Solved Ethics Papers

Q9. Merit and Demerit of Corruption

Q9. You are an honest and a responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:
(a) There is a general perception that adhering to ethical conduct one may face difficulties to oneself and cause problems for the family, whereas unfair practices may help to reach the career goals.
(b) When the number of people adopting unfair means is large, a small minority having a penchant towards ethical means makes no difference.
(c) Sticking to ethical means is detrimental to larger developmental goals.
(d) While one may not involve oneself in large unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gifts makes the system more efficient.
Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits. (250 words, 20)
 
Answer
(a) Corruption may give you money, but it can’t give you respect, honour and peace of mind. Corrupt people often fail to reach their career goals when they are charged for corruption. Every year, thousands of government officers are arrested under Prevention of Corruption Act and they lose social prestige and their ill-gotten money.
 
(b) The number of corrupt people in government is large and often the honest people have to face challenges in government. However, if a large number of people are doing wrong things, it can’t become right. The value of honesty is more when there is more corruption. All major scandals of the country were exposed by a few honest people which caused the arrest of top officers and politicians.
 
(c) Sometimes corruption can make people more efficient and unethical means can help a person prosper. However, corruption can’t take an individual or a country too far. Corruption may produce short time results, but only honesty survives the test of time. All developed countries are also the most honest and all corrupt countries are also poor.
 
(d) Small corruption is often ignored in the government and accepting gifts is not considered corruption. Corrupt people often work harder due to the lure of illegal money. However, corruption is a criminal offence and punishment is the same irrespective of the amount involved. Corruption always starts small before it becomes big and leads to scams. Even small gifts or favours alter the attitude of officers. They develop bias and don’t treat those fairly who don’t offer them gifts or favours. Corruption thus spoils the system rather than making it efficient. (268 words)
 
Q9. Merit and Demerit of Corruption
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