UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing - 14 November (GS 4)


Q1. You are working as an executive in a nationalised bank for several years. One day one of your close colleagues tells you that her father is suffering from heart disease and needs surgery immediately to survive. She also tells you she has no insurance and the operation will cost about 10 lakh. You are also aware of the fact that her husband is no more and that she is from a lower-middle-class family. You are empathetic about her situation. However, apart from expressing your sympathy, you do not have the resources to fund her. A few weeks later, you ask her about the well-being of her father and she informs you about his successful surgery and that he is recovering. She then confides in you that the bank manager was kind enough to facilitate the release of 10 lakh from a dormant account of someone to pay for the operation with a promise that it should be confidential and be repaid at the earliest. She has already started paying it back and will continue to do so until it is all returned. 

(a) What are the ethical issues involved? 

(b) Evaluate the behaviour of the bank manager from an ethical point of view.

(c) How would you react to the situation? (20)

Model Solutions

Model Structure

  • Classical case of Means vs Ends i.e Deontology vs Utilitarianism

Main Body
You can write stakeholder

(a) What are the ethical issues involved?

  • Transparency and accountability compromised as bank manager released the amount from a depositor's account
  • Misuse of authority
  • Personal relationships over professional ethics
  • Favouritism and breach of fairness principle
  • Misconduct by colleague to fulfil personal responsibilities
  • Unethical means to achieve a compassionate end
  • Inability of State/Public hospitals to provide accessible and affordable healthcare

(b) Evaluate the behaviour of the bank manager from an ethical point of view.

  • Some Ethical values upheld by manager
    • Compassionate behaviour towards employees
    • Builds good and approachable image
    • Moral duty of saving a human life (Colleague’ father)
    • End is justified
    • Lower risk to the organisation as dormant account
  • Breach of ethical principles
    • Overlooked rules and regulations
    • Breach of objectivity
    • Violation of integrity and honesty
    • Misuse of authority
    • It can have long term consequences and others might expect similar favour

(c) How would you react to the situation?

  • Confront friend and convey about her misconduct and breach of professional code.
  • While empathising with her situation I will encourage her to repay the amount as soon as possible.
  • I will approach the bank manager and discuss the ethical issues of his/her behaviour. I will express my concerns and persuade him/her of following objective methods.
  • I will discuss with the manager and appropriate authorities about the set up of an alternate mechanism to help the employees in emergency situations.


  • Professional integrity, objectivity and rules should be followed to promote trust building of people in public institutions. Therefore employees and management should uphold the ethical principles.
  • If one takes care of the means the end will take care of itself- Gandhi Ji
  • Conclude by writing balance between Means and ends- both should be just.

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