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3. Aptitude and Foundational Values in Civil Services

UPSC Syllabus.
Aptitude and foundational values in Civil Services.
1. Integrity
2. Impartiality and non-partisanship
3. Objectivity
4. Dedication to Public Service
5. Empathy
6. Tolerance
7. Compassion towards weaker-sections.

Competence to perform new task or to learn new skill. It is natural and not just learnt. (It is developed from childhood). Self-confidence is important quality of those who have high aptitude.
Example: A person having aptitude for music will learn it faster than others. Same is true for other fields like painting or acting etc.

Public Service Values
Principles and values which guide the judgement and help civil servant take decision in public life. These are essential to work in public life. A civil service with strong service values cannot be pressurized easily. He is incorruptible and dutiful.
Strong value system helps in transparent functioning, equitable resource distribution, respect for diversity etc.

Civil Services Values
Nolan committee was set up in Britain which enquired into the standards of public life and government functioning in Britain. It suggested 7 principles as essential for bureaucracy. 1) Honesty 2) Accountability 3) Leadership 4) Openness/Transparency 5) Objectivity 6) Integrity 7) Selflessness.
In Indian context, there are some other public service values which are essential like political neutrality, impartiality, tolerance, compassion, courage of conviction etc.

An act of being truthful in one’s conduct and speech can be called honesty. Civil servant should provide her unbiased and rational views to political executives. She must not indulge in ‘intellectual dishonesty’ for personal gains like promotion of plum posting. Civil servant should not be a ‘yes man’. Sardar Patel expected complete honesty from all India services.
We should always remember ‘It is easy to be successful, but difficult to be honest’.
Example: / Please suggest examples in comments.

I want my secretary to say NO to what I say YES as he is being paid to say NO.

Sardar Patel.

Courage of Conviction
It is courage to take right action and to stand by its consequences. Civil servant should not only have courage to speak truth but also to take right action. This quality is especially tested when others are taking an easy path and one feels isolated.
The principle of Nishkama Karma mentioned in Geeta must be followed. It advocates us to do our duty and be detached from its result. The duty itself is reward.
Abolition of privy purse was a bold decision by Indira Gandhi which sought to bring equality in society. It demonstrates this quality of her.
Introducing OBC reservation despite so many protests was also a bold decision.
Removing road encroachment also needs this quality.

Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion
Sympathy: Act of feeling sorry for the situation of others.
Empathy: Ability to understand and share feelings of others. To be able to put ourselves in other’s shoes.
Compassion: It is to empathize and also have an active desire to eliminate other person’s suffering. Empathy in itself is not sufficient, compassion makes it complete.
Baba Amte working for Leprosy patients. Its difficult to do such a job lifelong without strong value of compassion.
Mother Teresa also demonstrated this quality to highest extent by working for those who were on deathbed, orphans and for poorest of the poor.
Gandhi, Raja Rammohan Roy etc.

It reflects quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It reflects adherence to ethical code with incorruptible virtues, uprightness and honesty.
As per Ministry of Personnel, Integrity is defined as ‘Consistently behaves in an open, fair and transparent manner, honours one’s commitments and works to uphold public service values.
Kautilya using separate lamps for official work and personal work. He didn’t wanted to use govt. oil on personal work.

Honesty vs Integrity
Honesty is an subset of integrity. Integrity is being honest along with strong moral and ethical code. An honest act need not be always an act of integrity.
To do cheating in exam and admit to teacher is being honest, but such a person lacks integrity.
Group of thieves may be highly honest with each other. But their acts of committing robbery are unethical.

Impartial behaviour
India is a diverse country. It is a multicultural society. There should not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, colour, creed, religion, sex etc. Law is above everyone. There should not be any bias against rich or poor.
However Indian constitution allows ‘positive discrimination’ which is in favour of weaker sections but is not harmful to other sections of society. e.g. Reservation for weaker classes, Atrocities Act, Women reservation etc.

Non-partisanship and political neutrality
Beaurocrat must act in a rational manner in interest of public and in accordance to his duty irrespective of his political inclinations or affiliations.
Civil servant will have to work under different governments and therefore this quality is highly important and essential.
Raghuram Rajan was posted as RBI governor in UPA Govt. but continued to function in NDA govt. with same dedication. NDA govt. could trust him in office because of his quality of political neutrality.

The basis of one’s action or decisions is not self-interest rather public interest. Motive of duty should be driving factor and not motive of reward. Principle of Nishkama Karma must be followed.
Civil servant will have to work under different governments and therefore this quality is highly important and essential.
Mahatma Gandhi had lot of opportunity to earn with his barrister degree, but he chose public life with hardships.
Mother Teresa.
Tukaram Mundhe.

Ability to take decision based on facts and evidence and not perceptions, imagination or emotions.
Please suggest in comments.

Ability to bear or tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with. This is possible when one have higher purpose in mind above petty differences. Like service to the nation.
Civil servant may have to work in situation where his superiors have different way to handle the situation. Rather than disagreeing from beginning, he/she must try to see the situation from that perspective also.
In case of subordinates, if his solution to situation also solves the problem, we should not stick to our own agenda.

Conflict of Interest
Situation where civil servant take to take decision which may go against his personal gains. Or where by taking decision in certain way he can personally gain from it. This happens usually when one’s personal things are at stake in decision making.
Mrs. Chanda Kochhar example.
Dayanidhi Maran in UPA govt. with his own TV channel. Official machinery was diverted for his personal organization.
How to resolve conflict of interest?
1_Best option is to avoid Conflict of Interest.
2_If not possible, transfer corresponding power to take decision to another official.
3_Declare conflict of interest to the public authorities in beginning itself.
2nd ARC report has suggested to prescribe punishment for hiding conflict of interest.

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# Judiciary give Verdict,based on facts and evidences rather emotions / perception.


The best example of one should not be a “yes man”
Is :Sam Manekshaw’s to Indira Gandhi denied to war against Pak for a time being


Wher I will get other topics of ethics