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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Examine the relevance of the following terms in the context of civil service: (150 Words)
    (i) Integrity
    (ii) Impartiality
    (iii) Objectivity
    (iv) Tolerance

    02 Jun, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Define each term briefly.
    • State reasons for its relevance for Civil Service.
    • Give appropriate examples.


    (i) Integrity: Integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. In other words, one’s actions have to match one’s professed moral principles. It is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.

    It is important for a civil servant to have integrity for the following reasons

    • To deal with the public and their affairs fairly, efficiently and sensitively to the best of their abilities.
    • For managing public resources and money entrusted to them for the benefit of the citizens.
    • To comply with the law of the land and uphold the administration of justice. E.g.- Mr. Ashok Khemkha, a civil servant has shown impeccable integrity and dedication towards public service despite the fact that he has been transferred more than 50 times in his service.

    A public servant who lacks integrity would put personal interest over public service and thus compromising the quality of administration.

    (ii) Impartiality: It means acting solely according to the merits of the case without giving preference to one’s own self interest. It means serving everyone equally well and in the same spirit.

    An officer must not act in a way that unjustifiably favors or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.
    E.g.- An IPS officer Sreelekha earned the moniker of ‘Raid Sreelekha’ for being part of the CBI raid teams that didn’t shy away from searching the premises of influential persons.

    Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the commitments of a public servant. A public servant must be impartial and must not act on the basis of nationality, race, religion, or political point of view.

    An impartial public servant ensures:

    • Service delivery in an effective manner.
    • A legal and Constitutional transition when democratic processes result in new administrations.
    • Proper resource management and effective implementation of government schemes.

    (iii) Objectivity: It allows an officer to take a decision on the merits of the case and take due account of expert advice. It also means the state or quality of being rational and keeping aside one’s emotions, biases, prejudices. It is mindindependent and object-specific. In public life, it means giving equal treatment to people in equal situations irrespective of any other factor i.e being fair. For example- An IPS officer takes the right decision in a sexual harassment case by analysing all the aspects without having any prejudices.

    (iv) Tolerance: It is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our culture, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is also accepting others when their opinions and beliefs are not in line with yours. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience, and belief. E.g. A policymaker while formulating policies for weaker sections of society must be tolerant enough to hold his/her own personal views for the welfare of all.

    The attribute of being tolerant is very important for civil servants for the following reasons:

    • To protect the Constitutional principles of Fundamental Rights which form the basic structure of the Constitution.
    • To uphold natural rights.
    • To Prevent the tendency of intimidation, coercion, oppression, etc.
    • In developing qualities like respect towards others, knowledge, openness, communication between diverse sections in society.

    Integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship, objectivity, and tolerance are the foundational values of civil service. Hence, it is essential to inculcate such values for the efficient and citizen-centric public delivery system.

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