Ethics Chapter 4 Aptitude And Foundational Values For Civil Services Part 1

Aptitude And Foundational Values For Civil Services Part 1

This unit has been classified under the following sub-heads


2.Aptitude vs Attitude

3.Civil service values



1.      Civil Service Code

2.      Political Impartiality

3.      Equality of Treatment


1.Standards in Public Life

2.Catalyst to Stability

3.Transparency in Governance

4.Value of Public Opinion

5.Systematic Reforms 6. A new Ethos

Description of the above has been laid down below.

Aptitude And Civil Service Values
A natural/inherent talent to acquire a certain skill or ability in the future through appropriate training. Aptitude can be both metals as well as physical.

  • Civil service aptitude
  • Intellectual aptitude
  • Moral aptitude
  • Emotional aptitude

Difference between Attitude and Aptitude

  • While attitude is positive/negative/indifferent feeling towards a person, object, event or idea; aptitude is a competency to do certain kind of work. Both attitude and aptitude can be nurtured.
  • While attitude is associated with character or virtues; aptitude is associated with competence.
  • While attitude underpins the character, virtues, and moral values; aptitude determines if the person would develop desired skills to do a task.
  • While attitude is only mental; aptitude is both mental and physical.


Values are the standards on which, we evaluate things. For every situation, we don’t have time to ‘test’ the case on ethical theories such as utilitarianism. Values provide a time-saving shortcut in such situation. For example, “political neutrality” is one value of civil service.

Following are some values which form the basis of civil service ethics:
•        Impartiality
•        Objectivity
•        Reliability of administrative operations
•        Openness
•        The service principal
•        Responsibility
Foundational values of civil services:
According to the 2nd ARC report
Dedication to public service
Impartiality and Non-Partisanship
Compassion and tolerance towards weaker section

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.    Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles. Integrity compels us to be socially conscious and to welcome both personal and professional responsibility. Its values encourage us to be honest in all our dealings and committed to a lifelong search for truth and justice.

Integrity requires a self-discipline and will power capable of resisting the temptation. Its priceless reward is peace of mind and true dignity. It is a fact that we are not born with integrity. How well it is ingrained into our character depends upon the healthy development of certain key personality traits, especially during the critical stages of early childhood. How well we maintain personal integrity once it develops depends thereafter on the strength of our values and the moral choice we make.

Civil servants have to set out the highest standards of integrity and morality. This requires self-sacrifice a concept that rises above individualism and ‘hedonism’ to create an environment of public duty among the civil servants. An exemplary civil servant is not simply one who obeys the laws and behaves within the confines of law but is also one who strives for a moral government.

Integrity requires in a civil servant to incorporate the values of honesty, sympathy empathy, compassion, fairness, self-control, and duty so that a civil servant will be able to uphold high personal and professional standards in all circumstances. ‘Honesty’ requires ‘truthfulness’, freedom from deception and fraud, fair and straightforward conduct. Sympathy enables a person to be deeply affected and concerned about the good beings of others, to imagine their suffering and be moved by their experience of others especially people who need assistance compassion is a form of spirituality, a way of living and walking through life.

‘Civil Service Conduct Rules’ recommends ‘absolute integrity’ for civil servants, whether they are IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc. Also, every civil servant is supposed to take all possible steps to ensure the integrity of all government servants for the time being under his/her control and not only be honest but should also have the reputation of being so. Integrity has been considerably widened by declaring that a civil servant must keep himself within bounds of administrative decency. Breach of trust is termed as lack of integrity and the apex court has ruled that in such matter the civil servant should be removed from service. Possession of disproportionate assets, even temporary defalcation of public money is termed as a lack of integrity. Honesty and faithful discharge of duty, promptness and courtesy, observance of government policies, general good conduct strengthen ‘integrity’ in civil services.

Aspirants looking forward to applying for the post of IAS can check the UPSC Eligibility Criteria for more details.

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *