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Why should a Public Servant not be Corrupt?.

A service that is provided by the government to its citizens living under its jurisdiction is known as Public Service. Therefore, the person who is employed by the government to help and provide of the basic public services to the people is known as Public Servant. A public servant is not just a part of the regular public, intact his/her job is to effectively and efficiently perform his duties for the benefit of the people of the country. A public servant has a three dimensional image, one as the provider of the public goods to the citizens, two to act as a protector of the people and their rights and third, to build a society that is free of corruption and runs on the morals of fairness and justice for all.

Over the years, the role of public servants has come under a lot of scrutiny. What role do they play in good governance, how effectively do they run implement the values of integrity and honesty and quickly and efficiently do they approach the problems are just some of the questions that have been raised in time. While the answers to all these fundamental questions remain a matter of subject, the basic doctrine undermining all these queries lie in the ethical conduct of the public servant. In order to do his or her job efficiently, a public servant must be an embodiment of universal values such as Honesty, Loyalty, Courage, Self Discipline, Truth and Dedication. But these are values that are universally in nature. In order for the public servants to carry out their work effectively, they need to inculcate the values of integrity, honesty, justice and fairness. A public servant must at all times, maintain high standard of conduct in order to provided efficient and friendly governance to its citizens.

Along with effective implementation of laws, rules and regulations, one of the most important factors to ensure probity in governance is the absence of corruption. But sadly today, our Indian society is plagued with corruption and corrupt officers. It is sad to know that because of the few corrupt officials in the government, the entire society suffers. After all, the way a public servant conduct his/her duties will have a direct impact on the citizens and society. An epidemic, Corruption can break the balance between economic and social well being of the people as it leads to malpractices, dishonesty and red tapeism. Is that a healthy sign for a large and diverse democracy like India? Are public servants alone responsible for creating an environment where 'under the table' or 'bribery' form of functioning of the system is preferred over the attitude of truth and honesty in our work culture? in the recent past, India was shaken up by surfacing of the some of the major corruptions scandals in the field of coal mining and telecom industry, all thanks to corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and as well as businessmen who filled their pockets with money as the nation suffered from low economic growth. When Nepotism overpower the larger good of the society and people, that's where the need arises for public servants to act as men and women of moral/ethical conduct. A corrupt public servant is likely to abuse the public resources for his own personal motives. It should be noted that act of corruption is a threat not only to effective governance but it also shakes the building stones of the society we live in. Often, corruption is directly linked to lack of administrative will. Government officials often display delay in action and citizens have to resort to the means of dishonest approach such as bribery. A responsible public servant must be aware that his job is to service the public interest and not his personal interest and must be accountable for his actions.

It is also true that people who raise their voice against corruption, many a times, their views are either brought to silent or simply go unheard. Just by naming corrupt officials or divulging scams will not help curb corruption. It is equally important for government to launch reforms that can establish the motto of good governance. A public servant must be transparent in his actions and must perform his duties with utmost integrity. Implementation of strategic anti corruption laws must be adhered for responsible governance. Lastly, in order to uphold the trust and respect of the people, it is important that a public servant performs his duties with trust and honestly only then can the ethical values of a public servant can be preserved.

Zenith Sahai