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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q: Examine the impact of ethical conduct on public trust and accountability. Provide suitable examples to support your arguments."(250 words)

    22 Jun, 2023 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer with a brief introduction of Ethical Conduct, Public trust and accountability.
    • Explain the impact of Ethical Conduct.
    • Write some examples to substantiate your answer.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    Ethical conduct is the behavior that conforms to the moral principles and values of a society, or a profession and public trust is the confidence that the public has in the integrity, competence and responsiveness of public institutions and officials. Accountability is the obligation of public institutions and officials to answer for their actions and decisions, and to be subject to scrutiny, oversight and sanctions if necessary.


    Impact of Ethical Conduct on Public Trust:

    • Enhancing Transparency:
      • Ethical conduct fosters transparency, enabling the public to trust that decisions are made in a fair and just manner.
    • Promoting Accountability:
      • Ethical administrators are more likely to be accountable for their actions, ensuring responsible governance and minimizing corruption.
    • Strengthening Citizen Engagement:
      • Ethical practices build confidence among citizens, encouraging their active participation in the governance process.
    • Improves Effectiveness:
      • Ethical conduct can improve the quality and effectiveness of public services, policies and programs, by ensuring that public institutions and officials are responsive to the needs and expectations of the public, and use resources efficiently and equitably.

    Examples Illustrating Ethical Challenges and Impact:

    • Whistleblower Protection:
      • Balancing the duty to report wrongdoing with potential repercussions on one's career and personal safety.
    • Procurement and Contracting:
      • Resisting bribery or favoritism in awarding contracts while adhering to efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
    • Environmental Protection:
      • Upholding ethical considerations in policymaking, even if it entails economic implications.
    • Participatory Budgeting: involving citizens in deciding how to allocate public funds for local projects or priorities.


    Public institutions and officials should promote and incentivize ethical conduct, by following clear codes of conduct, providing training and guidance, ensuring participation and consultation, creating mechanisms for reporting and resolving complaints, and fostering a culture of ethics and responsibility.

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