Question: You are an honest and responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:
(a) There is a general perception that adhering to ethical conduct one may face difficulties to oneself and cause problems for the family, whereas unfair practices may help to reach the career goals.
(b) When the number of people adopting unfair means is large, a small minority having a penchant towards ethical means makes no difference.
(c) Sticking to ethical means is detrimental to the larger developmental goals
(d) While one may not involve oneself in large unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gifts makes the system more efficient.
Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits.
Answer: Honesty and integrity are major requirements for a public official. These virtues keep the officials intact during their duty and ensure that public interests are served.
Explanation of above mentioned scenarios
- The perception that indulging in malpractices will allow you to go places and be successful whereas playing by rules will be problematic for both the career and family is misplaced. People who have been honest have indeed been successful and have lead a dignified life without guilt or fear.
Merit: There is no merit in this thinking as this will only promote corruption and mismanagement.
Demerit: An official if lead to believe that corruption is the best way forward, then how can we think of running the country in a honest and sincere way? Future of the country will be dark and will pave way for downfall.
- If we think that practicing unfair means is right just because majority of people practice it, then it calls for a greater assessment of candidates. People who go by majority opinion without any concern for right and wrong are more dangerous than actual perpetuators.
Merit: On a short term, this will keep you in good books of higher officials as u follow their orders without questioning.
Demerit: It will keep the system plagued with problems as there is no individual is who intends to do things differently.
- Sticking to ethical ways will get you large number of problems but it is necessary for greater good. Doing work in a ethical and honest way will show the results over a period of time. Your measures will inspire a generation of ethical individuals.
Merit: It will invoke self confidence and belief in your abilities. Make you determined to succeed because you have been through hard times.
Demerits: you may face opposition from even your closed ones as returns from honest work is next to nil.
- In line of duty accepting gifts or favours is corruption eventhough you may not have demanded it yourself. This will pave the way for more organized way of bribing.
Merits: It may sometimes make the work more faster but considering the ethics of the job, accepting any large or small gifts is illegal and punishable.
Demerits: It will create obligations in the mind of accepting official. I will be forced to do things that I don’t want to do.
Thus, as a honest official, it becomes necessary that I follow a ethical and honest way of doing my duty and serve the society to the fullest.