You are Vice Principal of a degree college in one of the middle-class towns. The principal has recently retired and management is looking for his replacement. There are also feelers that the management may promote you as Principal. In the meantime, during the annual examination, the flying squad which came from the university caught two students red-handed involving in unfair means. A senior lecturer of the college was personally helping these students in this act. This senior lecturer also happens to be close to the management. One of the students was the son of a local politician who was responsible for getting college affiliated to the present reputed university. The second student was the son of a local businessman who has donated maximum funds for running the college. You immediately informed the management regarding this unfortunate incident. The management told you to resolve the issue with the flying squad at any cost. They further said that such an incident will not only tarnish the image of the college but also the politician and the businessman are very important personalities for the functioning of the college. You were also given hint that your further promotion to Principal depends on your capability in resolving this issue with the flying squad. In the meantime, you were intimidated by your administrative officer that certain members of the student union are protesting outside the college gate against the senior lecturer and the students involved in this incident are demanding strict action against defaulters. [2201]

a) Discuss the ethical issue involved in the case.

b) Critically examine the options available with you as Vice Principal. What option will you adopt and why?

(Answer in 250 words)

a) The ethical issue involved in the case is the conflict between upholding the integrity of the institution and maintaining the reputation of the college versus the pressure to protect influential individuals and their connections to the college. The senior lecturer’s involvement in facilitating cheating during examinations goes against the values of the institution and the principles of fairness and academic integrity. On the other hand, the management’s pressure to resolve the issue and protect the reputation of the college, as well as the connections and funding provided by the local politician and businessman, puts the Vice Principal in a difficult position.

b) The options available to the Vice Principal in this situation include:

  1. Upholding the integrity of the institution and taking strict action against the senior lecturer and the students involved in the cheating incident. This option aligns with the values of the institution and the principles of fairness and academic integrity. However, it may result in the loss of funding and support from the local politician and businessman, and potentially jeopardize the Vice Principal’s promotion to Principal.
  2. Protecting the reputation of the college and trying to resolve the issue with the flying squad without taking strict action against the defaulters. This option may appease the local politician and businessman, and potentially secure the Vice Principal’s promotion to Principal. However, it goes against the values of the institution and may undermine the integrity and credibility of the college.
  3. Seeking the guidance and support of higher authorities, such as the university or the education department, to address the issue in a fair and transparent manner. This option may help to uphold the integrity of the institution and maintain the reputation of the college, while also seeking external support and guidance to navigate the pressure from the local politician and businessman.

In this situation, the most appropriate option for the Vice Principal would be to seek the guidance and support of higher authorities to address the issue in a fair and transparent manner. This option aligns with the values of the institution and the principles of fairness and academic integrity, while also seeking external support to navigate the pressure from the local politician and businessman.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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