Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration [IAS (Admin.) IAS Mains GS Paper 4 (Ethics)]: Questions 40 - 41 of 59

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Question 40

Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration

Appeared in Year: 2014

Describe in Detail


What does ‘accountability’ mean in the context of public service? What measures can be adopted to ensure individual and collective accountability of public servants?


Accountability is one of the cornerstones of good governance. It ensures actions and decisions taken by public officials are subject to oversight so as to guarantee that government initiatives meet their stated objectives and respond to the needs of the community they are meant to be benefiting, thereby contributing to better governance and poverty

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Question 41

Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration

Appeared in Year: 2019

Describe in Detail


You are a doctoral student at a large university in the final months of your research on a potentially revolutionary technology. Meanwhile, you have also applied for post-doctoral research cum teaching positions at various universities. To your pleasant surprise, you get an interview call from your undergraduate alma mater, a prestigious research institution in a city where you would love to live.

In the interview, the department chair asks for detailed information about your research.

Your group is working on a patent application and its members have agreed not to provide details until a paper currently being prepared is submitted for publication. You explain the situation and tell them that you would be glad to send them an early preprint when it is available.

But the Chair pushes harder for this information, remarking that the Department seeks team players, willing to share information with department colleagues. She also appeals to your undergraduate connection with the institution.

(a) Enumerate the ethical issues involved in the case in light of your current responsibilities vis-a-vis future expectations.

(b) Discuss the possible motivations of the department chair in pressing you for detailed information.

(c) What stand will you take in such a situation? Give reasonable justification for your arguments.


Introduce the case briefly by describing the ethical dilemma on the part of the doctoral student.

Highlight the ethical issues involved from the perspective of the doctoral student.

Then discuss the possible motives of the Chair. These should cover both positive and negative sides.

Conclude by taking a firm stand on the side of integrity while avoidin

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