KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 13: Professional Ethics in light of Right Understanding
Prevailing Approaches towards Promotion of Professional Ethics – their Inadequacy
It is true that the adverse impact of this malaise is being widely felt and the concern for rectifying the situation is increasing in society. Many agencies such as government bodies, professional societies, NGOs, media and professional educators, etc. are all trying to devise ways and means to control the situation. However, most of the methods being adopted are either of symptomatic nature of punitive measures or crisis management techniques rather than real solutions to the whole problem. For example, the following methods are being increasingly proposed and implemented:
- Promoting awareness about professional ethics by introducing new courses, refresher programs, and case studies.
- Administering oaths and prescribing codes of ethical conduct for specific professional disciplines.
- Setting up mechanisms for intensive audit inspection and monitoring the activities.
- Framing more stringent laws and devising harder punishments for offenses.
- Promoting transparency in working systems through mechanisms like RTI (Right to Information Act), etc.
- Carrying out ‘string operations’ and widely publicizing serious lapses in the ethical conduct of profession through media.
- Encouraging whistleblowing by individuals or groups.
- Setting up Lokpals, vigilance commissions, ethics committees, tribunals, consumer protection forums, etc.
- Filing public interest litigations, etc.
The focus in these methods is primarily towards curbing the ill effects rather than rectifying the root cause, namely the faulty worldview which continues to remain dominant. An effective way out is to work towards developing ethical competence by transforming the consciousness of people through the right understanding.