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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. “Corruption is a moral degradation of character of public servant as well as of the defects of government systems and procedures “. Examine (150 words)

    01 Dec, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by briefly explaining corruption.
    • Discuss causes of corruption due to moral degradation.
    • Discuss corruption due to defects of government system.
    • Conclude by suggesting some measures to reduce in public service.


    • Corruption is defined as the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status by an office bearer for his own personal benefit.
    • Following from this definition, examples of corrupt behaviour would include: bribery, extortion, fraud, nepotism, cronyism, appropriation of public assets and property for private use, and influence peddling.


    • Causes of corruption in public service due to moral degradation:
      • Lack of integrity: In some cases, the corrupt practice may be a voluntary act undertaken by the public servant with the deliberate intention of gaining a competitive advantage or obtaining an unjustified personal gain.
      • Greed: Many individuals do corruption due to the inexhaustible appetite for illegal illegitimate funds, which they have access to as a public servant.
      • Lower Wages Compared to Private Sector: Lowering wages for civil servants compared to those in the private sector.
        • Certain employees may resort to taking bribes in order to compensate for the difference in wages.
    • Corruption due to defects of system:
      • Normal business practice. Some offences are committed in the mistaken belief that common practices, such as the inflation of claims, or the wrongful withholding of payment, are normal business practice and do not constitute criminal offences.
      • 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.
    • Impact of corruption on 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.


    • There is a need for taking comprehensive measures to reduce corruption in public service like:
      • 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 called for a comprehensive Code of Ethics for civil servants, based on the recommendations of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC).

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