For Previous TLP (ARCHIVES) – CLICK HERE
SYNOPSIS [26th March,2021] Day 65: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Why is it important to have a value driven bureaucracy? Explain.
Candidates are expected to write about what is bureaucracy and value driven bureaucracy. Then mainly explain the importance of the value driven bureaucracy.
Max Weber, defines bureaucracy as a highly structured, formalised, and also an impersonal organisation. He also instituted the belief that an organisation must have a defined hierarchical structure and clear rules, regulations, and lines of authority which govern it.
Value driven bureaucracy –
- Values-driven bureaucracy lead from a deep sense of purpose and a demonstrated commitment to life-affirming values, such as honesty, integrity, excellence, courage, humility, trust, care for people and social and environmental responsibility.
- This can be observed in the civil service conduct rules 1965 in India. For promoting political neutrality, promoting the principles of merit, fairness and impartiality in the discharge of duties, accountability and transparency.
Importance of the value driven bureaucracy –
- Value driven officers of civil services maintains confidentiality of information in relation to one’s duties as required by existing laws and rules. It presents cognitive list of “do’s and don’ts” include being responsive to the public particularly to the weaker sections being courteous and maintain good behaviour with the public.
- It stresses on “minimum government and maximum governance”, besides making the administration more people friendly and more transparent. It creates clean and deft administration, besides efficient delivery of state services through a toned bureaucracy.
- Such bureaucracy commit themselves to and uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and democratic values, defend and uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of state, public order, decency and morality.
- Value driven Bureaucrats maintain integrity in public service take decisions solely in public interest and use or cause to use public resources efficiently, effectively and economically declare any private interests relating to his public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts in a way that protects the public interest.
- It mandate officials not to place themselves under any financial or other obligations to any individual or organisation which may influence him in the performance of his official duties not misuse his position as civil servant and not take decisions in order to derive financial or material benefits for himself, his family or his friends. It refrain them from doing anything which is or may be contrary to any law, rules, regulations and established practices.
- Value driven officials make choices, take decisions and make recommendations on merit alone act with fairness and impartiality and not discriminate against anyone, particularly the poor and the under-privileged sections of society.
- For example Delhi head constable Seema traced 63 missing children in the last three months, reuniting them to their families. Going beyond her routine policing duties despite case not been registered in her unit.
- It provides no affinity to a particular class or ideology. Even in the post-retirement period, public officials could make significant interventions for more noble purposes underlying the good society even without joining a particular brand of formal politics that has scant regard for constitutional principles such as freedom from fear and human dignity.
Thus Values-driven bureaucracy offers a platform for public servant to unleash there potential by serving as a catalyst for personal development and transformation and by encouraging public servant to engage their values, sense of purpose and intrinsic motivation to be part of something that contributes positively to society.
2. In a law driven administration, what role does ethics play? Illustrate.
Question is straight forward in nature. Candidate can illustrate relationship between law and ethics and with the help of suitable examples role of ethics in administration can be stated.
Laws and ethics both serve similar purposes of guiding human conduct so as to make it conducive to civilized social existence. They enforce a sense of right and wrong. Laws refer to the set of codified norms which are enforced by the state. They act as external obligations. On the other hand, ethics refer to the set of norms which guide our internal compass and judgements.
Relationship between law and ethics –
- Laws and ethics both serve similar purposes of guiding human conduct so as to make it conducive to civilized social existence. They enforce a sense of right and wrong.
- Laws refer to the set of codified norms which are enforced by the state. They act as external obligations. On the other hand, ethics refer to the set of norms which guide our internal compass and judgements.
- Both are derived from certain common sources like religion, community values, cultural context, sense of justice, etc. However, ethics can also be a result of one’s own evolution, personal experiences, personal choices, etc.
- While laws apply uniformly to all, ethics can vary from person to person and they change more frequently than laws. In case of a breach of law, the state is within its right to punish. Hence, they work as a medium of retributive justice. On the other hand, ethics are not enforceable.
