Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service:

Public Service Ethos
When the spirit of public service is manifested in the ethos of civil servants it will bring people to close to governance and bring inclusiveness. Public service ethos will also aid in enhancing the legitimacy of governance.
Civil service also demands the ability to take tough decisions but fears of backlash may deter civil servants in taking those tough decisions. The public service ethos while enhancing the legitimacy of governance will aid in taking the tough decisions which are bitter pill necessary in the interest of the society.
Public spirit
Civil service forms an intermediary between the public and the government. They aid and advice the political executive in the arena of policy making and implementation.
The public spirit will result in development of policies which would bring positive enhancements in the life of people.
Public spirit will also aid civil servants to be compassionate and deal the things with empathy and sympathy. This behavior of empathy and sympathy together with compassionate service will aid in increasing the inclusiveness of governance by making governance more responsive.
Executive responsibility
Accountability of civil servants is vital for the sound governance. The executive responsibility of the civil servants forms an important component in ensuring accountability.
Executive responsibility demands the civil servants to take ownership for their actions. This bestowing of ownership and responsibility on the civil servants will aid in enhancing the accountability and effectiveness of governance.
Virtue Ethics
Virtue ethics focuses on the ‘character’ of the agent rather than on the formal rules for or the consequences of actions. The demonstration of high standards of virtue ethics will serve the twin objectives

  • The civil servant will serve as role model for his/her subordinates. This will aid in inculcating the virtue ethics as a norm in the system as a whole.
  • It will also serve as deterrence for the vested interests in approaching the civil servant for gains and force them to ensure compliance with the norms. This will aid in establishing corruption free governance.

Compassion
Compassion refers to ability to understand the plight and sufferings of the others and taking necessary actions to alleviate their sufferings.
The civil servants rarely face the difficulties common man undergoes in dealing with public agencies since the service are at their disposal. As a result there are chances of governance becoming redundant due to increasing drift between the common man and civil servants.
Compassion as a virtue will aid in bridging the drift and enhancing the responsiveness of governance.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service:
  1. Public Service Ethos
  2. Public spirit
  3. Executive responsibility
  4. Virtue Ethics
  5. Compassion

Published: April 2, 2018 | Modified:April 2, 2018

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