Direction (Q. 1-10) Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
There can be no two opinions about a self-governing code of behaviour for every member of civil society. Such self-discipline is what makes us worthy of being human beings. The current line of thinking in the US has been that even economists should have a code of ethics. Unlike otherprofessionals, so far, they have had no code of ethics in practice.
Such a code is felt necessary because economists acting as consultants and advisers were found to be instrumental in projecting the economic bubbles (first, of the dotcom companies, and then the betting of collateralised debt obligations) as very good, thus keeping the common man as well as financial institutions in the dark about the dire consequences that did follow in 2008.
The need for the code is also brought to the fore by a documentary film Inside Job that won several awards,including the Academy Award. This film shows how the financial crisis took place and, most importantly, how law and economic consulting firms collected large sums as their fees and bonuses. These were the very economists who had advocated for deregulation of the economy and were instrumental in formulating government policies to this effect. A common man can well imagine and understand a lawyer arguing for the innocence of the actual murderer, but it is beyond his comprehension that a supposed academic would wrongly advise on policy matters out of sheer self (and hidden) interests.
Renowned economists not disclosing their ties with businesses in their writings in the media (newspapers as well as television) has been pointed out in a very systematic study done by Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They explored the CVs of 19 well-known economists and established a link between their writings in the media and their affiliations to financial firms as advisers, trustees, members or chairmen of board of directors, etc. In spite of these affiliations, only the academic positions of these economists were stated below their articles in renowned newspapers and in their introductions in television programmes. The study examined a variety of proposals stated by these economists including those put forth by the Obama administration and the US Department of Treasury. Seventeen of these economists were found to have signed on the set of proposals for financial regulation.
The study found that only one of the 19 economists was doing a solely academic job. The rest seemed to have a 'vested' interest in opposing financial regulation, suggest these researchers.
What is applicable to economists is also applicable to management consultants and scientists of all disciplines. It is, however, noteworthy that the Association of Management Consulting Firms has declared, "We will immediately acknowledge any influences on our objectivity to our clients and will offer to withdraw from a consulting engagement when our objectivity or integrity may be impaired."
The American Sociological Association, too, has developed a code of ethics for its members. It makes it obligatory for sociologists "to disclose relevant personal or professional relationships that may have the appearance or potential for a conflict of interest to an employer or client, to the sponsors of their professional work, or in public speeches and writings." The authors suggest that as a first step towards adherence to the ethical code, consultants and economic advisers should disclose their non-academic affiliations in their publications and television appearances (as discussants).
Human greed has no geographical barriers. Indian academia and consultants, too, would do well in developing a moral code to ensure prevention of conflict of interest.
All types of codes of ethics and oaths can never ensure a perfect sense and practice of morality. Had this been the case, the Hippocratic Oath (developed in the late 5th century BC) would have prevented members of the medical fraternity from indulging in any unethical practice. Yet, the practice of taking this oath has continued in the faith that it will keep the doctors' conscience alive and active. No law has ever eliminated the criminal tendencies among human beings. There can never be a substitute to self-governance. It is just that a formal code of ethics, hopefully, would create awareness about what not to do in the interests of the public and the nation at large.
Which of the following is correct in the context of the passage ?
(A) A self-governing code of behaviour is a must only for army personnel, bureaucrats and govt employees.
(B) Patriotism, obedience, good conduct, high moral values are some of the things that make us worthy of being human beings.
(C) Professionals other than economists have certain code of ethics in the US.