UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (12-09-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

UPSC Mains Answer Writing - GS 4 (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)


Questions

  1. A nation’s rise is assured by values of probity, integrity and accountability of its citizens, public servants and business people. In this context, how the following promotes such ethical culture: a. Civic sense, b. Social influence and c. Constitution  10
  2. Consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. Do you agree?        10

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Model Solutions

Q1. A nation’s rise is assured by values of probity, integrity and accountability of its citizens, public servants and business people. In this context, how the following promotes such ethical culture: a. Civic sense, b. Social influence and c. Constitution 10

Model Structure
Introduction

  • State is as good as its dwellers—J S Mill. Ethics Is a moral compass of a community which needs to be adhered to reach the destination of collective good.

Main Body

  • Civic sense ensures that people pay taxes, protect the environment and are responsible to the larger community. High civic sense in the citizens holds the state and it’s agencies accountable to the public. When people follow the civic norms like maintaining public hygiene, respect law of land, discuss and debate laws then national well-being is ensured.
  • Societies having strong values reinforce those strong values by social influence. As social influence compels one to engage in socially acceptable behaviour, business leaders can leverage their high social influence to work towards: effective CSR spending, giving back to the community, upskilling of the workforce, sponsoring budding sportspersons and contributing to “sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
  • The Constitution acts as a guide for people in all walks of life, be it private citizens, businesspersons or public servants. The Constitution acts as a guide to promote respect and equality of all. It helps in promoting a sense of fraternity, and justice among all.
  • However, when the society itself promotes inadequate behaviour (frequent mob lynchings) or state misusing laws to exercise arbitrary power, and people lacking basic public morality and behaving as mob, then the nation will decay, losing its secular, democratic and just nature.
  • When the whole society goes against morals it creates havoc as in Hitlers Germany or like bloody partition days in Punjab. Here, the Constitution plays a major role to guide the three arms of government: ethical executive, active judiciary and noble legislature can reform all evils and underpin an effective ethical culture like Gandhi's Ram Rajya.
    Current Examples
  • Tata Free COVID Checkups
  • Government free vaccine drive, etc.

Q2. Consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. Do you agree? 10

Model Structure
Introduction

  • Ethics deals with moral principles that help us choose between right and wrong. The value of an action can be judged by two things: the outcome of the action and the intent of the action.

Main Body

  • Jeremy Bentham/Utilitarianism: Humans are under only two masters - pleasure and pain, actions should be judged on the basis of which of these two is produced by it. If pleasure, the action is right and wrong if it’s pain. Eg. bursting crackers creates pollution for all so it’s wrong. In fact at social level, actions that promote greatest happiness for greatest number is considered correct
    • eg. Internet shutdown affects few internet users but prevents any violence in a disturbed area benefiting the whole society.
  • Immanuel Kant/Categorical morality. Just because something produces good consequences doesn’t mean it’s right. Because what is good for many can be bad for few, the dignity of even one human should be considered because human beings are not means to an end but ends in themselves. Kant says that following the law because of fear of getting arrested is not the same thing as following the law out of agreement. He says that ends alone need not be good, even means should be good (Teleology), for alleviating human poverty we shouldn’t create industry in forest areas by killing numerous wildlife. Ends cannot justify means always.
  • So an action should be right in its intent, that even if it can produce good results it cannot be done if it is against the laws, norms and conventions. Ex: mob lynching of heinous criminals.
  • Even if something will produce pain it should be done to uphold social values ex: joining the army to serve the nation at cost of life.

Conclusion

  • But Situation ethics (contextual ethics) tells, in adversity we cannot uphold norms meant for ordinary times. eg. faster clinical approvals for COVID vaccine.
  • Values should be based on what is right in itself not based on what makes us happy. It is not the length of life, but it’s worth that matters—Ambedkar.

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