- Many laws are representative of ethics of the time and have been shaped by what is considered ethical. The idea that everyone is equal before law is derived from the value that human are born equal.
- At the same time, laws have shaped ethics. They have been used to counter regressive doctrines. Eg. When Sati was abolished, it was not an unethical practice and derived its legitimacy from religion. But appropriate laws eventually forced to stop the unethical practices.
Significance of ethics in administration –
- Laws alone are not enough to promote ethical behaviour. Laws can never be so exhaustive to cover each and every scenario possible. Hence, there will always be scope for discretion. In such scenarios, ethical behaviour should come from within.
- The ethical standards of Impartiality and objectivity bring merit into organization. thereby, increasing predictability, which improves economic efficiency. E.g. e-filing of tax returns, online tenders etc.
- Public resource utilization: ethical use of resources ensures the efficient and effective development of society without corruption. It makes the one holding public office accountable for his/her actions. E.g. RTI, social audits to involve public and enhance transparency in resource utilization.
- Outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests. Commitment and dedication to work improves the administration. E.g. Ramkumar IAS brought in new ideas to develop dadenggre district of Meghalaya though personally it was difficult.
- Law is just set of rules but ethics is set of guiding principles when it comes to personal discretion and when faced with the dilemma. Ethics in law driven administration guides the personal conscience.
Laws can make an action lawful or unlawful. But to test the basis of law, ethics are required. A law can be unethical for eg. During freedom struggle many laws were made to supress the nationalistic voices. Today we can see laws have many loopholes and some are arbitrary in nature. To ensure welfare of society and the marginalised, an element of ethics is must in law driven administration.
3. Examine the factors that create avenues for corruption in the civil service? Can regulations alone tackle the challenge of corruption? Critically examine.
Since the question has asked you to critically examine you should throws light on the negatives and positives where an aspirant needs to examine both sides of an issue and come to a balanced conclusion.
The history of the civil services in this country is replete with outstanding tales of courage, toil, sweat and blood. Great civil servants played a pivotal role in building a modern infrastructure from scratch, maintaining law and order and preserving the unity and integrity of the country. It is indeed a tragic fall for the services from such heights. Recently, in a rare journalistic scoop, a list of civil servants who were under investigation for corrupt practices by the anti-corruption beaureu was made public by the media.
Factors that create avenues for corruption in the civil service –
- Lack of Effective Leadership and economic stability in India
- Unemployment, Poverty And Hunger
- Very Less Educational Institute and Medical Infrastructure.
- Vast Size of Population in India Is Biggest Cause of Corruption In India.
- Another Big Cause of Corruption in India Is nexus between political parties and Industrialist.
- Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies is Another Big reason of Corruption in India.
- Low Pay Scales And Wages
- Lack of Fundamental Rights Awareness in People of India
- Lack of Transparency in Deals and Affairs
- Lack of Independent detective agency and accountability
- Lack of enough powers to the judicial system in India
Can regulations alone tackle the challenge of corruption?
Public servants in India can be penalized for corruption under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 Prohibits benami transactions. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 penalizes public Servants for the offence of money laundering. India is also a signatory (not ratified) to the UN Convention against Corruption since 2005. The Convention covers a wide range of acts of Corruption and also proposes certain preventive policies.
But these regulations are alone not enough. Other steps needed to deal with corruption includes –
- Give Good salary to Government Employees
- Bring transparency In Indian Economic System
- Try To make Indian Society Cashless
- More Number of Online transactions and provide bill For Every transactions
- Bring Political parties Under RTI
- Set Eligibility For Indian Politician
- Increase in Digital And E Governance
- Transparent tax structure by clean and clear enforcement
- Bring More Transparency In Govt Job Recruitment
- Keep Inflation low
- Speed up the judgement and increase the courts
- Citizenship cancellation could be a highest level of punishment if their crime score reaches a certain extent.
