(Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude - Theory)General Studies Paper 4
Question:- Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix. Answer in 150 words (10 marks)
Jun 10, 2022


Civil servants have an important role to play in development and achievement of goals of social, economic and political justice and in ensuring equality of status and opportunity in society. They are the vanguard of our democracy and hence, are provided with immense powers and responsibilities.
Each civil servant is different and he/she has a unique set of qualities that distinguish his/her performance on ground level. But there are some key attributes which are expected to be possessed by civil servants and which can be employed to effectively discharge their duties.

They are: Integrity, Empathy and compassion, Devotion to duty, Accountability and Objectivity
(You can choose to not list down the points. Instead, represent them in a simple diagram and directly start with Body Paragraph)



1. Integrity (= Honesty + conscience )
-the ability of an individual to remain consistent and committed to his/her personal and professional values
-one adheres to ethical and moral values, code of conduct and code of ethics
-Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and consistent commitment to honor moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles. Integrity compels civil servants to be socially conscious and to welcome both personal and professional responsibility. Its values encourage them to be honest in all their dealings and committed to a lifelong search for truth and justice.

2. Empathy and compassion
-Empathy is essential for understanding wider perspective, rational thinking, feeling emotions of other by stepping them into their shoes.
-Our society relies on empathy to facilitate connections and forward movement. Indian society is hierarchical in nature so its duty of the civil servants to uplift those who are at the bottom of the development table.
-Civil servants help to bring socio-economic change in the society and compassion is important for citizen friendly governance.
-Social justice can’t be possible without being compassionate towards weaker section of people.

3. Objectivity

-Objectivity refers to the ability to judge fairly, without bias or external influence. must not make decision on your values, emotions.
-It is the quality of being true even outside of a subject, individual biases, interpretation and feelings. Objectivity involves value free judgment based solely on merit and rules. Objectivity means decisions and actions are based on empirically verifiable facts.

-Civil servants discharge their duties based on clearly defined rules
-Makes a civil servant impartial and instills non-partisanship;
– helps in decision, resolves ethical dilemmas, efficient utilization of public funds, helps in smooth flow of governance, policy based / rule based decisions etc.

4. Dedication to public service:
-A dedicated bureaucrat can uplift the ideals and values enshrined in the constitution
-To find out creative solutions for the problems faced in the administration
-To handle political pressures
-Enhances his credibility among the public
-Efficient use of resources
-A dedicated civil servant can motivate others and become role model for others

5. Accountability (club transparency with this if you want)
-Makes civil servants answerable for their conduct and decision;
-Makes administration transparent and public oriented;
-Builds public trust;
-Deters unethical conduct.



Civil servants are expected to serve with the ‘at your service ‘attitude.
Such a temperament is an outcome of a personality built upon ethical
traits which not only improve their performance and benefit the citizens
but their own self!