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Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University

Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Engineering Professional Practice (CVL 440)


(Lecture Notes: Chapter 1)
Chapter 1: Society and Technology (6 hr)
1.1 Definition, types and essential elements of a society
1.2 Factors and classical theories of social change (cyclical, evolution, functional and conflict)
1.3 Impacts and consequences of technology on socio-economic parameters (agriculture,
communication, construction methods, information storage, generation and dissemination,
dispute resolution, family structure, culture and livelihood)
1.4 Effects of major technological developments (2D and 3D printing, dynamite, automation,
mechanization, organic chemistry, transportation, internet, communication, and satellites) on
practice of engineering profession.
1.5 Role of engineers in society

1.0 Society and Technology


1.1 Definition, types and essential elements of a society
Definition of Society:
There are many definitions of society; the definitions keep changing, since society is
dynamic.

i. Schaefer and Lamm: the largest form of human group, which consists of people who share
common heritage and culture. (Richard T. Schaefer and Robert P. Lamm)
ii. Ian Robertson: society gives content, direction and meaning to our lives, and we, in turn,
in countless ways, reshape the society that we leave to the next generation. Society is a
population that occupies the same territory, is subject to the same political authority and
participates in a common culture.
iii. Ginsberg: a collection of individuals unified by certain relation or modes of behavior,
which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from
them in behavior
iv. John F. Cuber: a group of people who have lived long enough to become organized and to
consider themselves and considered as a unit distinct from other human units.

1.1.1 A settlement with the following criteria is called a society (TBG, p1)
i. Population: A society has population. It can be small or big.
ii. Common territory: The people of a society occupy a common territory.
iii. Government or political authority: The people of a society have a common
government and political authority.
iv. Common culture and a sense of relationship/membership and committed to group.

1.1.2 Essential elements of a society (RPA, TBG, p1)


The following are the essential elements of a society.
i. People and plurality: society consists of people, of both sexes, of different
physical features (age, skin color, eye color, hair color, height, weight, face type)
ii. Likeness and differences: Members of a society are alike in many aspects. This
“alikeness” bonds them, and they seek understanding and cooperation from each
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

other. The members of a society are different in many ways too, like culture
(language, religion, art, music, dance, food, dress, values, belief system),
profession, interest, opinion, views etc.
iii. Cooperation and Conflict: Members of a society cooperate with each other, and
they depend on each other. When the level of mutual cooperation reduces, society
tends to disintegrate. Due to differences in ideas, values and status, conflict exists
in a society.
iv. Stable and dynamic: Society is relatively stable; the norms, values, culture and
governance system may not change for a long time. Yet, society is dynamic. Some
elements of a society change slowly, and some change rapidly, depending on
external and internal factors.

1.1.3 Types/Evolution of Society


The human society has been evolving since they started living together.
i. Tribal: This is the earliest form of society, characterized by hunting and
gathering food, rather than producing.
ii. Pastoral: As access to food by hunting is uncertain, society started to
domesticate animals for food.
iii. Horticultural: When people started to plant for food, although in disorganized
manner.
iv. Agricultural/feudal: The agricultural society started when people started
cultivation of crops, save seed for next crop, use animal energy, and irrigate
their fields, crop production increased, which made it possible to have towns.
v. Industrial: This form of society is relatively recent, characterized by
mechanized and mass production or goods and services. Large cities begin to
form in this society.
vi. Post-industrial: This is the latest form of society where information and
service industry begin to dominate rather than production of goods; generation
and management of knowledge is more valued than mass production.

Gerhard Lenski (Nolan & Lenski, 2010) focuses on sociocultural evolution, the changes that occur as
a society acquires new technology. According to Lenski, the more technological information a society
has, the faster it changes. New technology sends ripples of change through a society’s entire way of
life. Lenski’s work identifies five types of societies based on their level of technology.
A. Hunting and gathering societies use simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegetation. Until
about twelve thousand years ago, all humans were hunter-gatherers. At this level of sociocultural
evolution, food production is relatively inefficient; groups are small, scattered, and usually nomadic.
Society is built on kinship, and specialization is minimal, centered chiefly around age and gender.
These societies are quite egalitarian and rarely wage war.
B. Horticultural and pastoral societies employ a technology based on using hand tools to raise
crops. In very fertile and also in arid regions, pastoralism, technology that supports the domestication
of animals, develops instead of horticulture. In either case, these strategies encourage much larger
societies to emerge. Material surpluses develop, allowing some people to become full-time specialists
in crafts, trade, or religion. Expanding productive technology creates social inequality.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

C. Agrarian societies are based on agriculture, the technology of large-scale cultivation using plows
harnessed to animals or more powerful sources of energy. These societies initiated civilization as they
invented irrigation, the wheel, writing, numbers, and metallurgy. Agrarian societies can build up
enormous food surpluses and grow to an unprecedented size. Occupational specialization increases,
money emerges, and social life becomes more individualistic and impersonal. Inequality becomes
much more pronounced. Religion underlies the expanding power of the state.
D. Industrial societies are based on industrialism, the production of goods using advanced sources of
energy to drive large machinery. At this stage, societies begin to change quickly. The growth of
factories erodes many traditional values, beliefs, and customs. Prosperity and health improve
dramatically. Occupational specialization and cultural diversity increase. The family loses much of its
importance and appears in many different forms. In the early stages of industrialization, social
inequality increases. Later on, while poverty continues to be a serious problem, most people’s
standard of living rises. Demands for political participation also escalate.
E. Postindustrial societies are based on technology that supports an information-based economy. In
this phase, industrial production declines while occupations that process information using computers
expand. The emergence of postindustrialism dramatically changes a society’s occupational structure.
Source: http://www.ivcc.edu/uploadedFiles/_faculty/_mangold/Chapter%204%20Society%20-%20Outline.pdf

1.2 Factors/Drivers/Causes of social change


Access to new information, contacts and interactions with societies having different culture
and values, and large scale natural and anthropogenic events change society. The following
factors change society and its value system.
i. Physical environment/Contact with other societies: Physically easily
accessible society changes rapidly than those located in remote (difficult to
access) areas due to frequent contacts with members of different societies.
ii. Natural causes: Earthquake, landslide, flood, desertification, and tsunami
disintegrate social fabric, people of a society begin to migrate, and new
members from different society begins to settle in existing society, this mixing
of new and old residents in a society changes the value system of a society.
iii. Technological: New information, knowledge and skills changes society and its
value and culture. Rate of social change depends on access to information,
ability to put together the information into knowledge, ability to convert the
knowledge into skills and use of technology.
iv. Anthropogenic (Human) activities: International war, civil war, displacement
for “developmental” activities, industrial accidents, mass migration, education,
and economic opportunity results in mass migration which changes a society.

1.2.1 Classical Theories of social change:


There are various theories of social changes. Generally, a theory of change should
include elements such as structural aspects of change (like population shifts),
processes and mechanisms of social change, and directions of change. The four
classical theories of social changes are:

i. Cyclical: ups and downs, birth and death, Oswald Spengler: approximate 1000
year cycle. Critics of this theory cite examples that do not follow the 1000
year cycle.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Cyclical: In the western societies the Greeks were the first to utilize this model. Plato spoke
of eras of time when, initially, hope blossoms only to deteriorate as that era disintegrates.
Spengler's view of change was very similar to that of the Greeks, but his model was dressed
in a biological garb. Culture, according to him, is the living entity of people, and culture is
housed in the civilization of that it arises, develops, ripens, decays and falls never to return.
An element of hope, however, was predicted in a similar model by Toynbee, who believed the
cyclical change could be interrupted by the creative minority. More recently Sorokin
considered that social changes follow a trendless cyclic pattern, i.e., like a swinging
pendulum, culture moves in one direction and then back in another.

ii. Evolution: changing with time, getting complex with time, society develops
through time and change. The basic concept is similar to Charles Darwin’s
theory of evolution of species.

iii. Functionalist: changes as required to keep the whole society functioning, when
particular part of a society changes; based on the assumption that society is a
stable, orderly system; August Comte (1798-1857), Herbert Spencer, Emile
Durkheim, and Talcott Parsons propagate this theory. Society is composed of
interrelated parts, each of which serves a function and contributes to the
overall stability of the society. This theory emphasizes on changing role of
different parts of a society to maintain stability of a society.

The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is one of the major theoretical perspectives in
sociology. It has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in how social order
is possible or how society remains relatively stable.
Functionalism interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole
society. Society is more than the sum of its parts; rather, each part of society is functional for the stability of
the whole society. The different parts are primarily the institutions of society, each of which is organized to fill
different needs and each of which has particular consequences for the form and shape of society. The parts all
depend on each other.
For example, the government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays
taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help
children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the
children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of
society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt
to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity.

Functionalism emphasizes the consensus and order that exist in society, focusing on social stability and
shared public values. From this perspective, disorganization in the system, such as deviant behavior, leads to
change because societal components must adjust to achieve stability. When one part of the system is not
working or is dysfunctional, it affects all other parts and creates social problems, which leads to
social change.

The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists in the 1940s and
1950s. While European functionalists originally focused on explaining the inner workings of social order,
American functionalists focused on discovering the functions of human behavior. Among these American
functionalist sociologists is Robert K. Merton, who divided human functions into two types: manifest functions,
which are intentional and obvious, and latent functions, which are unintentional and not obvious. The manifest
function of attending a church or synagogue, for instance, is to worship as part of a religious community, but
its latent function may be to help members learn to discern personal from institutional values. With common
sense, manifest functions become easily apparent. Yet this is not necessarily the case for latent functions,
which often demand a sociological approach to be revealed.
Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event such as divorce. Critics
also claim that the perspective justifies the status quo and complacency on the part of society's members.
Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even
when such change may benefit them. Instead, functionalism sees active social change as undesirable because
the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise.
References: Anderson, M.L. and Taylor, H.F. (2009). Sociology: The Essentials. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
CliffsNotes.com. Three Major Perspectives in Sociology. 22 Jun 2011.
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26837.html.
Source: http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Functionalist-Theory.htm; Accessed: June 14, 2013
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

iv. Conflict: Karl Marx (19th century) social class conflict between haves and
have-nots. Expanded version of conflict theory finds social conflict between
any groups in which the potential for inequity exists: racial, gender, religions,
political, economic, and so on. Unequal groups usually have conflicting values
and agendas, causing them to compete against one another. This constant
competition between groups forms the basis for the ever-changing nature of
society.
The triad is usually described in the following way:
• The thesis is an intellectual proposition.
• The antithesis is simply the negation of the thesis, a reaction to the proposition.
• The synthesis solves the conflict between the thesis and antithesis by reconciling their
common truths and forming a new thesis, starting the process over.

Conflict theory emphasizes the role of coercion and power in producing social order. This perspective is
derived from the works of Karl Marx, who saw society as fragmented into groups that compete for social and
economic resources. Social order is maintained by domination, with power in the hands of those with the
greatest political, economic, and social resources. When consensus exists, it is attributable to people being
united around common interests, often in opposition to other groups.

According to conflict theory, inequality exists because those in control of a disproportionate share of society’s
resources actively defend their advantages. The masses are not bound to society by their shared values, but by
coercion at the hands of those in power. This perspective emphasizes social control, not consensus and
conformity. Groups and individuals advance their own interests, struggling over control of societal resources.
Those with the most resources exercise power over others with inequality and power struggles resulting. There
is great attention paid to class, race, and gender in this perspective because they are seen as the grounds of
the most pertinent and enduring struggles in society.

Whereas most other sociological theories focus on the positive aspects of society, conflict perspective focuses
on the negative, conflicted, and ever-changing nature of society. Unlike functionalists who defend the status
quo, avoid social change, and believe people cooperate to effect social order, conflict theorists challenge the
status quo, encourage social change (even when this means social revolution), and believe rich and powerful
people force social order on the poor and the weak. Conflict theorists, for example, may interpret an “elite”
board of regents raising tuition to pay for esoteric new programs that raise the prestige of a local college as
self-serving rather than as beneficial for students.

Whereas American sociologists in the 1940s and 1950s generally ignored the conflict perspective in favor of the
functionalist, the tumultuous 1960s saw American sociologists gain considerable interest in conflict theory.
They also expanded Marx's idea that the key conflict in society was strictly economic. Today, conflict theorists
find social conflict between any groups in which the potential for inequality exists: racial, gender, religious,
political, economic, and so on. Conflict theorists note that unequal groups usually have conflicting values and
agendas, causing them to compete against one another. This constant competition between groups forms the
basis for the ever-changing nature of society. Critics of the conflict perspective point to its overly negative view
of society. The theory ultimately attributes humanitarian efforts, altruism, democracy, civil rights, and other
positive aspects of society to capitalistic designs to control the masses, not to inherent interests in preserving
society and social order.
References
Anderson, M.L. and Taylor, H.F. (2009). Sociology: The Essentials. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
CliffsNotes.com. Three Major Perspectives in Sociology. 22 Jun 2011.
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26837.html.
Source: http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Conflict-Theory.htm
Accessed: June 14, 2013

A very good source of additional info on theory of social change:


http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sociology/top-5-theories-of-social-change-explained/35124/

1.3 Impacts and consequences of technology on socio-economic parameters: (agriculture,


communication, construction methods, information storage, generation and dissemination, dispute
resolution, family structure, culture and livelihood)
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

1.3.1 Agriculture
Impact on Impact
Food Production Food production mechanized, food production increasing, Green Revolution
Food Processing Food processing getting complex, requiring industrial management
Food Preservation Food security increasing
Mechanization Mechanization of all aspects of agriculture is increasing
Commercialization From subsistence to cash crop, genetically modified food, patented seeds
Food Variety Increasing, year round availability
Fertilizer/Pesticide From organic to chemical, pesticide use increasing
Water use Increasing due to cash crops, reduced use by sprinkler, drip irrigation

1.3.2 Communication
Impact on Impact
Mass communication: Newspaper, Magazines, Enhanced public awareness, timely information to
FM Radio, TV, instant/breaking news people
Internet and Social Media Increased access to information, social media
influencing design of communication techniques
Telephone, mobile phone Increased and easier access to telephone
Virtual Meeting, virtual reality, tele-medicines Less need of physical presence in meeting, distance
medicine services and remote controller operation
possible

1.3.3 Construction methods: Labor based technology (LBT), capital based technology (CBT)
Impact on Impact
Construction Technology LBT gradually replaced by CBT
Construction materials Better materials, light weight, fire proof, glass as structural
elements, increased use of aluminum, pre-fabricated, pre-stressed
Size of infrastructure Increasing
Mechanization, Automation, and More mechanization, automation and robotics use
Robotics use
Construction Project Management From ad hoc and haphazard decisions to scientific and systematic
management tools, like CPM, PERT, and software like MS
Project, Primavera, Project Management
ICT use for construction site Better access control, better safety, better material management
control

1.3.4 Information storage, generation and dissemination


Impact on Impact
Information generation and dissemination Increasing access to information
Storage, virtual storage Floppy disk, CD, DVD, External hard disk, Dropbox,
Cloud storage, mailbox size
Generation Information generation growing exponentially
Dissemination e-paper, interactive TV, internet, social media

1.3.5 Dispute resolution


Impact on Impact
Warfare Increased use of gun powder, rockets, missiles, drones, improvised
explosive devices
Weapons of mass destruction atom bomb, hydrogen bomb, nuclear bomb made but not yet used
(except two in WW II), Star War, MAD policy
Weapons of mass deception Misuse/abuse of mass media increasing
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Electronic medium of proofs

1.3.6 Family structure


Impact on Impact
Family size Decreasing
Family composition Micro
Family definition Two parent to single parent to same sex parent
Family Family relation getting complex due to in-vitro fertilization, test-tube baby,
cloning, Family size reducing due to easier access to contraception, micro-
family getting possible, life span increasing, several generation in family,
change in status of female and disabled
Family tradition, Family traditions increasingly being challenged and altered or replaced,
culture, heritage heritage preservation getting better

1.3.7 Socio-culture
Impact on Impact
Health Access to health services is increasing, specific medicines are available,
diagnosis process improving, genetic engineering is curing previously incurable
diseases, assistance to specific needs of disabled persons getting better through
technically designed equipment, welfare of aged citizens getting better
Education Access to education services getting better, distance learning is improving
access to education and latest information, e-book, e-library, standardization of
educational quality through use of ICT technology, on line evaluation, on line
test possible,
Living Standard Living standard increasing, HDI increasing, poverty decreasing, employment
opportunity increasing, price of goods decreasing
Language Use of international language increasing, language use getting standardized
through mass media, brail script helping blind, sign language use increasing for
deaf
Social Norms and Social norms and values increasingly being challenged and altered or replaced,
Values social class disintegrating, new economic class emerging
Urbanization Urbanization increasing, concentration of resources and resource users
Commercialized Traditional dances, music, drama and games giving ways to movies, video
Recreation games, theme parks, pay per view programs

1.3.8 Livelihood
Impact on Impact
Livelihood Livelihood is diversifying, many types of livelihood options available
Specialization of Profession Specialization in profession is increasing.

1.3.9 Impact on Industry, Economy and Job


Impact on Impact
Industrial Production and mass production Increased production of similar size and design
Price of goods Relatively decreasing due to mass production
Capital intensive technologies and labor Increasing
saving device use
Mechanization, Automation, and Increasing efficiency of industry, economic indicators
Robotics use improving
Job opportunities Increasing, also for women, after WW II

1.3.10 Commercialized recreation


Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Impact on Impact
Traditional recreation Declining
Modern recreation Increasing, Theme parks, swimming pools, video game parlor
International games Increasingly being costly and commercialized, pay per view, exclusive
right to broadcast
1.3.11 Consequences:
• Global Village through development of Transportation technology and ICT technology
• Industrialization and fossil fuel use causing global warming and increase in frequency of extreme
events (Global Climate Change)
• Human Development Index parameters improving: GNP, GDP, Per Capita Income, Per Capita
Energy use, access to education/health, WATSAN/WASH, employment, poverty, infant mortality
• Social value system is changing.

1.4 Effects of major technological developments (2D and 3D Printing, dynamite,


automation, mechanization, organic chemistry, transportation, internet, communication
and satellites)

1.4.1 Printing: (RPA-C p3)


Written and mass produced record of agreements, laws, rules, regulations, guidelines,
procedure, manuals, books, newspapers, magazines, journals, easily available
Effects:
Need to memorize diminished, information available when needed
Judgment based on written laws rather than wisdom of justices,
3D printing: can change production mode, 3D Printers print house:
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20141510-26336.html

1.4.2 Dynamite: (RPA-C p4)


Explosives, Dynamite, Warfare, Colonization, Endangered species, Crime, Terrorism
Effects: warfare getting increasingly violent and costly, species getting extinct,
increasing use of gunpowder in crimes and terrorist activities, road construction in
steep slopes and tunnel construction getting easier.

1.4.3 Automation: Automation of a series of activities, without human interference in the


middle of a process, highly increases efficiency, consistency, and reliability of
production.

1.4.4 Mechanization:
Industrial production, agricultural mechanization, transportation, robotics,
automation,
Effects:
Lower cost of goods and food
Easier movement over long distances
Standardization and interchangeability of design, size, shape
Safer working environment for dangerous jobs
Higher living standard, material comfort

1.4.5 Organic Chemistry


Plastic, Polymer, plastic, Construction glues, fossil fuel, construction materials
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Effects: New materials: including construction materials, PPR pipes, PVC pipes,
synthetic glues, synthetic clothes, bio-degradable plastic, light weight and stronger
materials, water proofing, paint
Fossil fuel: transportation, bitumen, asphalt, geo-textile

1.4.6 Transportation
Impact on Impact
Land transportation Road, multilevel roads, railways
Underground Metro/Underground railways
Water Naval transportation, river navigation
Air Air cargo, air travel, air ambulance

1.4.7 Internet: WWW, social media, virtual meetings, Open Source Mapping, Google
Maps, constant access to information and people anywhere through internet enabled
mobile telephone network

1.4.8 Communication

Mass Communication: Radio, TV, Newspaper, Satellite maps, GIS, GPS, Map making,
Global Circulation Modeling, Surveying, Wild Fire detection, Early Warning
Effects: ICT development, TV, GPS, Satellite Maps, Weather forecasting, Climate
Modeling, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), GIS based planning (urban, land use
etc.), Remote Sensing

1.4.9 Satellite: Landsat Maps, Remote Sensing

1.4.10 Computer: (RPA-C p9, p30)


Modeling, simulation (visualization of potential impacts and solution before the event
occurs and solutions implemented), design, solution techniques (FDM, FEM),
Management Information System, Spatial planning using GIS, computer crimes,
intrusion on personal privacy, data mining, data theft,
Effects: information generating, storing and dissemination
Design of materials using simulation
Electronic equipment

Impact of Computer on Society (RPA, p30)

• Wide application: applicable almost everywhere


• Employment: increased for persons with new skills
• Productivity and competition: increased
• Standard of living: has improved.
• Privacy: reduced

Computer Crimes

Electronic Transaction Act 2004 has listed the following acts under the Computer
Crime
i. Theft, damage or alteration of computer source code
ii. Unauthorized access to materials on computer
iii. Destruction and computer and information system
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

iv. Publication of illegal materials on electronic form


v. Violation of confidentiality
vi. Posting of false information
vii. Submitting or showing forged license or certificate
viii. Non-submission of the document or other materials
ix. Computer fraud

1.5 Role of engineers in society


The practice of engineering is directly related to societal issues, and hence has an impact
on society. Engineering is the application of science to solve societal problems.
Some of the basic roles of an engineer in society are:
• Create Vision/mission: Interact with society to fully understand the societal issues
(needs and problems) and propose a range of short-medium-long term
options/solutions with financial, technical, safety, and environmental pros and cons of
each option
• Contribute in decision making process to choose the best option
• Prepare optimum design, including detailed specification to implement the designed
product
• Execute the solution by creating the product to solve the issue or supervising the
constructing the solution
• Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of the solution, and upgrade the
solution based on evaluation
• Train people to operate and maintain the solution system for its reliability and
sustainability

1.5.1 Changes brought by engineers in human societies (TBG, p. 9)

a) Mass production of goods through mechanization: lower price of goods


b) Automation of production system: standardization of parts and design, more safety in
work place
c) Faster means of transportation: easier access to remote places and faster pace of life,
better integration of different communities
d) Mass communication: Awareness enhancement, easier access to information
e) Inventing labor saving devices: faster construction
f) Creating faster pace of life: More productivity
g) Commercializing recreation: Recreation when wanted
h) Emphasizing on high degree of specialization: More reliable and accurate results
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice, Pokhara University
Compiled by: Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, September 2015

Old Exam Questions from Chapter 1 (Background Perspective)


Society:
1. Define society. Explain the approaches for social change.
2. Discuss in brief about the elements of a society.
3. What are the essential elements of a society? Describe in detail.
4. What are the essential elements of a society? Briefly discuss western philosophy on
change and development.
5. What do you mean by social change? Discuss the sources of social change.
6. What do you mean by social change? Discuss the sources of social change.
7. What is social change? What are the factors responsible for social change?
8. What are the theories of social and cultural change? Explain.
9. Briefly discuss functionalist, evolution and conflict theory on social and cultural change.
10. What are the theories of social and cultural change? Briefly explain the evolution theory
of cultural change.
11. What is the impact of education in social and cultural change? Explain.
12. What do you understand by society? Discuss the theories of social change.
13. Define social change. What are the theories of social change? Explain about the cyclical
theory.
14. Describe the characteristics of western society.

Impact of Technology on Society


15. Define technology. What are the effects of technology on society?
16. Explain technological change.
17. Briefly explain the impact of technology on society.
18. Describe the impact of technology in the rural society.
19. What is the role of transportation facility to improve the economic condition of the rural
people of Nepal? Explain with the help of suitable example.
20. What do you understand by technology and how does it impact the society? Throw light
on how technological development is reflected in Human Development.
21. What is the impact of technology on society for bringing social as well as cultural
change? Briefly discuss.
22. 'Technology is the indicator of development.' Relate it with societies of the world. Write
technological achievement of 21st century that has greatest impact on human.
23. Write about the impact of computer in society.
24. Explain the impact of computer in the society.
25. What are the impacts of computer on society? Discuss in detail.

Developing Countries
26. Explain the characteristics of developing countries.
27. What do you understand by developed and developing countries? Discuss.

Short Note Type Questions


a. Factors causing social change
b. Characteristics of developing countries
c. Individual freedom versus societal goals
Engineering Professional Practice (CVL 440)
Chapter 2: Ethics and Professionalism (3 hr)
2.1 Perspective on Morals, Ethics and Professionalism
Definition of Morale, Engineering morale, ethics, profession and professionalism

2.1.1 Moral
Moral measures the standard of good behavior by which people are judged. Engineering
moral measures the standard of good behavior of engineers. An engineer volunteering
his/her time in adult education or providing training to needy children in learning skills is
an example of a moral activity, as long as the work is done without any expectation of
reward in any form, except self-satisfaction. Moral of a person is reflected by what one
does when no one is watching.

Ethics is a system of belief that supports the view of morality. Morality concerns with the
principles of what is good and bad, right and wrong behavior. Baring some special cases,
following laws of a nation and following ethics of a profession or a society are normally
considered as moral actions. However, a specific moral action may not be ethical and a
specific ethical action may not be moral. Speaking the truth, maintaining personal
integrity, assisting people in need, not exploiting people in difficult conditions, refraining
from unnecessary violence, refraining from using abusive language and derogatory
words, and maintaining fairness are examples of moral actions.

Non-moral actions: Actions that are beyond the realm of moral or immoral actions. Non-
moral actions are not immoral actions. The types of non-moral actions are:
i. The events of nature, because they cannot be controlled.
ii. The actions of animals (except human) because they lack rationality. They can neither
justify nor accept the consequences of their actions.
iii. The actions or behavior of children and insane persons because they are not capable
of foreseeing the consequences of their actions.
iv. The actions or behavior guided by the circumstances that is beyond his/her control
such as coercion or any type of pressure that cannot be resisted. In such situations
a person cannot think and/or act freely (case of force majeure)

Examples of non-moral activities/events related to engineering:


• An infrastructure (road, bridge, tower, transmission lines, building, telephone
connection, etc.) destroyed by natural events like an earthquake, flood, or landslide is
a non-moral event.
• A child (less than 14 years old) hacking website of a company is a non-moral event. A
child cutting wire and causing short-circuit in electrical connection which resulted in
fire is a non-moral event.
• An elephant destroying buildings, wooden electrical-poles etc. is a non-moral event. If
the same elephant does something which is beneficial for people, it is still a non-
moral event.
• A resident engineer of a project forced to change alignment of a road, or an MIS
engineer of an internet service provider or a social media site forced to reveal
password of its clients, under threat of life, is a non-moral event.

2.1.2 Ethics
Ethics is the study of standards of right and wrong; that part of science and philosophy
dealing with moral conduct, duty, and judgment. Ethics deals with voluntary actions
specifically taken by an individual with sufficient knowledge of the options available to
him or her.

Laws of ethics:
• Eternal law of ethics: based on nature and scriptures
• Utilitarian law of ethics: greatest benefits for the largest number of persons
• Universalism law of ethics: based on motive or intent of doers; as per duties and
obligation to society
• Distributive Justice law of ethics: based on primacy of law; law applies equally to all
• Personal Liberty law of ethics: should not violate personal liberty, even if action
benefits the mass.

Difference between Ethics and Morality

Ethics and morals may seem the same on the face of it, but if one were to analyze, there is
definitely some difference. It means, it may be ethical for someone to consume meat, after all
there is no social code being breached, but at the same time the same person may find the
idea of slaughtering an animal repugnant.

This implies that ethics define the code that a society or group of people adhere to while
morality delves into right and wrong at a much deeper level, which is both personal and
spiritual. The ethics that a person adheres too are impacted upon by external factors like the
nation, society, peer group, religion and profession, and could change with a change in any of
these influencing factors.

For instance fox hunting in England was ethical till the other day, because that was the
tradition, and there was no law against it. But the recent legislation banning it made it illegal,
and the widespread protests against the evil nature of the sport caused a cessation of the
tradition supporting it, and therefore it became unethical. Morals on the other hand are made
of sterner stuff, and usually do not change. It will for instance always be immoral to murder
another human being, no matter who the person committing the act is.

Ethics are well defined and quite neatly laid down. Take the case of professionals like doctors
and lawyers. They know what the ethics of their profession dictate. A doctor will never
divulge his patient’s medical history to anyone other than the patient himself, unless
authorized by the later, or required under law to do so. Similarly a lawyer will never
compromise his client’s interest notwithstanding his own disposition towards his client.
But morals are of a subliminal nature and deciding upon what constitutes them is not that
easy. We know of moral dilemma, not an ethical one. Take the case of abortion. Is it moral>
On the one had there may be extremely compelling grounds in its favor, but is taking a
human life, even if not fully formed, ever going to be considered a moral act?

Following ethics is therefore a relatively simple affair, after all it only involves a set of
socially acceptable guidelines which benefit all. Moral are, however, relatively difficult to
adhere to. The religious sect of Jains in India believes that the only matter which can be
consumed by human beings is leaves and fruits which have fallen off trees. No grains, no
dairy products, no eggs, nor any meat. Why they are supposed to cover their mouths and
noses with a piece of cloth, so that they may not inadvertently kill microscopic organisms by
the very act of breathing. Now, those are tough morals to follow!

We can clearly see that morals and ethics though seemingly similar are in fact quite distinct.
While the former constitute a basic human marker of right conduct and behavior, the latter is
more like a set of guidelines that define accepted practices and behavior for a certain group of
people.

Summary: 1. Ethics relates to a society where morality related to an individual person.


2. Ethics relate more in a professional life while morals are what individuals follow
independently.
Source: http://www.differencebetween.net/business/difference-between-ethics-and-morals/

2.1.3 Professionalism
A profession is defined as having a systematic knowledge acquired through specialized
training or education and practicing the same as an occupation. Professionals bear moral
and ethical behavior. A profession means practice or application of such knowledge and
skill that are acquired through a systematic study or training for the betterment of the
society or people in the form of services.
The content of profession with moral and ethical behaviors is professionalism.

Examples of un-professional behavior of an engineer/engineering firms:


Time related:
Late arrival in meetings and office/duty station
Late submission of reports/deliverables, i.e., missing the deadline

Quality Related:
Failing to monitor quality of works performed
Failing to detect apparent errors in drawings/designs

Meeting:
Talking on phone during meeting/ loud ring tones of cell phones
Talking with others during meeting
Late arrival
Taking frequent breaks
Any activity that indicates that the meeting is of less importance to you
Personal Integrity
Hiding conflict of interest
Accepting extra offer client/contractor
Disclosing confidential information of clients
Inconsistency in saying and doing (hypocrite)
Making judgment based partial knowledge, like determining the brand of cement or steel
rod or wire/transformer/turbine based on advertisement, rather than on test-data
Inability to detect (and correct) apparent flaws in drawings/designs
Inability to make appropriate judgment for a particular situation

Personal Manner:
Shouting at subordinates/workers
Sloppy dress up/attention grabbing hair style/ jewelry
Respect to others

Criminal offense
Forging document
Falsifying data
Accepting/offering bribes
Abuse/misuse/disuse of authority: use of official property (vehicle, building, equipment)
for personal purpose, asking office personnel to do personal works, nepotism)
Plagiarism
Plotting against firm, client, other engineers
Engaging in corrupt or fraudulent practice
It is the GoN’s policy to require its implementing agencies, as well as consultants under GoN (or
Donor Agency) financed contracts, to observe the highest standard of ethics during the selection
and execution of such contracts. In pursuance of this policy, the GoN defines, for the purposes
of this provision, the terms set forth below as follows:

i. “corrupt practice” means the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of anything of value to
influence the action of a public official in the selection process or in contract execution; and
ii. “fraudulent practice” means a misrepresentation of facts in order to influence a selection
process or the execution of a contract to the detriment of the Client, and includes collusive
practices among consultants (prior to or after submission of proposals) designed to establish
prices at artificial, non-competitive levels and to deprive the borrower of the benefits of free and
open competition.

Code of Conduct
Forgetting to sign on documents
Disregard for code of conduct, standards, bylaws, and norms
Advertisement in newspaper/TV/Radio
Part time work as a salesman
Attempt of undue influence
Intentionally misleading public, client, employer
Accepting offer from potential client/contractor 1

Negligence
Using different coefficients from engineering handbooks, without checking their
applicability in particular conditions
Allowing breach of terms and conditions at construction sites
Not checking documents properly for formatting, contents, etc. before submission.

Some of the features of a professional person:


i) A professional acquires a systematic knowledge and skill through study, training and
experience.
ii) A professional exercises the knowledge and enhance skill ethically as an expert. As
such, professionals are endowed with specific rights/authority.
iii) The service or work as an expertise of a professional is evaluated by the public.
iv) Professionals follow code of conducts to keep morale of the profession high. The
activities of a professional are regulated by the professional organizations through
licensing, code of conducts, and disciplinary actions.
v) Professionals have their own cultures, developed through mutual contacts in social
and professional gatherings.

2.4 Causes of loss of professionalism

i) Low self-esteem: A person with low self-esteem finds excuses to compromise


professional integrity easily. A person with high self-esteem finds it extremely
difficult to compromise professionalism.
ii) Low morale of the individual: The upbringing of a person holding license to practice a
profession is defective or against moral values and ethics of the profession, it
results in low morale of the individual. Such situation results in loss of
professionalism. If the value of fairness and personal integrity are not inculcated
during childhood of a person, such person normally ends up having low morale.
iii) Defective social norms or values: When society easily accepts low or un-professional
behavior, turns blind eye to property accumulated through unethical means,
respects persons who have criminal records, admires rule-breaker and mocks rule-
followers, the level of professionalism in the society normally plummets.
iv) Irregular, or inconsistent, application of laws and regulations: If institutes like NEC,
CIAA, concerned line agencies or court apply the laws irregularly or selectively,
the risk of indulging in unprofessional behavior becomes low and people loss their
professionalism. Also, when the penalty for law breaking is disproportionately

1
The Medical Council of India has written to the Madhya Pradesh Medical Council to suspend the names of the
15 doctors from the state medical register after an investigation found that they had "gone on a foreign trip
sponsored by a pharma company". The Telegraph, Calcutta, Tuesday, 24 February, 2015,
http://www.abplive.in/india/2015/02/24/article510140.ece/15-Indian-doctors-may-lose-their-license-for-going-
on-a-foreign-trip
low compared to the gain from unprofessional action, people loss their
professionalism.
v) Lack of political commitment: When national level political parties or government
bodies are unwilling to take action law breakers or unprofessional activities, the
level of professionalism in the society normally plunges.
vi) Weak or negligent professional societies: When professional societies like NEA,
SCAEF, FCAN, are weak, or negligent, in taking disciplinary actions against its
members who blatantly break its rules and guidelines, the members tend to neglect
the code of conduct of such professional societies, resulting in loss of
professionalism.
vii) Inadequate salary: When the salary is inadequate to fulfill the basic necessities of life
(food, clothing, shelter, kid’s education, sanitation, health) and/or when the salary
level of a similarly trained person in a different profession is much higher, people
tend to engage in unprofessional activities.
Low self-esteem High self-esteem
Low morale High morale
Defective social norms and
values, low value of integrity, Higher social norms/values,
high value of money regardless high value for integrity
of income source
Low political commitment High political commitment
Opaque governance, Transparency and consistency in
inconsistent application development/implementation of
of laws, acts, and rules rules and regulations
Weak professional societies Strong professional societies
Inadequate salary Adequate salary

Low level of High level of


professionalism professionalism

2.2 Codes of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Engineering Practice (TBG, p. 15)

2.2.1 Fundamental Principles for Engineers to uphold and advance the integrity, honor
and dignity of engineering profession by (National Society of Professional
Engineering, US, 1977),
i) Using their knowledge and skill for the advancement of human welfare
ii) Being honest & impartial & serving with fidelity the public, their employers & clients
iii) Striving to increase the competencies and prestige of engineering profession, and
iv) Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines

2.2.2
2.2.3 Codes of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Engineering Practice in Nepal
2.3 Relationship to Other Professions (TBG, p. 16-17)
Engineering works involve large funds for creating facilities and services for the people. As the
project involve budget and people, the engineer in charge and the staff need to have good
procedure of keeping accounts and rapport with stakeholders. Engineers have to deal with
auditing, budgeting, managing conflict and maintaining harmony in the work place.

Professionals
Engineering Profession and Accounts
Engineering Profession and Lawyers
Engineering Profession and medical doctors/bio-technologists
Engineering Profession and managers
Engineering Profession and sociologists
Engineering Profession and environmentalists
Engineering Profession and journalists
Old Exam Questions from Chapter 2
1. What do you mean by ethics and morale? What should be done to make the
morale of an engineer high? [7] (RPA, pp.57-59)
2. What is your understanding of ethics and norms? How are they essential in
developing healthy professionalism? Elaborate. (I5)
3. Describe the factors affecting the morale of a professional? (12) (RPA, p38)
4. What is profession? Discuss the various factors that affect the morale of the
profession. [8] (RPA, p38)
5. What are the characteristics of ethical decision making?.Briefly discuss. [7]
(RPA, p61)
6. Discuss the consequences of ethical decision making.(RPA p61)
7. What are the main features of a profession? “Do you think the morale of the
professional will become low if they are paid inadequate salary? Explain. .
[8]
8. Define profession, professional and professionalism. Explain the feature of professionals.
9. Define profession. Describe the characteristics of a profession?
10. What do you understand by profession? State the features of a profession.
11. How do you define moral and non-moral actions? Write the code of ethics for engineers.
12. How the moral and non moral action affects the quality of the work? (RPA p58)
13. Distinguish between moral and non-moral action with suitable examples.(RPA p58)

Short Note Type Questions


a. Characteristics of ethical decision making
b. Objectives of Nepal Engineers Association (RPA, p42)
c. Nepal Engineering Council (RPA, p40)
d. Computer crimes
e. Disciplinary action (RPA, p55), (RPA-C p15)
Accountability of Engineers in Nepal
(From: Transparency International Study 2001)

The ethics of a certain profession is the code by which it regulates actions and sets standards
for its members. The professional code attempts to assure high standards of competence in a
given field, strengthen the relationships among its members, and promote the welfare of the
whole community. A professional code does not automatically achieve these goals, but it
does serve to guide and remind people of them. The professional code sometimes makes
provision for dealing with members who violate the professional ethics of the group. In
addition to the professional ethics, public laws may regulate a profession in cases where the
public interest is at stake.
Members should behave with integrity in all professional and business relationships. Integrity
implies not merely honesty but fair dealing and truthfulness. Members should strive for
objectivity in all professional and business judgments. Objectivity is the state of mind, which
has regard to all considerations relevant to the task but no other.
Members should not accept or perform work, which he or she is not competent to undertake
unless the person obtains such advice and assistance as will enable him or her competently to
carry out the work.
Members should carry out his or her professional work with due skill, care, diligence and
expedition and with proper regard for the technical and professional standards required of
him as a member.
Members should conduct themselves with courtesy and consideration towards all with whom
they come into contact during the course of performance of work

Viewed from the angle of the professional standards, the journalists, engineers, legal
practitioners, medical professionals, accountants and auditors and private business people in
Nepal could be safely categorized as true professionals. They are accountability-conscious as
well. But because of their vulnerability to political pressure, clerical mind-set, commercial
attitude and lack of will to stick to the professional standards, they have not been able to
impress the people. Their organizations' failure to function as per the provisions of their
constitution and implement the code of conduct is another reason why professionals have not
been effective.

