(Sample Material) Gist of Important National Administrative Committees Report Study Kit: "On Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude - A.D. Gorwala Committee Report on Public Administration (1951)"
Sample Material of Gist of Important National Administrative Committees Report Study Kit
Chapter - On Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
A.D. Gorwala Committee Report on Public Administration (1951)
ETHICS AND INTEGRITY
It is not enough to act with integrity. Justice, it has been said, must not only be done but must be seen to be done. So too moral standards must not only be observed but must be seen to be observed. In other words, they must be so observed as to eliminate the possibility of suspicion and secure the general recognition of the observers. Accordingly, for public servants-Ministers and Legislators just as much as Administrators-there is not only a standard of conduct to be maintained but a code of behaviour to be followed. The one evokes judgment, the other comment. Judgment is slow and not every one’s task. Comment is swift and almost every one’s business.
Great as is its importance in all democracies, comment has particular significance in India today. Wherever one goes, one finds unfavourable, often perhaps unjustified, comment on the standards of many of those in high places. In fact, it has been said over and over again in places as far apart as Travancore and Delhi or as Mysore and Calcutta that the principal cause of lack of confidence in Governments and administrative machinery is the many tales of improper behaviour of those in power. The psychological atmosphere produced by this persistent and unfavourable comment is itself the cause of further moral deterioration, for people will begin to adapt their methods, even for securing a legitimate right, to what they believe to be the tendency of men in power and office. Thus, if there is a wide range of stories which says that there is no use making a request to K until you get a chit from X Y Z and that the only way to get a chit from X Y Z is to pay a bribe to A B C, people, when they have to make a request to K will instinctively turn to A B C rather than go directly to the fountain head. Every instance of this nature morally degrades the person who practises it and affects the confidence of those who hear about it. It prepares them mentally, moreover, to believe in tales, however exaggerated or wild, that they may hear about those in power. This is indeed a very real danger and while, triple-plated in the armour of one’s own innocence and good intentions, the Minister or Administrator may declare “They say. What say they? Let them say”, he must remember that he does not live by himself and that the fact of what is believed about him is going to affect not only people’s estimate of him and their view of the Government of which he forms a part, but also their conduct in regard to that Government.
It is, of course, true that many of the stories one hears are exaggerated and that people are apt to believe them for various extraneous reasons. The frustration that results from the present economic difficulties of many people especially, in the middle classes, often finds a scapegoat in the alleged mis-behaviour of Governments and administrations. If things are not better, it must be because people in power are corrupt. There is also a type of mind which derives a peculiar satisfaction from criticising “our own people”. They are so near to us and so like us; they have power and we have none; consequently we are apt to exaggerate their faults and even while knowing that much of what is said about them must be false, like to believe that it is true. Allowance must also be made for political malice and the general intoxication and lack of objectivity that comes from newly acquired freedom. There is too the unfortunate trait so common among our people that love is to blame rather than to praise. Yet even after considering all these, a substratum of truth still remains out of the many allegations of lack of integrity throughout the country. Remedies must be found to induce a mode of behaviour which, if it cannot eliminate, will at least reduce very substantially these allegations and will prepare the ground for a climate of opinion which will receive such allegations with extreme incredulity.
The deviation from moral standards of Ministers, Legislators and Administrators takes various forms. These can be classified under three main heads; corruption, patronage (based on communalism, sectarianism, nepotism and favouritism) and influence. Whatever the form, there can be no doubt that it vitiates policy, weakens administration and undermines public confidence.
It may, of course, be said that the description above emphasizes unduly the likely effects of lack of moral standards. After all, there are governments, and democratic governments even today in which the bulk of the Ministers are known to be corrupt and yet the countries function and the people are able to lead reasonable lives without undue hardship. Nor do they feel particularly degraded. Their achievements in the field of science and their other cultural activities would sometimes do credit to any era or country.
Corruption, patronage and influence were the rule in England itself up to about 120 years ago, during the very period of its expansion and development. The question may be asked why then is it assumed that these evils, even if they exist, are likely to be so very detrimental to the well-being of the Indian State? As regards the first instance, countries of the nature described certainly continue to exist but they do so by the grace of a strong traditional system of administration with which there is very little interference by the Ministers and a sound and fairly prosperous peasantry which refuses to allow any intolerable oppression. Moreover, in such countries administration confines itself to absolutely essential tasks. . There is no question of building Welfare States. In rare instances, their resources are so great that they can almost be said to be able to afford corruption. The position in India is, of course, very different. Our aim is a real democracy moving towards the establishment of a proper Welfare State; we do not believe in oligarchy or despotism; our people are poor and docile; we have in every sphere a great deal of leeway to make up. As the example of China has shown, deviation from moral standards represents for us a most powerful danger, and we must devise and work with energy and goodwill all measures to meet it.
