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Day 40 – Q.2 How can civil servants navigate situations where their personal values and beliefs may conflict with their duties and responsibilities to uphold the rule of law and serve the public impartially? Explain with the help of suitable examples.

  • IASbaba
  • January 6, 2023
  • 0
Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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How can civil servants navigate situations where their personal values and beliefs may conflict with their duties and responsibilities to uphold the rule of law and serve the public impartially? Explain with the help of suitable examples.

सिविल सेवक उन स्थितियों से कैसे निपट सकते हैं जहां उनके व्यक्तिगत मूल्य और विश्वास कानून के शासन को बनाए रखने और निष्पक्ष रूप से जनता की सेवा करने के उनके कर्तव्यों और जिम्मेदारियों के साथ संघर्ष कर सकते हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से व्याख्या कीजिए।


Approach

Candidates can start the answer by writing on ethical dilemmas of conflict between personal values and official duties and then try to explain such situation with the examples.

Introduction

Civil servants often face ethical dilemma that is a decision-making problem between two moral imperatives neither of which resolves the situation in a morally satisfactory manner.

Body

  • Ethical dilemmas due to clash between personal values beliefs and official duties are complex situation that often involves an apparent mental conundrum in which obeying one imperative would result in disobeying another.

Common dilemmas with which public servants are confronted, revolve around aspects such as:

  • Situations in which compliance with ethical conduct results in a significant personal cost for example jeopardising held position, injuring valued relationship to the Public Servant.
  • Situations in which a conscientious public servant is exposed to a combination of personal or other conflicting ethical values in order to decide the right thing to do.
  • For example, Crowds are going unruly during a Bandh called by a particular outfit. They are damaging public property and Local police is not able to control them. Army has to be called in and power to use fire arms has to be given, but the protestors include Women and Aged persons.
  • To resolve such crisis of conscience situation, an order or a sequence of logical reasoning is must to integrate and rearrange the process of dealing, following the rule of law and the principle of legality.
  • It is fundamental ethical duty of civil servants to show a spirit of neutrality and discretion and keep their own personal preferences out in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.
  • Civil servants’ personal value is not to harm any aged person or woman in any case, but sometimes law and order demands the violence or harm is needed for social peace.
  • Public officials ought to be accountable for their official actions to their superiors, the courts, and the public. It is nevertheless, possible for them to hide behind prescribed procedures, the cloak of professionalism and even political office-bearers.
  • For example, as a CAG official, it is his duty to safeguard Tax Payers money and make sure every rupee is spent in a way as required. But when he finds out gross violation and brings it to the notice of concerned official, they ask him to go slow.
  • Here he is faced with dilemmas of whether to call Press conference and bring to the notice or keep quiet. Official rules forbid Civil servants from going to press.
  • A dilemma should be dealt appropriately by considering and reformulating all the options in a systematic and coherent manner. Common good and larger public interest must be considered in all situations, especially when such circumstances give rise to conflict of interest.
  • As a Civil servant working in Defence Ministry, u find out that certain arms contracts are going for a particular firm associated with a Union Ministry official. In this situation, neither u cannot be a whistle blower, since it concerns National Security and it is covered by Official Secrets act or go silent.
  • Here Self-Restraint in the manner of responsibility will help the person to work in accountable manner and personal belief of whistle blowing should be secondary to the common good in national security situations.

Conclusion

During such dilemmas its suggested to follow conscience a inner voice of self that is derived from own human values and it helps in decision making and solving ethical dilemmas faced by civil servants in daily life.

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