Accountability in Engineering Profession


Engineers in Nepal have been working for the professional goal under Nepal Engineers'
Association for the last 33 years. NEA, first established in 2025 B.S.(1968) in accordance
with the 2024 B.S.(1967) statute amended the Association's constitution for the third time in
2051 B.S.(1994). (Source: NEA's Third Amended constitution 2051 B.S.(1994).
The Association aims at:
a) helping appropriate development and mobilization of Engineering Sciences and
Technology in Nepal.
b) promoting mutual contact, good will and cooperation among Nepali engineers and
preserving their interest and right.
c) utilizing up to the maximum point the engineering person-power available for the national
development activities and ending dependence on foreigners in this respect.
d) contributing to the pursuit of ideals of the engineering profession by promoting the same
among the engineers and expanding it.
e) developing contact, mutual cooperation, and goodwill friendship with international
engineering associations.
People's perception
People generally regard the profession of Engineering as a highly skilled profession, consider
it as a lucrative one and consider engineers more commercially minded than accountable. The
views expressed at the Focus Group Discussion are summarized below:
• Engineers are qualified and skilled. But their expertise has not been translated into quality
of their works and does not display accountability.
• They appear to have been influenced more by contractors than their professional ethics.
• Although there is universal ethics for them, they do not follow them.
• Engineers have played the role of bureaucrats and administrators and not acted as builders
and creative artists.
• They have been instruments of misutilization of public fund.
• Engineers have made themselves commercialized; they have neglected their engineering
role. They have failed to define their role in development works.
Engineers' perception
• Engineers are builders who give life and shape to scientists' vision.
• Nepal has a tradition of having brilliant students join engineering for studies and
• become engineers. They are the "cream" of the society. But the same has not been
• seen in practical fields. It is a case of poor performance by gifted people.
• New generation engineers feel the shock of unemployment, suffer from inexperience,
guidelessness, and escapism. Old generation engineers, although highly experienced,
have not been able to guide the new ones.
• Nepali engineers have contributed most to the development of sectors like road, drinking
water, irrigation, building, telecommunication, and electricity. Neither the government
nor the general people have appreciated it. Instead, they think they are the sectors through
which engineers cheat the people. It is engineers' weakness not to be able to have proper
appreciation from the people for their job.
• Engineers have not been understood well by government in Nepal. Their importance and
inevitability in national development process has not been appreciated.
• A sad commentary: in a country where Lord Bishwakarma is worshipped, engineers are
not given due respect.
• Government promotes not the engineers but the people who flatter, slavishly serve or
become instrument for making the bureaucrats rich. This has made genuine professional
engineers frustrated.
• Donors' conditions, guidelines and regulations have not allowed Nepali engineers practise
their original skill and innovative talent in development works.
• Nepali engineers have been compelled to work just as captain of labourers, and the
medium of getting bills endorsed and been made to back up the ill designed works
prepared by foreign consultants.

Accountability in practice- Engineers


The above Table,
worked out on the basis
of study of the
profession and
professionals, presents
a scenario of how
accountability is
practiced in the
profession. The ten
components that help enhance accountability have been presented in the column under
indicators. Their position in the profession has been specifically mentioned in the column
under provision. What sort of conventional practice is in use in regard to the components in
the third column under Convention. The state of practice of the indicators has been
mentioned in the fourth column.

Comparison
At the international level engineers are learnt to have recognized that the practice of
engineering has a direct and vital influence on the quality of life for all people. Therefore,
engineers should exhibit high standards of competency, honesty, and impartiality, be fair and
equitable and accept a personal responsibility for adherence to applicable laws, the protection
of the public health, and maintenance of safety in their professional actions and behaviour.
These principles govern professional conduct in serving the interests of the public, clients,
employers, colleagues, and the profession.
The engineer is considered to be a professional dedicated to improving competence, service,
fairness, and the exercise of well-founded judgment in the practice of engineering for the
public, employers, and clients with fundamental concern for the public health and safety in
the pursuit of this practice.
Some canons of professional conduct are emphasized. Engineers offer services in the areas of
their competence and experience, affording full disclosure of their qualifications.
They consider the consequences of their work and societal issues pertinent to it and
seek to extend public understanding of those relationships.
Engineers are honest, truthful, and fair in presenting information and in making public
statements reflecting on professional matters and their professional role. Engineers engage in
professional relationships without bias because of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, or
handicap. They act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or
trustees, disclosing nothing of a proprietary nature concerning the business affairs or
technical processes of any present or former client or employer without specific consent.
Engineers disclose to affected parties known or potential conflicts of interest or other
circumstances which might influence – or appear to influence- judgment or impair the
fairness or quality of their performance. Engineers are responsible for enhancing their
professional competence throughout their careers and for encouraging similar actions by their
colleagues.
Engineers accept responsibility for their actions; seek and acknowledge criticism of
their work; offer honest criticism of the work of others; properly credit the contributions of
others; and do not accept credit for work not theirs.
Engineers perceiving a consequence of their professional duties to adversely affect the
present or future public health and safety shall formally advise their employers or clients and,
if warranted, consider further disclosure. They act in accordance with all applicable laws and
the rules of conduct, and lend support to other who strive to do likewise.
Engineering employment and practice: Ethics
Engineering affects the quality of life for every person in the world. In order to carry out the
duties and responsibilities of their profession, engineers must be honest, fair, impartial, and
dedicated to public health and safety. Engineers are called upon to use their knowledge and
abilities in an ever increasing number of traditional and nontraditional forums. To meet this
growing challenge, standards of conduct are implicit in protecting both the engineer and the
public.
Engineers in Nepal seem to have recognized the importance of such guidelines for
professional conduct and continue to promote their adoption among member societies, the
general scientific and engineering community and within the various levels of government.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

Engineering Professional Practice (CVL 440)

Chapter 3: Roles of Professional Organizations in Regulation and Professional


Development (4 hrs)
3.1 Regulation of the Practice of the Engineering Profession
One of the fundamental roles of professional associations is to regulate the professional practices of the
persons or institutes engaged in a particular profession. For example, the Federation of Contractors’
Association of Nepal (FCAN) regulates the ways contractors, whether persons or a companies, act when
performing duties related to their profession, through:
(a) developing guidelines and procedures to be followed by its members,
(b) developing minimum standards of profession,
(c) developing and issuing codes of conduct to be followed among FCAN members,
(d) developing and approving written and unwritten rules of the profession,
(e) preparing standard procedure and formats of preparing and submitting bids,
(f) monitoring and evaluating compliance of the rules, and
(g) taking actions against those who break of the rules and/or code of conduct.

Similarly, the Nepal Engineering Council (NEC) and Nepal Engineers’ Association (NEA,
www.necnepal.org.np) regulate engineering profession by developing policies, plans and programs for the
smooth functioning of the engineering profession and to execute them. The NEC also regulates higher
engineering education in Nepal through evaluation, recognition and monitoring of academic institutes
providing formal engineering education.

3.2 Objectives of NEC and its Licensing Provision:


OBJECTIVES
The objective of Nepal Engineering Council is to make the engineering profession effective by mobilizing it in a
more systematic and scientific (way) and also to register the engineers as per their qualifications.

NEC’s duties and responsibilities are:


- To prepare policies, plans and programs for the smooth functioning of the engineering profession and to
execute them
- To set norms and standards for engineering education in Nepal
- To grant permission and approval to carry out engineering education to those engineering colleges and
institutions that meet the required norms and standards and to honor their degrees and certificates
- To monitor and inspect the quality of engineering education provided by the engineering colleges and
institutions
- To fix the qualification necessary in order to practice engineering profession and to register their name in the
Council
- To remove their name from the registration of the engineering council if found to violate the code of ethics.

Licensing provisions of NEC:


Licensing is one of the means of regulating the profession. The organizations providing engineering
services, for example, are expected to obtain approval from professional organizations before starting their
business, apart from fulfilling the legal requirements. FCAN classifies its members into different
categories/classes like A, B, C and D; the contractors of each category are limited in the financial amount of
work they can bid for.
Licensing for individual engineers is provided by NEC, in the form of registration. As per clause 11 of NEC
Act, “no person shall practice the engineering profession without getting his/her name registered in the
Council”. Offenders are subject to fine to Rs. 3000 or jail up to three months or both.

Objectives of NEA: (source NEA website, http://www.neanepal.org.np/showmodule.php?what=objectives&under=aboutnea)


1. To promote development of the engineering science and technology in Nepal.
2. To promote fellowship goodwill and cooperation assistance among the Nepalese engineers and
safeguard their rights and interests.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

3. By utilizing, to the highest extent possible, the participation of the national engineering manpower of
the country in the national development activities of Nepal, make effort towards ending foreign
dependency in this regard.
4. To continuously enhance the highest professional ideals among the members and widen it.
5. To develop relations, fellowship and goodwill with international engineering associations and
institutions.

Similarly, SCAEF deals with approval to provide engineering consulting services, and the Computer
Association of Nepal (CAN) deals with approval to provide software development services in Nepal.

Differences between NEC and NEA


NEC NEA
Statutory body, established under NEC Act, in 1999 An NGO, established in 1962
Must register before practicing engineering Registration/membership is voluntary
profession
Executive body (Governing Board Members) by Executive body by election
election and nomination (5+1 nominated by GoN, 5
elected), NEA President, TU representative,
Chairman, Vice Chairman, Registrar)
Evaluates and approves establishment of academic No such provision
institutes offering engineering programs
Offers different categories of engineering No such provision, but offers membership as
profession: general, professional, foreign general, life, foreign
Monitors academic institutes offering engineering No such provision
programs (every year for temporary approval and
every other year for permanent approval), and
cancels approval if found not up to standard
The directives and code of conduct issued are The directives and code of conduct issued are
mandatory voluntary
More focus on monitoring activities of its members More focus on rights and welfare of its members
with regard to compliance of code of conduct

3.3 Codes of Ethics and guidelines for professional Engineering Practice – NEC code of
conduct
The code of ethics is the moral guidelines and the standard developed by the professional
society and is obeyed by the members of the society. The codes of ethics and guidelines for
professional engineering practices in Nepal are promulgated by different professional
organizations in Nepal.

3.3.1 Fundamental Principles of Professional Engineering Ethics


The Engineer, to uphold and advance the honour and dignity of the engineering profession
and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

(i) will be honest and fair, and will serve with devotion his Employer, his Clients and
the public;
(ii) will dedicate himself to the advancement of competence of engineering profession
and to the dissemination of engineering knowledge and
(iii) will use his knowledge and skill in the service of humanity

3.3.2 Fundamental canons for professional engineers/Characteristics of Ethical Decision


Making
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

i) Engineers should hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the
performance of their professional duties,
ii) Engineers shall perform services only in the area of their competencies,
iii) Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner,
iv) Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful
agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflict of interests,
v) Engineers shall build their professional reputations on the merit of their services and
shall not compete unfairly with others,
vi) Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity and
dignity of the profession,
vii) Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their career and
shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under
their supervision.

3.3.3 Nepal Engineering Council (NEC) Code of Conduct


The professional Code of Conduct to be followed by the registered Engineers of the council,
subject to the provision of the Nepal Engineering Council Act, 2055 and the Nepal
Engineering Council Regulation, 2057 has been published as follows:
i. Discipline and Honesty: The Engineering sevice/profession must be conducted in a
disciplined manner with honesty, not contravening professional dignity and well-
being.
ii. Politeness and Confidentiality: Engineering services for customers should be sealt
with in a polite manner and professional information should remain confidential
except with written or verbal consent of the customers concerned. This, however, is
not deemed to be a restriction to provide such information to the concerned authority
as per the existing laws.
iii. Non-discrimination: No discrimination should be made against customers on
the grounds of religion, sex, caste or any other things while applying professional
knowledge and skills.
iv. Professional Work: Individuals should only do professional work in their field or
provide recommendation or suggestions only within the area of theri study or obtained
knowledge or skills. With regards to the works not falling within the subject of one's
profession , such as works should be recommended to be done by an experts of the
subject matter.
v. Deeds which may cause harm to the engineering profession: With the exception of
salary, allowance, and benefits to be received for services provided, one shall not
obtain improper financial gain of any kind of conduct improper activities of any
kinds, which would impair the engineering profession.
vi. Personal responsibility: All individuals will be personally responsible for all works
performed in connection with his/her engineering profession.
vii. State name ,designation and registration number: While signing the documents or
descriptions such as the design , map , specification and estimates etc ralating to the
Engineering profession , the details should include, the name , designation and NEC
registration No. and should be stated in a clear and comprehensive manner.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

viii. No publicity or advertisement must be made which cause unnecessary effects: In


connection with the professional activities to be carried out, no publicity or
advertisement shall be made so as to cause unnecessary effects upon the customers.

3.3.4 Nepal Engineers’ Association (NEA) Code of Conduct


Nepal Engineers’ Association adopted code of ethics for its fellow members on March 19,
1969 (2025-12-6 BS).
1. Relation with the Public:
1.1 The Engineer will have proper regard for the health, safety and welfare of the
public in the performance of his professional duties.
1.2 He will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and
its achievements and will at the same time oppose any untrue, unsupported or
exaggerated statements regarding engineering
1.3 He will be dignified and modest in explaining his work and merit and will refrain
from misrepresentative of self-laudatory advertising.
1.4 He will express an opinion on an engineering subject only when it is founded on
adequate knowledge and honest conviction.

2. Relation with Employers and Clients:


2.1 The Engineer will act in professional matters as faithful agent or trustee of each
Employer or Client.
2.2 He will not accept compensation or remuneration from more than one party for
same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent
of all interested parties.
2.3 He will inform his Employer or Client if he is financially interested in any vender or
contractor or any firm which is directly involved in a project or work of his
employer or Client. He will not allow such interest to affect his decisions regarding
engineering services which he may be applied to perform.
2.4 He will indicate to his Employer or Client in writing the adverse consequences to be
expected if his engineering judgment is over-ruled.
2.5 He will undertake only those engineering assignments for which he is qualified. He
will engage or advise his Employer or Client to engage specialists and will co-
operate with them whenever in his judgment his Employer’s or Client’s interest are
served best by such an arrangement.
2.6 He will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical
processes of any present or former employer or Client without his consent.
2.7 He will not divulge any confidential findings of studies or action of an engineering
commission or broad of which he is a member, without official consent.
2.8 He will not exert undue influence or offer, solicit or accept compensation for the
purpose of affecting negotiations for an engineering engagement.
3. Relation with Engineers:
3.1 The Engineer will take care that credit for engineers work is given to those to
whom credit is properly due.
3.2 He will provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on
working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment
will keep him informed of any changes in them.
3.3 He will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those
engaged in engineering work including those in subordinate capacities.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

3.4 He will endeavor to provide opportunity for professional development and


advancement of fellow engineer under his supervision.
3.5 He will not attempt to injure falsely or maliciously professional reputation
prospects or practice of other engineer. However, if he has proof that engineer has
been unethical illegal or unfair in his practice he should so advice to proper
authority.
3.6 He will not use the advantage of salaried position to compete unfair with another
engineer.
3.7 He will not invite or submit price proposal for professional services, which require
creative intellectual effort, on a basis that constitutes competition or process alone.
Due regard should be given to all professional aspects of the engagement.
3.8 He will not attempt to supplant other engineer in a particular engagement after
definitive steps have been taken towards his employment.
3.9 He will not review the work of other engineer for the same Client expect with the
knowledge of such engineer unless such engineer’s engagement or the work
which is subject to review has been terminated.
3.10 He will cooperate in advancing the engineering profession by interchanging
information and experience with other engineers and students, and by contributing
to public communication media to the efforts of engineering and scientific
societies and schools.

The membership of NEA can be terminated if the member violates the NEA code of conduct.
“If a member violates this Statute or the Rules, Bye-laws framed hereunder of carries out act
contrary to the interests of the Engineering community or breaches the code of conduct
prescribed, his membership may be expelled by way of a decision made by the two- thirds
majority of the Council.”

Society of Consulting Architectural and Engineering Firms


A consulting engineer will:
a) be honest and fair and will serve the client and the public with devotion,
b) be dedicated to the advancement of the competence of the engineering profession, and
c) use knowledge and skill in the service of humanity
Responsibility towards the nation
i. Moral responsibility
ii. Involvement in community development
iii. Refrain from works which are against national interest
Responsibility towards the client
i. Gain and maintain client’s confidence
ii. Loyal to the client
iii. Protect interest of the client
iv. Safeguard client’s confidential information
v. Disclose conflict of interest
Responsibility towards the profession
i. Necessity of formal qualification
ii. Refrain from claiming skill outside area of expertise
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

iii. Exercise greater skill in specialized jobs


iv. High quality of skill
v. Limiting to agreed remuneration: cannot ask for higher remuneration by trapping
client into difficult situation
vi. Refrain from holding position with potential for conflict of interest
vii. Engage in professional development through regular updating on knowledge & skills

Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal (FCAN) Code of Conduct


The FCAN has listed a 31 point code-of-conduct in its statute. Some of the code-of-
conduct issues related to general engineering practices are as follows; the numbers
are kept same as in the code-of-conduct available in FCAN’s website.
1. Contractors shall not be involved in any activity against fundamental principles of
morality.
5. Contractors shall not be involved in any form of corruption.
6. Contractors shall not be involved in any activity which may be deemed immoral and
illegal/criminal.
15.Members and office bearers are prohibited from misuse of authority for personal
gain.
16.Members and office bearers are prohibited from accepting jobs through unsealed
quotation, hand receipt documents of users’ community, daily wage (amaanat),
quotation, or from organizations like National Construction Company Nepal
(NCCN).
18. Since inferior quality works of a contractor defame all the contractors, no one shall
be involved in unhealthy competition and inferior-quality works

3.4 Roles of Professional Organizations in Induction of new entrants into the profession
Another major role of the professional associations is to guide new entrants into the profession by
(a) providing orientation and training,
(b) guiding on the conventions of the profession,
(c) providing information on the dos and don’ts of the profession,
(d) potential pitfalls when the Code of Conduct are not followed, and
(e) linking the new comers with established members of the profession.
(f) Guiding on general job description and employers’ expectation from a new recruit

3.5 Upgrading and maintaining the profession and technical competence of members of
professional societies
Professional societies take various steps for upgrading and maintaining the professional
and technical competence of its members by
a) Organizing regular professional development courses and continuing education
programs, like running Engineering Staff College
b) Organizing skill development oriented training programs
c) Organizing regular talk programs to share experiences and lessons learned from
different projects
d) Providing platform for its members to expose their works by organizing national and
international seminars/workshops on regular basis
e) Publishing technical journals and news bulletin
f) Organizing exposure field visits to different projects
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

g) Providing exposure to national and international experiences by organizing national


and international visits to its members
h) Proactively working with academic institutes on development and update of
university curriculums
i) Proactively working with research institutes for involving its members in research and
development activities
j) Proactively working with service providing organizations (consulting companies,
contractors, material suppliers, software developers, equipment operators) to establish
link of its members with established organizations.

Some of the examples of the professional associations playing the role of upgrading and maintaining
professional and technical competence of its members in Nepal are:
i.Providing Continuing Education Programs (NEA, SCAEF, FCAN, CAN)
ii.Engineering Staff College (proposed by NEA, not yet fulfilled)
iii.Provision of Professional Engineer (NEC)
iv.Provision of periodic test as part of NEC registration renewal
v.Professional Development as part of evaluation of engineering colleges (NEA)
vi.Organizing professional meetings (NEA, SCAEF, FCAN, CAN)
vii.Organizing trainings, weekly lecture series (NEA);
http://www.neanepal.org.np/showmodule.php?what=weeklytalk&under=home
viii.Organizing workshop on specific issues related to engineering education in Nepal (AECON, OPEN,
TUTA)

After the April 25, 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, NEA played a crucial role in disaster risk management by
providing training to thousands of engineers on Rapid Visual Assessment of earthquake affected buildings in
Kathmandu Valley.

3.6 Perspective on Morals, Ethics and Professionalism (TBG, pp. 13-15), see section 2.2
of lecture notes.
3.6.1 Code of Ethics for professional engineers, as per NEC (RPA p45)
Discipline and honesty
Politeness and secrecy
Non-discrimination
Limit service in concerned expertise
Abstain from work which harm engineering profession
Professional responsibility
State name, designation and registration number
No publicity and advertisement

3.6.2 Code of Ethics for a consulting engineer, as per SCAEF


A consulting engineer will:
• be honest and fair and will serve the client and the public with devotion
• dedicate himself to the advancement of the competence of the engineering profession
• use his knowledge and skill in the service of humanity
3.6.3 Code of Ethics for a contractor’s engineer, as per FCAN
3.6.4 Code of Ethics for a contractor’s engineer, as per NEA
3.6.5 IEEE code of Ethics (for electronics and electrical engineers)
There are similar codes of ethics in other branches of engineering.

3.5 Providing Technical Expertise as Requested for the Guidance and Assistance of
Legislators
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

The legislators and other governmental organizations frequently seek technical expertise from professional
associations in the development, drafting and amendments to the existing acts, rules, regulations, policies,
guidelines, bylaws, provisions, plans and programs. NEC, NEA, SCAEF, FCAN, CAN and other
professional organizations provide technical expertise to different government organizations, including
legislators, as and when requested. When these professional associations do not have in-house expertise,
they coordinate with individual (or institutional) members to provide such services.

NEA conducted study of Jure Landslide (Sunkoshi) in 2014 and submitted expert advice to deal with the
disaster.
(https://drive.google.com/a/nec.edu.np/file/d/0B19Ck0L5dMSrUklZUDN2dk5lZUx6aEtCYnpmenp2TjFId
2kw/edit)

3.6 Ensuring occupational health, safety and general welfare of the Public
The professional engineering associations are expected to play the role of monitors of quality of works of
its members, including the matter of safety and general welfare of the public. When a particular member is
found to violate the codes of conduct, compromise on quality of works, and neglect public safety and public
welfare, the concerned professional engineering association can warn them, and cancel their membership.
NEC is planning to introduce a system of Accountability in Engineering Professional services. The standard
design manuals, design procedures, building codes, including professional judgments will be evaluated as a
part of safety and general welfare of public in engineering works.
Sample of SCAEF activities from SCAEF website:
1. Construction Industry Development Act
2. Establishment of Consultancy Development Center
3. Strengthening Relationship among Engineering and Professional Organizations
4. ADB Seminar and SCAEF's Action Plan for the Institutional Development of Nepalese Consulting Industry
5. SCAEF Building
6. Establishment of Capital Fund for SCAEF Building
7. TCDPAP Annual Conference
8. Membership
9. Earthquake Awareness and Disaster Management
10. Workshop on Capacity Building of Consulting Industry in Nepal
11. Collaboration with Korean Engineering and Consulting Association (Kenca)
12. Low Billing Rate
13. International Conference
14. Abolition of Bid Bond
15. Contribution to People's Movement
16. MOU with FCAN

3.7 Role of professional societies in environment protection

The professional societies can play crucial role in protection of environment while carrying
out development projects.

• Raise awareness among society members, public decision makers, and legislators on
environment & sustainable development issues; work with universities in developing
environment protection courses
• Circulate environment protection related acts, rules and regulations to society
members
• Study and publish results of impacts (short term and long term) of development works
on environment
• Develop manuals and guidelines on design, operation and maintenance of
development projects by considering environment protection
• Conduct training courses on environmental law compliance
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

• Conduct advocacy programs for environment sensitive development methods


• Monitor specific development projects from environment protection aspect and
suggest improvements, if needed, in carrying out project works with environment
compliance
• Award organizations with excellent environment protection records.

Advice and Assistance to Engineering Colleges


In Nepal, the NEC plays the crucial role in advice and assistance to engineering colleges. Three of the
objectives of the NEC related to engineering education in Nepal are:
• To set norms and standards for engineering education in Nepal,
• To grant permission and approval to carry out engineering education to those engineering colleges and
institutions that meet the required norms and standards and to honor their degrees and certificates, and
• To monitor and inspect the quality of engineering education provided by the engineering colleges and
institutions

The NEC’s role in engineering education in Nepal goes beyond just ‘advice and assist’ the engineering
college. As the statutory body, NEC has developed the following for regulation of higher engineering
education in Nepal.

i.Regulation to Recognize Institutes Providing Engineering Education, 2066


ii.Norms and Standards as Appendix 7 of RRIPEE 2066
iii.Regular Monitoring as part of implementation of Engineering Colleges
iv.Inspection Guide with Scoring Template
v.Regulations to Recognize Graduate Engineering Programs, 2067 (yet to be approved)
vi.Norms and Standards for Post Graduate Engineering Programs
vii.Students’ Registration Form (for monitoring student enrollment)

NEC has provision of providing temporary and permanent approval to engineering colleges based on the
numerical score. The colleges receiving a score between 70 and 89 will receive a temporary approval, and the
colleges receiving a score above 89 in NEC’s evaluation will receive a permanent approval to run engineering
programs. NEC monitors the engineering college every year if it has temporary approval; the colleges with
permanent approval are monitored once every other year.

Other professional associations can also play important role in ‘advice and assistance’ to engineering colleges in
Nepal, especially in
i) developing and regular updating higher level skill oriented curriculum,
ii) jointly developing “expected learning outcomes” of each subject and overall objectives of engineering
programs,
iii) jointly developing guidelines for student evaluation,
iv) providing internship opportunities for college graduates in industries,
v) coordinating between potential employers and university officials for bridging the gap in academic
training and industrial skill requirement,
vi) assisting in tracer study of university/college graduates, and
providing funding mechanism for scholarships, fellowships, research grant, and project grant.
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practices 2016
Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec

Old Exam Questions from Chapter 3


1. Briefly discuss the code of ethics of Nepal Engineering Council. (8)
2. Explain the code of ethics applicable to engineering profession.
3. What do you understand by the code of conduct? Describe the code of conduct for engineers.
4. How do you judge the ethical standard of Engineers in Nepal? Describe the role of Nepal Engineering
Council in maintaining ethical standard of Nepalese Engineers.
5. Differentiate between the NEA and NEC with suitable examples.
6. What are the meaningful roles of professional societies or associations? Why are they needed? Explain.
7. Explain roles of Engineering council and Nepal Engineers Association. In what regards, they are different?
8. What are the general job descriptions of engineers working in public sector?
9. Describe the duties of an engineer.

Short Note Type Questions


a. Objectives of Nepal Engineers’ Association (RPA, p42)
b. Nepal Engineering Council (RPA, p40)
c. Disciplinary action (RPA, p55), (RPA-C p15)
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

Engineering Professional Practice (CLV 440)

Chapter 4: Legal Aspects of Professional Engineering in Nepal (9 hour)


4.1 The Nepalese Legal System as it affects the Practice of Engineering
The legal system of a nation includes:
• acts/laws, code, court decisions (ain, kanun, nirnaya/najir)
• rules, regulations, bylaws, directives (niyam, biniyam, nirdeshika)
• treaties, conventions, policies, (sandhi, prachalan, niti)
• formation orders, ordinance, promulgations, (adesh, adhyadesh, ghoshana,)
• access to justice, freedom to choose legal advisor,
• concepts of “innocent until proven guilty”, and
• implementation aspects of the written acts/laws, rules, and regulations.

In Nepalese legal system, a person is practically “assumed guilty until proven innocent”. As
soon as a person, or an officer, is charged of a crime, he/she is losses his/her official
privileges, expected to resign from his/her post or automatically suspended till the case is
“closed” by a court of law. The Nepalese society normally presumes a person guilty as soon
as a person is charged of a crime. People have very low level of faith on the impartiality of
justice/legal system. Many persons found guilty by a court, but with good connection, roam
in government offices, while persons with low access to resources waits for years, even
decades, to hear court verdict on cases he/she files.

The following are some of the acts related to engineering professional practice. 1

 The Patent, Design and Trademark  Nepal Engineering Council Act, 1999
Act, 1965  Nepal Arbitration Act 1999
 Labor Act, 1992  Local Self Governance Act, 1999
 Insurance Act, 1992  Construction Business Act, 1999
 Immigration Act, 1992  Copy Right Act, 2002
 Foreign Investment and Technology  Income Tax Act, 2002 & Regulation
Transfer Act, 1992  Company Act, 2006
 Industrial Enterprises Development  Public Procurement Act, 2007
Institute Act, 1996 (amendment 2012)
 Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 1997  International laws and conventions,
 Environmental Protection Act 1997 Bilateral agreements (WTO (23 Arp
 Contract Act, 1999 2004), ILO, BIPPA)

4.2 Provision for Private Practice and for Employee Engineers


Provision for Private Practice
Engineer(s) may choose to conduct their own private practice as
a) Independent consultant by registering a firm (proprietary, private limited)

1
Refer the link http://www.lawcommission.gov.np/ for a long list of the statutes, acts, rules, regulations, bylaws,
promulgation, treaties, conventions, policies and formation orders of Nepal.

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b) Independent developer of services and/or products by registering firms/industries


(software developer, property valuator, safety/technical auditor, contractor, technical
manager, trainer, automobile producer/service provider, geotechnical/soil tester)
c) Freelance consultant (assignment/project based)
d) Employee at an organization (public/private)

Provision for Employee Engineers


Any engineer, whether Nepalese or foreigner, wishing to be an engineering-employee of any
organization offering and performing engineering services in Nepal is required to register at
Nepal Engineering Council, as per Clause 11 of NEC Act, 1999.

4.3 Contract Act


The History of law of contract in Nepal is not very long due to belated development of
industry and commerce. Some provisions relating to contract could be found in Muluki Ain
1853. However the provisions of said Act were not sufficient

There was pressing need to enact new Contract Act to cope with the demand of commercial
sector. As a result, a separate Contract Act was enacted in 1966, a fairly detailed enactment
on the law relating to contracts.

4.3.1 The Contract Act 1966

The Contract Act 1966 had defined contract as an agreement between two or more parties to
do, or not to do, any act. It had made incompetence of parties to enter in to contract that is
under the age of 16 years and person of unsound mind. However it was very short,
insufficient and contradictory in some respects in comparison to the principle of law of
contract. The Contract Act was enacted in 1999 and came in to force in 2000.

4.3.2 The Contract Act 1999 (for details, refer the Contract Act 2056)
The Act has made effort to address the new aspects of contract law developed in the
developed countries as the demand of industry and Commerce. The Act contains 90 sections
in all. Section 2 has defined ‘contract’ as an agreement concluded between two or more
parties for performing or not performing any act which could be executed according to law.

4.3.3 Essentials of a valid contract (RPA 76)


To be binding and enforceable, a contract should have the following essential elements:
a. Offer and acceptance: An offer is a promise made by a party (or person) to
another party (or person) with an intention of getting approval over his/her promise. A tender
submitted by a contractor is considered as offer. The client, after due consideration and
evaluation of the offer, provides acceptance of the offer.
b. Mutual intent to enter into contract: An agreement between two (or more)
parties is not automatically considered to be a contract. A contract requires the parties
intention to establish a legal relationship. Therefore, the parties’ intention of entering into
contract should be clearly reflected in the agreement.
c. Consideration: All the concerned parties of the contract should get something of
value for fulfilling the terms and conditions of the contract.

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d. Capacity to contract: A party (or person) entering into a contract should be of


legal age and should be under his/her own control.
e. Lawful purpose: If the objective of the contract is unlawful, the contract is not
considered valid.
f. Free consent: The parties in a contract should have consented freely to enter into
the contract. A contract signed under coercion, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation etc
are invalid.

Hence, all the contract are agreement, but not all the agreements are contracts.

4.3.4 Void Contracts: The following contracts shall be void:

(a) A Contract preventing anyone from engaging him/herself in any occupation, profession or
trade which is not prohibited by prevailing law.
Provided that a contract shall not be deemed to have been concluded in preventing profession
or trade in the following circumstances:
(i) A contract preventing the seller from engaging him/herself in a profession or trade at
the time and place as mentioned in the contract concluded between the buyer and the
seller on selling and buying of the goodwill of any trade;
(ii) A contract concluded among partners in preventing their engagement in any trade or
business, other than those of the partnership firm, similar to those of the partnership
firm or any other trade or business together with other competitors belonging to the
same kind of trade or business as long as the partnership continues.
(iii) A contract concluded among the partners in preventing them from engaging in a trade
or business under the partnership firm for the specified time or place after being
separated from the partnership;
(iv) A contract preventing any individual from receiving the service of any such agency,
company, firm, individual or competitor of such agency, company, firm, or individual
for the specified period of time after the retirement from service or during the service
of such agency, company, firm or individual pursuant to contract concluded by any
individual with any agency, company, firm or individual.
(b) A contract restraining marriages other than those prohibited by the prevailing law.
(c) A contract preventing any one from enjoying the facilities already being enjoyed by the
general public.
(d) A contract seeking to prevent the legal rights of any person from being enforced by any
government office or court.
(e) A contract concluded in matters, contrary to or prohibited by the prevailing law.
(f) A contract concluded for immoral purpose or against Public morality or public interest.
(g) A contract which cannot be performed because the parties thereto do not exactly know
about the matter in relation to which it has been concluded.
(h) A contract which is considered impossible to fulfill even at the time the contract is
concluded.
(i) A contract which is vague as it does not provide reasonable meaning thereof.
(j) A contract concluded by an incompetent person to conclude such contract.
(k) A contract concluded with an unlawful consideration or objective.

4.3.5 Voidable Contracts:


The following contracts may be made void by the aggrieved party:

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(a) A contract concluded through coercion:


Explanation: A person shall be deemed to have indulged in coercion if he/she, with
the objective of compelling any person, to accept any contract against his/her will,
withholds or threatens to withhold property belonging to him/her, or threatens to
defame him/her, or takes or threatens to take any other action in contravention of
prevailing law.
(b) A contract concluded through of undue influence:
Explanation: (1) Undue influence means influence exercised by a person upon
another person who is under his/her influence and is amenable to his/her personal
benefit or interest.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of Clause (1), the following persons shall be
deemed to be under the influence of any person and amenable to his/her wishes:
(i) A person living under his/her guardianship, protection or custody.
(ii) a persons who cannot take care of their interest temporarily or permanently by
reason of old age, sickness or physical or mental weakness.
(iii) A person who can be subjected to under one's economic or ranking influences.
(c) A contract concluded through fraud:
Explanation: A party to the contract or his/her agent shall be deemed to have
committed fraud if he/she, leads the other party or his/her agent to believe or takes
any action to believe the particular matter is true, although he/she knows that it is
false, or suppresses any information in his/her possession, or indulges in any other
fraudulent act punishable under prevailing law, with the intention of deceiving the
opposite party or his/her agent.
(d) A contract concluded through deceit:
Explanation:
(1) Any of the following act shall be taken as deceit:
(i) Submission of false particulars on any matter without reasonable basis for
doing so;
(ii) Misleading any party so as to aggrieve him/her;
(iii) Causing any wrong deliberately on the matter of contract;
(2) In a case of a voidable contract under this section, the following matters shall be
dealt with as prescribed below:
(i) The party caused to enter into a contract may, instead of making the contract
void, demand his/her position to be remained the same, as it was prior to
conclusion of the contract.
(ii) Burden of proof of innocence of undue influence shall be rest in the party who
claims that such contract is not concluded under an undue influence in case a
contract is concluded with the person who is under one's influence and amenable
to his/her wishes.

4.3.6 Significance of a Contract


The following are the significance of a contract.
1. To make agreement legally enforceable
2. To record the terms of agreement (terms of reference, scope of works)
3. To specify the roles and responsibilities of each party of the contract
4. To specify corrective measures in case of breach of contract
5. To specify quantity and quality of work to be done, work schedule and payment
schedule and mode
6. To identify parties of the agreement, and the official agents/representatives of the
parties, if any.

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7. To set out in advance the course of action to be taken in different foreseeable


situations
8. To define words and establish common language
9. To define limitations of the contract
10. To define contract termination procedure
11. To define responsibilities of the contracting parties to the third parties like
government, community, workers, sub-contractor, material supplier, unions etc.

4.3.7 Factors to be considered in preparing a contract document


• The contract must be fair to all the parties entering into the contract.
• The language used in the contract must be clear (unambiguous).
• The contract language must be consistent. Same word, phrase or abbreviation should
not have different meaning in different location.
• There should be no repetitions, as it tends to create confusion.

• Contract information must be retrievable by all the parties entering into contract,
whenever they need it. So multiple original copies of the contract should be prepared.
• The terms of the contract should not conflict with existing laws.
• All legal provisions to make the contract valid and enforceable should be complied,
like witness, immediate stakeholder (in case of land/property ownership transfer).

4.3.8 Interpretation of a contractual clause (RPA 78)


In general, contractual terms are interpreted on the following basis.
a. If the language in the contract is clear, the words and terms are interpreted on the
basis of the intention of the parties, which is reflected in the contract.
b. If the words and terms are not used to give special (or technical) meaning, the words
and terms are explained or understood in their ordinary meaning.
c. If the words or terms are ambiguous or vague or used to give special (or technical)
meaning, them outside help is taken in the interpretation of the words.

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d. If the contract is ambiguous, with double meaning, or contains conflicting provisions,


such words, terms or contractual clauses are interpreted in favor of the party who has
not drafted the contract. This rule of interpretation is called contra proferentem rule.

Contra proferentem (Latin: "against [the] offeror"),[1] also known as "interpretation


against the draftsman", is a doctrine of contractual interpretation providing that, where a
promise, agreement or term is ambiguous, the preferred meaning should be the one that
works against the interests of the party who provided the wording.[2] The doctrine is
often applied to situations involving standardized contracts or where the parties are of
unequal bargaining power, but is applicable to other cases.[3] However, the doctrine is
not directly applicable to situations where the language at issue is mandated by law, as is
often the case with insurance contracts and bills of lading.[4]

The reasoning behind this rule is to encourage the drafter of a contract to be as clear and
explicit as possible and to take into account as many foreseeable situations as it can.
Additionally, the rule reflects the court's inherent dislike of standard-form take-it-or-
leave-it contracts also known as contracts of adhesion (e.g., standard form insurance
contracts for individual consumers, residential leases, etc.). The court perceives such
contracts to be the product of bargaining between parties in unfair or uneven positions.
To mitigate this perceived unfairness, legal systems apply the doctrine of contra
proferentem; giving the benefit of any doubt in favor of the party upon whom the
contract was foisted. Some courts when seeking a particular result will use contra
proferentem to take a strict approach against insurers and other powerful contracting
parties and go so far as to interpret terms of the contract in favor of the other party, even
where the meaning of a term would appear clear and unambiguous on its face, although
this application is disfavored.

Contra proferentem also places the cost of losses on the party who was in the best
position to avoid the harm. This is generally the person who drafted the contract. An
example of this is the insurance contract mentioned above, which is a good example of
an adhesion contract. There, the insurance company is the party completely in control of
the terms of the contract and is generally in a better position to, for example, avoid
contractual forfeiture.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_proferentem; accessed: June 8, 2014

4.4 Liability and Negligence (Nichols 2006)

Liability
A society can legally impose liability for actions based on a variety of criteria. Three types of
liabilities are:
4.4.1 In assigning liability under contracts, society imposes liability based upon an
exchange of promises (an agreement/contract). As a result, contract liability imposes
responsibility for the protection of a single limited interest of individuals (namely,
their interest in what others have promised them). Contract law imposes liability on a
party for promises that the first has made to another party.
Engineering examples: Liability resulting from:
• non-submission of report/design in time;

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• damage to structure resulting from incorrect/inappropriate design, lapse in site


supervision,
• loss due to non-delivery of materials/services on time

4.4.2 In assigning liability under criminal law, society can protect the broader interests of
the public (as a whole, not as individuals). In criminal law, society claims an interest
in certain conduct (criminal conduct) that may bring harm to individuals. The state
brings legal actions for criminal acts, such as theft or murder, although an individual
member of society may be harmed. In that case, the defendant has a liability to the
state. (The defendant may also have liability for the harm to the individual under civil
(or tort) law for the same act.)

