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ETHICS MODULE-IASbaba

Syllabus Paper IV - Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Block - I

 Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human

actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

 Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and

administrators;

 Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values

 Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour;

moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

 Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-

partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion

towards the weaker sections.

 Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and

governance.

 Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world

Block - II

 Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical

concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and

conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;

strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international

relations and funding; corporate governance.

 Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and

probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of

Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen's Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery,

Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

 Case Studies on above issues.

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Ethics vs Morals

 Ethics = Set of standards that guide a person’s (or organization’s) actions (decisions) given

the choices.

 Morals = Principles governing right and wrong behaviour

 Morals are individual while Ethics are social

 Morals have a cultural and religious connotation while Ethics are fairly secular

 Morality doesn’t need other people’s validation while Ethics do

Ethics vs Law

 Law tells what man can and cannot do. Ethics tell what a man ought to do

 In Law a man is guilty of committing a crime while in Ethics, he is guilty if he even thinks so

 Law can deviate from what is considered Ethical

 Ethics use Law for their enforcement and Law use Ethical principles for their formulation

Why be ethical / moral?

 Ethics help one to attain his/her best self

 Social institutions cannot function without certain ethical principles same for everyone

Determinants of Ethics

 Individual

 Culture / Religion

 Institutions – Legal / Social etc

Values

 Beliefs that are important to a person

 Values are ideas that we aspire to achieve like equality

 Values evaluate our actions. Eg some may prefer honesty over success

 A set of values form a value system

Value Conflict

 It occurs when individual values come in conflict with the institution’s values

 Value based conflict is quite common in public policy

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 Many policy decisions are choices between competing values

 Example – efforts to promote equality may come in conflict with merit and efficiency

 Example – Need for national security may come in conflict with Right to Privacy

Ethics in Public Administration

 Rule of Law

 Accountability and Transparency

 Strong work ethics (“Devotion to one’s duty is the highest form of worship” - Vivekananda)

 Resilience

 Compassion

 Utilitarianism – Greatest good of greatest number of people

 National Interest is supreme

 Social Justice – Equality, Impartiality, Objectivity

 Integrity (Honesty + strong moral principles)

Human Values

 Values shared by all human beings irrespective of their religion, culture or nationality

 These guide our interaction with other human beings. It is what we expect others and to do

and what we aim to give to others

 Eg everyone wants to be loved or live in peace. Thus love and peace are human values

 Other examples – Truth , Respect , Justice , Compassion , Discipline etc

Role of Family in inculcating Values

 Family is the first social institution a child interacts with

 He acquires his/her first set of ideas, values and morals from his family. Eg. A child coming

from a family of criminals is more vulnerable to committing one himself.

 The family environment aids the intellectual growth of a child. Eg stories of children from

poor families clearing tough exams because their parents guided them in the right direction.

 Elders in Indian Joint Family systems play a moderating role. It is absent in western societies.

Thus, if children do not get along with parents, they tend to drift apart.

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 Healthy customs passed on from generations help a child in leading a disciplined and

organized life. Eg. Diwali Pooja teaches us the virtue of humility and gratitude.

Role of Educational Institutions in inculcating Values

 Education necessary means transmission of values and knowledge

 A school acts as a small controlled society that provides the right environment for the moral

growth of a child

 Teachers play a role model for children. They shape their behaviour outside family. Eg

building a scientific temper. Values of cooperation, leadership, responsibility, sincerity, work

ethics are learnt in school

 Social Justice, Democracy, Secularism etc are not mere theoretical terms, but ethical values

that are to imparted to a child for him to grow into a responsible citizen of the country

Attitude

 Way of thinking or feeling about something that determines our behaviour

 Provide a framework for responding to particular situation

 Can be positive or negative

Components of Attitude

 Affective (feel)

 Behavioural (behave)

 Cognitive (thought)

Relation of Attitude with Behaviour

 Attitude is internal while behaviour is external

 Attitude is what we think and behaviour is what we do

 Attitude affects behaviour. But it is only one the factors. Other being the external

environment

 The stronger the attitude, the more it will affect ones behaviour

 A person may lean more towards his intrinsic attitude while making decisions or rely on push-

pulls of the outer environment for the same

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 For a public servant, his attitude should be flexible so that he can strike a balance between

his internal values and the external pressures. (note – congruence is not compromise)

Social Influence

It is concerned with how our thoughts, feelings and actions are influenced by social groups. A good

public servant needs to have social persuasion skills to convince people that the government is for

their welfare. And also seek their cooperation for the same.

