Difference between Discretion and Decision making
There is always a little bit Discretion in every decision-making a person has to do. One can always exercise Discretions in such a way to avoid arriving at the cross-roads of decision-making. A police man can decide on the acceptability of your driving liscence after looking at the date of expiry, issuing authority, etc. But he has an un-avoidable Discretionary power to choose-- that is, choose you for DL checks from the thousands of people driving on the road. Likewise, he can always choose to apply his Discretions to put your genuine validity DL for a 'suspected' counterfeit checks, which may be an 'open secret' way to delay you and harass you.
Law Courts have not found foolproof logical ways to separate honest and fair exercise of discretion from a dishonest one. Arbitrariness is the right term to describe a dishonest application of one's discretion. Thus, Discretion, even when socially perceived as the better part of valour, in juryprudence is seen as a big source of corruption. Therefore, Technical managements with the help of technology should work to reduce the occasion for exercising Discretion.
A memory recall of school years
The knowledge on the existence of a difference between Discretion and Decision-making is not an accidental occurance, although for most of the Indians this knowledge is going to take them by a surprise. For me, the knowledge is truly a journey into my memory lane to a point in time, my junior school days, when we had made some extensive debates and discussion on the meaning of discussion. The topic had risen when studying about the Discretionary Powers of certain Constitutional ranks in the subject of Civics.
Students, my classmates and myself, had lots of trouble understanding what is the meaning of Discretion. Many answers came around, some of them dictionary-based and some of them from the 'extra' knowledge which some students like to possess. The dictionary meaning of the word Discretion is the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice. However such definition was creating a confusion about it's meaning from the decision-making which every executive was suppose to be making.
Students very frequently have query which if chased properly for a good answer make the student and the teacher develop some insight into the subject matter of philosophy. A philosopher has to depend a lot on discerning observations. A student is habituated to take lots of varied observation about the topics he is being taught. Thus , students are a tremendous source of deep-cutting observations a teacher can come up against. Therefore a teacher must have some basic ideas generated from Pure Philosophy so as to handle her class room better.
So it was. Extra knowledge about the meaning of Discretion, such as, the un-challengeable power, un-questionable power kept bring up many half-view understanding to us. It is not until I arrived in a profession, the Merchant navy, where we as Ship Captains have a Discretionary Power in regard to Matters of Safety and Security conferred through International Law codes, the SOLAS and the ISM Code, that I hit back on the path to research the meaning once again.
In merchant navy, people like to interpret Discretion through the prism of Valour and Courage. No wonder, they say , 'Discretion is the better part of Valour'. Bu
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