A good character is one of the important prerequisites for civil servants of the 21st century. In your view, what are the important components of good character? Why?
With great power comes great responsibility, civil servants have immense power vested with them. A good charter of a civil servant will aid in voice of conscience which motivates the civil servant to work towards collective good of the society and prevent the abuse of power for one’s own self interest.
The components of a good character for a civil servant are:
- Selflessness: The public servant must put the public interest ahead of the self interest.
- Integrity: They must stand for welfare of the people without placing them under the obligations of the vested interests.
- Objectivity: The decision making of the civil servants must reflect the objective criterions. This will aid in enhancing the legitimacy of the civil servant.
- Honesty: Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.
- Openness: A civil service must be transparent in actions and decisions. This will enhance the quality of decision making.
A Sanskrit verse says “Sheelam param Bhushanam” (Character is the highest virtue). A good character is an important pre-requisite for upholding the ethos of good governance.