03 Aug 2022
GS Paper 4
Day 24: Describe the attributes and principles that made civil servants the "Steel Frame of India".
- Introduce by stating that Sadar Patel called the civil servants as Steel Frame of India.
- Discuss the attributes and principles of a civil servant.
- Conclude by suggesting way to improve efficiency of a civil servant.
Sardar Patel described civil services as the ‘steel frame’ of India. Civil Servants are the pioneers in the Indian Service, and the future of this Service will depend much upon the foundation and the traditions that will be laid down by them, by their character and abilities and by their spirit of service.
Sardar Patel gave a lot of emphasis on values and ethics in administrators. He knew that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence, he called for effective use of power and not an abuse of state power. The administrators should have discipline, esprit de corps, integrity, incorruptibility, impartiality, etc. Civil servants represent the central authority, and the reputation and goodwill of the Government of India will depend upon them as to how they perform. They are the eyes, ears and mouth of the government.
The attributes and principles that made civil servants the "Steel Frame of India”:
Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Integrity: While undertaking any administrative action, an administrator practices utmost honesty and never uses his power, position and discretion to serve his personal interest.
Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
Responsiveness and resilience: Responsiveness helps you connect with people and pare down communication gap, the right response at the time, sometimes, can help avert awkward situations. Likewise, being resilient means civil servants are ready to face down all the challenges of the future with great finesse.
Commitment to work: A committed and a dedicated person excels and brings incredibly noticeable results wherever he puts his efforts. There is no substitute for hard and committed work.
Ensuing excellence in the work: Determination to give nothing but the best instills in our heart courage to get the better of all agonies and problems and taste success. While striving for excellence, many seen and unseen problems are wiped out and we are on the way to giving optimal performance.
Principle of utilitarianism: An administrator counts on the principle that all his decisions should lead to the greatest good of the greatest number. Relying on the principle means that an administrator’s reach is to the most powerful as well as underprivileged classes of society as well. After deciding to do maximum good for society, all the decisions already become rational.
Maximum of compassion: Compassion for the poor, the disabled and the weaker segment of the society is the highest virtue. It actually determines how successful you are as an administrator. In fact, all great administrators and leaders of society have been compassionate people which is why they could connect to the masses.
Transparency: Civil servants make all their decisions in a transparent manner. Transparency leaves no room for ambiguity. Civil services aspirants show utmost transparency in all their deeds.
Legal and rational action: A nation having law-abidance citizens always grows and prospers so it becomes utmost essential for law enforcers to follow the law and rules to govern and guide. A civil servant has deepest respect for the law and its enforcement.
With these principles and attributes that civil servants possess in serving the country make them the steel frame of India. Every administrator should attempt to acquire higher knowledge and skills, it would greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery.