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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix. (150 Words)

    17 Mar, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start the answer by writing about ethics.
    • Explain ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant.
    • Also justify their inclusion in the matrix(ethical traits needed for civil servants).


    Ethics can be defined as a set of “moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the

    conduct of an activity”. Ethics relates primarily to the nature of ultimate values and standards by which human actions can be judged. Ethics are subjective standard of rights and wrong.


    For a civil servant, acting ethically is of utmost importance. A civil servant is supposed to possess the virtues of objectivity and impartiality. The five ethical traits – Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Objectivity, and Selflessness – form the ethical foundation of a civil servant and other values like nonpartisanship, tolerance, responsiveness can emanate from them. A matrix of ethical traits is discussed below, which is beneficial in performance evaluation of civil servants.

    Ethical Trait Reason for Inclusion
    • Important for elimination of corruption.
    • Leadership quality to act as a role model for others.
    • Best utilisation of public resources and pursuit of professional excellence.
    • An element of Emotional Intelligence
    • Self-motivation to work for the weak and brings empathy towards them.
    • Outcome and effectiveness orientation.
    • Makes administration transparent and public oriented.
    • Builds public trust and deters unethical conduct.
    • Makes civil servants answerable for their conduct and decisions.
    • Decisions based on merit without personal bias.
    • Makes a civil servant impartial and non-partisanship.
    • Fairness in action and tolerance towards opposing views.
    • Efficiency orientation.
    • Prevents misuse of entrusted public resources and authority.
    • Helps in resolving conflicts of interest, countering nepotism and cronyism.


    These traits ensure that a civil servant fulfills his professional obligation even in adverse situations. The ideal training programme for a civil servant should be a mix of ethical traits, procedural rules and practical situations.

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