Engineering examples:
Performing professional engineering job without proper registration in NEC (violates
NEC Act, 1999)
Using, or neglecting, use of child labor (Violates Labor Law)
Awards contract by neglecting Public Procurement Act
Acts violating labor law, contract law, income tax law, value added tax law, and other
laws

4.4.3 Liability under tort is a legal mechanism for compensating individuals injured by
others. In that case the injured party (the plaintiff) may bring a legal action against the
injuring party (who then is the defendant). Tort law is 'directed toward the
compensation of individuals, rather than the public, for losses which they have
suffered within the scope of their legally recognized interests generally rather than
one interest only, where the law considers that compensation is required'
Engineering examples:

4.4.4 Objectives of tort provision


Compensation to the victims of the action or inaction of someone else.
Transferring the cost of injury from the victim to the person responsible for the injury.
Prevention of repetition of harmful action.
Defending the law and rights of victim.

4.4.5 Vicarious Liability: A company is liable for the acts of its own and its employees.
Three tests are used to ascertain the degree of vicarious liability.
a) Control test: The more control a company has over a person (employee) the more
liable the company is.
b) Business integration test: The more the work of a person is integrated into the
work of a company, the more liable the company is for the acts of the person, even
if the person is not a direct employee of the company.
c) Multiple test: Control test, business integration test, and other related factors are
taken into consideration to determine the degree of liability.

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4.4.6 Partnership Liability: Liability of the partners in tort: The partners of a company are
liable for the acts of one (or more) of its other partners.

4.4.7 Duties and Liabilities of Designers/Professionals


i. Fitness for purpose: The design of a project (overall and component-wise)
should be proper to serve the purpose of the project.
ii. Negligent misstatement: The designers and professionals are expected not to
make any negligent or unsubstantiated misstatements.
iii. Statutes, bylaws and building regulations/codes: It is the duty of the
designers and professionals to make themselves fully aware of the statutes,
bylaws and codes related to their professional practice.
iv. Examination of site above and below the ground: Before finalizing a
design, a designer should know the conditions of the site above and below the
ground.
v. Public and private rights: The design of a project should not contradict with
the public and private rights of the client and others who may be affected by
the design implementation.
vi. Plans, drawings and specifications: The design should include detailed plan,
drawing, and specification of each component of the project and equipment
vii. Materials (quantity, quality and availability): The details of the quantity
and quality of materials to be used in a project should be specifically
mentioned. The availability of the materials should be kept in mind while
selecting the material types.
viii. Novel, risky design and employers’ interference in design: A designer may
choose to use novel and risky design, and may decide to incorporate
employer/client’s idea in the design. However, the designer is ultimately
responsible for the safety & fitness for purpose of the design implementation.
ix. Revision of design during construction: The design of a project may be
revised during construction. However, the designer is ultimately responsible
for the safety & fitness for purpose of the design implementation.
Negligence
Negligence is 'conduct which falls below the standard established by law for the protection of
others against unreasonable risk of harm'. In order to establish liability for damage, the courts
analyze the following four elements, each of which is defined below:
1. Duty (no contract implies no duty, and no duty implies no negligence)
2. Breach (breach contractual provisions, like scope of work, deliverable schedule,
quality control)
3. proximate cause (direct relation between breach and loss)
4. damages (no liability without damage)

A defendant may be found liable when that defendant breaches a duty of care to the plaintiff,
and the breach of that duty is the proximate cause of loss or harm to the plaintiff
(“damages”). In order to be awarded compensation by the courts, a plaintiff must prove all

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four, namely that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, that it was breached, and that that
breach was the proximate cause of the loss or harm to the plaintiff.
The most general duty under tort law is to exercise 'reasonable care' to avoid harm to others.
A person has this obligation (duty) to all other persons at all times. The root of negligence
(neglect) is 'imports an absence of care or attention on the doing or omission of a given act'.
People have the responsibility to exercise reasonable care toward others. The law of
negligence seeks to assign liability for damages to parties due to of the failure of others to be
sufficiently careful of their interests. One of the purposes of tort law is to compensate a
victim for injuries suffered by the acts (or unreasonable omissions) of others.
Legal concepts of negligence and fault are related to moral fault but 'fault' under negligence
law is not synonymous with “morally blameworthy”. ''Fault' is a failure to live up to an ideal
of conduct'. Although some failure to perform in the ideal way may be blameworthy, a person
might be free of moral blame for a failure to live up to some ideal of conduct due to such
things as sudden illness over which the person had no control. Concepts of strict product
liability, however, are not generally related to moral fault.
The breach of duty required for behavior to be negligent in the legal sense is a failure to
fulfill the obligation of reasonable care under standards established by society (generally).
Liability under negligence requires a sufficient casual connection between plaintiff's conduct
and defendant's damages. Causation sounds like an easy concept, but the application of the
concept proves troublesome. The connection required is 'proximate cause'.
Let us distinguish two notions: 'cause in fact' and 'legal cause'. Cause in fact examines the
factual connection between the defendant's conduct and the loss or harm to the plaintiff. The
defendant's conduct is not a 'cause in fact' of the event if the event would have occurred in the
absence of the defendant's conduct. The defendant's act must have been a necessary condition
for the harm done to the plaintiff; 'but for the conduct of the defendant' the damages would
not have occurred. Establishing that the defendant’s action was a necessary condition for the
occurrence of harm, although it establishes cause in fact, does not establish negligence,
however.

Proximate cause requires more than cause in fact. It requires 'legal cause' or 'responsible
cause'. Proximate cause requires a sufficiently close relationship of the breach of a duty to the
harm suffered by a specific victim. This requires that the breach be more than simply a
necessary condition for the damages.

Proximate cause refers to legal proximity that in fairness allows the defendant to be held
financially responsible to the plaintiff for the alleged tortious conduct. A defendant will not
be held responsible for all damages which are 'caused in fact' by her conduct. Proximate
cause relates to the concept of duty. A defendant has an obligation to exercise 'reasonable
care' to all other persons at all times. Proximate cause addresses whether the defendant was
under a duty to protect this particular plaintiff against the particular event that injured the
victim of that breach of duty.

Note that the plaintiff must actually have suffered damages to recover compensation from the
plaintiff. That is not to say that the defendant was not negligent, but tort law generally is not
intended to punish negligent behavior itself, but to compensate 'innocent' parties for the harm
innocent parties suffered from the negligence of others. As a result, it is entirely possible that

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a negligent party exhibits negligent (or even grossly negligent) behavior, but will not be held
liable (under tort law) for his or her negligence

Professional Negligence
Establishing liability for professional negligence requires the same four elements as
negligence in general: duty, breach, proximate cause, and damages. Professional negligence
represents a breach of the duty to exercise the degree of care and skill which is exercised by
'reasonably' qualified professionals in a field. Professionals expose themselves to liability
under the legal concept of negligence when their conduct represents substandard care as
defined by the profession. Note that liability does not necessarily result from below average
care, but from substandard care, a distinction that is illuminated by the definition of
malpractice in Black's Law Dictionary:
Professional misconduct or unreasonable lack of skill...Failure of one rendering professional
services to exercise that degree of skill and learning commonly applied under all the
circumstances in the community by the average prudent reputable member of the profession
with the result of injury, loss or harm to the recipient of those services or to those entitled to
rely upon them. It is any professional misconduct, unreasonable lack of skill or fidelity in
professional or fiduciary duties, evil practice, or illegal or immoral conduct.

'Professional negligence' represents a special case of negligence in which society holds


members of a profession responsible for meeting a standard of care and competence.
Members of the profession generally define the standard of care to be provided. For example,
courts generally require that a plaintiff must provide testimony from a structural engineer to
establish the standard of care used by structural engineers.
As stated above, it is possible for an engineer to exhibit professional negligence without
being held liable (under concepts of torts) for his or her actions if there was no harm or loss
to others. That does not make the behavior less negligent, just less costly.
It is also possible in US jurisdictions to be held liable under tort theory for the results of
professional activities in the complete absence of negligence. In fact, it is possible to be held
liable for the result of professional activities even if the professional exhibits the highest
standards of professional conduct.

4.5 Business and Labor Laws

4.5.1 Business Law


Laws related to functioning of business are business laws,
Human activities that are related to production, sales and/or exchange of goods and
services with profit making objective is business. The norms drafted and enforced by a
state or local government in order to regulate the activities within that state or locality.
Ignorance is law is not an excuse.

4.5.1.1 Sources of Business Law


a) English Business Law
i) Common Law of England
ii) Law of Merchants
iii) Principal of Equity
iv) State of the Legislature

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b) Customs and Usages


c) Nepali Statutory Acts
d) Judicial Decisions
e) Writings and Opinions of Scholars
f) Commercial Treaties and Agreements

4.5.1.2 Types of Business Enterprises


Three types of business concerns exist: (a) Sole Business Concern, (b) Partnership
business organization, and (c) Limited Company.

a) Sole Business Concern


In this type of business concern, single person establishes, manages, organize and control the
whole business and also singly liable towards the profit and loss of the business. It is
registered under Private Firm Registration Act 2014.

i) Characteristics of Sole Business Concern


a) Sole ownership, management and control: A single person establishes, owns, manages
and controls all aspects of the business.
b) No separate existence of business and owner: Owner and business do not have separate
identity; the owner represents the business; insolvency of owner dissolves the business.
c) Unlimited liability: The sole owner is liable to pay debt not only from business property,
but also from personal property, if needed.
d) Ownership and risk: The owner bears sole risk and owns total profit.
e) Individual capital investment: Capital is invested by owner only from personal property.
f) Freedom of Occupation: Easy to form and less capital needed. Can choose occupation
best suited to situation.
g) Limited area of operation: Due to limitation of financial and human resources, the area of
operation is limited.
h) Less legal formalities: The requirements to establish and operate sole business concern
are much less compared to other forms of business.
i) Voluntary origin and end: The owner can start and end business, by fulfilling certain legal
formalities.

ii) Advantages of Sole Business Concern


a) Easy to form or establish
b) Effective management and control
c) Easy to dissolve
d) High flexibility
e) Quick decision
f) Sole claim on profit
g) Secrecy
h) Benefit of inherited goodwill
i) Credit Standing
j) Direct relationship with customer

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k) Social and National advantage


l) Stability and Continuity

iii) Disadvantages/Limitations of Sole Business Concern


a) Unlimited liability
b) Limited capital
c) Limited management
d) Limited expansion
e) Absence of legal status
f) Chances of wrong decisions
g) Lack of specialization
h) Loss in the absence of a key person
i) Uncertain future

b) Partnership Business Organization (PBO)


In this type of business organization, more than one person contract to start a business to earn
and share profit by investing and managing collectively. This type of business organization is
registered under the Partnership Act 2020 BS (1964).

Characteristics of Partnership Business Organization


1. Plurality or association of persons
2. Joint ownership
3. Unlimited liability
4. Sharing of profit and loss
5. Established on the basis of agreements and between the persons
6. Members do not have separate existence
7. Joint management and control
8. Joint agentship
9. Partnership right cannot be transferred/ No transfer of interest

Advantages of Partnership Business Organization


1. Easy to form: relatively easy to form and register
2. Capital and credit: better than Sole Business Concern
3. Advantages of Division of Labour: each partner can lead in his/her specialization
4. Integration of Ability and Skill: Knowledge, ability and skill of multiple
investors/partners can be utilized.
5. Quick Decision Making: Relatively quicker decision making process compared to limited
company
6. Incentive to work hard: Since profit is to be shared only among partners, there is incentive
to work hard.
7. Flexible: Can change mode of business based on changes in market situation, without
much difficulty.

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8. Safeguard of the interests of minorities: Decisions are normally taken with consent of all,
hence smaller partners also have equal say in decision making.
9. Reduced risk: Risk is reduced, compared to Sole Business Concern, because risk is
distributed among partners.
10. Possibility of Expansion: Partners can be added, which increases possibility of more fund
for expansion of works.

Limitations/Disadvantages of Partnership Business Organization


1. Unlimited liability: Partners are individually and jointly liable for the full amount of loss.
2. Uncertain existence: Partnership business can suddenly collapse due to conflict among
partners or due to sudden demise of a partner or due to certain action of a partner.
3. Limited resources (financial and human): Compared to a joint stock company, the
resources are limited in partnership business.
4. Possibility of misunderstanding/disagreement and friction among the partners: Due to
different interests of each partner, there is possibility of misunderstanding/disagreement
and conflict/friction among partners, which can negatively impact PBO.
5. Difficulty in transferring ownership: Consent of other partners is required for transfer of
ownership, so one partner cannot sell his/her ownership to anyone whom he/she likes.
6. Slow decision making compared to Sole Business Concern: Decisions are made by
consent, so the decision making can be slow.
7. Less of public faith: Financial status statements are not made public, hence there is less
public faith in PBO.

c) Limited Company (Joint Stock Company)


Limited company is established under the act of the country and has limited liability. Finance
is collected through issuance of shares. Company is considered as an artificial legal person.
Company Act 2053 regulates the incorporation of a company in Nepal. Company can be
further divided into two as private limited company and public limited company. As per
Company Act 2053, private limited company shall have less than 50 shareholders and public
limited company shall have a minimum of 7 (no upper limit) shareholders.

Characteristics of Limited Company


1. Voluntary association of persons: Company is an association of persons for business.
2. Legal artificial person: Company is an artificial legal entity (person). It can purchase and
sale properties in its own name. It can sue and can be sued.
3. Perpetual existence: Action of one particular shareholder does not affect its continuity.
4. Limited liability: Shareholders are owners of the company, but their liability is limited
only up to the amount of their share.
5. Common seal: Company uses a specific seal for all its official business/transactions.
6. Capital collected by distributing shares: capital needed for expansion of business is raised
by issuing shares
7. Transferability of shares: ownership shares can be sold to anyone interested to purchase.

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8. Management by representatives: management board formed by election of shareholders’


representatives, and managed as per stated rules rather than by whims of owners
9. Publication of financial statements: Regular publication of audited financial statements,
normally made public during Annual General Meeting

Advantages of Limited Company


1. Limited liability: Liability is limited to one’s investment in the company. The
shareholders are not responsible beyond the value of their share for any losses/damages to
other parties caused by the company.
2. Perpetual existence: Once established, a limited company normally runs for ever, or at
least for many years, and are not easily and quickly dissolved.
3. Transfer of shares: Buying and selling of shares is very easy.
4. Effective management: Since the management is conducted by experts and elected
members who represent shareholders, the management is normally free from the whims
of the owners and is effective.
5. Unlimited capital: Whenever a limited company wants to expand its business or needs
additional capital for any reason, the company can raise capital by issuing shares.
6. Public faith: Due the very nature of the limited companies, public has more faith in
limited company.
7. Unlimited business capability: Since a limited company has unlimited capital and can
recruit persons for addition business, the business capability of a limited company is
unlimited.

Disadvantages of Limited Company


1. Difficulty in formation, lengthy legal and formal process: The process of formation of a
limited company is lengthy compared to sole and partnership business company.
2. Lack of personal interest
3. Lack of secrecy
4. Possibility of fraud
5. Exploitation of share holders
6. Groupism for power (Office politics)
7. Conflict of interest
8. Absence of prompt decision
9. Lack of closeness

4.5.2 Labor Laws


Labor Act 2048 has some special provisions related with construction industry. Before the
promulgation of the Labor Act 2048, the act related to labor was Factory and Factory
Workers Act 2019 (BS) in Nepal.

Productive Work: The following works are defined as productive work.


1. The process of using the goods with the purpose

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2. of manufacturing of goods, alterations, repair and maintenance, fabrication, packaging,


oiling, washing, cleaning, dismantling, breaking into pieces, or use of goods, sales, and
distribution, transportation or taking to the destination
3. Pumping of oil, water and wastes
4. Energy storage, alteration, and transmission work
5. Printing press, lithography, photography and the works like …

Enterprise
Enterprise is defined as any factory, organization, institution, firm, or their group established
for the operation of industry, business, or services under the stature and having minimum of
10 or more staff or workers. This also covers:
• Tea estates established for commercial purpose following the stature
• Enterprises established in the industrial area, even if having less than 10 staff of workers

Staff and Workers


In general all the persons involved in administrative tasks of the enterprise are called staff
and the persons involved in production or services are called workers.

Children: All the persons under the age of 14 years are called children.

Minor: All the persons between the age of 14 and 18 are called minor.

Seasonal enterprise: The enterprise that cannot be operated all the season, except in a certain
season. It also covers the seasonal enterprise that cannot be operated more than 180 days in a
year. Sugar factories are examples of seasonal enterprise.

Working Hours:
• Maximum 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week has been fixed as working hour. Workers
are provided one-day leave in a week.
• Workers shall be provided with 30 minutes of break for tiffin and rest. No workers shall
be kept working continuously for more than 5 hours. This break shall be also counted in
regular working hour.
• Workers of staff shall be provided extra remuneration for the overtime work that is for
working more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, no worker or staff shall
be forced to work overtime.
• In general, no worker or staff shall be allowed to work overtime for more than 4 hours a
day or 20 hours a week.

Health and Safety


Manager of an enterprise is responsible:
1. In keeping clean the workplace
2. In managing sufficient air, light, and temperature
3. In managing waste disposal

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4. For clearing all the foul dust, air, vapor, and any other foul substance that may cause
hazard to health
5. For preventing workers from loud noise
6. A worker shall be provided 15 cu. m. space. In calculating this volume, only 4 m
height measured form floor level is considered.
7. For arranging water (drinking and sanitation)
8. For arranging toilets separate for ladies and gents
9. Considering the nature of the work, the working area shall be made non-smoking
area
10. Arranging for medical checkup for staff and workers at least once in a year in the
enterprises having probability of health hazard
11. For other protective measures such as prevention of eye, prevention from chemicals,
prevention from fire etc.

Welfare Activity
1. Establishment of welfare fund, compensation, housing for workers, and staff, and
leave are also dealt in the law
2. A rest room shall be provided in an enterprise having 50 or more workers or staff
3. There shall be a canteen in an enterprise having 50 or more workers or staff

Provision for children and women


In the enterprise having more than 50 or more women workers, a room shall be
provided for the children of the women workers or staff. Children shall be provided
with toys and a trained person to look after them. Also, the mothers of the children
shall be given break to feed the babies.

Special provision for special enterprises


The Act has considered construction as one of the special enterprises. The special
provisions, besides the general provisions discussed above, are dealt under this
chapter.

According to the Act, construction workers covers – building, road, bridge, tunnel,
canal, railway construction, electricity or telephone or telegraph assembling works.

The following are the special provisions for construction industry.


1. Tools shall be provided by the management
2. Management shall manage for shelter, food, drinking water etc.
3. All construction workers shall be insured against the construction risk.
4. Construction site shall be kept safe.
5. Management shall arrange necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE: Steel toe boot, Hard sole boot, glove, hard hat (with torch light), apron,
goggles, mask, fire proof clothing, shower (for chemical spill), safety belt

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4.6 Intellectual Property Right, Patent Right, Copy Right, Trademark


(RPA 156)

The creations of human mind are considered as intellectual property. It covers patents,
designs, trademarks and copy right, and the legal rights given to the creators of such
properties are called intellectual property rights. The World Intellectual Property
Organization has listed the following as intellectual property.
a) Literary, artistic and scientific works
b) Performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts
c) Inventions in all fields of human endeavor
d) Scientific discoveries
e) Industrial designs
f) Trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations
g) Protection against unfair competition, and
h) All other rights resulting from intellectual activities in industrial, scientific, literary or
artistic fields

The laws related to intellectual property rights in Nepal are: (a) Patent, Design and
Trademark Act 2022 (1965), amended in 1987 and (b) Copyright Act 2059 (2002).

4.6.1 Patent: As per the PDT Act 2022, the patent can be issued to any useful invention
based on new principle or formula, or any new way or method of construction, operation or
transmission related to substance or a body of substance.