The Civil Servants thought of themselves as Guardians, in the Platonic sense : “ All who are in any place of command in so far as they are indeed rulers, neither consider nor enjoin their own interest but that of the subjects on behalf of whom they exercise their craft….”The pressing need of the hour is to make the bureaucracy truly accountable and separate the crime investigation process from political control. Only then will the citizen regain a level of confidence in the governance process. Until then, no matter how many times people reject a government or party, no matter how often they give vent to their anger and frustration through public protests, demonstrations, and at times violence, the real character of governance does not seem to change; the local public servant behaves in the same manner as always ¾ corrupt, greedy, arrogant and arbitrary.
4. In your opinion what should be the key values for a bureaucracy? Substantiate your views.
Question is straight forward in its approach students are expected to explain the key values for bureaucracy, also it is important to substantiate views by making use of examples.
Values are essential components of organisational culture and are instrumental in determining, guiding and informing behaviour. For bureaucracies, adherence to high-level public service values can generate substantial public trust and confidence.The ethics and values for the civil services have to be of higher standards, unique and properly structured from those for the citizens or other sectors of the society because civil servants have special obligations to the community.
Values for bureaucracy –
- Integrity- Integrity is the fundamental moral concept in civil services. It is an important basis of ethical behaviour and ethical competency. It is associated with the value of being honest and maintain strong moral principles. Integrity includes financial integrity, professional integrity and intellectual integrity. Ethics and integrity are closely related. An ethical person having strong moral values is bound to be a man of integrity.
- Impartiality- Impartiality is a norm of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective standards, instead of on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the advantage to one person over another for unsuitable reasons. Impartiality is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions. Impartiality means that civil bureaucrats in carrying out their official work, including functions like procurement, recruitment, delivery of services etc., should take decisions based on merit alone. Impartiality implies that the behaviour of, and treatment by a bureaucrat to any individual or entity has to be exclusively on the basis of merit. An administrator has to take numerous major decisions such as recruitment, procurement and allotment. To make such decisions effective and efficient, there has to be absolute impartiality.
- Non-Partisanship- Non-partisanship is not being precisely owned or allied with any group, party or cause. Non-partisanship can be called political neutrality. Non-partisanshipinfers that the officer is to do his task without any fear of, or favour to any political party. The values of the administrator will flow from the constitution not from the philosophy of any political party. Non-partisanship is the process of not involving any political party even if the person has strong faith in any political thought.
- Objectivity- Objectivity is founding advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence. It entails that a truth remains true universally, independently of human thought or approaches. It is established that objective decisions are not impacted by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. Taking an objective approach to an issue means having due regard for the known valid evidence (relevant facts, logical implications and viewpoints and human purposes) pertaining to that issue. If significant valid evidence is denied or counterfeit, an objective approach is incredible.
- Dedication- Dedication is the eminence of people to be devoted or loyal to a duty or purpose, thought or action. Dedication is vital personality trait of an individual. In organizational framework, faithful employees work towards achieving the organizational goals. Dedication will carry person through a lack of motivation. It is his ability to continue acting when motivation is lacking. Dedication will drive to certain task rapidly.
- Empathy- Empathy is described as understanding what others are feeling. Empathy is the capability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference. In general term, empathy is about being able to accurately hear out and understand the opinions, feelings and concern of other people in society.
- Tolerance- Tolerance is a great feature of civil servants. Tolerance comprises of allowing people to exercise their rights, religious or constitutional. Tolerance teaches us to exercise restraint in sensitive matters. Tolerance is defined as a fair and objective outlook towards those whose lifestyle differs from person. It refers to the skills person need to live together peaceably.
- Compassion- Compassion is a feeling of empathy towards another person. It is the emotion that people feel in response to the suffering of others which in turn motivates a desire to help. Compassion is a process of connecting by identifying another process. This identification with others through compassion can lead to increased enthusiasm to do something in an effort to relieve the distress of other.
- Recently launched mission Karmayogi aims to impart modern values and envisages to prepare bureaucracy for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.