During the past few years there have been various instances
in which grave allegations of a specific nature have been made by responsible
parties against persons occupying the position of Ministers
of Governments. Such allegations have on-occasion been the subject of debates in the Legislatures. The Ministry as a whole and the party which has put it in power having thrown their. Weight behind the Minister complained against, the debates have either been inconclusive or have ended in a vote in his favour. Thereafter. the matter has generally been ended. Enquiries into the allegations have sometimes been made by senior all-India leaders of the principal political party; occasionally their reports have been made public, but often they have remained secret. Some of the reports have exculpated those complained against and some have, in effect. Condemned them. In any case, no action has been taken. It seems fairly clear that if the public are to have confidence that moral standards do prevail in high places, arrangements must be made that no one, however highly place ,is immune from enquiry if allegations against him are made by responsible parties and a facie case exists. The form of machinery and enquiry may be different for different categories of people, but there must be a machinery and it must exist within the, framework of Government and not, in the case of Ministers, for example, within that of the political party. There should be no hushing up or appearance of hushing up for political and personal reasons.
The best form of machinery would be a tribunal to enquire, that is. a tribunal the purpose of which. is not to punish but to find out and establish facts. In other places such tribunals found it possible to enquire into the conduct of Ministers of the Crown and, high government officials without in any way making it impossible for them to continue to work and there is no reason why similar tribunals could not work satisfactorily in this country, considering the high standard of our judiciary. All facilities for directing investigation, obtaining evidence, examining documents etc. would have to be placed at the disposal of the tribunal. The authority responsible for setting up the tribunal might, for the Central Government, be the President, and, for State Governments, the Governor acting in consultation with the President. They, in either case, on being satisfied that there was prima facie evidence, would to appoint a tribunal. An alternative would be to vest the power of appointing such tribunals in the Supreme Court. The existence of this power would by itself have a very salutary effect on the behavior of people holding responsible positions and power, for there can be no doubt that at the present moment, with a parliamentary majority behind them, at least a few are inclined to hold that there is no difference between their will and the law. It is often difficult to produce sufficient proof of corruption to obtain a conviction in a court of law and yet there may be strong and reasonable suspicion coupled with persistent public talk. Here took effective action is essential. It should take the lines suggest in the extract below from Chapter XV of the Hyderabad Economy Committee Report :
“Corruption, it is said, is often difficult to prove. All the more reason why there should not be the least hesitation in investigating every matter in which there is ground for complaint. Punishment, too, for corruption should be exemplary, the least being dismissal from service. There is, in this matter of corruption, one clear criterion which can be of great assistance in assessing the possibility or otherwise of its existence. Reputation can be taken as almost conclusive. It may be said of an officer who has not that particular fault, that he is harsh or rude or lazy, but it may be laid down almost as a rule, that, over a period, it will not be said, of an officer who is honest, that he is dishonest. Consequently, when a strong aroma of corruption has gathered round an officer, very rarely will it be wrong specially and thoroughly to investigate his actions, his financial position and the financial position of such of his relatives and close friends as seem to have acquired a somewhat large share of the good things of the world. No such officer should, in any case, be kept in any position of responsibility or influence.”
1Q. CORRUPTION IS MORE OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL THAN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEM.DISCUSS (PUB ADMN II-YEAR 2012-QUESTION 5C)
2Q.VALUES MORE THAN TECHNIQUES ARE THE EVENTUAL DETERMINANTS OF THE ACTIONS OF ADMINISTRATORS.COMMENT. (PUB ADMN II-YEAR 2004-QUESTION 5B)
1Q.CORRUPTION IS MORE OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL THAN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEM.COMMENT. (25 MARKS)
2Q. IN INDIAN ADMINISTRATION NEITHER SPEED NOR INTEGRITY IS SHOWING AN UPWARD CURVE.DISCUSS(50 MARKS)
3Q.CORRUPTION HAS BEEN CONSIDERED DESIRABLE AND FUNCTIONAL ON VARIOUS GROUNDS.COMMENT(25 MARKS)
- THE CHALLENGES BEFORE A CIVIL SERVANT TODAY (1994)
- NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. (IAS 1996)
- HOW SHOULD A CIVIL SERVANT CONDUCT HIMSELF ? (IAS 2003)
A. CIVIL SERVICES AT THE CROSSROADS
B. NEED OF ETHICAL FOUNDATIONS IN CIVIL SERVICES
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Gist of Important National Administrative Committees Report Study Kit
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