A patent should be duly registered, by submitting all the required documents, to have the
patent right. Once registered, the right over the patent is protected for 7 years (plus two
extensions, each of 7 years). The patent right is transferrable. The registered patent should not
be used or copied without obtaining specific written permission from the patent holder, until
the patent duration expires, within the jurisdiction of the patent provider. The law breaker can
be fined up to Rs. 500000 and confiscation of the related items, and up to Rs. 250000 for
committing an attempt of an offence.

A patent right cannot be granted if:


a) The patent is already registered in another person’s name
b) The patent was not invented by the applicant and the right to patent has also not been
received from the inventor
c) The patent is likely to produce adverse effects on health, conduct and morality of the
citizen or on national interest
d) The patent is against the existing law

4.6.2 Design
The PDT Act 2022 has defined design as a feature, pattern or shape of a substance made by
following any means. The design should be registered to have design right. A registered
design should be used by someone else only with specific written permission of the design
right holder, until the design right duration expires (5 years plus two extensions each of 5
years). The design right cannot be issued if (a) the design was already registered by someone
else, and (b) the design is likely to have adverse impact on the conduct or morality of a
person or institution or on national interest. The breach of the design right constitutes a fine
of up to Rs. 50000 and confiscation of the related items.

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4.6.3 Trademark
The PDT Act 2022 has defined trademark as the use of any word, sign or picture or a
combination of them by a firm, company or person to distinguish the product or services from
those of others. The trademark should be registered to have trademark right. A registered
trademark, or its close imitation, should not be used by someone else. The right over a
trademark can be protected forever subject to renewal (7 years in each renewal). The
trademark will not be registered if (a) the trademark has already been registered by someone
else and (b) the registration will have adverse impact on the conduct or morality of a person
or institution or on national interest. The breach of the trademark right constitutes a fine of up
to Rs. 100000 and confiscation of the related items.

The PDT should be registered in Nepal, to be effective in Nepal.

4.6.4 Copyright (RPA 160)


As per the Copy Right Act 2059, the copy right can be provided to the author of the works
that are related to the following.
a) Book, pamphlet, article, and research paper
b) Drama, opera, dumb-show and similar works prepared for show
c) Musical works with or without words
d) Audiovisual works
e) Architectural design
f) Painting, sculpture, wood carving, lithography and architecture related other works
g) Photographic works
h) Works related to applied art
i) Excerpt, maps, plan, three dimensional works related to geography, topography, and
scientific writing and articles
j) Computer program.

The description or the explanations of the ideas, religion, news, concept, formula, law, court
decisions, administrative decisions, folk songs, folk stories, proverbs and general statistics,
even if they are included in any works, cannot be copy righted. Specific registration is not
required to have copy right.

There are two types of rights granted under the Copy Right Act: Economic and Moral.
Moreover, the Act has granted rights to performers, producers of phonograms and to
broadcasting institutions. The copy right is effective up to 50 years after the death of the
author (or creator) of the copy righted materials.

The copy righted materials can be used without permission in the following circumstances.
a) A portion of the work for personal use, as long as it does not hamper the economic
right of the copy right holder.
b) For public cause or academic purpose, portion of a published materials may be used
with proper citation of the source, provided that the use does not directly benefit
(economically) the user of the copy righted materials.
c) Libraries and archives can reproduce the works for general purpose.

Depending on the degree of infringement of the copy righted material, the penalty can range
from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 100000 or imprisonment up to six months or both for the first offense.
The penalty doubles for the second offense. Besides, the offender shall be liable for
compensation of the damages caused by his/her act.

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http://imagekhabar.com/samachar/detail/42464/65/.shtml

4.7 Tendering

The tender is an offer in writing by the person (or organization) to execute some specified
work or to supply specific goods at certain rate/amount within a fixed time-frame under
certain conditions of agreement. This is the first step in the formulation of a contract.

Bidding, in general, is classified into two types – International competitive Bidding (ICB)
and National/Local Competitive Bidding (N/LCB).

In National Competitive Bidding process all the eligible bidders are invited to participate.
The process is adopted if the amount of job is greater than Rs. 10 lakh. For NCB, the tender
notice is published in national newspapers for two consecutive days. The tender notice is also
posted in project office, DDC, DAO, Land Revenue Office, Treasury Controller and CAN
Office.

International competitive Bidding: If the amount of work is big and national/domestic


contractors cannot perform the job, eligible bidders are invited from all over the world. The
following four considerations guide for the selection of the ICB method as per the World
Bank and International Development Association loan or grant.
1. The need for economy and efficiency in the implementation of the project, including
the procurement of goods and works involved,
2. The Bank’s interest, as a cooperative institution, in giving all eligible bidders from
developed and developing countries an opportunity to compete in providing goods
and works financed by the Bank.
3. The Bank’s interest, as a development institution, in encouraging the development of
domestic contracting and manufacturing industries in the borrowing country, and
4. The importance of transparency in the procurement process.

In ICB, the notice shall also be sent to the embassies in Nepal.


While submitting tender, a foreign party shall reveal the following information:
• Name and address of the bidder’s agent or representative in Nepal, if any,
• Types of services being provided by the local agent
• Currency and procedure of payment to the agent, and
• Any other agreement made with the agent.

Purpose of Bidding: The following principles shall be observed in bidding.


1. Funds provided for the project implementation shall be used only for intended
purpose.
2. Economy and efficiency shall be observed – best value for its money.
3. All eligible bidders shall be given equal opportunity to compete.
4. Development of domestic contracting and manufacturing industries shall be
encouraged.
5. There shall be transparency in all stages of the procurement process.

Preparation before inviting Tender (before tender notice publication)

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Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

1. Project preparation: The scheme of the project is prepared with the detailed feasibility
study.
2. Estimating of Quantities: The quantities of all items involved in the project are to be
estimated.
3. Cost Estimate: The tentative cost is derived with the prevailing rates involved in the
work.
4. Approval of Estimate: Estimated cost should be approved by the concerned authority.
5. Resource Planning: The owner should allocate the necessary resources. Basically, the
budget should be arranged for the construction at different stages.
6. Tender document preparation: All the documents required during the tender should be
prepared and should be approved by the authority.
7. Tender Invitation: A notice is publicly published for inviting tenders.

Tender Notice: It is the information inviting bids from competent and capable contractors
and forms a part of contract document. It should be widely published in important
newspapers.

Tender notice should contain the following:


Name and authority of the organization publishing the notice
First date of publication
Brief description of the job
Date, time and place (where and when) the tender document are available.
Cost of the tender document
Cost estimate (optional) for works up to 1 caror rupees
Procedure of submitting tender
Name of the officials and office where the tender has to be submitted.
Duration of submitting the document
Date, time and place where the tender has to be submitted
Date, time and place of opening bid.
Earnest money and Security deposit amount
Expected date of acceptance of successful bids
Other relevant information

Earnest Money: It is the amount of money deposited while bidding a tender as a guarantee
of the party’s willingness of carrying out the work awarded to the party. The amount of the
earnest money generally ranges from 1% to 3% of the project cost. In Nepal, 2.5% of the cost
is demanded as earnest money for a Nepalese firm and 5% of the cost to a foreign party. This
money is returned to unsuccessful bidder. If a successful bidder fails to carry out the contract,
the bidder forfeits the earnest money.

Security Deposit: It is the amount of money deposited by a successful bidder as a security


for satisfactory performance. In Nepal the security deposit is equal to 5% of the contract
amount for a Nepalese firm and 10% for a foreign firm. The security deposit is refunded after
completion of the defect liability period (maintenance period). If the work is unsatisfactory or
contractor fails to perform the duty, the security deposit is forfeited.

Tendering Procedure in NCB in Nepal


The concerned party first notified for the probable bidders for the execution of the works
through a notice. The following are the points to be remembered in publishing a tender
notice.

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Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

a) For the works having estimated amount Rs. 10,00,000 or less, notice shall be published
two times in local newspapers.
b) For the works having estimated amount Rs. 10,00,000 or more, notice shall be published
two times in national newspapers.
c) Tender notice are also to be kept on notice board of the concerned office that have invited
the tender and also to be sent to local offices like VDC, DDC, Municipality and the office
of the local contractors’ association.

However, in the Kathmandu Valley, all the tenders shall be published in national newspapers.

Pre-qualification: It is a kind of short listing of eligible bidders and avoids crowding of


bidders. It ensures that the invitation to bid is extended only to those perspective bidders who
have adequate capability and resources to perform the particular contract satisfactorily taking
into account their:
• Experience and part performance on similar contracts
• Capabilities with respect to personnel, equipment, and construction and manufacturing
facilities
• Financial positions
• Litigation history
PQ is done when amount of work is greater than 10 million rupees.

Post qualification: Under this process no pre-qualification process is adopted. All the
eligible bidders participate in the bidding process. It may include single envelop system
(financial proposal only) or double envelop system (financial and technical proposal in
separate envelop). In the double envelop system the successful bidder is selected by adopting
one of the following methods.
• Shortlist from technical proposal and select the lowest bidder to award the contract.
• Select the lowest bidder and check the technical proposal. If technical proposal is OK,
select the party else select the second lowest bidder and check the technical proposal.
• Give weightage to both the technical and financial proposal. Select the bidder with
highest mark.

21
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

Contract Document
The documents that lead towards a contract, are referred to as contract documents and are to
be taken mutually explanatory of one another, but in case of ambiguities or discrepancies the
same shall be explained and adjusted by the engineer who shall thereupon issue to the
contractor instructions thereon and in the event, unless otherwise provided in the contract, the
priority of the document, shall be as follows:
a) The contract agreement
b) The letter of acceptance
c) The tender
d) Conditions of contract
e) The specifications
f) The drawings
g) The priced bill of quantities
h) Addenda- addenda clarifies, corrects, or provides additional information

Role of Contract documents

22
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

Contract documents are most important documents in a contractual relationship. The role of
contract documents provides the importance of such documents:
a) Define duties and responsibilities of the parties involved in a contract
b) Contract document defines payment procedure such as lump sum, cost plus, unit price etc.
c) It also deals with the changes in the works during implementation. It guides for the
procedure, pricing and payment of the works, alteration, addition, and omission.
d) Value and duration of the contractual work
e) Contract termination process
f) It also assigns risk – soil condition, weather, delays, changes, performance etc.

Contractual exclusion clauses:


The clauses that take away or limit the rights of a party that may normally be expected to
have under a contract.

23
Lecture Notes on Engineering Professional Practice
Prof. Dr. Hari Krishna Shrestha, nec, 2016

Old Exam Questions from Chapter 4

Legal Aspects, Acts and Regulations


1. Why are legal aspects very important in professional practice? Are they integral parts
of contract documents? Why and how?
2. There are many acts related to engineering profession such as Nepal Engineering
Council Act, Industrial Act, Company Act, Business Act, Trademark Act, Copyright
Act and Contract Act. Throw light on each.
3. Describe the disciplinary action process in detail.
Bidding, Tender and Contract
4. What is contract? Describe the essential aspects of a valid contract.
5. Briefly discuss the essential requirements of a valid contract.
6. Define contract and explain the essential of a valid contract.
7. Define contract law. What is the importance of contract documents in the execution of
project?
8. What are the essentials of a valid contract? Briefly explain valid, void and voidable
contract.
9. All contracts are agreement but all agreements are not contract. Explain.
10. What are the main features of bidding and contract documents? Elaborate
systematically.
11. List the information to be provided in a tender notice.
12. Write the detailed information to be included on the tender notice.
13. Define conflict and explain the causes of conflict.
14. Explain what is prequalification of contractor and why it is necessary.
Liability, Tort, Negligence
15. What do you mean by tort, liability and negligence? How they affect the quality of
professional work?
16. Define the tort, liability and negligence and how they affect the quality of professional work
17. Explain in brief the term liability, tort, negligence and ethics.
18. Define liability, negligence and duty. Explain the detailed duties and liabilities of designers.
Business Law, company, firms, Labor Law
19. What is business law? Briefly discuss the characteristics and limitations of partnership
business organization.
20. Discuss the characteristic of a limited company
21. What are the characteristics of a public limited company?
22. Discuss about the partnership firm.
23. What is business? Explain the characteristics of Private Limited Company and Public Limited
Company?
24. What are the types of business enterprises? Explain characteristics of company business
organization.
25. Labor law works to protect the right of labor force in the construction industry. Explain.

Intellectual Property Right, Patent Right, Design Right, Trademark Right, Copy Right
26. What do you mean by intellectual property right? Differentiate between the copy right and
patent right.
27. What do you mean by copy right? Describe briefly.
28. Explain the provisions of patent design and trademarks.

24
Engineering Professional Practice (CVL 440)
Chapter 5: Conflict and Dispute Management (2 hour)

5.0 Conflict and Dispute Management


Conflict results when people have different (real or perceived) value or approach on
particular issue(s).

Organizational Conflict: “Organizational Conflict is a state of discord caused by the actual


or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together.”

Three approaches to Organizational Conflict


• Traditional approach (1930-40): Conflict is opposite of cooperation, and is inherently
bad, negative and harmful for smooth functioning and progress of society,
organization or a project. Conflict is equated to dysfunction and destructive, and must
be avoided. It results from poor communication, disagreement, lack of trust, and low
management skill.
• Human Relations (behavioral) approach (1950-70): Conflict is inevitable and can be
beneficial, if managed properly. It is not inherently bad.
• Interactionist approach: Conflict makes an organization dynamic, and helps in finding
best solution to problems. On-going manageable level of conflict should be
encouraged as it prevents organization from being static.

Approaches to Conflict
Traditional: Conflict is inherently harmful; avoid conflict at all cost.
Behavioral: Conflict is inevitable outcome of behavioral interactions. Conflict cannot be
avoided, accept conflict and manage it.
Interactionist: Conflict is necessary. Conflicts within a manageable limit are beneficial. An
organization will not progress without conflict. A properly managed conflict results in best
solution of problems. So conflict should not be suppressed, but managed.

Functional (constructive): The conflicts supporting goals of the group that helps in
performance improvement.
Dysfunctional (destructive): The conflicts hindering group performance.

5.1 Levels and Sources of Conflict


5.1.1 Levels of Conflict in an organization (or a project)
a) Intrapersonal conflict: conflict within self, due to differences in goal, role, and
personal values
b) Interpersonal conflict: between two or more persons; can be due to differences in
goal, role, values, culture, communication gap
c) Intergroup conflict: between two or more groups of people
d) Inter-organizational conflict: between two or more organizations

5.1.2 Sources of Conflict in an organization (or a project)


a) Personal differences/Personality clash: conflict resulting from differences in
values/beliefs/working style/personality of two (or more) persons.
b) Goal and role incompatibility: conflict due to incompatibility of goal of an
organization and its staff.

Example: A staff who thinks that it is immoral to produce and sale alcoholic products
but is working at a brewery.
An engineer who has set her/himself a very high standard or professionalism, but is
forced to work at an organization with low standard of quality.

c) Organizational climate and change: when owner of a company is changed, when the
rules and regulations of an organization change, when companies merge, when many
staff of an organization are hired/fired within a few days, many staff in the
organizations feel uneasiness and can result in conflict.

d) Gender and other social differences: When persons from very different social
background are working in an organization, conflict can result due to different value
system. Similarly, when adequate measures are not taken to address specific needs of
both gender, and/or people of different physical abilities, conflict can result.

e) Availability and access to resources: When a certain staff or a group of staff feel that
the management of an organization is not treating him/them fairly regarding access to
resources, conflict can result.

f) Communication gap: Many conflict in an organization results simply because of


communication gap, or miscommunication or dis-communication.

5.2 Conflict Resolution Methods


5.2.1 Avoidance: avoid conflict, ignore conflict, “time will heal”
5.2.2 Defuse (resolve): distraction and defuse into multiple sectors
5.2.3 Containment: conflict contained within certain people, and resolved through
discussion and bargaining
5.2.4 Confrontation: conflict brought in front of all concerned, conflict resolution through
open dialogue, face-to-face meeting, open bargaining, and resorting to legal process,
if needed.
5.2.5 Conciliation: Mutually agreed terms and conditions, “give and take” approach,
without direct involvement of outsiders (mediator), even though the mediator assists
in bringing the parties together.
5.2.6 Mediation: similar to conciliation, but with direct involvement of outsiders
(mediator).

5.2.7 Arbitration: Conducted as per Nepal Arbitration Act

5.2.8 Litigation: Final and ultimate method of conflict resolution method.

5.3 Dispute Resolution Methods

5.3.1 Dispute
Disputes are inevitable in construction projects and in engineering professional works.
Dispute resolution procedures are normally mentioned in the conditions of contract.
The Public Procurement Act 2063 (PPA 2063, Chapter 7, Article 58) and Public
Procurement Rules 2064 (PPR 2064, Chapter 12, Article 129) have provisions for
dispute resolution/settlement. If the parties in dispute cannot resolve the dispute
through mutual consensus (amicable settlement), then:
a) For works of value up to Rs. 100 million, disputes can be settled by sole adjudicator
(nirnayakarta).
b) For works of value above Rs. 100 million, disputes shall be settled by a Dispute
Resolution Board (DRB) consisting of three members (bibaad samadhan samiti).
c) If the parties cannot settle dispute through adjudicator or DRB, then the dispute can
be resolved through arbitration (madhyasthakarta) or litigation (court).

5.3.2 Adjudication
The adjudication is “a quick and relatively inexpensive way of resolving a dispute,
whereby an impartial third party adjudicator decides the issues between the parties”.
The following are the characteristics of adjudication.
a) It is a mechanism of dispute resolution.
b) An independent third party, called adjudicator, awards the decision
c) Quicker and inexpensive mechanism of dispute resolution, compared to arbitration
and litigation, normally taking less than 30 days

The Public Works Directive (PPD) and the Public Procurement Act (PPA 2063) have
provisions for dispute resolution through adjudication.

5.3.3 Arbitration
The arbitration is a formal mechanism of dispute resolution conducted outside a court.
The following are the advantages of arbitration over litigation.
a) It is a private alternative to formal court procedure.
b) The arbitrators are normally technical experts
c) Less time consuming
d) Less expensive
e) Less formal, hence more convenient to the parties of dispute
f) No public hearing, so low publicity (which is normally preferred by the parties)
g) The procedure of arbitration is as per Nepal Arbitration Act.

The PPA 2063 has recognized arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. The
Arbitration Act 2038 governs the arbitration process in Nepal. The Nepal Arbitration
Council 1991 has been providing arbitration services in Nepal. However, in Nepal,
most of the disputes go to court, or settled out of court through mutual consent, even
after arbitration, by ignoring the arbitrators’ decisions.

