Ethics, Integrity and
Aptitude 2013: Paper Analysis and Solution Section B (Part 2 of 3)
In the Previous article, we discussed
First Two questions of the Section B of the Ethics Paper 2013. Now, let us
take the next two Questions:
Question 11- So far as child labor norms for
hazardous industries like firecrackers industry are concerned, International
Labour Organization (ILO) has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India,
however, this age is 14 years.
The units in
industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and
non-registered entities. One typical unit is household based work Though the
law is clear on the use of child labour employment norms in
registered/non-registered units, it does not include household based works.
Household based work means children working under the supervision of their
parents/relative. To evade child labor norms, several units project
themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside.
Needless to say that employing children saves the costs for these units
leading to higher profits to the owner.
On your visit to one
of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has
about 10-15 children below 14 years of age. The owner tells you that in his
household-based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that
several children smirk, when the owner tells you this. On deeper enquiry,
you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to
satisfactorily establish their relationship with each other.
- bring out and discuss the
ethical issues involved in the above case.
- What would be your reaction
after your above visit? (300 words) 25 marks
This is a different type of
situation based questions, as it does not provide the candidate with the
options. Secondly, it does not specify whether you are an administrative
officer, or a common person. Thus, you should write it assuming that you are a
Note that it is a 25 marks questions, and
the word limit is 300 words, for both the parts. However, the word limit is only
indicative, and not mandatory.
This case involves very
crucial issues relating to human and child rights. First, there is an employment
of the small children in hazardous factories, putting their lives under threat.
This is a clear violation of their child rights. Secondly, since it is highly
probable that the children working in those units are not the relatives of the
owner, it might be possible that those children have been forcefully brought to
the production centre. Thus, this involves a case of child trafficking, which is
a criminal offense under the Indian Constitution.
Thirdly, it is also highly probable that
the children are being kept forcefully under inhuman conditions, while depriving
them of the opportunity of education and development.
Such confinement of the
minor children is highly unethical and uncalled for. It is a clear case of
violation of the child rights as well the fundamental rights, enshrined under
our constitution. By making the children work under hazardous conditions, the
owner of the production unit is putting their lives in jeopardy, while
infringing every opportunity of self-development.
My reaction, as a common
man, would be to inform the owner of the unit about the provisions of the
Constitution regarding the employment of children under hazardous conditions.
Next, I would try to know if the children really are his relatives. On the basis
of my strong suspicion, I would report the matter to the local police station,
and request them to make an inquiry in the matter. Also, it would be necessary
to report the matter to the local NGOs and the Child Rights Commission, so that
an adequate enquiry might be initiated.
As a long-term measure, I
would file a PIL in the Supreme Court regarding the confinement of the minor
children in hazardous production units, in the guise of relative. Also, I would
write to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
regarding the gross violation of child rights in the concerned region.
Also, I would also try to make an
investigation about the number of such children employed in the domestic units
in that area.
Question 12- You are heading a leading
technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an
interview panel shortly under your chairmanship for selection of the post of
professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the
Personal Secretary (PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your
intervention in favor of the selection of a close relative of the
functionary for this post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the
long pending and urgent proposal of our institute for grant of funds for
modernization, which are awaiting the functionary's approval. He assures you
that he would get these proposals cleared.
- What are the options available
- Evaluate each of these options
and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons. (250 words)
This kind of situation
comes very often before an administrative officer. It should be remembered in
such situations that one must not bow down before these kinds of pressures. One
must tackle the situation tactfully, while not compromising with one's
Since the Personal
Secretary (PS) is asking for an undue favor, it would be highly unethical to
succumb to the pressure and make an unethical decision. Thus, following are the
possible course of action, that might be legitimate:
- Outrightly reject the offer of the PS,
and prepare to face the consequences.
- Negotiate with the PS trying to make
him understand that this would be unethical and unprofessional.
- Informing to the PS that I would talk
to the interview board in this regard, and do as per their suggestion.
- Contact the superior authority of the
PS, regarding the PS's action, and ask for their help.
- Lodge a complaint with the
although it is would be
unethical to comply with the PS directions, but since the stake of the institute
depends on the grant of the aid, an outright attitude might bring negative
consequences for the institute. Thus, it might not be rational to reject his
An attempt should be made
to make the PS understand that his course of action is ethical unjust and
unprofessional. However, this course might not address the concern if the PS did
not change his mind. Trying to communicate the interview board about the PS's
proposal is a justifiable idea, as the interview board takes the decision
together. However, such communication should make it clear that any demand of
such unjust favor would not be answered. Contacting the interview board would
also help the chairman to know about the different opinion in the interview
panel, and if the PS had tried persuade any other member of the board. However,
this option might not address the concern of the institute's grants.
Lodging a complaint with
the anti-corruption cell might not be practical as there would be no evidence to
support the allegations and the case would ultimately be discarded without any
disciplinary action. This might also offend the PS and he may create
complications in approving the grants.
The most practical solution to this problem
could be, to reject the demand of the PS tactfully, and contacting the superior
authority of the PS, regarding the PS's action and the unjust basis of it.
In any case, there shall be
no submission to the unjust demand of favor. Even if the PS attempts to delay
the grants approval without any reason, the option of RTI might be resorted to
know the reasons for disapproval. On further problems, the institute may lodge a
compliant with the appropriate authority.
The Next article of the ETHICS SERIES
would discuss the last two questions of the Section B of the Ethics, Integrity
and Aptitude Paper 2013.
In the Meanwhile, please feel free to
contact us for any confusion and query.
We wish the aspirants All the BEST!!