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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. How impartiality and non-partisanship play a vital role in ensuring a neutral approach in public service? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples. (150 Words)

    02 Jun, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Give a brief introduction by defining impartiality and non-partisanship
    • Explain its importance in ensuring neutrality in public service
    • Substantiate your arguments with suitable examples
    • Conclude positively


    In a democracy, every holder of public office is accountable to the people. Such accountability is enforced through ethical codes which ultimately shapes the quality of service delivery in public. Impartiality and non-partisanship are two dimensions of ethics that codify the adoption of a neutral approach in public service. Neutrality can be defined as the status of being detached or disinterested towards any kind of profit or self-gain. Impartiality is to act without bias of status of particular group rich vs poor and social pressure of caste and religion, while non-partisanship is a lack of inclination or affiliation towards a particular ideology or political parties.

    Impartiality and nonpartisanship create a mechanism for the enforcement of good governance for all. However, in complex socio-political scenarios of India, it is difficult for a public servant to be objective and unbiased. In such a situation, the above two values work as a guiding principle to serve the society at its best. These values enlighten the path of the public servants to work with different regimes or parties with the same enthusiasm without any conflict. The same is true when a public servant has to assimilate the ‘welfare for all ‘approach, especially in the context of policy implementation. The public policies, even if they are contrary to his/her beliefs, must be implemented without any consideration of caste, class, region or religion. E.g. If a public servant has to work in tribal areas, he may find some cultural antagonism with the practices of tribal society; however, that should not impact his zeal to serve the people.

    Similarly, a public servant also comes from a specific society, if one remains conscious of all the societal parameters, he or she will make biased decisions based on personal opinion. E.g. public servant from an elite section of society may not be sympathetic or compassionate towards the weaker section of the society. Impartiality and non-partisanship will mold the attitude of the public servants for better governance and unbiased implementation of welfare policies.

    Whenever there is a crisis of conscience and ethical dilemma to decide between right and wrong, impartiality and non partisanships ultimately ensure neutrality, shape values of integrity and objectivity. This ultimately leads to dedication for public service in real sense. Mr. T.N. Sheshan could thrive in difficult circumstances with dignity and respect because he always adhered to the principle of neutrality, non-partisanship, and impartiality. This attitude has reformed the institute of Election Commission. So, in a nutshell, non-partisanship and impartiality ensure neutrality by ensuring good governance, apolitical functioning, and transparency in decision making. These values are necessary to build safeguards to prevent conflict of interest so that allegiance to the various ideals enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution could be restored.

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