Differences between Conflict and Dispute


Conflict Dispute
Long term serious disagreement, non-specific Short term disagreement, over specific
issues issued, can be resolved
Non-negotiable issues Negotiable issues
Involves principle, values, ego, belief, interest Involves amount, money
Conflict does not turn into dispute, unless Disputes, if unsettled, can convert into
intervened. conflict
Each side is fundamentally opposed to the specific disagreement concerning a matter
success of the other and will not compromise of fact, law or policy in which a claim or
their own values at the risk of allowing those assertion of one party is met with refusal,
they despise to achieve even the slightest victory counter-claim or denial by another;
(Burton, 1990) Win-win scenario can be compromised.
Difference between Mediation, Adjudication, Arbitration and Litigation
Mediation Adjudication Arbitration Litigation
Definition Negotiation with mediation Submission of disputes by consensual Submission of disputes by Process of making a civil
of a third party (the agreement to a third party (the consensual agreement to a third party claim in a court of law.
mediator) adjudicator) for an interim decision which (the arbitrator) for a binding decision.
will be binding unless or it is substituted
by a final arbitral award or court
judgment.
Time Shortest period, 1-2 days Much shorter than arbitration and May extend over a long period if Longest period because of
for simple cases, depends litigation, normally 30 days to decide. hearing protracted; it may take backlog of cases in court.
on mediator’s skill. months or even years to conclude.
Procedure and time frame to be
agreed by parties.
Cost Lower than arbitration Lower than arbitration cost because of Higher than mediation and generally Expensive because it takes a
faster hearing higher than litigation because of long period.
thoroughness and expediency.
Confidentiality Private Private for consensual adjudication but Private but may become public if Public, judgment reported.
may become public for compulsory there is court intervention.
adjudication as the adjudication decision
has to be enforced through the court.
Formalities Very informal Less formal than arbitration, strict rules of Less formal than litigation, strict Formal, rigid, strict evidential
evidence do not apply. Procedural rules rules of evidence do not apply. and procedural rules are
may be imposed by nominating body. Procedural rules may be based on prescribed.
institutional rules. Otherwise parties
to agree or arbitrator to decide.
Involvement of A third party, the mediator, A third party, the adjudicator, controls A third party, the arbitrator, controls A third party, the judge
third party and facilitates the process but content and outcome of proceedings but content and outcome of proceedings controls outcome of
control by parties parties are in control of parties have some degree of control but parties control choice of proceedings, parties have no
content and outcome choice of adjudicator, language, time, arbitrator, language, time, venue, control over choice of judge,
venue, applicable law and procedural applicable law and procedural rules. language, time, venue of
rules. processing and procedural
rules.
Remedies Wide ranging, with Monetary remedies only usually. More restricted, must be a legal Strict, only legal remedies,
assistance of mediator, Adjudicator’s decision on non-monetary remedy capable of being performed, creative remedies not possible
parties need not confine issues may not be binding. subject to arbitrability, legislation but judges can grant remedies
themselves to strict legal and rules, creative remedies not which arbitrators cannot e.g.
remedies, creative possible. injunctions, security,
remedies possible. subpoena, etc.
Degree of parties High because parties work Low because decision imposed by Medium despite win/lose outcome Low because judgment
satisfaction with together to reach adjudicator, win/lose outcome. because decided by chosen trade or imposed by court, win/lose
outcome settlement unless allegation specialist arbitrator because award outcome.
of lack of independence on imposed by arbitrator, win/lose
mediator, a win/win outcome.
outcome.
Effects on Preserves relationship. May destroy relationship. May destroy relationship. High chance of destroying
relationship of relationship because can be
parties very acrimonious.
Communications Mediator usually Generally both parties are expected to General prohibition against ex— Strict, ex-parte communication
communicates with one participate in proceeding. May even parte communication. Test of with judge only allowed
party without the presence involve owner in proceedings although he justifiable doubt on impartiality and during ex-parte hearings,
of the other during the is not the respondent. May proceed ex- independence of arbitrator. parties to communicate with
process, known as ‘caucus’ parte if respondent doesn’t participate. each other through their
Legal representation is allowed. respective lawyers.
Certainties of With assistance of Certainty in getting decision at the end of Certainty in getting an award at the Certainty in getting a
achieving mediator, there is more the adjudication. Decision is interim in end of the arbitration. judgment at the end of trial.
settlement certainty of achieving the sense that it may be replaced by a
settlement than in final arbitral award or court judgment.
arbitration; depends
heavily on mediator’s skill
Old Exam Questions from Chapter 5

1. Define conflict and explain the sources of conflict.


2. Discuss methods of conflict resolution
3. Discuss the differences between conflict and dispute.
4. Discuss methods of dispute resolution.
MNG 425.2 Engineering Professional Practices

Chapter 6: Case Studies Involving Professional Ethical Issues Chosen from a Wide Range
of Topics (6 hr)

Note to the students: As the title of the chapter suggests, the case studies can be taken from a
wide range of topics. Hence the students are suggested to download case studies related to
professional ethical issues from the internet and study them to understand the details. A good
article for background information on using case study as a means of studying professional
ethical issues in engineering is Teaching Engineering Ethics: A Case Study Approach by
Michael S. Pritchard.

For a general idea on what is expected by the Pokhara University from the students after
completing this subject, please refer to the old final examination questions.

Many ethical problems are encountered by engineers in the course of their professional life.
Specific Case Study issues as per Pokhara University’s Syllabus

6.1 public safety, industrialization, and protection of environment


6.2 conflict of interest, personal integrity, and personal privacy
6.3 professional negligence (duty, breach, proximate cause and damage)
6.4 breach of duty, criminal law and tort
6.5 breach of NEC code of conduct
6.6 breach of Public Procurement Act and Public Procurement Regulation
6.7 breach of intellectual property rights and copyrights
6.8 abuse of position and authority

6.1 public safety, industrialization, and protection of environment

Cases dealing with:


Public safety: prevention of and protection from events that could jeopardize the safety of the
general public from significant danger, injury, harm, or damage, such as crimes or disasters
(natural or man-made);
Industralization: regulations pertaining to establishment and operation of industries, worker’s
rights in industry, prevention of negative environmental impact from industrial waste,
discharges, noise, and smoke, provisions of industrial/energy projects within conservation
areas
Environment: EIA/IEE provisions, environmental flow

6.1.1 During quality control monitoring visit for an emergency relief camp building in a
remote village, you noticed that the building is being constructed on the bank of a river and it
will be inundated during flood. Approximately 25% of the construction was completed. The
site was selected by your friend with the consent of the local people. The quality of
construction materials and method was as per the specification. Your job is to control the
quality of building. Discuss the case and recommend your views on whether to recommend
continuation of the construction.

Some of the issues to consider in making decision are:


a) You are there to inspect quality of the construction, not determine appropriateness of site.
b) However, the site is located in flood prone area which can endanger public safety during
flood, if the buildings are used as emergency relief camp,
c) The buildings will not be usable when needed, i.e,, when there is an emergency (flood
related), hence the buildings are not “fit for purpose”.
d) If the construction is stopped at this moment, 25% of the budget will be wasted. However,
if the construction of the buildings is completed, and the buildings are unusable, then
100% of the budget is wasted.
e) The buildings may be useful for storing emergency relief materials which will not be
adversely affected by inundation.

6.1.2 A client came to a designer and asked to design a multistoried building. The soil type
of the proposed site was found not suitable for that type of structure. The designer hesitated
to design the building. The client said that he actually was not going to build that structure.
He wanted to collect money from outside sources showing that designed as a proposal for his
venture and wanted to utilize that money in other lucrative business. Explain the roles of the
client and the designer in the perspective of professional ethics.

Some of the issues to consider in making decision are:


a) Should the engineer be involved in a case which he knows involves potential fraud?
b) Is there danger to public safety, if the building is constructed in weak soil?
c) Can the engineer rely on the client that the building will not actually be constructed,
and hence there is no issue of public safety?
d) If the client collects money by showing the design and invests the money in other
lucrative business, should the engineer be concerned?
e) What are options for the engineer to design the building and still be professionally and
ethically satisfied with his work, knowing the intention of his client?
f) If the building is designed with deep pile foundation, the building will be safe even if
it is actually built. In this way the engineer can be ethically “safe”. But is it moral,
knowing that his/her design may be used to deceit other people?

6.1.3 The Changunarayan Temple, which is enlisted in the World Heritage Sites List, is at
high risk after landslides occurred on the east and west sides of the temple following
incessant rains. According to temple priest, Mr. Chakradharananda. Rajopadhyaya, the
landslide has reached near the west side of the Temple. Rajopadhayaya complained that
concerned line agencies have shown no interest to protect the Temple when it is at high risk
of landslide. Locals said this situation came about with the failure of the local administration
to stop the rampant mining of sand and stones from the Manohara River and deforestation in
Changunarayan Hill, going on since long.

Sand smuggling at the Manohara River should be stopped to save the Temple from the risk of
landslide, said Rajopadhayaya. Ms. A. Nakarmi, Chief of the Department of Archeology,
Bhaktapur, said they have been informed of the landslide and they would inspect the area
soon. Central Office of the Department of Archeology has asked its local office to submit a
report on the extent of the damage to the Temple structure caused, which they will submit
after monitoring the area, said Ms. Nakarmi.

Discuss the situation of the parties involved in this case.

Sample self study material: Case study of Suppressed Data, in Engineering Ehics1.pdf
Obligation towards institution/employer and obligation to protect environment for the public
safety; Whistle blowing

6.2 conflict of interest, personal integrity, and personal privacy

Cases dealing with: act of implying money or gift given that alters the behaviour of the
recepient; intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another person; Being
free from bias or injustice: Avoiding falsification of data, adoption and reproduction of
another author without due acknowledgment; an individual or an organization involves in
multiple interests

6.2.1 As a consulting engineer you were asked to monitor a water supply project financed
by an NGO and handled by local water users committee at Gulmi district. The project was to
be completed by the end of May, 2015; otherwise the donor would stop the payment. When
you visited the site at the middle of May, you found that the project was not completed. The
users committee requested to submit the completion report so that they could finish the work
after sometime and will be beneficial to 100 household of the project.
Answer the following questions.
a) In your opinion, who is/ are responsible to finish the project in time?
b) Do you think, the local users committee must be reformed?
c) Water is basic need for the people. As an engineer, what is your role to continue the
project and to finish it in time?
d) Discuss different options for the engineer in reporting the project progress status,
considering personal integrity.

6.2.2 Tiptop Engineering College (TEC), a government organization, wanted to install


management information system (MIS) software at TEC to increase its efficiency and
enhance quality education. TEC asked Er. Sabhasad Bahadur (SB), a full time TEC teacher
and a part time software developer at Sosoft Consult, to prepare a detailed technical
specification and to publish a tender notice. TEC’s technical evaluation committee, headed by
Er. SB, awarded highest mark (99 out of 100) to Sosoft’s technical proposal. Sohard
Consult’s proposal scored the high mark in overall evaluation (technical plus financial), but
Er. SB recommended the TEC management to select Sosoft for the MIS project. Before any
decision was made, Sosoft increased the warranty period and expressed readiness to negotiate
price of MIS if annual maintenance contract is also awarded to them, which was a very
attractive offer for TEC.

You are the decision maker at TEC. Analyze the situation carefully and prepare a list of
options along with potential consequences of each, and make a decision with appropriate
justification.

6.2.3 Read the case carefully and answer the question given:
• Contractor of a road construction project (RCP) sponsored a 5-day-training of the
Department of Road’s Engineer Mr. Dhruba Raj Sharma to be held in New Delhi in
the first week of Asadh 2073. Mr. Sharma is a site engineer of that RCP.
Question:
Assume that you are Mr. Sharma, the site engineer of RCP, responsible for approval of bills,
which are generally submitted and approved at the end of each fiscal year. Do you participate
in the training to be held at New Delhi? Explain clearly taking adequate reference why or
why not? Also discuss the possible issues associated with this event.

PPR 2064 Clause 138 Provisions on Conflict of Interest


Prohibition on making conflicts of interest:
(1) A consultant shall provide professional, objective and impartial consultancy service in the
best interest of the public entity procuring consultancy.
(2) In providing consultancy service, the consultant shall not so carry out the assignment that
it would be in conflict with his or her other current or future assignments.
(3) A consultant shall not be appointed for any consultancy service assignment that would by
its nature be in conflict with his or her prior or current obligations to any other clients or
that may place him or her in a position of not being able to carry out the assignment in the
best interest of the concerned public entity.
Example: A consultant appointed to prepare engineering design of any project shall not be
appointed as a consultant to prepare environmental assessment of the same project or a
consultant on the privatization of any enterprise owned by the government shall not be
appointed as a consultant of the buyer of such assets nor shall such consultant be allowed to
purchase such assets in the name of his or her close relative or a partner in his or her firm.

Source: PPR, GoN

Sample self-study material:


• Security of Computerized Patient Record
• Computer Technology to Balance Accountability and Anonymity in Self-regulatory
Privacy Regimes,
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/page/chapter-5-technology-and-privacy-policy

Accepting Gifts and Amenities (Texas A&M University, Ethics Cases)


There is general agreement that bribery is wrong, but one must still decide where to draw the line
between offering or accepting ordinary hospitality and a bribe. Based in part on actual events, the
hypothetical case study from chemical engineering services was developed as a casuistry case to
examine where to draw the line between acceptable hospitality and bribery.

Tom was named the department manager of a large new chemical processing unit to be designed
and constructed. During the course of his work, Tom suggested to the project designer an
alteration to the design that considerably improved safety. After Tom's suggestion has been
successfully implemented, Tom was offered a very nice fishing trip to South America. Should Tom
accept the fishing trip?

Source: http://www.onlineethics.org/Resources/Cases/gifts.aspx (accessed: April 13, 2013)

6.3 professional negligence (duty, breach, proximate cause and damage)

6.3.1 Er. Dharm Nath Sharma has designed a single storied residential building as
per client’s (Tapendra Sharma) requirements. Construction of the building completed in
2004 and the building worked well. In 2006, the client decided to add two more floors so
as to use the floors as class rooms for tuitions. For this new work, the design was
prepared by Architect Sima Shrestha and it was approved by Kathmandu Municipality
also. The construction completed on 2008.

After completion of this construction, the client rented both the floors for garment
factory. Workers worked from early in the morning to late night. After few months, local
people opposed it saying that they are producing noise till late night and it created
problems for the children. Due to conflict between garment owner and local people, the
environment of that area became worse. Local people suggested to the garment owner to
close the factory after 6 P.M. but garment owner and Tapendra did not listen to them.
Local people closed the factory and nearly 20 workers whose economic condition is very
poor, lost their job.

Furthermore, house owner noticed cracks on ceiling and walls .The house owner made a
claim against garment owner demanding compensation of Rs. 5 lakh which was the
estimated repair and maintenance cost of the building and loss suffered by him.

Questions:
• Do you think it is ethical to add two more floors on the already designed single storied
residential building?
• Discuss Sima Shrestha and Kathmandu Municipality’s position with duty and negligence.
In your opinion, how the conflicts can be resolved?

6.3.2 A number of cracks, structural as well as settlement appeared in a building


designed by an engineer, within two years of its completion. Municipality had approved
the design and drawing. Later it is found that without any soil investigation, structural
design and detailing of reinforcement report had been prepared during the construction of
the building.
a) Discuss the position of the house owner.
b) The engineer’s role.
c) The role of the Municipality
Who is ultimately responsible for the damage?

6.3.3 Engineer A designed a two-story residential building, located close to Pokhara


Sub-metropolitan Office (PSMO). Mr. B bought that building and started a primary
school there, and added three stories on the building to accommodate growing number of
students. Super Consultants (SC), owned by Engineer A, was responsible for design and
supervision of the building extension and was also responsible of getting approval of the
extension works from PSMO. One year after the building extension, structural cracks
begin to appear in the building. Mr. B blamed SC and asked for compensation. SC
rejected Mr. B’s claim, saying that building extension design was thoroughly checked and
approved by PSMO. Analyze the role of Engineer A, Mr. B, SC and PSMO in this
dispute.

6.4 breach of duty, criminal law and tort

Read the case carefully and explain clearly, taking adequate reference, who should be liable.

6.4.1 The plaintiff was a factory worker in the defendant's factory. The factory become
flooded and management did everything possible to remove the effects of the flood.
However the factory floor was still slippery from the flood. The plaintiff who was
walking on the floor, fell and suffered injury. He sued the defendant in the tort of
negligence.

Some of the things to consider in case analysis.


a) Since it is “just an accident” should the defendant be liable for the accident?
b) Since the management did “everything possible”, should the defendant be liable?
c) Since the plaintiff worked at the factory, shouldn’t he/she be careful and work in
such a way that he/she does not slip and injure himself/herself?
d) Since the factory provided livelihood to the plaintiff, should he/she just get
compensation for his hospital related expenses and start working again in the same
factory, rather than suing the factory?
e) If we “blame the victim”, will the defendant be more careless in the future?
f) Should the defendant have waited for some more days to ensure that he working
environment is completely safe before allowing the workers to the factory?
g) Do you think the defendant has breached his duty to consider the “safety first”
principle?
h) Has the defendant broken any prevailing laws?
i) What parameters should be considered in calculating fair compensation in this
case?

6.4.2 The plaintiff, who had only one good eye, was employed by the defendant. The
defendant failed to provide goggles to the plaintiff for his work. While working, the
plaintiff injured his one good eye and sued his employer.

Some of the things to consider in case analysis.


a) Should the plaintiff have refused to work without a goggle?
b) Should the plaintiff have been more careful while working?
c) Which law, do you think, is the basis for the plaintiff suing the defendant?
d) Can the defendant claim that the plaintiff knowingly worked without a goggle?
e) Do you think the defendant has breached his duty to consider the “safety first”
principle?
f) If we “blame the victim”, will the defendant be more careless in the future?
g) What parameters should be considered in calculating fair compensation in this
case?

6.4.3 Two appellants were cooks employed by the respondent in the respondent's
restaurant. They suffered severe burns on 13 March 2016 when an explosion occurred
in the restaurant kitchen because of a defective gas cylinder.
Some of the things to consider in case analysis.
a) Who are the principal parties in this case?
b) What is the role of the gas companies, restaurant owner, and the cooks?
c) Can the defendant claim that the plaintiff knowingly worked with defective gas
cylinder?
d) Do you think the defendant has breached his duty to consider the “safety first”
principle?
e) If we “blame the victim”, will the defendant be more careless in the future?
f) What parameters should be considered in calculating fair compensation in this
case?

6.5 breach of Nepal Engineering Council (NEC) code of conduct

6.5.1 A recently built RCC slab of a single storied poultry plant collapsed and killed
all the chickens. The farm owner blamed the labor contractor for the defective work. The
contractor accused the client for providing rusted and inadequate amount of steel bars and
old cement for the roof slab. The farm owner then asked for compensation from the
material supplier (for inferior materials) and the consultant (for improper supervision).
The material supplier claimed that the farm owner bought the cheapest rusted bar and old
cement, despite warning of unsuitability for slab casting. The consultant’s site supervisor
reported that the cause of the roof collapse is the use of very dirty water in mixing the
concrete, which was provided by the farm owner and used by the contractor despite
verbal objections from the consultant’s site supervisor.

Analyze the situation carefully and decide which party (client, contractor, material
supplier and consultant) is more responsible or less responsible for the roof collapse.
Explain your decision with reference to the Professional Code of Conduct of Nepal
Engineering Council and the Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal.

a) What are the weakness of the client, material supplier, contractor and the consultant?
b) Despite a formal contract, should the material supplier sell unsuitable materials to the
client?
c) Despite a formal contract, should the labor contractor work with unsuitable materials?
d) Do you consider the work quality of the contractor to be defecting, as claimed by the
client?
e) Despite a formal contract, should the consultant allow the work to proceed with
unsuitable materials and dirty water?
f) Can the professionals like the material supplier, contractor and consultant blame non-
professional client and escape consequences of the project failure?
g) Which clauses of the code of conduct of Nepal Engineering Council were breached by
the consultant’s site engineer?
h) Who are the victims and who are the perpetrators in this case?
i) Did the contractor breach the code of conduct of the FCAN?

6.6 breach of Public Procurement Act and Public Procurement Regulation

6.6.1 An engineer is posted as a project manager of a new hydropower project of NEA. The
first work was to excavate soil for foundation of boundary wall of planned project office area.
After discussing with engineer friends from the same area, he called a reliable local
contractor and asked him to provide rate of earthwork excavation. Since the rate was
reasonable, a contract was signed and work started immediately. After completing first phase
of work, which consisted to excavation work worth Rs. 1 million, the engineer measured the
work, found the work to be satisfactory, and a bank cheque of Rs. 1 million was provided to
the contractor.
Answer the following questions, with proper reference.
1. Was everything done as per the prevailing acts and rules of Nepal?
2. Were any laws of Nepal breached in the process of contract awarding and payment to
the contractor?
3. What is the proper procedure in this case?
4. Were any prevailing moral principal violated in this case?
5. Will the case be any different if the client is a private hydropower developer?