Reasons for Social Influence

 Consistency – people want to be consistent with the norm

 Social proof – people want to do what will be appreciated by others

 Liking – people do what they like in others

 Authority – Society comprises of various authoritative institutions

Attitude in Public Administration

 Earlier administration was limited to maintaining law and order

 But gradually the concept of welfare state meant administration for health, education,

industry, taxes etc.

 Right attitude in administration is more important in countries like India where majority of

people are poor, illiterate and most vulnerable

 Administration is not just doing one’s job. But it requires active participation with the public,

motivating them, creating awareness and showing a genuine interest in improving their lives.

 Administration is a two way process. People will respect it only when it responds to their

aspirations. Therefore, knowing the public’s attitude towards the administration is equally

important

 2nd ARC – citizenry holds bureaucracy in low esteem. Problems of exploitation, favouritism,

high-handed attitude, evasion of responsibility, corruption etc

 Indian bureaucracy has unique problems. It is by and large urban middle class, highly

educated. But it serves a population who is illiterate and unaware of rules and process. This

creates a feeling of frustration overtime leading to a disinterested approach towards

administration.

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 Even people themselves create political pressures to ‘get work done’. They donot cooperate

with honest officers who treat everyone equally. This has created a mutual trust deficit.

 How to reconcile both? By having the right attitude on both ends. Public servants should

know what the public wants and the public should respect an officer’s time.

 For this attitude of people needs to change. They should become active participants and not

passive audience in their own development. Public servants should opt for a proactive

attitude and reach out to people who need administration the most. Eg. More field visits,

inspections etc.

Attitude vs Aptitude

 Aptitude is the natural ability to do something

 Attitude is to do with character while aptitude has to do with competence.

 Example – a public administrator may be good at problem solving (aptitude) but may have a

habit of procrastinating (attitude)

 An administrator needs the right mix of aptitude and attitude

Values for Civil Service – 2nd ARC

In performing complex administrative tasks, a public servant employs a range of values as a means to

guide his behaviour and actions. Externally, he should work as per the organization’s value system. At

times, two values may be contradicting. Eg. Rule of Law and Efficiency. Uncertainty regarding values

may lead to ethical and decision making dilemmas. It may also affect an organization’s work culture,

reputation and create interpersonal problems.

Core civil service values (code of conduct) are:

 Integrity – Quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is important to avoid

conflict of interest.

 Respect for law – Cardinal principle of governance. Decisions are made adhering to the law

 Impartiality and Objectivity – Means acting solely based on the merit of the case. Evidence

based decision making devoid of personal emotions, opinions etc

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 Political neutrality – Decision making should be independent of any political influence or

favours. It should be governed by the aim of maximizing public interest. It is important for

building trust vis-à-vis the public

 Compassion – To understand the sufferings of other. It is a universal virtue

 Transparency and Accountability – For own actions and create such an environment for

others as well (work culture)

 Courage – To stand by the right decision and manage external pressures

Emotional Intelligence

 It is the ability to understand and regulate our emotions and that of others to handle

interpersonal relationships effectively

 Intelligence alone means the ability to acquire and apply knowledge

 EI is inclusive of intelligence + right attitude + control over emotions

 EI is important because machines are still devoid of ‘emotions’

Need for Emotional Intelligence in Civil Services

 Work environment of civil services has become much more complex, even hostile at times

