Mini Courses of GS IV: Aptitude

Mini Courses of Ethics, Integrity, Attitude, Aptitude and case studies for IAS Mains Examination




‘Public Services’ are generally defined to mean the civil services constituted by the government to translate all its plans and programmes into implement-able action. In common usage, civil service means that branch of governmental machinery which is concerned not with law making but with law enforcing functions. In the executive branch of the government, there are two parts, the ministers and civil servants. The civil servants carry out the orders of the ministers and advise them in policy formulation. In administrative parlance, public services have a slightly wider connotation in the sense that they are taken to cover, besides civil servants, extended group of employees who may be working in public sector undertakings, nationalised banks and other quasi-governmental organisations funded wholly or partly by the government. While the civil servants are the holders of civil posts, whose remuneration in India is paid out of Consolidated Fund of India, others are not so paid. Relationship between the Government and Public Services The art of governance and administration has been the integral feature of human society. For governance, there has always been a government, whatever be its form and for carrying out the objectives of the government, there has always been the public services. Public services have always been an important arm of the government for formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its programmes. Thus, the kind, and the character of the public services would depend on the type of the government and the nature and the scale of the tasks to be performed by it.

Bureaucrats have more knowledge, experience, inter­governmental ties and time than the politicians. Both are actually dependent on each other. The relationship between the government and public services has provided that the dichotomy between policy formulation and implementation can never be strictly maintained in practice. Experience has shown that this type of compartmentalization between governmental and administrative activities is partly, but not wholly true. It is very difficult for the government to be only concerned with policy formulation whereas for the services to only deal with administration of these formulated policies. Both in theory and practice, there is frequent crossing of boundaries, as a result a relationship of complimentarity, mutuality and interdependability has developed betwien the two. The government sets the goals for public services, hence it is instrumental as a tool to achieve these goals. The role of public services is changing with time. A status-quo bound public services can never solve the new and growing administrative problems. Public services have to change in a, way that is conducive to the development innovative administrative programmes and systematic progress of the country. Its scope is widening and one cannot think of all-round development without effective public services.


The public officials are required to perform all the tasks and duties arising out of the obligations of the government in rendering service to its people. Some of these tasks are, advising ministers on policy issues, supervising all aspects of administrative, technical and scientific programmes, economic and financial activities, social welfare and services. They are also engaged with delegated legislation, administrative adjudication and public relations:

With the increase in the welfare functions the purpose- and the scope of the administration have been completely reoriented. The U.N. Handbook noted: The State is expected today to he the accelerator of economic and social change and. no longer the preserver of the status quo. And in its new role as the prime mover and stimulator of national development, it is expected to spread the benefits of economic and social progress to everyone.


  • Instrumentality Role: here is a general agreement that the civil services should play basically an instrumental role in its operation, in-as-much as it is not the master but agent of policy, formulation and execution. It is. therefore, almost universally expected, and substantially accepted, that the services should be so designed and structured as to respond systematically and willingly to the political leadership and policy parameters. This essentially represents a philosophy of primacy of political control over administrative system.

  • Neutrality Role: The neutrality role of the civil services is in consonance with its instrumentality role. Thus, it is clear that if civil services have to perform, in the right spirit of their structural functional framework, they have to be “neutral” in their approach, outlook and activities. No way should their political values affect their conduct and behaviour. Once a policy has been decided and decision taken to implement the programme, all that civil servants should do is to try to use all the available resources in an optimum manner for the execution of the programme. In other words, the civil services must not be allowed to take political sides. The individual value-system may certainly come into play while rendering advice to the ministers or at the time of strategizing for policy but not thereafter. The civil servants are not the political agents but servants of the state. Political neutrality is the Sine-qua-non of civil servants, the civil service and party politics should be kept poles apart.

  • Commitment: Should the civil servants be committed to the cause of a party, or the ruling party or a person of the party? Intellectually? Emotionally? Ideologically? Where should their commitment lie? Answers to such questions are very important for understanding the commitment role of the civil services. Different views have been expressed on the subject. The first and the common view holds that commitment means that the civil servants should be in accord with the policy objectives of the government. Secondly, it has been held that such a commitment should be to a new social and economic order, and has to be consciously built and nurtured through the careers of civil servants’. The third view is a corollary to the second view, it says that commitment should be related to the developmental philosophy of the state, societal, economic and political, besides all the other modernizing and nation-building programmes. Fourth view holds that commitment should, ideally, be to the ideals of the Constitution of the country which represents the collective wisdom of the people regarding the governance of the policy. And, ultimately, commitment has to be to the conscience of the civil servants, their belief, cultural and ethical values and sense of justice and righteousness. Civil servants have often displayed their personal alignment, identification and belongingness to political parties, they often display personal loyalty to ‘the boss’. This kind of personalized commitment helps the civil servants in better career progression and more accelerated elevation. But the term committed bureaucracy does not mean a bureaucracy loyal to a particular political party, it does not even connote civil servants owing loyalty to a particular individual, political person or leader. It means that bureaucracy should he committed 10 (he objectives, ideals, institutions and modalities contained in the Constitution. Impersonality: Civil services should, by and large adopt an ‘impersonality’ profile while dealing with matters concerning policies, programmes and issues. Civil servanls cannot afford to take or twist a decision on the basis of the persons involved with it or the persons who can be affected by it, but should strictly conform to the principles, rules, guidelines etc. They should govern the matters before the government irrespective of the status, standing and position of the affected individuals. Civil servants have to take a dispassionate approach to problems.

