Ethical Issues in Indian Civil Services

Topics: Public administration, Civil service, Indian Civil Service Pages: 18 (4722 words) Published: February 14, 2011
Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University



An assignment submitted in the Partial fulfillment of the Requirement for the

Award of the degree of

“Master of Human Resource and

Organisation Development”


Rohit Kumar Singh

Shivika Tandon

Shweta Jatwani

Shruti Sayana

Mohit Yadav

Rahul Kumar


We deem it our privilege to extend the gratitude and appreciation towards all those who have been directly or indirectly involved themselves in making this assignment.

We wish to express our gratitude to our honourable Faculty Dr. Gauri Shankar for his prompt and sincere guidance. He stood by us all the way and provided us additional insight and ideas with painstaking attention to details. His comments and criticism have been valuable.


Civil service refers to the body of government officials who are employed in civil occupations that are neither political nor judicial. The concept of civil service was prevalent in India from ancient times. The Mauryan administration employed civil servants in the name of adhyakshas and rajukas. The examination for civil servants in those days too was very stringent as quoted by Kautilya’s Arthasastra. The expanse of the territory and the need to hold it intact made it imperative for the Mauryan administration to recruit civil servants based on merit. The concept of civil service again came into prominence when British in search of creating a framework to hold the territories of India, created the much coveted ‘Indian Civil Services’ or the ICS. Many changes took place in Indian Civil services since Lord Cornwallis introduced it in India. The Indian Civil services were created to foster the idea of unity in diversity . The civil service was expected to give continuity and change to the administration no matter the political scenario and turmoil affecting the country. Indian civil service has also played the part of giving this continuous support to the nation. But what is appalling and needs a serious consideration is the element of ‘change’ and ‘ethical values’. It can be said that the civil service as a whole has maintained its status quo instead of sweeping changes in social and economic scenario. Some may argue that it is the resilience of the civil service, but it is an obvious fact out in the street that the Indian civil service was not able to deliver service based upon the expectations of the people or the founding fathers of the Constitution. The present paper deals about the ethical problems affecting Indian civil service and the reform that is needed to make it vibrant and deliver according to the expectations. The civil service is an integral part of administration and the structures of administration to determine the way the civil service functions. TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.Backdrop of Indian Administration7

2.Governance and Need for Civil services9

3.Ethics in Public life and Civil Services10

4.Ethical Issues in Indian Civil Services12

4.1.Asymmetric distribution and Abuse of Power12
4.2.Lack of accountability12
4.3.Political interference and Cronicysm12
4.4.Lack of Integrity13
4.5.Lack of action against corrupt officials13
4.6.Lack of proper protection to Whistleblowers13
4.7.Lack of proper Code of Conduct for Public Servants14 4.8.Lack of transparency and sensitivity towards common man14

5.Measures for better ethical conduct of civil servants15

5.1.Measures against corruption15
5.2.Fixing of accountability15
5.4.Reducing discretion16
5.5.Ensuring accessibility and responsiveness16
5.6.Code of Ethics for Civil servants16
5.7.Law for protection of whistleblowers16
5.8.Insulating civil servants from undue political interference17 5.9.Promoting Competition...
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