It can be recognized that above core values support good government and guarantee the accomplishment of the highest possible standards in all that the Civil Service does. This in turn helps the Civil Service to gain and maintain the respect of ministers, Parliament, the public and its clienteles. The civil servants have to abide by a common set of values which can cater to larger interests of society at large and to achieve social, political and economic justice.
5. Has there been a decline in the overall integrity and values of bureaucracy in India? Critically comment.
The candidate needs to comment upon whether there has been a decline in the overall integrity and values of bureaucracy in India and also give some counter arguments to the same for showcasing a balanced perspective.
Bureaucrats need to maintain neutrality and impartiality in their working to ensure the triumph of democracy where upholding the values of bureaucracy becomes important to face the number of serious challenges from diminishing human capital in Indian bureaucracy.
- Public administration has become a key agency for development in most of the developing countries where Bureaucracy contributes immensely to development by serving as adviser, inventor, and decision-maker.
- But over a period of time, Indian bureaucracy seems to be in decline in terms of overall integrity and values, which can be detrimental to the democratic institutions as well as constitutional ethos of the administration in India.
- Over the years, whatever virtues the civil servants possessed – integrity, political neutrality, courage and high morale – are showing signs of decay. Some civil servants are deeply involved in partisan politics. For example, Supreme Court even called CBI as caged parrot which speaks for its masters.
- Further, there has been a deviation from bureaucrat’s professional ethics due to multiple factors like personal ambitions, security of tenure, lack of accountability, political interference, greed, etc. For example, recent incident involving API Sachin Waze in terror case.
- Here, political interference can be considered one of the major factors for the decline where transfers have been used as instruments of reward and punishment by politicians, as tools for controlling and taming the bureaucracy.
- Specialisation is an important facet of bureaucracy in the Weberian scheme, but in the Indian context the ‘generalist’ IAS officers are the ultimate mavens in all administration branches, which contributes to professional inadequacies leading to decline in values for compromise.
- Also, unprecedented security of tenure for Indian bureaucrats has led to a work culture where productivity and accountability are side-lined and lethargic work culture is imbibed which eventually is leading to decline in values.
At the same time, it is important to note that the above discussion is not an overall trend but refers to a section of civil servants, whereas the major section of bureaucratic structure sees mostly honest and upright officers with proper values and integrity.
- These civil servants are the “doers”. For example, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan led by the redoubtable Parameswaran Iyer is creating an impact. Fortunately, it is becoming visible as well.
- Further, the thrust on efficiency and integrity in the Indian Railways by its chairman Ashwani Lohani, is also yielding results. One can witness the impact of the changes he has brought about in the functioning of the Railways.
- The team of Indu Bhushan and Dinesh Arora, engaged in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana Abhiyan as part of Ayushman Bharat, provides another example of honest and efficient working.
- COVID-19 Pandemic also saw the recognition of bureaucrats work and their sacrifices as the frontline workers. For example, in Odisha, V. K. Pandian, private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, led Odisha to become the first state to go for a 40 per cent lockdown following an analysis of the geographical spread of people who came from abroad in March.
- These are honest and efficient bureaucrats committed to the cause for which they are paid for from the public exchequer. They are performing their tasks as professionals. Their crusading spirit is directed towards the tasks assigned to them.
- However, unfortunately, there are an equal numbers of bureaucrats who stop at just being honest, which also becomes an issue as professionalism is replaced with virtue signalling instead of completing the task at hand.
Way Forward –
- Implementing and popularising the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 for All-India Service officers of IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service in its true sense.
- Coming up with more measures like Mission Karmayogi, in accordance with 2nd ARC’s recommendations for improving the value system as well as work culture of bureaucrats.
- A government servant’s promotion, career advancement and continuance in service should be linked to his actual performance on the job and the dead wood should be weeded out where the promotions should be merit based.
- Officers need to be motivated and empowered by giving them more responsibility and decision-making authority.
Bureaucrats should consider their role as public servants and maintain high standards of ethics as well as professionalism to serve the people in the true sense for striving towards achieving the ideals of ‘New India’.