UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (08-11-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1. Civil servants, who are themselves honest, but do nothing to save the institution from corruption, do greater damage to the system. Elucidate. (150 words) 10 marks

Q2. Explain the relationship between personal and professional ethics of a civil servant. (150 words) 10 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1. Civil servants, who are themselves honest, but do nothing to save the institution from corruption, do greater damage to the system. Elucidate. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • In a democracy, the civil services play an extremely important role in the administration, policy formulation and implementation, and in taking the country forward towards progress and development. Honesty and commitment towards service are considered as the fundamental values of the civil services.

Main Body:

  • There have been cases of scams, bribery and misuse of power in several departments and ministries where the higher authorities and officers in-charge were honest civil servants but still such corruption existed.
  • Such honest civil servants who do not take any effort on their part to curb corruption are considered more damaging for the system, because:
    • Indirect contribution to corruption: indirectly giving an impetus to corruption by the organization. Thus, honest civil servants unknowingly become conduits for corrupt practices.
    • Keeping private interests above organizational interests: This hampers the interests of the organization and public at large.
      • It also amounts to running away from one’s duties towards the organization.
    • Brings damage to the key positions: Officers with clean records are generally promoted to key positions e.g., in intelligence agencies, defense and security, economic affairs, conducting elections, etc.
      • Inability of the civil servant to prevent corruption in such departments may bring the whole system down. It is not only anti-poor but also against the national interest to allow corruption at such levels.
    • Cascading effects: It is the legal responsibility of a bureaucrat to ensure that corruption does not exist in his/her office.
      • Civil service values such as adherence to legal provisions, transparency, openness, etc. would get undermined.
  • Effect of such inactivity:
    • Such civil servants lack the courage of conviction and also do not fulfill the obligation of integrity, which is considered as one of the most important characteristics of a civil servant.
      • Integrity ensures that in case of any conflict of interest, a civil servant should give priority to the public interest.
    • If corruption exists and the public interests are not achieved, people will eventually lose faith in the system and the system would collapse.

Conclusion:

  • Therefore, rather than being silent, it is essential for civil servants to raise the issues to higher authorities in case corrupt practices are prevailing in the system and in case the practice continues, blow the whistle for the larger interest of the organization as well as the general public.

Q2. Explain the relationship between personal and professional ethics of a civil servant. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • While personal ethics refers to the ethics that a person identifies with respect to people and situations that he/she deals with in everyday life, professional ethics refers to the ethics that a person must adhere to in respect of his/her interactions and business dealings in his/her professional life.

Main Body:

  • The inter-relationship between the two is both of conflict and of congruence.
  • Because impartiality, transparency, and public trust are important values in the civil service, it is important to bring out this relationship of conflict and congruence between personal and professional ethics of a civil servant.
  • Conflict between personal ethics and professional ethics:
    • Civil service ethics may require promotion of issues not considered the best possible by the civil servant himself/herself. In some cases, personal and professional ethics may clash and cause a moral conflict.
    • Civil servants by virtue of their position are bound by constitutional ethos, laws and rules of the legislature, directions of seniors in the administrative hierarchy, and interests of the citizenry. This may, at times lead to a conflict between personal and professional ethics.
    • For instance, a civil servant may personally believe that a law that he/she is required to enforce is wrong. However, under the Code of Conduct, he/she is required to obey all lawful and reasonable instructions to enforce that law unless there is good and sufficient cause to do otherwise.
  • Congruence between personal and professional ethics:
    • Professional ethics arise from the legal, organizational, and societal demands on the role as public administrator, while personal ethics is rooted in one’s own beliefs.
      • The congruence between the two is paramount for attaining objectivity in decision-making.
    • Civil servants’ personal ethics tend to create predispositions towards certain kinds of conduct. However, for their actions to be objective, their personal ethics should be in sync with the obligations imposed from outside i.e. professional ethics. A mismatch could lead to inefficiency, corruption, despotism and nepotism.

Conclusion:

  • The importance of either kind of ethics for a public administrator cannot be understated since these are essential to ensure the highest standards of behavior, crucial for performance of his/her public duties.
  • It is required that managerial practices and training should be based on a harmonious blend of the two, in what can be called ethical public service values.
    Such public service values will lead to consistent and powerful internal controls, which will allow the administrators to exercise discretion in a pattern that is relatively predictable, engenders trust and upholds the larger public interest at all times.
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