for influence of national identities and its constructions on the international sphere. A flavour or dimension is added through identity politics into international sphere and relations. International sphere can also be a place where various identities can melt into more humane understanding between people in and through the ‘give and take’ of identity respects and exchanges.
- Constructivism gives more power to individual nations through its focus on national identity (rather than national interest), which is politically a more powerful instrument to having less to do with other nations in the international sphere than with what furthers and promotes its own identity. National identities based on religion and culture to be respected.
- Cultural identities may not all be good, but they are to be respected even when critically assessed for their role in shaping international spaces, international sphere and international freedoms.
- Islamic nations appeal to other nations in the name of religion
- Indian cultural identity given prominent importance in countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Seychelles, East Asian nations where connects with Hinduism and Buddhism
Cosmopolitanism shares something in common with idealism, namely, do the right thing. It focuses on how we interact in a global community. It holds that since we interact with other countries, we have a moral duty to treat people of that country morally as moral people. Hence the prescription in cosmopolitanism is to “do the right thing”. Cosmopolitanism thus empowers international ethics and the development of “global values and ethics” fully.
- India got huge support from across the world in elections for a judge at International court of Justice (ICJ)
- India sent HCQ drug to 55 corona hit nations with solidarity
- International ethics guides our choices in the international sphere, but evidently our choices are constrained rather than free. The choices may be constrained by the necessity of pleasing the domestic political support and widening the support for the ruling party or coalition.
- The choices may be constrained by the identity politics. The choices may be constrained by power equations and balances. Many practical constraints may also be present, surely economic constraints and national interest constraint will not be missing when choices have to be made.
- Governments are expected to value the welfare of their citizens more than that of others. A country’s goals must be defended as morally right thing to do, but a country’s goals and interests are several and may be in conflict within themselves without any clarity and more confusion. In that case it is moral to defend a country’s goals becomes meaningless.
- It has no normative force. In the end, ethics and morality considered as constraints or as practical constraints really means that ethics and ethical goals and objectives are not pursued to start with. The objective is something else. In such cases agreeing to such international ethics is to begin with a failure. Ethics must reflect as a central concern to be pursued as a basis for all other international action.
- India withdrawn from RCEP due to economic constraints – Here National interests are clear and joining the group may harm our economy
- Passing of Citizenship amendment act may hamper relations with Islamic countries
- India’s support to Palestine cause due to domestic pressure
- A country declares an attack on enemy country to appease domestic voters
- Rohingyas – Country’s Security versus morality
EQUALITY OF LIFE:
- Every life may be considered as having equal moral weight. In this belief, valid if one holds such beliefs, it is the global interest that count as much as domestic interests.
- No preference is given by governments or by anybody else to the welfare of citizens of that country. Respect for life of the unborn in the international sphere implies that countries do not push their own agendas under the guise of controlling rising populations in their own and other countries.
- Respect for life should guide international ethics, in thought, word and deed.
- Arab conflict – Yemen population dying with starvation
- Israel and Palestine conflict and losing of so many innocent lives
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FRAMEWORK:
- Though context may differ, there are a number of frameworks available for making decisions concerning international actions which have economic, social, and environmental consequences and impacts over future generations.
- There is a gap between any system of global and international values and international ethics on the ground, because of the widening gap in ground realities between nations and international organizations due to levels of difficult conflict.
- The frameworks are evolved to provide a way out of the conflict and they are useful to deal with a number of conflicting ideas on international ethics. The various international declarations and conventions do provide the necessary framework for cooperative and collaborative international action necessary to solve international problems.
- Essentially universal value-based frameworks are most helpful as they provide space for all participants to make their representation and contribution. There are several global institutions concerned with the global economic order, others with the global information order, still others with the global environmental regimes or order, etc.
- Each of them offers frameworks within which its members are expected to make their choices and decisions and those choices are respected and supported by virtue of the frameworks agreed upon.
- Universal declaration of human rights
- UN conference on sustainable development
- Therefore, the study of international ethics makes clear the normative structures, the approaches, and the frameworks available for making decisions and choices ethically in the international and global sphere. These helps resolve some of the major international problems, issues, and provide insight into international conflicts.
- There is much understanding of “international crises”, “shared problems” requiring international cooperation and joint action. Our world is so much better if we have a growing international community of persons. International ethics directs us in the direction of building an international community in which every other community can actively and fruitfully participate and flourish. International regimes may be assessed and evaluated in terms of the international ethics they employ in solving international problems.
- In a way international ethics will continue to evolve and there will likely to be more narratives added to the story of international ethics.
