Chanakya IAS Academy Blog

IAS Blog | Civil Services Preparation | Chanakya IAS Academy Blog
02 July 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

You are a no-nonsense, honest officer. You have been transferred to a remote district to head a department that is notorius for its inefficiency and callousness.

You find that the main cause of the poor state of affairs is the indiscipline of a section of employees. They do not work themselves and also disrupt the working of others. You first warned the troublemakers to mend their ways or else face disciplinary action. When the warning had little effect, you issued a show cause notice to the ringleaders. As a retailiatory measure, these troublemakers instigated a women employee amongst them to file a Complaint of sexual harassment against you with the women’s Commission. The Commisssion promptly seeks your explanation. The matter is also publicized in the media to embarrass you further. Some of the options to handle this situation could be as follows:

  • Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action.
  • Ignore the Commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action.
  • Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly.

Suggest any other possible option(s). Evaluate all of them and suggest the best course of action, giving your reasons for it. (250 words)

Note: this answer has been written for the purposes of explanation; Hence, it may not adhere to word limit. For examination purposes, phrases instead of full sentences could be used.

  • INTRODUCTION:
  • The above case presents a situation where indiscipline of a section of employees is causing inefficiencies and disrupting the functioning of a department. As head of the department, disciplinary action has been taken by me. But the same has resulted in a fabricated complaint of sexual harassment by a female employee, causing great personal harm to me.
  • The presents a classic predicament of need to adhere to duty while facing great personal harm and discomfort.
  • An evaluation of the various options available to me, follows:
    1. 1. Option 1- Give your explanation to the Commission and go soft on the disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Preventing personal harm by clarifying facts in the case to the commission Foregoing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by going soft on disciplinary action
      Responding to call of authority of the Commission; exhibiting a sense of transparency and accountability Giving in to wrong means used by the section of employees to thwart the enquiry
      Maintaining a good public image in media Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing
      Shows sensitivity towards women and women issues Promoting the section of employees to be further more indisciplined; would lower the motivation levels of other employees
    2. 2. Ignore the commission and proceed firmly with the disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Doing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by continuing with the departmental enquiry Not responding to public authority; doesn’t exhibit sense of transparency and accountability
      Not giving in to wrong means used by the employees Could cause great personal harm
      Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing Good Image of public servants not maintained in media
      Raising the motivation levels of other employees who do their duty No response to Commission shows insensitivity to women issues
    3. 3. Brief your higher-ups, seek directions from them and act accordingly
      Merits Demerits
      Ensuring effective communication with seniors- honouring lines of authority; Shows less initiative from my side
      will help seek their guidance and experience in such matters; Caving in to the pressure to some extent
      taking the seniors into confidence on the matter could prevent/reduce personal harm later

       

    4. 4. Reply to the commission’s notice, brief higher-ups about the incident and continue disciplinary action
      Merits Demerits
      Preventing personal harm by clarifying facts in the case to the commission Could still lead to personal harm as the case of sexual harassment may cause emotional stress to me and my family; also affect my career records
      Responding to call of authority of the Commission; exhibiting a sense of transparency and accountability; Maintaining a good public image in media; Shows sensitivity towards women and women issues  
      Ensuring effective communication with seniors- honouring lines of authority; will help seek their guidance and experience in such matters; taking the seniors into confidence on the matter could prevent/reduce personal harm later  
      Doing duty to maintain departmental efficiency by continuing with the departmental enquiry; Not giving in to wrong means used by the employees; Fulfilling moral responsibility of checking wrongdoing  
      Raising the motivation levels of other employees who do their duty  

Hence, Option 4 is the most holistic course of action with least demerits. It is through this option that I can fulfil all my duty obligations, respond to authority of the Commission, take seniors into confidence as well as minimise personal harm.

02 July 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

The article highlights the major features of the The Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016.

  • The Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 is a bold step toward employment generation that is Centre’s priority.
  • It will also give a boost to employment opportunities to women as they will be permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions.
  • It will cover only shops and establishments employing ten or more workers except manufacturing units. However, the States can change this as per their needs.
  • The main provisions of the Model Bill include:
    • Freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening/closing time of establishment,
    • Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, restroom, ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exits,
    • No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions,
    • Online Registration through a simplified procedure,
    • Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers, clean and safe drinking water, first-aid, lavatory, crèche and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment and five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.
  • The bill will lead to:
    • Improving the working conditions of workers
    • Creating many more job opportunities for women and
    • Providing favourable environment for doing business.
  • Other provisions of the bill:
    • Workers’ Rights and Welfare measures- The Model law provides for provision of common Latrines and urinals, Crèche, Canteen facility by a group of employers, which is a very progressive step.
    • It provides paid holidays for the workers which will be 18 days Earned Leaves, 8 days Casual Leaves, weekly holiday and 5 festival leaves in addition to National holidays.
    • Women- Allowing employment of women in night shifts, will enhance the gender diversity at work places and will also do away with the “protective discrimination” faced by women, who were exempted from working in night shift.
    • The establishments will have to ensure safety and better working conditions for female employees by providing facilities such as late-night drops and crèches.
    • The Model Bill provides for the crèches. It would result in the making the workplace/shops Establishment attractive for the employment for women resulting in increase in employment of women.
    • Due to enhanced working hours, more job opportunities would be created. Moreover such jobs in Shops and Establishment are suited for women.
    • Business- The Model law would help the small shops from the restriction of opening and closing working hours and weekly close day.
    • The provision of operating 24X7 is expected to boost up the retail market across the country and will give customer flexibility and convenience to shop any time.
    • The model law provides for exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in I.T., Bio-Tech and R&D) from, daily working hours of 9 hrs and weekly working hours of 48 hrs subject to maximum 125 over-time hrs in a quarter. This flexibility will enable the establishment to better services to their clients who cater to international customers especially in the IT sector.
    • The uniformity in legal provisions across States/UTs will enable the employers to have uniform HR and leave policies across all establishment in various States and UTs.
    • In addition to the above the Model Bill would promote the fair competition among the States in improving the Governance and ease of doing business.
    • The enhancement of working hours in shops and establishments 24X7 with adequate provision for protection of the workers will give rise to requirement for additional manpower which will result in additional employment.
    • It is expected that the Model law if adopted by State will lead to growth in jobs especially in the retail, IT, hospitality and services sector.
  • The Model Bill is a suggestive piece of legislation and has been finalized keeping in view the spirit of co-operative federalism.
  • This gives liberty to States for fine tuning the Model bill to suit their requirements. This is expected to generate competitive and challenging spirit amongst the States and create an environment which is conducive for large scale employment generation at every level, especially in smaller and medium towns.
  • It will also give a boost to employment opportunities to women as they will be permitted to work during night shifts with adequate safety and security provisions.

Question:

Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 aims to promote the fair competition among the States in improving the Governance and ease of doing business. In light to this statement, discuss the major provisions of the bill. Suggested Approach

  1. Major provisions of the bill.
  2. Benefits in brief.
  3. Impact on federalism.

Link: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=0

English: Download