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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Examine the need of Code of Ethics for civil servants in India. (150 Words)

    16 Jun, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Explain what is code of ethics.
    • Talk about its advantage.
    • Conclude by taking a balanced approach.


    The Code of Ethics is a set of guidelines issued by an organization, to guide the conduct in accordance with organizational primary values and ethical standards. It includes values and principles like integrity, impartiality, accountability, devotion to duty, exemplary behavior, commitment to public service, etc. It is generally wide-ranging and non-specific, designed to provide a set of values or decision-making approaches that enable employees to make independent judgments about the most appropriate course of action.


    Public servants provide services to the public, they exercise authority and manage the resources of the government. Their actions directly affect the public and the confidence that the public has in the government. Therefore, the public demands high standards of behavior and ethical conduct from public servants.

    Benefits of the code of ethics

    • Ethical codes by focusing on the character of actions of public servants help in building individual and organizational integrity.
    • As foundational documents, they can provide the framework that public servants – political and civil service – use to carry out their public responsibilities.
    • Codes can clearly articulate unacceptable behaviors as well as providing a vision for which the government official is striving.

    The inculcation of values facilitating the subordination of the self to a larger societal good, and engendering a spirit of empathy for those in need of ameliorative state interventions are not skills which could be easily imbibed after joining the civil services. Such attitudes need nurturing over not merely individual lifetimes but through successive generations. Thus the Code of ethics can provide guidance on ethical conduct and regulate the behavior of public servants and other public officials.


    It is important that the code of ethics should be grounded in the notion of responsibility and accountability. In a democracy, every holder of public office is accountable ultimately to the people. The code of ethics provides guidance on how public servants should uphold the highest standards of constitutional and ethical conduct in the performance of their duties. It should be based on the overarching duty of public servants to comply with the law, to uphold the administration of justice and to protect the integrity of public life.

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