ROLE OF INDIA IN ENCOURAGING ETHICAL DISCOURSE IN INTERNATIONAL RELATION:
Constitution of India – Article 51 (DPSP)
|· Promotion of international peace and security.
· The State shall endeavour to:
1. Promote international peace and security;
2. Maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
3. Foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised peoples with one another; and
4. Encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
|The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, known as the Panchsheel Treaty:
1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
2. Mutual non-aggression.
3. Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
4. Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.
5. Peaceful co-existence.
|NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)
|Three reasons were given by Jawaharlal Nehru for Non-aligned Movement:
1. India is a newly independent country and hence India must focus of socio-economic reconstruction rather than joining a military bock.
2. India is a country which has never shown aggression against any other country.
3. When the world is divided into two military groups which are ready two fight against each other, it is wise to strengthen the peace area (third block) so that conflict can be bridged.
Nehru’s aversion to narrow egoistic and expansionist nationalism had been great.
|The five key principles of Gujral Doctrine were as follows:
1. As the largest nation in South Asia, India must show a big heart. With neighbours viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India must not ask for reciprocity, but should give all that it can in good faith and trust.
2. No South Asian country would allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country
3. No country would interfere in the internal affairs of another.
4. South Asian Countries should respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
5. Countries of South Asia must settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations.
|NUCLEAR DOCTRINE OF INDIA||India has a declared nuclear no-first-use policy and is in the process of developing a nuclear doctrine based on “credible minimum deterrence.”|
|India harbours one of the largest populations of refugee despite not signing UN convention on Refugee.|
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE :
Corporate governance is the system of rules, laws, mechanisms, procedures by which businesses are operated, regulated or controlled. The term Corporate governance includes internal as well as external stakeholders like employees, directors and shareholders of the company and customers, government. It ensures:
- Adequate disclosure and effective decision making to achieve corporate objectives
- Transparency in business transaction
- Statutory and legal compliances
- Protection shareholder interest
- Commitment to values and ethical conduct of business
- Credible and confident investors which leads to more stable and long term capital at low cost.
HISTORY OF THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
- First recorded history of conflict in corporate governance took place in 17th century in Dutch East India company, world’s first public listed company between shareholders. After that corporate governance became more relevant during Great Economic depression in 1930s. Business tycoons invested their savings in stock markets and reckless speculation caused New York stock exchange crashed, that is called “Black Thursday”. After that corporate management gone changes but still 2008 recession once again highlighted lack of values and ethics in Business ethics.
- Coming to Indian scenario, SEBI is the watchdog of Corporate governance. SEBI established after 1990s
- Harshad Mehta’s scam in share markets to regulate corporates. It established a committee in 2000 to regulate corporate governance in the country.
- Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh scam in share markets
- Satyam computers scam
- Serious economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi
NEED OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
- To prevent from Monopolistic practices in the business
- To stop Predatory pricing for example e commerce sites like amazon and flipkart intentionally reducing prices to eliminate competitors
- No Inside trading
- To monitor companies if there is any evasion of taxes and money laundering activities
- To maintain an accountability and transparency in the accounts of corporates
- To audit the accounts of the business corporates from time to time by a third party
- To protect interests of the shareholders of that company
- To protect autonomy of the independent director in the Board of Directors
- Good corporate governance helps to build an environment of trust, transparency and accountability necessary for fostering long-term investment, financial stability and business integrity, thereby supporting stronger growth and more inclusive societies.
- For Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
SOME IMPORTANT PROVISION OF COMPANIES ACT:
- 1/3rd of the board of directors of every listed company should be independent directors.
- The board shall meet at least four times a year with maximum time gap of four months in between two meetings.
- A qualified and independent audit committee with independent directors following the majority.
- Performance valuation of independent directors to be done by entire board excluding the director being evaluated.
- Setting up of nomination and remuneration committee with not less than one-half of its members as independent directors.
- Setting up of stakeholders relationship committee for participation, consultation etc
- Setting up of national company law tribunal and national company law appellate tribunal to fast track company law cases.
