Chapter 3: Aptitude and Foundation values for Civil
Introduction to Aptitude
Attitude is defined as the
behaviour a person might have or the emotions he might feel
towards an object. Aptitude defines competence and is a
criteria used to judge whether a person shall be suitable
for a particular job or not. Aptitude can be from nature and
can also be nurtured. The aptitude can be mental and
physical unlike attitude that is only mental. Most people
would choose a career based on chance not aptitude and so
don't derive satisfaction from work.
Ability, Skill, Intelligence, Interest and Aptitude
Ability defines the possession of
qualities required to do something.
Skill is the ability that is acquired by rigorous training
and now individual is capable of using skill to solve
Aptitude denotes the potential to get skilled if training is
done. Intelligence is the ability to understand and
comprehend and profit from experience. However people with
same intelligence may have different aptitude. Interest is
something that attracts us without the need to have any
Civil service values
Civil servants should have a
minimum set of standards on which they evaluate things.
Value can be used to judge things. Values can be goal
oriented i.e. social, political and economic justice and
means oriented i.e. empathy, integrity, discipline,
impartiality etc.Since civil servants have discretionary
powers the values are important to give them certain
guidance to prevent abuse of power.
As per the Second
Administrative Reforms Commission, the foundational values
of the service are:
- Dedication to public service
- Compassion towards weaker sections.
Moral soundness is integrity.
An individual with integrity shall not do things that don't
agree with his values. Honest person shall not cheat or
defraud but shall be truthful in his actions. Probity
denotes financial prudence i.e. no corruption. A person with
integrity shall not indulge in any action that violates his
values but a honest officer shall follow orders faithfully
whatever they are.
Value system should be
consistent otherwise we believe in one thing but do another.
Value system has to be consistent.
The integrity is of following
- Intellectual integrity: Evaluating everyone with the
- Professional integrity: Enforced by the professional
- Organizational integrity: Belief of the organization.
Integrity can be inculcated
through training, institutional structure and by setting up
a code of ethics that all members shall follow. Violations
of ethics shall be monitored and published to create peer
pressure or social pressure. Integrity testing is done by
randomly identifying officers and trying to bribe them. This
doesn't have penal provisions but creates more fear amongst
Taking decisions based on
prescribed rules and policy and not values and emotions.
Objectivity can be inculcated
by training, right to be heard, reviewing decisions,
transparency, information management systems for collection
of data and statistics for making decisions.
Compassion is a form of
sympathy but stronger and so a better predictor of actions.
Compassion for poor made saints serve them. Sympathy is when
you share the feelings of others. Empathy is a stronger
predictor of behavior as when you feel empathy towards
others you feel their emotions. It can be for anyone but
compassion is directed towards the poor.
The colonial era saw very
intelligent officers entering the civil service but they
lacked the empathy towards Indians and focused only on
maintaining the British rule over India.Bureaucracy must be
taught to empathize with the common man this shall trigger
his altruistic behavior. However to make him feel empathy
his emotional intelligence should be developed first.
Empathy is the base of
compassion. Compassion is needed in a divided society like
Neutrality, Anonymity and
Integrity: Foundation values of civil service
Executive is of two types the political executive i.e. PM
and Council of Ministers and the permanent executive i.e.
civil service. Political executive derives power from the
people as they are elected. They are responsible to the
people and decide policy with the help of the permanent
executive. The permanent executive is responsible to the
political executive and is subordinate to it. The
implementation of policies and help in framing policies is
done by the permanent executive.
Neutrality: Remain neutral in political
ambitions. Serve all regimes faithfully. This is needed to
ensure that political parties have faith in the service
otherwise it shall affect policy making. A neutral service
means political sterilization and can serve the ruling party
with full dedication even if policies are against his
personal interests.Passive neutrality means that the
officers shall work without considering implications like
violation of constitution. Active neutrality shall mean that
officer shall follow orders but not violate statutes.
However neutrality is under threat as careerism is growing
and civil service aligns itself with the ruling party. Mass
transfers of officers is common after the regime changes.
The inter cadre rivalry also plays a role. A neutral service
means no response towards social schemes and this affects
planning and implementation. The ivory tower approach of the
bureaucracy has been criticised.
Impartiality: Act without bias of client
Anonymity: Should work behind the scenes
without expectation of praise. Permanent executive should be
shielded by the political executive. The power to reprimand
the bureaucracy should lie with the political executive but
this should be protected from arbitrariness.
Apart from these optimism, creativity, responsiveness,
courage, efficiency and effectiveness are expected under the
New Public Management system that treats public as customers
demanding better service for their taxes.
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