  • Anonymity Role: The role of anonymity requires that the minister has to answer for the actions of civil servants in the Parliament. The civil servants thus are protected from criticism of Parliament. A minister has to protect the civil servant who has executed his/her definite order. Minister is also responsible to the parliament for the wrong action of the civil servant. Thus the principle of anonymity goes hand in hand with the principle of ministerial responsibility. It means that civil servants work behind the curtain, they cannot openly come out and play a predominant role in politics. They have to function in an environment of anonymity, this helps them in taking honest and objective decisions.

  • Professional Role: The civil servants are employed for their knowledge, skill, expertise, experience, competence and merit. They must utilize all their skills to implement the development programmes with full zeal and enthusiasm. The civil servants must be trained to use all the mental, physical and technical skills at halid in a most effective and efficient manner. The aim should be to train civil servants in such a way that maximum results can be achieved with minimum inputs at the least cost within the shortest time frame. Professional excellence, result motivation and intellectual integrity should be their motives. Learning and continuing education should be built into the system itself, for that is the foundation for building a professional super structure. Professional role of the civil servants is the genesis of their existence.


There is a need to develop both human and modern technology to improve efficiency. However, priority should be given to human development. These are two aspects to development technical and human. Organisations had usually been more sensitive to possibilities offered to them by the achievements of modern technology than to the refinements of human behaviour as revealed by the sciences of sociology and psychology. In an era of rapid change, the improvement of management in its human aspect had become a critical issue. It is important to make full use of the findings of social sciences which endeavoured to be instrumental in giving guidance in the behaviour of individuals and groups in varying circumstances. Therefore, Organisations should be conceived as complex socio-technical systems whose management requires both technical skills and insight into the motives of human behaviour.


i) Faith, determination towards pursuit of excellence of service in their professional activities: The most important factor for the success of any organisation is its leadership political and administrative. Public services must develop ethical standards which help them in their best performance. Standards arc contagious. They spread throughout an organisation, a group, or a society. If an organisation or group cherishes high standards, the behaviour of the individual who enters it is inevitably influenced. They should not develop an excessive sense of self-importance or arrogance.

In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru: “No administrator can really do first class work without a sense of function. Without some measures of a crusading spirit. I am doing this, I have to achieve this as a part of a great movement in a big cause. That gives a sense of function, not the sense of the individual, narrow approach of doing a job in an office for a salary as wage, something connected with your life’s out look or anything, perhaps being interested, as people inevitable are. on one’s personal preferment in the particular work.”

The Code of Ethics for civil servants in various countries

  • Integrity: Civil servants, should be guided solely by public interest in their official decision making & not by any financial or other consideration either in respect of themselves, their families or their friends.
  • Impartiality: Civil servants in carrying out their ofli cial work, including functions like procurement, recruitment, delivery of services etc, should take decisions based on merit alone.
  • Commitment to public service: Civil servants should deliver services in a fair, effective, impartial and courteous manner.
  • Open accountability: Civil servants are accountable for their decisions and actions and should be willing to subject themselves to appropriate scrutiny for this puqiose.
  • Devotion to duty: Civil servants maintain absolute and unstinting devotion towards their duties and responsibilities at all times.
  • Exemplary behaviour: Civil servants shall treat all members of the public with respect and courtesy and, at all times, should behave in a manner that upholds the rich traditions of the civil services.

ii) Infusion of Ethics into Politics : Infusion of ethics into politics so that the political elite can demonstrate integrity and in still faith among subordinates about their fairness and impartiality. Most of the problems in public administration emanate from political corruption and interference. The credibility gap between the political and administrative leadership is on the increase. Most of the commissions, committees and the daily press have been emphasising the gravity of the situation.


Different writers on comparative government have classified interest groups or pressure groups on the basis of their structure and organisation. According to Almond and Powell, interest groups can be classified into four categories, i) Institutional Interest Groups ii) The Associational Interest Groups iii) Anomic Interest Groups iv) Non-Associational Interest Groups

  • Institutional Interest Groups These groups are formally organised which consist of professionally employed persons. They are a part of government machinery and try to exert their influence. But they do have much autonomy. These groups include political parties, legislatures, armies, bureaucracies and churches. An example of institutional group can be the West Bengal Civil Services Association. Whenever such an association raises protest it does so by constitutional means and in accordance with the rules and regulations

  • Associational Interest Groups These are organised specialised groups formed for interest articulation, but to pursue limited goals. These include trade unions, organisations of businessmen and industrialists and civic groups, Some examples of Associational Interest Groups in India arc Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indian Chambers of Commerce, Trade Unions such as AITUC(A11 India Trade Union Congress), Teachers Associations, Students Associations such as National Students Union of India (NSUT) etc.

  • Anomic Interest Groups These are the groups that have analogy with individual self-representation. In such type of groups, perpetual infiltrations such as riots, demonstrations are observed. These groups are found in the shape of movement demonstrations and processions, signature campaigns, street corner meetings, etc. Their activities may either be constitutional or unconstitutional.

This is Part of Online Coaching & Study Kit of IAS Mains General Studies - IV

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