- Establishing a vision mechanism for directors and employees to report genuine concern and rewarding employee for integrity (Whistle blowing mechanism).
|Companies Act 2013: Mandatory Provisions||Companies Act 2013: Non-Mandatory Provisions|
|· Board of director
· Audit Committee
· Report on Corporate Governance
· Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR)
|· Remuneration Committee
· Shareholder Rights
· Training of Board Members
· Mechanism for Evaluating Non-Executive Board Members
· Whistle Blower Policy
VARIOUS COMMITTEES ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
- Uday Kotak committee on corporate governance
- Kumar Mangalam Birla committee
- Naresh Chandra committee on corporate governance
STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
|Customers provide cash flow by purchasing goods and services. Ethical corporations treat its customers with respect and dignity. Corporations have a responsibility to provide customers with the highest quality products and services at reasonable cost.|
|Employees produce the goods and services sold. They are the real resource of the company. A responsible business treats every employee with dignity and respects their interests.|
|Shareholders are the real owners of the company as they provide funds for the business. A responsible business acts with care and loyalty towards its shareholders and in good faith for the best interests of the corporation.|
|Suppliers provide vital resources. A responsible business treats its suppliers and subcontractors with fairness, truthfulness and mutual respect including pricing, licensing, and payment in accordance with agreed terms of trade.|
|Competitors provide efficient market. An ethical business engages in fair competition which is a basic requirement for increasing the wealth of nations and ultimately for making possible the just distribution of goods and services.|
|Communities/Societies provide social capital and operational security for the business. As a global corporate citizen, a responsible business actively contributes to good public policy and to human rights in the communities in which it operates.|
PRINCIPLES FOR STRENGTHENING OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
OECD recommended following principles to be followed in corporate governance:
- The corporate governance framework should promote transparent and fair markets, and the efficient allocation of resources. It should be consistent with the rule of law and support effective supervision and enforcement.
- The 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. All shareholders should have the opportunity to obtain effective redress for violation of their rights.
- The corporate governance framework should provide sound incentives throughout the investment chain and provide for stock markets to function in a way that contributes to good corporate governance.
- The corporate governance framework should recognise the rights of stakeholders established by law or through mutual agreements and encourage active co-operation between corporations and stakeholders in creating wealth, jobs, and the sustainability of financially sound enterprises.
- The corporate governance framework should ensure that timely and accurate disclosure is made on all material matters regarding the corporation, including the financial situation, performance, ownership, and governance of the company.
- The corporate governance framework should ensure the strategic guidance of the company, the effective monitoring of management by the board, and the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders.
- Integrity should be a fundamental requirement in choosing corporate officers and board members. Organizations should develop a code of conduct for their directors and executives that promotes ethical and responsible decision making.
- Protection to Corporate whistle-blowers
2nd ARC ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
- Corporate governance is becoming more relevant to the present-day business organisations.
- In India, the Companies Act, 1956 provides the statutory framework which governs the internal processes of a Company. The Company is a juridical person whose internal processes are determined by the Companies Act and its Articles of Association.
- The Companies Act, 1956 contains penal provisions against criminal offences by companies and their directors and officers. Though the offence of corruption or bribery is not specified under the Companies Act, 1956, instances of wrong doing by Companies and their officers are addressed through various rules and regulations.
- Besides, Companies are required to have audit committees of the Board of Management to look into various aspects related to financial propriety.
- ARC felt that corruption in the private sector should be addressed by effective enforcement of ‘Regulations on Corporate Governance’.
- ARC was further of the view that corruption within the private sector should be tackled through the effective enforcement of existing laws and regulations. Bringing the activities of the entire private sector within the fold of the Prevention of Corruption Act is neither desirable nor practical.
2nd ARC Recommendations:
|· The Prevention of Corruption Act should be suitably amended to include in its purview private sector providers of public utility services.
· Non-Governmental agencies, which receive substantial funding, should be covered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Norms should be laid down that any institution or body that has received more than 50% of its annual operating costs, or a sum equal to or greater than Rs 1 crore during any of the preceding 3 years should be deemed to have obtained ‘substantial funding’ for that period and purpose of such funding.
CORRUPTION IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR:
Article 12 of UN Convention against Corruption, to which India is a signatory, however, deals with corruption in the private sector: “Each State Party shall take measures, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, to prevent corruption involving the private sector, enhance accounting and auditing standards in the private sector and, where appropriate, provide effective, proportionate and dissuasive civil, administrative or criminal penalties for failure to comply with such measures”
Measures to achieve these ends may include:
- Promoting cooperation between law enforcement agencies and relevant private entities
- Promoting the development of standards and procedures designed to safeguard the integrity of relevant private entities, including codes of conduct for the correct, honourable and proper performance of the activities of business and all relevant professions and the prevention of conflicts of interest, and for the promotion of the use of good commercial practices among businesses and in the contractual relations of businesses with the State
- Promoting transparency among private entities, including, where appropriate, measures regarding the identity of legal and natural persons involved in the establishment and management of corporate entities
- Preventing the misuse of procedures regulating private entities, including procedures regarding subsidies and licenses granted by public authorities for commercial activities
- Preventing conflicts of interest by imposing restrictions, as appropriate and for a reasonable period of time, on the professional activities of former public officials or on the employment of public officials by the private sector after their resignation or retirement, where such activities or employment relate directly to the functions held or supervised by those public officials during their tenure
- Ensuring that private enterprises, taking into account their structure and size, have sufficient internal auditing controls to assist in preventing and detecting acts of corruption and that the accounts and required financial statements of such private enterprises are subject to appropriate auditing and certification procedures.
ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE OF CSR:
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public that is Profit motive versus Societal welfare. The basic principle behind Corporate social responsibility is based on Adam smith’s Ethical capitalism and Gandhiji’s “Commerce without morality”.
- Bill gates & Melinda foundation
- TATA trusts
- The importance of inclusive growth is widely recognized as an essential part of India’s quest for development. It reiterates our firm commitment to include those sections of the society in the growth process, which had hitherto remained excluded from the mainstream of development.
- In line with this national endeavor, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was conceived as an instrument for integrating social, environmental and human development concerns in the entire value chain of corporate business.
- Ministry of Corporate Affairs had issued ‘Voluntary Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility, 2009’ as a first step towards mainstreaming the concept of Business Responsibilities. This was further refined subsequently, as ‘National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011’, is essentially a set of nine principles that offer Indian businesses an understanding and approach to inculcate responsible business conduct.
|1. Conduct and govern themselves with ethics, transparency and accountability.
2. Provide goods and services that are safe and that contribute to sustainability throughout their life cycle.
3. Promote the well-being of all employees.
4. Respect the interests of, and be responsive towards all stakeholders, especially those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized.
5. Respect and promote human rights.
6. Protect and make efforts to restore the environment.
7. When engaged in influencing public and regulatory policy, they should do so in a responsible manner
8. Support inclusive growth
9. Engage with and provide value to their customers and consumers in a responsible manner.
Based on the above nine principles CSR become legalised under companies act 2013. These values focus on encouraging business action on national development priorities, including community development initiatives and strategic CSR based on the shared value concept.
ETHICAL DILEMMA IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
- Revenues Vs Safety – Starting the operation is important for revenue generation and cutting the loss. But balancing this with workers safety is challenging.
- Layoff Vs Social responsibility – Due to reduced operations companies are laying off many employees. However, entire society is in stress. Corporates must share the burden with their employees in the difficult times. This will give expression to distributive justice concept – corporates draw benefit from the society, hence must also share burden of the society.
- Investment and risk taking operations Vs cutting down on capital allocation – corporates must help revive the economy by investing more during the present economic slowdown.
- Responsibility towards environment cannot be compromised to increase profitability. All environmental guidelines must be abided by.
Previous Year Questions:
|Strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance.||There is a heavy ethical responsibility on the public servants because they occupy positions of power, handle huge amounts of public funds, and their decisions have wide-ranging impact on society and environment. What steps have you taken to improve your ethical competence to handle such responsibility?||2014|
|Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
|Some recent developments such as introduction of RTI Act, media and judicial activism, etc., are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. However, it is also being observed that at times the mechanisms are misused. Another negative effect is that the officers are now afraid to take prompt decisions. Analyze this situation in detail and suggest how this dichotomy can be resolved. Suggest how these negative impacts can be minimized.||2015|
|Accountability and ethical governance||What do you understand by the terms ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’?||2016|
|Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
|Max Weber said that it is not wise to apply to public administration the sort of moral and ethical norms we apply to matters of personal conscience. It is important to realise that the State bureaucracy might possess its own independent bureaucratic morality. Critically analyse this.||2016|
|Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and
|Increased national wealth did not result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some “enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost of the majority.” Justify.||2017
|Corporate governance||Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse.||2017
|Ethical issues in international relations and funding||Strength, peace and security are considered to be the pillars of international relations. Elucidate.||2017|
|Ethical issues in international relations and funding
|At the international level, the bilateral relations between most nations are governed on the policy of promoting one’s own national interest without any regard for the interest of other nations. This leads to conflicts and tensions between the nations. How can ethical considerations help resolve such tensions? Discuss with specific examples.||2017|
|Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions||Suppose the Government of India is thinking of constructing a dam in a mountain valley bond by forests and inhabited by ethnic communities. What rational policy should it resort to in dealing with unforeseen contingencies.||2018
|Laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance||Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration||2018|
|Strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance.||“In doing a good thing, everything is permitted which is not prohibited expressly or by clear implication”. Examine the statement with suitable examples in the context of a public servant discharging his/her duties.||2018
|Strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance.
|What does this quotations mean to you in the present context: “The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more evil than good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgement of the preponderance between them is continually demanded. ” Abraham Lincoln. (150 words).||2018