 There’s multiplicity of work (new schemes) and shortage of personnel

 Civil service itself is beset with problems of corruption, inefficiency, external pressures,

extensive paper work etc

 People have become more aware and demanding towards good governance

 Public policies are scrutinized in much detail due to media and the internet

 Therefore, it is easy to lose control over one’s emotions in such a high pressure situation on

daily basis

Application of Emotional Intelligence

 To improve the performance of an individual worker

o Increased capacity to handle stress and constant changes

o Increased levels of commitment, motivation and focus

o Maintaining calm at all times + clarity of thought process

o Better ability to communicate one’s emotions / opinions

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o Ability to appreciate diversity and values of others

 Improvement in overall organizational performance

o Increased trust levels + understanding between employees = better coordination

o Faster conflict resolution and effective leadership (knowing what motivates others)

o Example – Google is so successful because it has created a work culture where

employees feel at complete ease. No fixed hours + resting stations + food etc

Public Administration vs Governance

 Pub Ad = Executive branch of the government. It is the instrument for implementing

government policies.

 Governance = The process of designing, implementing and continuous monitoring of

government policies. It is all encompassing.

Need for Ethics in Public Administration

 There is a huge trust deficit between the bureaucracy and public. It undermines the

legitimacy and effectiveness of public administration

 An ethical framework is required to bridge this trust deficit. It should be based on

competence, integrity, impartiality etc

 Lack of ethics = Poor pub ad + mismanagement of public resources

 Despite the presence of multiple laws, institutions to ensure probity in governance, the above

problems persists

 Because in public service, administrators are accountable to their conscience which can’t be

regulated by codified laws

 An ethical framework provides guidance for good conduct, enhances organizational integrity,

promotes transparency and accountability

 It also creates a positive sense of public interest and brings public closer to the administration

Ethics Issues in Indian Civil Services (2nd ARC Report)

 Corruption – Most important manifestation of lack of ethics

 Lack of commitment

 Red Tapism

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 Attitude of arrogance and indifference

 Lack of accountability and transparency

 Frequent transfers

 Political witch hunting of honest officers

 Nexus between politicians and bureaucracy

Ethical Dilemma

 It arises when making a choice between two competing sets of moral principles

 It is similar to being on two horns, neither of which is comfortable

 There is no ‘perfect’ solution in an ethical dilemma. Some ethical principle is always

compromised.

Types of Ethical Dilemma

 Ethics vs Personal Loss – when compliance with ethical conduct results in a significant

personal loss

 Right vs Right – when making a choice between two competing sets of ethical values

Steps to resolve Ethical Dilemma

 The decision should conform to the rule of law

 It should be in line with the organization’s code of conduct and goals

 It should give the ‘most optimum’ outcome for public and the organization both

 It should be justifiable if scrutinized

Two sources of guidance in resolving Ethical Dilemma

 External – Law

 Internal - Conscience

Conscience as a source of Ethical Guidance

 Conscience is a person’s moral sense of right or wrong. It is God given ability to reason

 It is shaped by one’s beliefs and values. Eg – conscience of someone who is an ascetic may

be different from someone who is a hedonist

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 Some argue that since conscience is highly subjective, it is not a good source of ethical

guidance

 At individual level, conscience takes one away from self-centres thinking

 At political level, conscience lessens corruption, nepotism. It directs one to uphold the rule of

law and maintain highest levels of probity in governance

 At citizen level, conscience pushes a person to keep his surroundings clean, cast his vote, pay

his taxes, cultivate social harmony and peace etc

Accountability and Ethics

 It means answerability for one’s decisions and actions

 Accountability or lack thereof should be accompanied by proper grievance redressal

mechanism

 Effective accountability helps in fulfilling ethical goals in governance

 Conversely, higher the level of ethics, the lower the need for strong instruments of external

accountability and control

Concept of Exit and Voice in ensuring Accountability

 Exit = Scope for the public to ‘exit’ and opt for competing service provider

 Voice = Participation of the public to influence quality of service

Ethical Governance

 Extension of the concept of good governance along with high levels of integrity

 Good governance + absence of corruption

 “Prevention is better than cure”. Hence, ethical governance is important.

