Explain the meaning and significance of the following values in the context of civil service. a). Impartiality b). Integrity c). Selflessness d). Empathy (250 Words)

About Impartiality

  • Impartiality is a norm of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective standards, instead of on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for unsuitable reasons.
  • Impartiality is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions.
  • Impartiality means that civil bureaucrats in carrying out their official work, including functions like procurement, recruitment, delivery of services etc.should take decisions based on merit alone.
  • Impartiality is the eminence of a person where one is impartial while allocating any goods or services among several people or selecting a person from a set of people based on certain set of abilities.
  • In Impartiality, candidates must perform his responsibilities in a way that is fair, just and equitable and reflects the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity. They must not act in a way that unjustifiably favors or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.


Significance of Impartiality

  • It helps a civil servant(CS) to uphold the constitutional values in any adverse situation. Eg- In case a leader puts pressure on a civil servant to favor somebody, impartiality will help her to take action which is ethical.
  • If a CS is impartial takes decision in an objective fairway, then she gets respect from her subordinates as well as the public.
  • In case of riots, communal violence or such complex situation, a CS is able to take the right action when she is free from any type of religious, political or social prejudices & upholds impartiality.
  • In appraisal of subordinates, evaluation & review of schemes, programs & action taken report, impartiality helps CS to present true picture which is ultimately helpful for the welfare of the public
  • Impartiality helps to uphold Equality, Liberty, Fraternity & thinking about the marginalized section as much as about the rich ones.
  • Creation of positive & conducive work culture
  • Keeping oneself free from nepotism, political-corporate nexus & corruption.

About Integrity

  • Integrity is the fundamental moral concept in civil services. It is an important basis of ethical behavior and ethical competency.
  • It is associated with the value of being honest and maintain strong moral principles.
  • Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It implies consistency of conscience, thoughts, values, words, and actions. A public servant’s actions must be consistent with her conscience and she must remain consistent even in difficult circumstances.


Significance of Integrity

  • It enhances the credibility of the public by an increase in trust.
  • The efficiency of public services would increase. Eg: E Sreedharan with his integrity has made the DMRC project a symbol of efficiency.
  • It enables public servants to choose actions based on their values and any deviation from this path would be restless for them. This enables to negate them through situations such as political intervention, collusive corruption, etc
  • It helps a person to make a rational decision For example, a Panchayat headman has some funds at his discretion. His integrity reflects from the fact whether he deploys these funds in a just and equitable manner to benefit the maximum number of people.
  • It would increase transparency as according to a person with integrity public has the right to information.


About Empathy

  • It involves, first, seeing someone else’s situation from his/ her perspective, and, second, sharing that person’s emotions, including, if any, his distress. Empathy is the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It occurs when you are truly trying to understand or experience someone else’s emotions as if they were your own.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to anyone who was in doubt if an action was good or not was to put oneself in the situation of the poorest of the poor in the country and see how a particular policy and program will impact him or her.


Significance of Empathy

  • In a bureaucratic administration that is driven by rules and often blamed to be rigid empathy is a tool that would increase flexibility. For eg: Tribes have certain customary values that are contradictory to the rules of government. Here empathy in public servants would act as savior for tribal population.
  • In a diverse country where many are poverty-stricken empathy would enable public servants to work with dedication. Eg: Armstrong name because of empathy towards the public who had no connectivity had been able to raise 40 lakhs through social media.
  • The efficiency of public services would be on the rise.
  • Empathy among public servants would lead to a reduction in corruption and increased transparency in the functioning of public services. This would also enhance its credibility.
  • It would enable a strong and good work culture.


About Selflessness

  • A person who doesn’t keep the thought in mind while carrying out his/her duties ” what is there in it for me” is considered as selfless service. It was clearly explained in Bhagavad Gita by the sloka ” Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana” which means we should keep doing our action without worrying about the rewards.
  • It is the most important quality and an indication of the extreme level of commitment to serve mankind. Many eminent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela have shown the world how to do selfless service.


Significance of selflessness

  • Selfless service keeps the civil servant away from any kind of corruption.
  • A selfless civil servant can maintain absolute integrity because it is difficult to lure him/her by offering monetary or non-monetary gains to get some undue favor.
  • A selfless person will always keep the public interest in mind while carrying out the duties. Expectation of selflessness from civil servant doesn’t provide the ground for denial of rewards for her performance. It rewards in terms of pay, promotion and public appreciation which can differentiate between the performer, mediocre and non-performer.
  • Better remuneration, timely promotion, and rewards for carrying duties beyond the obligations make the spirit of selflessness and public service more sustainable.
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Yogeshkumar Prajapati
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