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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. 'Good character is necessary for holding a higher position in civil services'. Examine the statement in the context of modern-day civil servants. (250 words)

    26 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Highlight modern-day civil servants’ work nature.
    • Highlight qualities that make up a good character and why they are important for those in higher positions in civil services.
    • Conclude with how good character will help in overcoming challenges that civil servants in higher positions face.


    • Modern-day bureaucracy in a democracy like India needs to fulfil many expectations to be able to uphold the ideals of the Constitution and instil confidence among citizens towards governance. This is reflected in the good character of civil servants, especially those at higher positions, which ultimately leads to the common good.


    Some essential qualities that make a good character of a civil servant are:

    • Selflessness: This results in furthering common good/interest and lowers chances of self-aggrandisement while holding power.
    • Objectivity: Decisions based on rational, impartial basis lead to justice, equality and meritorious outcomes.
    • Integrity: This can ensure that the public office will not reduce to crony vested interest, which will raise people’s participation and co-operation with the bureaucracy.
    • Honesty: Trustworthiness, free from deceit, loyalty, sincerity are hallmarks for effective leadership resulting in following orders and ability to persuade the desired outcome.
    • Transparency: This is the cornerstone of democratic decision making and also enhances the quality of such decisions by making them more inclusive, receptive and accountable.


    • Thus, a good character becomes necessary for civil servants in higher positions in face of modern-day challenges like corruption, decreasing faith in governance, cronyism, biased decisions etc. as highlighted by a Sanskrit phrase “Sheelam param Bhushanam” (Character is the highest virtue).

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