Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration [IAS (Admin.) IAS Mains GS Paper 4 (Ethics)]: Questions 42 - 42 of 59

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Question 42

Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration

Appeared in Year: 2019

Describe in Detail


You are a young IAS officer posted as SDM of a flood prone sub-division. There is an old dam in your area which protects about 2 dozen villages from floods. Though the dam is weak, it is expected to hold up as repair works are being carried upon by the villagers. One day you receive a call that the villagers in the area had abandoned repairs and were running away from the work site because the dam was about to collapse as the force of water was building up. You quickly reach the site and see the fear and panic induced villagers. Systematized evacuation will take 2 days and if the dam collapses now, there will be great loss of life and property. You noticed several geo-bags (synthetic bags which are used to protect hydraulic structures and river banks from severe erosion) lying at a construction site near the dam which could hold the dam for some time. You realized that all you needed now was manpower to place these bags on the dam in such a way as to prevent water from entering the village. But the people are fear stricken and are preparing to flee. Based on above information, answer the following questions:

(a) Elaborate on the qualities of a civil servant that are essential in such circumstances.

(b) What options do you have to handle this situation? Evaluate each of them with their merits and demerits.


Discuss various qualities of a good civil servant that comes into play in such situations.

Evaluate the various options that are available to the SDM.

Conclude by suggesting the course of action that the SDM should take.


The situation is a tough test for the SDM. The dam must hold up for some time so that systematized evacuations can be done. For this, geo-bags can help. But the villagers are so panicked that they are unwilling to take up the repair works.

Essential Qualities

  • Emotional Intelligence – high degree of emotional intelligence is very necessary to successf

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