Day 39 – Q 3. How do the terms integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship and objectivity differ from each other? Explain with the help of suitable examples. 

  • IASbaba
  • July 24, 2020
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Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. How do the terms integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship and objectivity differ from each other? Explain with the help of suitable examples.  

सत्यनिष्ठा, निष्पक्षता, गैर पक्षपात और विषय निष्ठता एक दूसरे से कैसे भिन्न हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से समझाएँ।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to differentiate between the foundational values of civil services i.e. the terms as integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship and objectivity with the relative examples.


Civil/public service values are those values which are created and sustained by the

government on behalf of the public. These are the principles on which government and policies should be based on. Adherence to foundational values such as integrity, impartiality, objectivity ,and non-partisanship serve as guiding principles for civil servants in the discharge of public service duties.



  • Integrity means adopting similar standards or moral principles in similar situations across time and interested parties.
  • It differs from other foundational values of civil services, as it means to be honest and consistent in thoughts, speech and action.
  • It is a quality of eliminating the gap between ‘what we think, what we say, and what we do.’
  • It means doing the right thing even when nobody is watching.
  • A simple example of integrity can be cited of, Going  back to a store and pay for something that we forgot to pay for.


  • Impartiality means that, regardless of a public servants personal beliefs and preferences, and personal relationships with other servants or with members of the community; he or she must impartially serve the government of the day and treat members of the public and other public servants fairly and impartially.
  • Impartiality implies tolerance and restraint, particularly in dealing with political or religious convictions.
  • Impartiality differs from other foundational values of civil services by ensuring equality without any bias and prejudices in the general. Impartiality denotes that all the responsibilities of a person are carried out in a fair and just manner. It is a commitment to equality and diversity.
  • An example of impartiality is, the nature of a judge in a court case.


  • Non-partisanship ensures a neutral approach in politics and a solid commitment to the government.
  • A non-partisan civil service is also responsible to the Constitution of the land to which they have taken an oath of loyalty.
  • Non-partisanship infers that the officer has to do her/his task without any fear of, or favour to any political party.
  • Non-partisanship strengthens the democratic procedures and institutions along with maintaining the integrity of the service.
  • For example, Mainstream news media is viewed as Autonomous and independent media in the society. Any effort by an administrator to vitiate this autonomy in favour of any political party would wreak havoc on the system.


  • Objectivity means the state or quality of being true and keeping aside one’s emotions, biases, prejudices. Objectivity is mind independent and object specific.
  • In public life, it means giving equal treatment to people in equal situation irrespective of any other factor i.e. being fair.
  • Objectivity differs from other foundational values of civil services as it  allows civil servants to take decision on the merits of the case and take due account of expert advice. For example District collector in making appointments needs to give priority to merit rather than other factors like the caste or background of the candidate.

These foundational values ensure an effective civil service which functions honestly, impartially and efficiently. These values empower the administrator to fill the gaps of trust deficit between the citizens and the Government. Despite their different traits the foundational values are the basic requisite for the better functioning of the administrative system.


These foundational values provide lawfulness to the behaviour of an administrator and make it more effective. Hence, The civil servants have to abide by a common set of values which caters to larger interests of society at large and to achieve social, political and economic justice.

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