Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme
Subject: General Studies (Paper 4 - Ethics, Integrity, and
Topic: Case Studies
What is a Case Study? Explain the Case Method as a Learning Tool.
A case study isa description of an actual administrative
situation involving a decision to be made or a problem to be solved. It can a
real situation that actually happened just as described, or portions have been
disguised for reasons of privacy. Most case studies are written in such a way
that the reader takes the place of the manager whose responsibility is to make
decisions to help solve the problem. In almost all case studies, a decision must
be made, although that decision might be to leave the situation as it is and do
The Case Method as a Learning Tool : The case method of
analysis is a learning tool in which students and Instructors participate in
direct discussion of case studies, as opposed to the lecture method, where the
Instructor speaks and students listen and take notes. In the case method,
students teach themselves, with the Instructor being an active guide, rather
than just a talking head delivering content. The focus is on students learning
through their joint, co-operative effort.
Assigned cases are first prepared by students, and this
preparation forms the basis for class discussion under the direction of the
Instructor. Students learn, often unconsciously, how to evaluate a problem, how
to make decisions, and how to orally argue a point of view. Using this method,
they also learn how to think in terms of the problems faced by an administrator.
In courses that use the case method extensively, a significant part of the
student’s evaluation may rest with classroom participation in case discussions,
with another substantial portion resting on written case analyses. For these
reasons, using the case method tends to be very intensive for both students and
What’s Ailing Public Services?
A recent Centre for Media Studies (CMS) study shows that a
majority of citizens are not satisued with the delivery of public services. In
seven out of the 11 departments covered the study, less than one-third of the
citizens are satisffed with the services delivered. In fact, in most need-based
services such as the police, judiciary and municipalities, (which enjoy a
greater discretion and power), not even 20 per cent of the households are
satisfied with their services. Even in essential services such as the PDS,
hospitals, and electricity and water supplies, a mere 30-40 per cent of the
households are happy with the services....
The study brings out that there are hardly any effective
complaint redressal systems in place in most departments. In most cases,
citizens are not even aware that such systems exist and departments make no
effort to educate them. Even those who are aware have little confidence in them.
Not surprisingly, theresult is a sense of helplessness. The behavior of
cutting-edge level employees is another area of concern. Most employees of the
public services are not turned into the changing expectations of the citizens.
There are a number of possible initiatives at the department level, such as
strategic outsourcing of services, use of technology (like e-seva in Andhra
Pradesh), better commercial practices, performance-linked incentive to staff,
periodic tracking of user satisfaction and involving resident welfare
associations. These initiatives ~ can go a long way in improving the quality of
Also, the public service provider needs to be made more
accountable to the citizens through user committees.This experiment has been
demonstrated to hold potential in the case of Rogi Kalyan Samitis in Madhya
Also, it is high time that we directly linked outlays to
outcomes. We can draw valuable lessons from the British experiment of having
public service agreements (PSAs) - with local governments under which objective
and measurable targets for various services are fixed together with an
evaluation mechanism. The funds are allocated to local governments on the basis
of their achievement on PSAs.
Need for Ethical Code
Senator Fulbright identified a problem of government
employees who committed ethical lapses not amounting to criminal conduct. He
asked-What should be done about men who do not directly and blatantly sell the
favors of their offices for money and so place themselves within the penalties
of the law? How do we deal with those who, under the guise of friendship, accept
favors, which offend the spirit of the law but do not violate its letter?
He further elaborated- One of the most disturbing aspects
ofJhi’s problem of moral conduct is the revelation that among so many
influential people, morality lias become identical with legality. We are
certainly in a tragic plight if the accepted standard by which we measure the
integrity of a man in public life is that he keep within the letter of the law.