Strengthening Ethical Values in Governance

 Clearly documented code of ethical conduct

 Ethical training and guidance

 Mechanism for transparency and accountability in decision making process

 Adequate checks and sanctions to deal with misconduct

 Civil society participation (NGOs, Pressure Groups, Media etc)

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Ethics in International Relations

 It deals with how nations treat other nations and its people. Eg – United Nations promoting

global principles on energy conservation, trade, immigration etc

 Some current ethical issues in IR – Climate Change, European Migrant Crisis, Intervention in

the Middle East, Chinese aggression in South China Sea, Antarctica, Conditional Assistance by

IMF-World Bank etc

Ethical Issues related to Conditional Funding

 Violates sovereignty of the receiving nation

 Undermines the rights and demands of the local people

 Perceived as neo-colonial

 Such conditionalities are geo-politically motivated. Eg – Greek Crisis

Ethical Issues related to Clinical Trials in Poor Countries

 Violates the universal principle of equality of life. A poor man’s life is considered less

 People in such countries are more vulnerable and thus easy to convince / exploit

 There’s little legal recourse in case of mismanagement

 What to do?

o Before Trial – seek consent via a legal aid. Make terms and conditions clear

o During Trial – All necessary precautions according to pre-defined national / global

protocol regarding such experiments

o After Trial – Ethical obligation to provide monetary / institutional support after trial +

provide insurance coverage for a set period

Ethical Issues in International Funding of NGOs

 International NGOs protest against alleged human rights violation, environmental safety etc

in developing countries

 Their reporting attracts international coverage and influences global polices to the detriment

of developing nations like India

 Such NGOs receive funding from developed nations whose geo-political interests may be in

contrast to that of developing nations. For eg – The climate change debate around CBDR

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 It is alleged that such NGOs are not neutral but work to destabilize the domestic environment

of developing countries

 Example – The recent controversy regarding Greenpeace International and Ford Foundation

leading to freezing of their Indian accounts under FCRA Act

Corporate Governance

 Defined as a set of principles and guidelines which ensure that a company is governed in the

best interest of all the stakeholders

 Legality, Transparency, Accountability, Fairness and Efficiency are its main pillars

Issue of Corporate Governance in India PSUs

 The issue is important because of the dominant role played by PSU’s in Indian Economy in

terms of employment and value addition

 Majority of critical sectors are still dominated by PSU’s. Eg – Electricity , Coal , Oil etc

 Corporate Governance in PSUs is more complex because of the diverse objectives fulfilled by

them. Eg – balancing economic + social needs simultaneously

 Main challenges are:

o Conflicting goals

o Political interference

o Lack of accountability

o No merit based recruitment

o Corruption

Concept of Public Service

 Service provided by the government to people within its jurisdiction either directly or via

supporting private agencies

 Accessibility and Affordability are its twin pillars

 It involves the interface between citizen and administration

Probity in Governance

 Means strict adherence to an ethical code of conduct in governance

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 Probity means integrity, uprightness and involves applying public service values of

impartiality, accountability, objectivity, efficiency etc

 Most important component in ensuring probity is absence of corruption

 Probity is a vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance

 It is every public servant’s duty to ensure probity and adoption of such governance practices

 They are “guardians” of the administrative state. Hence, they are expected to uphold the

public trust

 The administrators need to be guarded against their tendency to use official powers to

promote self-interest, indulge in corruption and subversion of national interest

 External institutions like the Judiciary, Legislature, Media and Civil Society play a major role

 “No responsibility of the government is more fundamental than maintaining highest standards

of ethical behaviour” – John F Kennedy

Objectives of Probity in Governance

 Ensure accountability in governance

 Maintain integrity in public service

 Ensure compliance with procedures

 Preserve public confidence in the government

 Avoid potential for corruption

Bringing Probity in Governance – A Multi-Pronged Approach

 Accountability – through Right to Information

 Transparency – through digitization of records (e-governance)

