Ethics Case Study #14

Medha is a successful IT Engineer working in USA. She is well settled and earns handsomely. But within her is a deep desire to do something for her country. She wants to come back to India and open a school for children in her village.

Driven by this passion, she quits her job and moves to India. She has decided to use her savings for the school. A lot of her NRI friends have also supported her with capital funding.

However within six months, she realizes that opening a school in India is not an easy thing.First, she needs an essentiality certificate from the government, which requires payment of a hefty fee and an even heftier bribe. Her intention to do social service is seen as most people in the society as well as by the government functionaries as a means to open a profit making education venture.

Apart from the essentiality certificate, there have to be bribed to be paid for several other licenses and permissions.

However, some bureaucrats, who understand her situation and passion , assureĀ  her that once due bribes are paid, her school will be licensed and will be operational smoothly without any future interference from the government.

Dejected, she decides to go back to USA. Consider the following questions based on the above given scenario.

(a) What are the ethical dilemmas before Medha ?

(b) Why do you think such obstacles come in the way of ordinary citizens?

(c) If Medha came to you for advice, what would you recommend her? Give innovative suggestions.