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Introduction to the Course

Indian & Western Perspectives

The importance of studying Ethics, basic
Ethical concepts: Moral and non-moral
actions, Right and wrong, good and bad,
moral consciousness, moral integrity,
fairness, duty, obligation, responsibility.
Related concepts morals, values and ethics.
Ethical code of conduct: Personal,
professional and social

The Concept of a Profession

Ethics & Professions
Justification for ethics in profession
The structure of Professional Ethics
and the nature of ethical codes.

Commitments of a Professional

to reason

to the
point of view

Important Values
to be Followed by Professionals


Respect for




Theoretical Foundation
Kinds of Ethical Thinking: Descriptive,
Normative and Meta-ethics. Ethical
Theories: hedonism, egoism, Altruism,
Deontology, utilitarianism, and virtue
Indian Perspective: Non-violence, concept
of detached action

Technology and Ethics

The nature of engineering ethics.
Commitment to safety, safety and
acceptable risk, personal and public
risk, technological disasters.
Engineering Ethics as Preventive
Ethics. On becoming a responsible
engineer, Virtues, Honesty, Integrity,
Responsibility, and Confidentiality.

Technology and Ethics

Issues in Biotechnology, Corporate
world, computers and internet,
practice of science and technology,
research etc.
Issues of safety, privacy, human
freedom, human rights etc.
Moral codes and the law.

Concerns in Other Professions

Other professions like health care, law,
sports, academics, etc.
Some common concerns.

Morality, Ethics and Professional Ethics

Morality: Set of beliefs
that society,
individuals or
subgroups of society
hold about good and
bad, right and wrong,
justice and injustice,
fairness and

Ethics: Logical
examination, critique
and study of morality

Ethics Scandals
Corruption Crisis
The Context that makes Professional
Ethics Relevant

Ethics Scandals & Corruption Crisis

Ethics scandals have proliferated in the
worlds of Government, business, medicine
and on the site of many other professions,
even the clergy. (Thompson. p.1)

Corruption Crisis in Politics

Rajiv Gandhi's
government on
the Bofors issue.
The 155mm Bofors,
fires away at posts
held by the enemy
situated across the
mountains in the
Mukshoh Valley. A
Jawan closes his ears.

Corruption Crisis in Politics

P.V. Narasimha Rao: in
1997, the CBI charge
sheeted him and 11 others of
bribery and corruption. In
September 2000, the special
court found him guilty of
bribing four JMM MPs with
Rs 50 lakh each for voting in
favour of his government in
July 1993.

Corruption Crisis in Politics

P.V. Narasimha Rao: in
1997, the CBI charge
sheeted him and 11 others of
bribery and corruption. In
September 2000, the special
court found him guilty of
bribing four JMM MPs with
Rs 50 lakh each for voting in
favour of his government in
July 1993.



Corruption Crisis in Politics

The BJP President, Mr Bangaru Laxman,
resigned from the post following the
exposure of his alleged involvement in a
defense deal by Tehelka.
Defence Minister George Fernandes offered
to resign from the Cabinet. However, Mr
Fernandes was persuaded by his Cabinet
colleagues not to take any hasty decision.

Environment Minister Judeo was caught on

tape allegedly taking a bribe

Corruption Crisis in Politics

The Army too covered itself in disgrace as a
slew of generals were caught grubbing for
Among those nailed are Lieut-Gen Manjit
Singh Ahluwalia, Director-General,
Ordnance Supply; Major-General P.S.K.
Choudhary of Weapon and Equipment; and
Maj Gen Murgai, Director, Quality
Assurance, who has now retired.

Corruption Crisis in Politics

Other senior officers who took bribes include Brig
Iqbal Singh, Prospective Procurement Officer,
through whom all import purchases pass.
Brg Anil Sehgal, Deputy Director in the DGOS,
when first contacted.
Additional Secretary L.M. Mehta, IAS, the
number two bureaucrat in the Defence Ministry.
The Tehelka website goes on to give details of a
total of 27 people to whom it allegedly paid bribes.
The amount of gratification ranges from Rs 5,000
to Rs 2 lakh and gold ornaments.

Central Vigilance Commission:

Performance during November, 2007
Commission disposed 388 cases referred to
it for advice.
Recoveries to the tune of Rs. 1.96 crores
were effected after Commission
Conducted technical examination of some

Performance upto November 2007


Nature of Advice

No. of cases

Prosecution advised


Prosecution sanctioned


Major penalty proceedings advised


Major penalty advised after inquiry


Major penalty imposed


Initiation of minor penalty proceedings


Imposition of minor penalty advised


Minor penalty imposed





Vigilance Clearance granted



No. of Intensive examination by CTE organ



Recoveries on account of CTEs investigations

28.70 Cr.

Global Corruption Rankings

A survey of 133 nations conducted by Transparency
International (an anti-graft watchdog), India stood
83rd in the world, alongside Malawi and Romania.
India recorded a score of 2.8 out of 10.
Last year, India's score was 2.7 out of 10, but it
stood 71st in a list of 102 nations, unlike 83 this
Finland with a score of 9.7 has been ranked first,
making it the least corrupt nation on earth.

Global Corruption Rankings

A score of 10 means a country is seen as being
highly clean', and a score of zero means highly
'Bangladesh had the dubious distinction of being
the world's most corrupt nation with a score of
Asia as a whole fared badly in the report on
corruption, with many nations in the region being
counted amongst the worst in the world for graft
among public officials and politicians.

Unethical Practices in Corporations

Enron Fraud in Florida


Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001. It

was undone by accounting fraud and off-thebalance-sheet transactions. Many players were
involved in fraud at multiple levels. Investigations
have implicated several former high level
executives. Enron's accounting firm, Arthur
Anderson, LLP, has already been convicted of
obstruction of justice because the firm allegedly
destroyed documents pertinent to the Enron case.

Unethical Practices in Corporations

Apologists for corporate wrongdoers have
suggested that they were only playing by the rules
defined by competitive financial markets and
capitalist ideology.
The public scandals of Enron, WorldCom and
others, with their extreme examples of private
greed and deception, have caused us to question
our assumptions about what values and practices
should underlie successful 21st century businesses.

Unethical Practices in
Other Institutions
The Catholic Church.
The Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra
Saraswathi as the prime accused in a brutal
contract killing of Sankara Raman.
Corruption and unethical practices
are common in all professions;
medicine, engineering, law, academics,
politics, corporations etc.

Institutional Turn in Professional Ethics

A recent development.
Study of ethical issues that are more salient
in institutions than in relations among
Institutional turn becomes necessary
because of the institutionalization of the

Institutionalization of the Professions

Shift from social trustee professionalism to expert
Social trustee professionalism: Professionals alone
or in small groups serve their patients or clients in
accord with a public-spirited goal.
Expert professionalism: Professionals serve in
organizations that value mainly their expertise
and expect them to act in accord with the
organizations goals, which are often determined
by the market and economic pressure.

One Quiz 30 marks
One End Sem Examination (70

Classroom presentations and
Materials you can download from
the net
Materials will be made available in

100% is compulsory
Late coming is strictly not allowed.
Classes will start at 2 PM.

Thompson,DennisF, Restoring Responsibility: Ethics In Government,

Business And Healthcare, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,
Rollin, Bernard E, Science and Ethics,Cambridge Univ. press.2006