 Discipline – through a ‘Time Bound Service Delivery Bill’

 Decentralization – by strengthening PRIs

 Grievance Redressal – via Independent Regulatory Authorities like Lokpal, CVC etc

 Awareness – of citizens regarding their rights and entitlements through various schemes

 Ethical Training – to public servants to empathize better with the public

 Competition – via private sector/PPP for ensuring quality and efficiency in service delivery

 Legal Framework – for bringing guilty to book without fail

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Conflict of Interest

 Arises when a person is in a position to derive personal benefits from actions taken in official

capacity

 COI is not wrong in itself, but if ignored and ends up affecting decision making, then it

qualifies for misconduct or even corruption

New vs Traditional Approach to Public Administration

 New – Goal and result oriented, flexible and dynamic, innovative and tech-driven,

decentralized

 Traditional – Rigid, procedural, centralized, emphasis on economy than efficiency

 New – horses for courses

 Traditional – one size fits all

Salient features of New Public Administration

 Focus on management, performance and efficiency

 Foster competition + freedom of choice for the consumer

 De-bureaucratization + civil empowerment

 Innovative problem solving instead of post-crisis damage control

Transparency

 It implies government’s obligation to share information with citizens

 Citizens have the right to know how decisions are made on policies directly affecting them

and which are financed by their taxes

 Lack of transparency is responsible for making government slow, inefficient and corrupt

Importance of Transparency

 Ensure accountability

 Rational + objective decision making

 Proper use of public funds

 Citizen participation

Right to information Act 2005

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 Ushered the dawn of transparency in government functioning

 Initiated public centric governance = participative democracy

 The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote

transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and

make our democracy work for the people in real sense.

 It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep necessary vigil on

the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the governed

Code of Ethics

 A written set of guidelines issued by organization to its official to guide their conduct in

accordance with the primary values and ethical standards of the organization

 It ensures that individuals belonging to an organization have a consistent approach in

carrying out their duties

 It should be reflected in every operation process of an organization such as hiring, promotion,

marketing, firing etc

Values to be included in Code of Ethics (2nd ARC)

 Integrity

 Impartiality

 Commitment to public service

 Accountability

 Exemplary behaviour

 Avoidance of wasteful expenditure

“The crux of ethics does not lie in bold statements enshrined as standards, but in their adoption in

action and sanction against its violation” – 2nd ARC

Code of Conduct

 A set of rules outlining the expected behaviour from the members of an organization

 In India – Central Civil Service Rules 1964

 Whereas a code of ethics covers broad principles of good behaviour, a code of conduct

contains a precise list of acceptable behaviour and otherwise

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 Example – Dos and Don’ts regarding accepting gifts, joining non-political organizations,

property transactions etc

Citizen’s Charter

 It is a document which focuses on the commitment of an organisation towards its ‘Citizens’ in

respects of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Non-discrimination

and Accessibility, Grievance Redress and Value for Money.

 This also includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizen for fulfilling the

commitment of the Organisation

 The term ‘Citizen’ in the Citizen’s Charter implies the clients or customers whose interests and

values are addressed by the Citizen’s Charter. Therefore, includes not only the citizens but

also all the stakeholders, i.e., citizens, customers, clients, users, beneficiaries, other

Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations, State Governments, UT Administrations etc.

 Citizen’s Charter is legally not enforceable

Strengthening Citizen’s Charter

 Legal provisions + oversight institution to ensure adherence to the Charter

 Accountability – via independent audits + public hearings

 Mechanism for timely grievance redressal

 Annual Performance Plans to be evaluated and penalized for shortcomings

 Right to Choice to a citizen to withdraw its ‘taxes/fees’ from the organization if services fall

short of the standards provided in the charter

Work Culture

 It is regarded as a set of practices and shared values within an organization

 Work culture decides the way employees interact with each other and how an organization

functions

 Work culture of an organization is a product of its history, values and future vision

Characteristics of a healthy Work Culture

 Mutual respect among employees

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 Constructive discussions + minimum conflict

