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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. “Public service is the basic objective of the welfare state”. In the context of this statement, enumerate ‘Public Service Values’ towards which all public servants should aspire. (250 words)

    05 Dec, 2019 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Answer :

    Approach

    • Briefly explain the concepts of Public Service and Welfare State.
    • Talk about various public service values.
    • Conclude by emphasizing on the importance of these values.

    Introduction

    Welfare State can be described as a ‘system of government organised to ensure the well-being of citizens’. Public service is associated with the government and it is offered by administrative bodies to people living within its region and considered essential to modern life. Therefore public service can be called the basic objective of the welfare state as governmental interventions are designed to ensure public service.

    Body

    Keeping the aims and aspirations of the welfare state in mind, public servants should aspire for certain ‘public service values’. Some indispensable public service values are:

    • Integrity: Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
    • Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
    • Commitment: Public servants should be committed to their duties and perform their work with involvement, intelligence and dexterity. As highlighted by Swami Vivekananda “Every duty is holy and devotion to duty is the highest form of worship.”
    • Transparency: Public servants should make decisions in a transparent manner so that those affected by the decisions are able to understand the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of information on which these decisions are made.
    • Impartiality: Public servants should take decisions based on merit and free from any partisan/political considerations. Public servants should deliver services in a fair, effective, impartial and courteous manner to serve the larger public interest. The dedication (spirit of service) to the public welfare cause is crucial.
    • Leadership: Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and should be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

    Conclusion

    Empathy, political neutrality, anonymity, exemplary behaviour etc. are other values said to be the hallmarks of an efficient public servant. These values are essential components of organisational culture and are instrumental in determining, guiding and informing behaviour required in delivering the welfare goals envisioned by the society. Thus, these values should largely be adopted by all and particularly form the core qualities of public servants.

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