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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What are values? Highlight the importance of values in governance. (150 Words)

    05 May, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Explain what are values
    • Enumerate various types of values important in governance such as integrity, neutrality, responsibility etc.
    • Establish how various values play a significant role in governance


    Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes, actions and conduct.Values are enduring beliefs about an ideal mode of behaviour. They help us to determine what is important to us. Values describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions; the sort of person we want to be; the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us. 

    System of values, policies and institutions by which a society manages its economic, political and social affairs through interactions within and among the State, civil society and the private sector is called as Governance. 

    Values such as objectivity, integrity, neutrality, responsibility, credibility, impartiality, confidentiality, dedication to public service, transparency, efficiency, are crucial for governance and ensure the rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment, and broad-based participation of all. 

    The following values have a major bearing on the governance architecture of any society: 

    • Integrity- Integrity can be understood as moral uprightness and strong adherence to honesty and fairness. Integrity aims at preventing corruption and fostering high standards of behaviour, help to reinforce the credibility and legitimacy of those involved in policy decision making, safeguarding the public interest and restoring confidence in the policy making process.  
    • Objectivity- Objectivity means taking rational decisions based upon established norms, laws, rules, regulations rather than personal opinion or bias. The decisions of public officials must be impartial, fair and based on merit. Objectivity is considered one of the important values in governance both by the Nolan Committee and 2nd ARC report.  
    • Impartiality- Impartiality is the absence of bias in the due process. It ensures that the views of each and every stakeholder is duly taken into consideration. Above that, it also ensures inclusive development of any nation.  
    • Transparency- Transparency means that decisions are taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.  
    • Responsiveness- Good governance requires that institutions and processes serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. E.g. Timely response to Right to Information applications will retain and further strengthen people's faith in government machinery and that will ultimately lead to citizen centric governance . 
    • Accountability- Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. 

    Values thus act as a guiding light, and reshape the code of ethics to be followed for good governance. Values without institutional support become weak and dissipate. Institutions with high values provide a platform for the efficient delivery system. Thus values ultimately strengthen the commitment to public service and spirit of good governance. 

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