6.7 breach of intellectual property rights and copyrights

6.7.1 A fresh water resources engineering graduate (Engineer A) is approached by a


Department of Groundwater (DoG ) senior engineer. The DoG engineer asks Engineer A to
conduct a district-wide study of groundwater-surface water inter-link in Palpa, and provides a
sample of a report to be produced. Engineer A finds that the sample report is based on a
superficial study, with all the data taken from USA, and requests money to visit Palpa and
collect field data. The DoG engineer refuses, saying that they got the project from low bid,
asks Engineer A to prepare the report based on assumed data and assures that Engineer A will
not face problem since the contract to conduct the study was obtained by a consulting firm
registered in DoG engineer’s spouse’s name, the DoG engineer himself is responsible to
check the report quality, and Engineer A’s name will not be in the report.
• List all the options for Engineer A.
• Separate the options into moral, ethical, and legal categories.

Analyze each option based on ethics and risk to Engineer A.

List of options for Engineer A are:


• Follow the suggestions of the DoG engineer (use data from textbooks to prepare
report)
• Visit the site at Engineer A’s own expense, and prepare good report based on field
data.
• Collect and study previous reports of the same area which provides related data and
prepare report based on secondary information.
• Refuse to be involved in the work and return the sample report to DoG Engineer.
• Accept the assignment, secretly record further conversations with the DoG engineer
and report the case to CIAA, with proof.
• Publish an article in newspaper/magazine about the case, with the name of the DoG
engineer.

Sample self-study material:


North Carolina State University document on Intellectual Property.

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is to find the relationship between software intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the
performance of software firms in South Korea. In order to measure the performance of software firms, we
employed the concept of efficiency of data envelopment analysis (DEA). With measured efficiency, we
use tobit regression to investigate which IPR has a stronger effect on efficiency. The empirical results
show an obvious tendency: the average efficiency of software firms having any kind of software IPR is
higher than that of firms not having them. Moreover, the results of tobit analysis show that both software
copyrights and patents have a positive effect on the performance of software firms, and that the effect of
patents is higher than that of copyrights.
Source: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?reload=true&arnumber=4668125
Accessed: April 13, 2013

Computer Encryption Software


Author(s): Jeremy Hanzlik
Texas A & M University College Station, TX 77843

Introduction

Greg is a recently hired software engineer who has been recruited directly out of college. For his
first assignment, Greg's boss asked him to write a piece of software to provide some sort of
security from "prying eyes" over emailed documents; these documents would be used internally by
the company. This software will subsequently be distributed to different departments.

Upon completion of his software project, Greg saw a program on the local news about an individual
in California who has made similar software available overseas. This individual is currently under
prosecution in a federal court for the distribution of algorithms and information which (by law)
must remain within the United States for purposes of national security.

It occurs to Greg that his company is a multinational corporation (MNC) and that the software
might have been distributed overseas.

Greg discovers that the software has indeed been sent overseas to other offices within the
corporation. Greg speaks with his boss, informing him of the program from the night before.
Greg's boss shrugs off this comment, stating that "The company is based in the United States and
we are certainly no threat to national security in any way. Besides, there's no way anyone will find
out about software we use internally."

Greg agreed with his boss, and let it go. Later on however, Greg received a letter from a
gentleman working as a contractor for his company overseas. Through some correspondence
regarding the functionality of the software and technical matters, Greg learned the Middle Eastern
office had been supplying his software outside the company to contractors and clients so that they
could exchange secure emailed documents.

Questions on Ethics and Professionalism

1. What are Greg's ethical responsibilities as the designer of the software? To his company? To
himself? As a citizen?
2. Rank these responsibilities along with a brief explanation as to why you made your decisions. Ties
are allowed.
3. Write a proposal that would satisfy as many of Greg's obligations as possible. Explain why this is
his best course of action.

(For class discussion) Should a software engineer think about the implications of the material he or
she develops?
Source: http://www.onlineethics.org/Resources/Cases/encryption1.aspx (accessed: April 13,
2013)

6.8 abuse of position and authority

6.8.1 Engineer Mohit was appointed as an engineer by District Development Committee


(DDC) of Nuwakot. He was assigned an alignment survey for a proposed road connecting A
VDC to B VDC. He went for alignment survey and completed his task. During survey, he
used his professional skill and knowledge. After alignment survey, a group of Peoples’ Hak
Party (PHP) protested at DDC stating that (a) Engineer Mohit has “touched” his 5 Ropanis of
land through proposed road alignment to increase value of his land and (b) Engineering
Mohit also included in his alignment survey a small piece of land of Mr. Ranabir because of
his personal conflict with Ranabir some 10 year ago. On these ground the alignment survey
shall be discarded and need a re-survey and also need to take action against Engineer Mohit.
Answer the following questions using adequate reference.
• What Er. Mohit should have done?
• What the DDC should do?
• Did Er. Mohit abused his position and authority?
• What is your suggestion for amicable solution to this problem?

Additional study materials:

Engineers in International Development


Code of Conduct of Engineers without Boarder
Engineers without Boarder-International: http://www.ewb-international.org/
Sample self study material: Engineering: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for
Development, UNESCO Publication, Section 4.6, Engineering Ethics and
Anticorruption, p 184-196
Old Exam Questions from Chapter 6

1. A number of cracks, structural as well as settlement appeared in a building designed by


an engineer within two years of its completion. Municipality had approved the design and
drawing. Later it is found that without any soil investigation, structural design and
detailing of reinforcement report had been prepared during the construction of the
building. (20)
i. Discuss the position of the house owner.
ii. The engineer’s role.
iii. The role of the Municipality

2. Dharm Nath Sharma has designed a single storied residential building as per client’s
(Tapendra Sharma) requirements. Construction of the building completed in 2004 and
the building worked well. In 2006, the client decided to add two more floors so as to use
the floors as class rooms for tuitions. For this new work, the design was prepared by
Architect Sima Shrestha and it was approved by Kathmandu Municipality also. The
construction completed on 2008.
After completion of this construction, the client rented both the floors for garment
factory. Workers worked from early in the morning to late night. After few months, local
people opposed it saying that they are producing noise till late night and it created
problems for the children. Due to conflict between garment owner and local people, the
environment of that area became worse. Local people suggested to the garment owner
to close the factory after 6 P.M. but garment owner and Tapendra did not listen to
them. Local people closed the factory and nearly 20 workers whose economic condition
is very poor, lost their job.
Furthermore, house owner noticed cracks on ceiling and walls .The house owner made a
claim against garment owner demanding compensation of Rs. 5 lakh which was the
estimated repair and maintenance cost of the building and loss suffered by him.
Questions:
a. Do you think it is ethical to add two more floors on the already designed single
storied residential building? [5]
b. Discuss Sima Shrestha and Kathmandu Municipality’s position with duty and
negligence. [5]
c. In your opinion, How the conflicts can be resolved? [5]

3. Mr. Ram Lal Sharma is an electrical engineer. He designed an electrification work for
Electronics Department of Pulchowk Campus. The design was done for 15 staff rooms.
Two years later, the department decided to establish a departmental library and for this
purpose, partition walls of 3 rooms were dismantled and made them one big hall to use as
library reading room. The illumination for the hall was found inadequate to read in the
evening. (TU, 2055)
Questions:
a. Discuss the position of Ram Lal Sharma? Do you think, he is responsible for the
inadequate illumination to read in the evening? If not, then who is responsible for such
problem? Explain with the reference of duty and negligence? [8]
b. As an electrical engineer, suggest to Electronics Department of Pulchowk Campus to
solve this problem.
4. A plan for more efficient use of the Earth's natural resources will feed into the EU's
common goals on climate change, energy, transport, raw materials, agriculture, fisheries,
biodiversity and regional development.
The plan is part of Europe 2020, the bloc’s strategy for sustainable growth and jobs. As
well as conserving basic resources like clean air, water, land, forests and food, the EU
wants to promote the reuse and recycling of minerals and metals, essential for a modern
economy. This will help boost efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Companies
that efficiently use raw materials, water and other manufacturing inputs for their products
are able to cut costs, helping them to become more competitive.
Some industries are already innovating and reaping the rewards. For example, cement
manufacturers are starting to use alternative fuels, raw materials and recycled waste to
reduce CO 2 emissions, energy costs and waste.
In Hungary, 56 companies have introduced environmentally friendly innovations that
have saved them €59 Million. In the Netherlands, a chemical company that was
consuming 9.9 Million liters of freshwater a day switched to household wastewater,
allowing it to use 65% less energy and 500 tones fewer chemicals a year. It has also cut
its greenhouse gas emissions by 5,000 tones.
Encouraging resource efficiency will be a guiding principle behind measures the EU is
planning on a low-carbon economy, energy efficiency, transport, agriculture, fisheries and
biodiversity. These efforts will in turn encourage innovation and reduce the EU's
dependence on imports. The EU will also propose action on commodity markets and aims
to ensure a secure supply of raw materials.
These measures are essential to the EU's economic well-being as China, India and other
countries develop their economies, increasing global competition for scarce resources and
driving up prices. The EU’s construction, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery
and equipment sectors, which employ 30 million people, all depend on access to raw
materials.
Questions:
a. What is sustainable growth? How it helps to improve efficiency, productivity and
competiveness? [8]
b. With suitable examples, briefly explain how innovative idea in companies and industries
reduce costs and protect environment? Give suitable examples. [7]

5. As a consulting engineer you were asked to monitor a water supply project financed by an
NGO and handled by local water users committee at Gulmi district. The project was to be
completed by the end of May, 2010; otherwise the donor would stop the payment. When
you visited the site at the middle of May, you found that the project was not completed.
The users committee requested to submit the completion report so that they could finish
the work after sometime and will be beneficial to 100 household of the project.
Answer the following questions.
a. In your opinion, who is/ are responsible to finish the project in time?
b. Do you think, the local users committee must be reformed?
c. Water is basic need for the people. As an engineer, what is your role to continue
the project and to finish it in time?

6. The Changunarayan Temple, which is enlisted in the World Heritage Sites List, is at high
risk after landslides occurred on the east and west sides of the temple on Wednesday
following incessant rains. According to the priest at the Temple, Chakradharanand
Rajopadhyaya, the landslide has reached near Chandra Surya shrine on the west side of
the Temple. Rajopadhayaya complained that no bodies concerned have shown any
interest to protect the Temple when it is at high risk of landslide. Locals said this situation
came about with the failure of the local administration to stop the rampant mining of sand
and stones from the Manohara stream going on since long.

At first, sand smuggling at the Manohara stream should be stopped to save the Temple
from the risk of landslide, said Rajopadhayaya. Ms. Aruna Nakarmi, Chief of the
Department of Archeology and Palace Management Office, Bhaktapur, said they have
been informed of the landslide and they would inspect the area on Friday. Central Office
of the Department of Archeology has asked its local office to submit a report on the
extent of the damage to the Temple structure caused, which they will submit after
monitoring the area, said Nakarmi.
• Discuss the situation of the parties involved in this case. [15]

7. Read the case carefully and answer the question given:


Contractor of a road construction project (RCP) sponsored a 5-day-training to the
Department of Road’s Engineer Mr. Dhruba Raj Sharma to be held at New Delhi. Mr.
Sharma is a site engineer of that RCP.
Question:
Assume that you are Mr. Sharma, the site engineer of RCP. Do you participate in the
training to be held at New Delhi? Explain clearly taking adequate reference why or why
not? Also discuss the possible issues associated with this event.

8. During quality control visit in a remote village, it has been found that a building is being
constructed on the bank of a river and it will be damaged due to flood. Approximately
25% of the construction was completed. The survey was done by your friend with the
consent of the local people. However, the quality of construction was as per the
specification. Your job is limited to control the quality of building only. Discuss the case
and recommend your views on whether to continue the construction or not.

9. A student got NQ in the ABC subject and barred him to seat in the final exam conducted
by the university. The students claimed to the teacher that he didn't find the opportunity to
make up this NQ giving the betterment exam. Student threats teacher and teacher felt
uncomfortable to continue the classes' keeping such tension on the mind. How can you
judge the role of student and teacher in this case?

10. A client came to a designer and asked to design a multistoried building. The soil type of
the proposed site was found not suitable for that type of structure. The designer hesitated
to design the building. The client said that he actually was not going to build that
structure. He wanted to collect money from outside sources showing that designed as a
proposal for his venture and wanted to utilize that money in other business. Explain the
roles of the client and the designer in the perspective of professional ethics. (PU 2003)

11. Top Engineering College (TEC), a government organization, wanted to install


management information system (MIS) software at TEC to increase its efficiency and
enhance quality education. TEC asked Er. Sabhasad Bahadur (SB), a full time TEC
teacher and a part time software developer at Sosoft Consult, to prepare a detailed
technical specification and to publish a tender notice. TEC’s technical evaluation
committee, headed by Er. SB, awarded highest mark (99 out of 100) to Sosoft’s technical
proposal. Sohard Consult’s proposal scored the high mark in overall evaluation (technical
plus financial), but Er. SB recommended the TEC management to select Sosoft for the
MIS project. Before any decision was made, Sosoft increased the warranty period and
expressed readiness to negotiate price of MIS if annual maintenance contract is also
awarded to them, which was a very attractive offer for TEC.

You are the decision maker at TEC. Analyze the situation carefully and prepare a list of
options along with potential consequences of each, and make a decision with appropriate
justification.
12. Engineer Mohit was appointed as an engineer by District Development Committee
(DDC) of Nuwakot. He was assigned an alignment survey for a proposed road connecting
A VDC to B VDC. He went for alignment survey and completed his task. During survey,
he used his professional skill and knowledge. After alignment survey, a group of Peoples’
Hooldanga Party (PHP) protested at DDC stating that (a) Engineer Mohit has touched his
5 Ropanis of land through proposed road alignment to increase value of his land and (b)
Engineering Mohit also included in his alignment survey a small piece of land of Mr.
Ranabir because of his personal conflict with Ranabir some 10 year ago. On these ground
the alignment survey shall be discarded and need a survey and also need to take action
against Engineer Mohit.
Question: Using adequate reference
a. What Er. Mohit should have done?
b. What DDC should do?
13. Read the case carefully and explain clearly, taking adequate reference, who should be
liable.
a. The plaintiff was a factory worker in the defendant's factory. The factory become flooded
and management did every possible to remove the effects of the flood. However the
factory floor was still slippery from the flood. The plaintiff who was walking on the floor,
fell and suffered injury. He sued the defendant in the tort of negligence.
b. The plaintiff, who had only one good eye, was employed by the defendant. The defendant
failed to provide goggles to the plaintiff for his work. While working, the plaintiff injured
his one good eye and sued his employer.
c. Two appellants were cooks employed by the respondent in the respondent's restaurant.
They suffered severe burns on 13 March 2009 when an explosion occurred in the
restaurant kitchen because of a defective gas cylinder.
14. A fresh engineering graduate (Engineer A) with a specialization in water resources,
looking for a job is approached by a senior engineer from the Department of Groundwater
Development (DoGD). The DoGD engineer asks Engineer A to conduct a district wide
study of the inter-linkage between groundwater and surface water at Rupandehi District,
Nepal and also provides a sample of a report to be produced as the end product of the
study. Engineer A finds that the sample report is based on a superficial study, with all the
related data taken from western countries, and requests for permission from the DoGD
engineer to visit the site and collect field based data. The DoGD engineer refuses, saying
that the budget to complete the study is very low, asks Engineer A to prepare the report
with data taken from text books or other reports and assures that Engineer A will not face
any problem since the contract to conduct the study was obtained by a consulting
company registered in the name of the DoGD engineer’s spouse, and the DoGD engineer
himself is responsible to check the quality of the report.
Answer the following questions with appropriate justification.
i. Is it moral and ethical for Engineer A to accept the assignment and follow the
suggestions of the DoGD engineer?
ii. Should Engineer A do his/her best and use data from other reports and text books to
prepare the report?
iii. Should Engineer A refuse to accept the assignment?
iv. Should Engineer A accept the assignment, collect the relevant documents from the
DoGD engineer and then report the case to CIAA?
v. Will Engineer A face any problem if he/she just follow the suggestions of the DoGD
engineer?
Sample Case studies (i): A client came to a designer and asked to design a multistoried
building. The soil type of the proposed site was found not suitable for that type of structure.
The designer hesitated to design the building. The client said that he actually was not going to
build that structure. He wanted to collect money from outside sources showing that designed
as a proposal for his venture and wanted to utilize that money in other business. Explain the
roles of the client and the designer in the perspective of professional ethics.

Your answer should address the following issues.


Role of Client and Designer
Is the intention of the client legal?
Is the intention of the client moral?
Is the intention of the client ethical?

Morally, ethically, and legally, what should the designer do after knowing the real intention
of the client?
Should the client be penalized for telling the “real intention” to the designer?
Should the designer refuse to design? If yes, why? If no, why?
Should the designer refuse to design and just keep quite?
Should the designer just submit a design and keep quite because what the client does with the
design is none of the designer’s business?
Should the designer design with piles (or other suitable foundation design) to make the
structure suitable for the type of soil?
Since the client is not going to build the structure anyway which does not increase hazard
from the building to anyone, what is wrong in just providing a design, as a hypothetical case?
Should the designer refuse to design and inform the government officials about the client’s
intention?
Should the designer refuse to design and inform the media, or write an article in the
newspaper, about the intention of the client?
As long as the design is structurally sound, is the designer responsible (morally, ethically,
legally) for what the client does with the design?

Sample Case studies (ii) A recently built simply supported RCC roof slab of a single storied
poultry plant in Chitwan, collapsed and killed all the chickens in the farm. The farm owner
blamed the labour contractor for the defective work. The contractor denied and accused the
client for providing low quality and inadequate amount of steel bars for the roof slab. The
farm owner then asked for compensation from the steel bar supplier (for inferior quality bars)
and the consultant (for improper supervision during construction). The bar supplier defended
herself by saying that the farm owner bought the cheapest bar from her which has no
guarantee. The consultant reported that the cause of the roof collapse is the use of very dirty
water in mixing the concrete, which was provided by the farm owner and used by the
contractor despite objections from the consultant’s site supervisor.
Analyze the situation carefully and decide which party (client, contractor, and consultant) is
more responsible or less responsible for the roof collapse. Explain your decision with
reference to the Professional Code of Conduct of Nepal Engineering Council and the
Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal.

Things to notice before assigning degree of responsibility:


Client:
i) Did only labor contract with the contractor, supplied materials on her own
ii) Supplied low quality steel bars (thinks all steel bars are same)
iii) Supplied inadequate quantity of steel bars (shows no faith in design details)
iv) Supplied dirty water for concrete mixing, despite objections from consultant (thinks
water quality does not affect concrete quality)
Contractor:
i) Worked with low quality steel bars, knowingly. Thought that contractor is not
responsible for material quality since it is only labour contract.
ii) Tied inadequate numbers of steel bars (increased steel bar spacing), knowingly.
Thought that contractor is not responsible for material quantity since it is only labour
contract.
iii) Used very dirty water to mix concrete, knowingly, despite objections from consultant.
Consultant:
i) Did not or could not stop client from supplying low quality steel bars
ii) Did not stop contractor from tying inadequate number of steel bars
iii) Did not or could not stop client and contractor from use of very dirty water to mix
concrete
iv) Reported the problems only after roof collapse and after client’s compensation claim

Some additional guidelines in analyzing case studies:

1. Read the question carefully.


2. Analyze the case from ethical, moral, social, legal, professional and conflict of
interest angle, and assign role/responsibilities of each party involved in the case.
3. Base your analysis, wherever appropriate, on professional code of conduct of NEC,
NEA, FCAN, SCAEF, IEEE, CAN, or any other professional organization. Do not
forget to specifically mention code and clause(s), if you can.
4. Many cases involve conflict of interest (COI); if the case you are dealing with is
related to COI, specifically mention it.
5. If specific laws are applicable, perform legal analysis and mention the law.
6. Make your recommendations impartially, thinking of you as an impartial judge,
considering existing social, technical, legal and professional codal provisions.

Link to further reading: http://ethics.iit.edu/eelibrary/?q=node/2395