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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Increasingly, Civil Servants are being charged with corruption. In this context discuss the reasons behind the prevalence of corruption in Civil Services and its impact on people and Public Life. (250 words)

    20 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about Corruption.
    • Discuss the reasons for the prevalence of Corruption in the Civil Service.
    • Discuss the impact of Corruption on people and Public Life.
    • Conclude your answer by giving a Way Forward.


    Corruption is dishonest behavior by those in positions of power.

    Those who abuse their power may be individuals or they may belong to organizations, such as businesses or governments.

    Corruption can entail a variety of actions, including giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, and defrauding investors.

    Main Body

    Reasons for the Prevalence of Corruption in Civil Service

    • Politicization of the Civil Service: When civil service positions are used as rewards for political support or swapped for bribes, the opportunities for high levels of corruption increase significantly.
    • Lower Wages Compared to Private Sector: Lowerwages for civil servants compared to those in the private sector. Certain employees' resort to taking bribes in order to compensate for the difference in wages.
    • Administrative Delays: Delays in the clearance of files are the root cause of corruption.
    • Colonial Legacy of Unchallenged Authority: In a society which worships power, it is easy for public officials to deviate from ethical conduct.
    • Weak Enforcement of Law: Various laws have been made to curb the evil of corruption, but their weak enforcement has acted as a hindrance in curbing corruption.

    Impact of Corruption on People and Public Life

    • Lack of Quality in Services: In a system with corruption, there is no quality of service. To demand quality, one might need to pay for it. This is seen in many areas like municipality, electricity, distribution of relief funds, etc.
    • Lack of Proper Justice: Corruption in the judiciary system leads to improper justice. And the victims of offense might suffer. A crime may be proved as a benefit of the doubt due to a lack of evidence or even the evidence erased and the accused in the case will be set free.
    • Poor Health and Hygiene: In countries with more corruption, one can notice more health problems among people. There will be no fresh drinking water, proper roads, quality food grains supply, milk adulteration, etc. These low-quality services are all done to save money by the contractors and the officials who are involved.
    • Failure of Genuine Research: Research by individuals needs government funding and some of the funding agencies have corrupt officers. These people sanction the funds for research to those investigators who are ready to bribe them.

    Way Forward

    • Civil Service Board: By establishing the Civil Service Board, the government can curb excessive political control.
    • Simplifying Disciplinary Process: By simplifying the disciplinary process and strengthening preventive vigilance within the departments, it can be ensured that corrupt civil servants do not occupy sensitive positions.
    • Emphasize Value-based Training: It is important to emphasize value-based training to all civil servants to ensure probity in public life. Professional ethics should be an integral component in all the training courses and call for a comprehensive Code of Ethics for civil servants, based on the recommendations of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC).
    • Change in line with the Modern Aspirations: Governance models should change in line with the modern aspirations of our people, and that it is necessary to keep the bureaucratic system ‘light, transparent and agile’. The government has launched ‘Mission Karmayogi’ with an aim to build a citizen-centric and future-ready civil service for the nation.

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