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Mitras Ethics Case Study

The prosecution of an extraordinarily honest civil servant like H.C. Gupta on some alleged coal block irregularities has shocked the civil service. Questions are being raised on the ability of our institutions to develop an honest civil service, when people like Gupta are being left with no option but to go to jail because they have no money to defend themselves. This incident has raised several issues.

There is a strong belief amongst civil servants that if you are honest, then no one can harm you. Unfortunately, this case has demolished this belief. Many civil servants, when they join the service, have a strong value system. The national academy teaches that if you are honest, you can take on any challenge. During the course of training in the districts, these values are further strengthened. Peers and colleagues strongly disapprove of any deviant behaviour. Since there are many decisions which civil servants takes during their long careers (of nearly four decades), there is this basic principle which guides all situations: be upright and honest and make the best decision in the interest of the people. In many cases there may be a bonafide mistake. But as long there is no illegal benefit received from them, the officers are not guilty. This principle is under serious attack today and is in the process of getting demolished. This situation, if not remedied, signals the end of our quest for a corruption free system of governance.

Explain how corruption defeats the very concept of good governance and slowly eats away the good in the society.

20 marks / 250 words.


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