Mains Daily Question
March 8, 2021

  1. You are the district magistrate of a district affected by massive floods unprecedented in the last few decades. Your district administration is putting all the efforts; however, the resources are falling short. You appeal to people and civil society from within and outside the state to offer help in cash and kind and give their time to help the district administration in rehabilitation. You get an excellent response. However, during the activities, you find that few groups have deep pockets, funded by notorious elements, through which they are providing ration, essentials, and medical facilities. You also came to know from reliable sources that these groups intend to get political favors later in the form of votes and political patronage from the people of the district. If they succeeded, they might create problems in the district as many liquor mafias, sand mafia, land mafia, etc., have put in their money to help people post floods. You are in no position to prove their funding sources; instead need the resources.

 

(a) Bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.

(b) What course of action would you take, keeping in mind the unprecedented situation?

Model Answer

The given case presents a situation in front of District Magistrate where she needs funds to help people affected by the unprecedented floods. But problem is about illegal sources of funds and future quid-pro-qua from doner’s to get political advantage by helping flood affected people.

(a)Ethical issues in the case are:

  • DM needs resources, funds and time to help people during floods but her observations suggests that doner’s have money from illegal sources i.e liquor mafia, sand mafia etc.

  • Taking help from them may compromise position of DM as they may seek favours in future but on contrary not-taking help will also compromise ability of DM to help people in need. Hence Professionalism of not taking illegal funds is coming at crossroad with Compassion to help needy.

  • Lack of objectivity in proving funding sources of the donors.

(b)My course of action would be,

  • Firstly, I will create central fund for a district where all donations will be accepted online and disbursement of funds will be done by District Committee consisting of Me, SP of district, Well known social workers and distinguished citizens of the district. It will help to rule out any foreign elements like sand mafia, land mafia etc influencing decisions.

  • Secondly, I will create central team to coordinate relief work and all volunteers will be allocated based on demand from areas. I will try to attract college youth who are not affiliated to any mafias to act as volunteers. It will reduce say of these Mafia’s in relief work.

  • Thirdly, I will use funds available in District Disaster Management Fund and other state and central funds. When these funds are exhausted then only, I will allow use of special central fund created earlier. I will make all the donations public through District Collectorate website and will also send the receipts of donations to State Income Tax Department to inquire into sources of the funds. This will ensure that all funding sources will be thoroughly investigated and illegal funding sources will be punished accordingly.

  • Fourthly, I will make sure no advertisement of any Mafia’s will be done during relief work and I, myself will brief to district citizens about all relief works and steps taken daily with evening report on local media channels. It will help in reducing scoring of political brownie points by the mafias.

Above action will be according to Gandhian philosophy i.e Means should be as pure as the ends. Illegal funding sources will be analysed by Income Tax department, hence only good money will be used for public welfare. As very high response to appeal of donation, I think money from all genuine income sources will be enough to carry out relief work and if needed extra money can be raised from Municipal bonds, levying user change and other state-level grants.

Subjects : Ethics
Only Students can submit Answer.
Answers