 A sense of equality + inclusiveness

 Merit based rewarding

 Employee feedback is respected

 Workshops and seminars for skill Upgradation

 Group activities for bonding and de-stressing

Work Ethics

 Set of moral principles an employee uses in performing his duties

 Strong work ethics include:

o Discipline – to not procrastinate, respect deadlines

o Efficiency - for improved productivity

o Cooperation – to minimize conflict and have a diverse opinion

o Character – integrity, compassion, leadership

Public Service Delivery

 It is the most critical aspect of governance because success of every policy, initiative depends

on its effective delivery

 Citizen centricity, transparency, efficiency and accountability are the hallmarks of a robust

public service delivery system

 Service Delivery is the main interface between administration and general public. Hence, a

poor service delivery is the main cause of trust deficit, frustration among the people

Challenges in improving Service Delivery

 Complex regulations + red tapism

 Lack of information + illiteracy

 Lack of best management practices + little accountability

 Corruption

Improving Service Delivery

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 Recognize the importance of grassroot level delivery mechanism. 2/3rd population lives in the

villages. Yet, Panchayats are at the mercy of State Governments for powers and finances

despite having a constitutional and statutory backing via 73rd and 74th amendments.

o Example – A district collector (usually an IAS officer) might be highly educated but

the Tehsildaar or Thanedaar is the one interacting with people. Therefore, he should

be included within the governance loop in terms of training and sensitization.

 People should be at the centre of all policy making. Treat people as participants and not

mere beneficiaries or worse as liabilities. Involve NGOs and SHGs at planning, monitoring,

evaluation, feedback stages

 E-governance – use ICT for single window, automated, swift and transparent delivery

mechanism

 Ensure continuity – minimum tenure for civil servants + safeguard against vengeful political

scrapping of existing policies + minimum benchmark guidelines for delivery

 Welfare vision with business acumen – quality and economy in service cost, public-private

partnerships, outsourcing, competition

 Accountability – Social audits, RTI , E-governance , JAM etc

 Independent regulatory mechanism + robust legal system for consumer protection

Corruption

 It is defined as misuse of public power for personal gains

 Two types of corruption:

o Coercive – citizen is compelled to pay bribe

o Collusive – agreement between the bribe giver and corrupt public servant

 As economy become more market oriented, collusive corruption increases

Causes of corruption

 Low salary compared to private sector

 Personal greed + erosion of values

 Power to award/control large projects/policies

 Lack of resources + high population

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 Lack of transparency and accountability

 Lack of information regarding rights and entitlements of citizens

 Ineffective legal framework

 Socio – cultural reasons which justify corruption as a ‘way of life’

Corruption and Ethics

 Corruption is a manifestation of failure of ethics

 It has a gravitational pull. It attracts even the honest officers over time

 Core values that can act as bulwarks against corruption:

o Integrity – to resist corruption in ‘first instance’

o Accountability – towards public interest

o Justice – for bringing the guilty to book

o Courage – to fight against corrupt elements

Approach towards Corruption

 Radical

o Over emphasis on values, rejecting all unethical practices outrightly

o It is highly ideal and may lead to victimization

o Direct confrontation may lead to witch hunting, transfers or even unwarranted

suspension

o In that case, such an approach may become counter-productive

 Rational

o Accept the situation at hand and make judicious choice from options available

o Diplomacy – maintain positive relations with colleagues and seniors, irrespective of

their stance. Yet maintain yours.

o Request written orders from seniors and act in line

o Encourage citizen participation, RTIs and Social Audits

o Find people in the organization who share your beliefs

 In real world, both values and institutions (government organizations) are important.

 Values guide institutions which makes them durable and worthy

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 Without institutional support, values are weakened and die out over time

 Thus, overemphasis on values, may result in expulsion from the institution itself. While

maintaining a moderate stance and working around a corrupt system may lead to a positive

change over time.

 It is a fallacy that the second approach is seen as a compromise of personal values

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