In recent times, there has been an increasing concern in India to develop effective civil service ethics, code of conduct, transparency measures, ethics and integrity systems, and anti-corruption agencies. In view of this, there is a need being felt to focus on three specific areas, which are directly relevant to the problems of internalizing integrity and ethics in civil services. These are as follows: Anticipating specific threats to ethical standards and integrity in the civil services, Strengthening the ethical competence of civil servant and Developing administrative processes and practices which promote ethical values and integrity in civil services. Suggest institutional measures to address the above three issues. (20 marks)

Mentor’s Comment:

  • In the intro, state the 2nd ARC’s fourth report that says corruption and lack of public welfare are the direct manifestations of the absence of ethics in administration.
  • In the first part of the answer suggest the measures to address the problem of anticipating the threat. Suggestions could be- strong ethical management, strengthening the physical and technological infrastructure, development of strong grievances redressal mechanism, check on discretionary powers and provisions of transparency tools like RTI, e-governance, etc.
  • In the second part, suggest the measures to strengthening ethical competence like- scientific selection and placement process, developing a three-level ethical framework as suggested by 2nd ARC, effective communication tools, healthy work culture, internalization of ethical values, etc.
  • In the third part give suggestion for developing administrative processes and practices. The suggestions could include, provisions for anti-corruption agencies, rewarding officers for their integrity, making it easy to raise voice against corruption, developing transparency tools, developing SOP, etc. 

Answer:

2nd ARC’s fourth report that says corruption and lack of public welfare are the direct manifestations of the absence of ethics in administration. Hence making civil services efficient and effective has been at the center of major reforms in recent times. These reforms include both overhauling administrative skills as well as developing ethical values to create a distinct identity for officers who serve. 

To promote this, various methods like Code of Conduct, Citizen Charters, etc have been developed. However, the focus should also be on internalizing professional ethics and integrity in civil services to make it more citizen-friendly.

Values involved in the case

  • Ethical integrity of civil servants.
  • Probity in governance.
  • The moral aptitude of civil servants.
  • Accountability and responsibility.
  • Transparency and citizen participation.

Measures to address major issues mentioned in the question

  • Anticipating specific threats to ethical standards and integrity in the civil services.
    • Red-tapism: Unnecessary administrative complexities to effective service delivery should be identified and removed.
    • Culture of Secrecy: Decisions made by civil servants and public officials should be made as transparent and open as possible. Reasons must be given for official decisions.
    • Inadequate grievance redressal System: Effective mechanisms should be put in place to ensure timely resolution of public complaints and appropriate feedback provided to the public organizations. Grievance redressal processes should be monitored so as to ensure that systems are reviewed and performance is improved.
  • Strengthening the ethical competence of civil servants
    • Simulatory environment: The civil servants have to be made to undergo training in the same circumstances that they can face during their service. This environment will check their capabilities both at skills and ethics. They can be guided if they falter during this period.
    • Creating moral obligation: The civil servants have to be made aware of the importance of their job and the obligation they owe to the society and their organization. The additional responsibilities can trigger the emotional aspect associated with ethics and integrity in the service.
    • Training and performance appraisal: This would incentivize the honest civil servants and make them role models for others to emulate.
    • Reward and honors: It will infuse competition in the civil services to perform better and develop innovative solutions for public service.
    • Promotion of inclusive work culture: Diluting strict hierarchy to increase the cooperation among public officials to increase the effectiveness of services.
  • Developing administrative processes and practices which promote ethical values and integrity in civil services.
    • Human Resource management strategies: Performance-based pay, Lateral Entry, Multi-Phase training will increase the efficiency and quality of public service delivery.
    • Internal and External Committees: To ensure redressal of complaints and grievances of civil servants and public. This improves the work culture and aligns the behavior of public servants to the desired civil service values.
    • Code of Conduct Rules: It ensures appropriate behavior from public servants that should be unbiased and non-partisan.

Promotion of ethical behavior and integrity in civil servants, and revamping the public administration is critical to ensure that the policies of social welfare are implemented in true spirit. Thus, the civil service as a profession is indeed a unique opportunity to improve the lives of citizens but it’s important that officers are well aware of the ethical aspects of their job and maintain the decorum of the office they represent.

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Chester
Chester
2 years ago

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NJ_00
NJ_00
2 years ago

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