Your friend has just cleared the Civil Services Examination (CSE). He was being given free education in a charity institute run by a political party. The party follows a non-centric or extremist ideology. He has been indoctrinated from childhood with the party’s ideology. Once he cleared the examination and joined the foundation course, he achieved some understanding about his personality. He finds himself an extremist and at odds with many fellow probationers, faculties and serving and former officers. He thinks his extremist world-view is not wrong and he feels centrist views are nothing more than diplomatic. He claims centrist ideologies are meaningless and a conspicuous compromise of truth. You are his colleague in the foundation course with an ideology compatible with ideal civil servant i.e. centric, neutral and objective standpoints. You both argue and debate endlessly and many of your fellow colleagues find your friend is unfit for civil services. But your friend is very transparent to you and he repeatedly asserts that he wants to serve the public. He has made his mind for public service and he is ready to sacrifice all his personal wishes for it.
a. What are the different values that will be compromised by your friend when he assumes office? (Answer in 250 words) (20)
- Extremism means holding views that are extreme and far away from the centre. Extremism is highly displeased in Civil Services. Extremism can easily lead to violence, discrimination, illegality, etc. In this case, a civil servant who holds extreme views is in a dilemma whether such a worldview is right. He is in fact facing a conscience crisis wherein his spirit of service is incompatible with his values.
- The different values that he may violate is as follows:
Objectivity: The quality of taking decisions without giving consideration to personal beliefs, opinions, prejudices, etc. It is necessary to make fair decisions.
- Eg. When an opinion needs to be made scientifically, he may be driven by his personal opinion.
Political neutrality: With extreme views one may not be able to gel with all ideologies and he may take side with a political party though not explicitly. It will influence decision-making in following ways:
- If he has left ideology, he will support labourers alone at cost of market
- If he has a rightist ideology, he will support industrialists at the cost of labourers, environment, and the public—this may lead to crony capitalism, violating environmental ethics, etc.
Non-partisanship: Partisanship is a condition in which a person will not only align with a party but also behave as a party-man. In this case following misconduct can happen:
- He will support rallies, protests, public meetings, etc., of one party over another
- When he becomes commissioner of ECI he may take decisions in such a way that it supports a party eg. gerrymandering—demarcating a constituency in such a way that his party supporters form majority in that constituency
- He may influence his position to gather votes for his party.
Impartiality: With extremists views a person cannot hear views of both sides of a dispute. It is a violation of principles of natural justice.
- As a Magistrate he needs to be impartial to be fair
- He may support, for instance, a middle man against a farmer
- He may be partial against women and for men
- He may support one group of his team against another and spoil the work culture
Tolerance: Tolerance is the ability to bear the views we disagree with. When a civil servant is intolerant it may lead to following issues:
He may foster a communal violence instead of thwarting it
He may intolerant to demands of other states and endanger unity of India
Diversity—an intolerant person may not respect diversity. India is a land of diversity with many languages, religions, food styles, etc. An ideal civil servant is expected to protect the diversity of a nation.
Integrity: Integrity in civil services needs non-compromise of foundational values of civil services under any situation. An extremist Civil Servant when violates the above values of civil services then his integrity is diluted.
Constructive criticism: It is a tenet of the ideal officer. He has to consider not only the demerits but also the merits. He has to be balanced in his opinion. This is necessary to reach a credible decision.
- E.g. A Secretary to the Defence Ministry should not only understand the merits of going for war but also understand the demerits. A neutral, centrist officer will give a balanced opinion.
Emotional Intelligence: EI could be the most breached principle by this officer. It is difficult for a centrist to regulate their emotions in the first place. But for an extremist it is not feasible to control and regulate it.
- E.g. A religious fundamentalist will be easily driven and angered by a comment about his religion without considering why the comment has been made. This is one factor as to why he is not fit to handle communal violence.
- Hence, his extremist viewpoint would be detrimental to fairness, rationality and impartiality- values that are inalienable in a civil servant for being able to serve the greater good.