"Deadly weapons are being used in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Palestine conflict," "The dark web is used for activities like illegal drug trafficking," and numerous more examples show how knowledge without character (moral principles) can be harmful.

Perspective of Mahatma Gandhi:

  1. As dangerous as a little knowledge is, even more dangerous is much knowledge without a strong, principled character.
  2. As Martin Luther King, Jr we live in a world of “guided missiles and misguided men.
  3. Character and knowledge are the heart and soul of an individual. Character can be defined as a set of inherited and acquired qualities which defines an individual’s identity and personality.
  4. Seven social sins:

  1. Wealth without work.
  2. Pleasure without conscience.
  3. Knowledge without character.
  4. Commerce without morality.
  5. Science without humanity.
  6. Religion without sacrifice.
  7. Politics without principle.



Citizen/Individuals/ Society

Knowledge should be used for the welfare of the society i.e. ‘Sarve jana sukhino bhavantu (Let everyone be happy)’


Knowledge used with character will lead to prosperity, peace and stability in the society.


 Institutions are aimed at promoting intellectual development and reaping human capital.

Ethical Issues /Concerns arising when Knowledge is used without Character

Ethical Issues


Unjust Decision-Making

Biased decision-making, where personal prejudices or self-interest influence choices rather than fair assessments.

Promotes Unethical Activities

Rise in social evils such as intolerance, racism, xenophobia, stereotyping, and non-objective

Blurredness between right Means and End

Then a person focuses only on achieving the end (objective) and does not pay much attention towards the means (way).

Lack of Accountability

An authorised/leading person in an organisation or government will not be accountable to the people for their actions

Lack of integrity

Justifying lies, exaggeration and deceit, on the grounds of some high-minded moral imperative constitutes an ethical failure and loss of integrity


Corruption occurs within the private and public health sectors and may appear as theft, embezzlement, nepotism, bribery up til extortion, or as undue influence.

 Need of the hour:



Intertwining knowledge with character

Focus of the national curriculum, and pedagogical processes should be on the overall personality development of individuals

Developing critical thinking and wisdom

Family members and peer groups have to play a constructive role in it.

Promote Emotional Intelligence

It will help in enhancing self-awareness and empathy.

Transforming self-interest-oriented and narrow mindset

How India is promoting the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam implying ‘the world is one family’.


Developing Right Aptitude


Aptitude in ethics is an individual's innate ability to understand and apply ethical principles and values in their actions and decisions. It is thus the natural inclination to think critically and make moral judgments inclined with ethical standards.


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