Why should impartiality and non-partisanship be considered as foundational values in public service especially in present day socio-political context. Illustrate your answer with examples.

(Civil Services Examination 2016) 

  • The present socio-political system is characterised by growing distrust and skepticism between government and people, between various section of society and within the government. Access of public service has become narrow and exclusive.
  • For example, When a particular party is in power a particular section of community gets all the government’s contract. Similarly cases of riots and inability of public servant to control gives perception of politicisation and communalisation of service. Other problems like dalit atrocities, demand for reservation, Naxalite movement etc are result of prevailing distrust.
  • Under such circumstances, the public service should work in impartial and non-partisan manner. Impartiality and non- partisanship in public service signifies free, fair and rational decision making process with sole motive of enhancing collective good.
  • A public servant must be impartial and must not act on the basis of nationality, race, religion, or political point of view. Civil servants often are seen conflicting with the principles of impartiality and loyalty. Politicisation and cases pertaining to corruption are direct result ofaffiliation to a particular ideology.
  • The public servants are to be responsive to the needs and direction of their political masters who have been democratically elected.The duty of loyality most often becomes contradictory to a public serven’s obligation to act impartially.Public official has to work in the general intrest of the nationwithout any personal views coming in wy of discharging duty.But this is often overseen.
  • To take care of such concerns and make public service adhere to these foundational values,model of political neutrality given by kneeth kernfhan could be followed.Politicas and policy are to be completely separated from administration.Whil politicians take policy decisions,it is the public officials which put them in execution.
  • All public officials should be recruitedpurely on erit basis and not depending on any political inclinationor affiliation.Public officials must not engage in any partisan politics.Public officials should give correct and objective advice to their political masters.All policies are to be implemented with full zeal and enthusias, keeping all personal basis at a side.

What do you understand by ‘probity’in public life? what are the difficultiesw in practising it in the present times?How can these difficulties be overcome? (Civil Services Examination 2014)

  • Probity in public life are the standards that society expects from those elected or appointed to public office to observe and maintain in the conduct of the public affairs.These standards act as safeguard from corruption by politicians and public affairs.
  • These standars act asasafeguard from corruption by politicians and public officials,who have been given almost unrestricted access to public resources together with the power to take decisions that impact on the lives of everyone and the nation as a whole.
  • The absence of integrity and probity in public life is manifested in corruotion which is a world wide but its impact is strongest and most persive in developing states likeIndia.
Difficulties in practising ethical behaviour are
  • Poor work culture,politic bureaucrat collusion.
  • No fear and accountability.
  • Lack of trusted leadership
  • Increase lust of money and meterialism
  • Increasing consumerism.
  • Discretion and lack of trancparancy
These difficulties can be over come through
  • Value education
  • Transformational leadership
  • Decentralisation and people empowerment
  • Good governance
  • Code of ethics and a sound work culture.
  • Highlevel of tolerance and dedication
  • Strong oversight through parliament,lawenforcement,

What does ‘accountability’mean in the context of public service?What measures cn be adopted to ensure individual and collective accountability of public servants?(Civil Services Examination 2014)

  • In governance,accountability is answerability,liability and the expectation of is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility by a civil servant for actions and decisions taken by him in his official capacity.
  • They must be accountable to the oath of office they have taken while entering the is the most essential aspect of good govenance ensuring effective delivery of also includes the responsibility,which makes person accuntable from with in.
Measures at individual level can be
  • Administrative control through measures like internal audit and departmental commitees.
  • Bringing transparancy in political and administrative control through personnel
  • Adopting modren evaluation techniques.
  • Effective functioning of institutions like janlokpal and NHRC (national human rights commission)
  • Giving complete autonomy to vigilance organisation like CVC (cental vigilance commission) and CBI.
  • Code of Ethics
  • Training in ethical governance
Measures at collectiive level can be
  • Parliamentary oversight through questions,resolutions and committees,which are above party lines.
  • Making financial control through budget and CAG (comptroller and auditor general) more
  • Public opinion and vigilant civil society.
  • Effective use of press and media.
  • Loopholes of RTI Act must be filled and it shouldimplemented in letter and spirit.
  • Use of social audit whrever possible.
  • People participation like panchayatiraj institutions
  • Bringing transparencythrough e-governance.
  • Passing acts like whistleblowers act or false claim Act.
  • Formulation of a feasible citizen’s charter and spreading awarenesss about it.

What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service?(Civil Services Examination 2013)

  • Integrity
  • perseverance
  • Spirit of service
  • commitment
  • courage of conviction
  • i.Integrityrefers to being honest and consistent in thoughts and is a state of wholeness or completeness.integrity indicates soundness of moral principles, the character of uncorrupted virtues,uprightness,honesty and sincearity.A fundamental  rule for maintaining civil servants integrity is to avoid situation that may give rise to conflict of interest.
  • ii.perseverancerefers to stedy persistance in a course of action,a purpose or a way of thinking especially in the fece of diddiculties,obstacles and is generally used in a favourable sense and seen as a desirable trait in civil allows the person tostay optimistic and prohibits him from immediate gratification at the face of difficulties.
  • iii.Spirit of servicemeans the feeling of serving others comes from within the person.service is done  not because it is a job but because the person has completely integrated himself with the idea of doing public good.civil services actually demand  this attribute as this feelingbis very difficult to inculcate in makes a person empathetic towards people suffering and their needs.
  • iv.commitmentis the state of being dedicated to a cause or activity.once a commitment is made, it also puts an obligation on the person to act or otherwise he cannot be considered to be committed.Public servants must be committed to values like honesty,integrity,empathy,justice,equality,etc..
  • v.courage of convictionis the confidence that a person has to act according to his beliefs.a perosn may have high values and beliefs,but they will mean nothing,if he does not have the courage to follow them at the right moment.
Two more attributes which are essential I public service are compassion and impartiality.
  • Compassionrefers to a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for those,who are suffering along with a strong desire to relieve their suffering .A public servant should have strong is only though compassion that the discontent between bureaucrats  and the public can be bridged.
  • Impartialitymeans acting solely  according to the  merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties and the general public equally well and in  the same spirit.impartially requires public servants to refrain feom opinions,positions or actions that demonstrate a bias towards or against a particular cause or course of action,including the defence of government policies.Impartiality is necessary to bring credibility and trust in a public service both from the political masters and the common citizens.
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