Public service values: Important Terms to Remember

Public service values: Important Terms to Remember

Public service values: Important Terms to Remember is an important topic for CSE Mains. We have seen direct questions coming from this topic. This doesn’t mean that this is most expected topic for CSE Mains 2018. We are just making an effort to make available as much relevant study material available as possible. Remember that you will find a lot of material for studying on internet, but its important to find relevant study material. Now coming to these terms, remember that this has to be studied in context of public service and public servants only. We really don’t have to bother about honesty, integrity, etc. in general, but in context of public service only. So when a question has been asked, reply in context of public services.

Public service values: Important Terms to Remember
Public Service Values

Public Service

Public service” is a general term used to refer to government related services, that are citizen oriented. The concept of ‘public service values’ remains fundamental to all aspects of government and administration. Given the nature of public service, it becomes essential to identify what values or sets of values are appropriate for public organisation, and how and which ones of them can be translated into action. Once we have understood this term, it will become easier to understand what it means to be a public servant. Public servants are servants of public, government and their immediate organisations and of the law. Though public servants perform quite a number of tasks, and they are bestowed with variety of responsibilities, there are common elements to their work.

Following are the public service values essential for any public servant:

  1. Honesty (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. Being honest means choosing not to cheat, lie, steal or deceive in any way. Honesty enhances our future opportunities and ability to go ahead in our respective careers. A public servant is entrusted with core areas of administration such as decision making, policy formulation, etc. Honesty with oneself and towards own duty – is the utmost value they need to withhold to. It brings in the discipline which helps in every aspect of job delivery. Someone who is working for public good/interest must always approach situation/things with utmost honesty, even if it is not pleasant or comfortable.
  2. Integrity (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. Integrity means that while serving the public interest, one is using the powers responsibly, for the purpose and in the manner in which they are intended for. This also means not allowing decisions or action to be influenced by personal or private interests. We aren’t born with integrity; it is a personal choice and requires consistent commitment to honour moral and ethical values and principles. It compels us to be socially conscious, strengthening our personal and professional responsibility and commitment.
    2. A public servant need to be a person of absolute integrity because only then he/she can serve the public selflessly, perform their duties and fulfil their obligations.
  3. Perseverance (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. It is the act or quality of holding on to a course of action, belief, or purpose. This refers to persistence in doing something, irrespective of results. It is the quality that allows an individual to carry on in difficult times, not really bothered about the time it takes to reach success. An individual who is perseverant believes that though the success will come late, but it will come. Such beings keep on working towards their goal meticulously despite several challenges and difficulties.
    2. It was only the perseverance of MK Gandhi and other freedom fighters that ensured Independence to India. And it was the perseverance of ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan that Delhi got its metro.
  4. Empathy (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. It corresponds to the understanding of one’s pain and sufferings by placing oneself in his/her position. This quality helps public servants in developing and executing projects for vulnerable and marginalised sections of a society.
  5. Accountability (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. This refers to answerability and responsibility in public services. Public servants are accountable to the government, their offices and people at large. This is also necessary value to ensure objectivity in decision making. This objectivity further leads to ensuring trust and faith in the public office and administrative system at large.
  6. Commitment (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. Commitment refers to dedication towards a particular task. It is an agreement to perform a particular task within a certain period under certain circumstances. It is the act of binding oneself to a particular course of action.
    2. This term is used in context of ‘action‘. Whenever it is used, it means there will be no excuses, no whining, and no delay.
  7. Dedication (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. Dedication corresponds to the quality of being dedicated or committed to a particular task or action. It is an essential personality characteristic for a public servant. Being dedicated means being committed to the achievement of organisational goals, irrespective of difficulties and hardships.
  8. Spirit of Service (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. This refers to the quality of being dedicated/committed to public service, without any self motives.
  9. Courage of Conviction (Public Service Values: Important Terms to Remember)

    1. It corresponds to a state of mind that enables one to face danger/fear with self confidence and resolution. It is one form of courage, which makes one to take strong decisions. This is done free of any fear of any kind of repercussions. Courage of conviction makes one to admit his/her mistakes without any fear.

General social values

1. Public sector’s contribution to society: common good, altruism, sustainability, regime dignity.

2. Transformation of interests to decisions: majority rule, user democracy, protection of minorities.

  1. Relationship between public administrators and politicians: political loyalty.
  2. Relationship between public administrators and their environment: openness-secrecy, advocacy-neutrality, competitiveness-co-operativeness.

Organisational values

  1. Intra-organisational aspects of public administration: robustness, innovation, productivity, self-development of employees
  2. Behaviour of public sector employees: accountability
  3. Relationship between public administration and the citizens: legality, equity, dialogue, user orientation (These three represent value-scales rather than individual values.)

You can read more by clicking here too – Public Service Values 

UPSC CSE Mains Previous year questions :

  1. What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service? (5 terms X 3 marks each) = 15 marks (250 words)
    1. Integrity
    2. Perseverance
    3. Spirit of Service
    4. Commitment
    5. Courage of Conviction
  2. Indicate two more attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer. (100 words) (10)

For answer writing practice (assignments) of Ethics – GS Paper IV, you can click here – Ethics Answer writing practice 

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