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  • 12 November, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

India's Ethical Governance Mode

India's Ethical Governance Mode

The former West Bengal Governor has spoken about the importance of ethical governance in India.

What exactly is Ethical Governance?

  • Ethical governance is a method of governance that incorporates high moral values and behavior into the governance process.
  • A bureaucrat, for example, is obligated to serve those who come to his office, but he cannot be penalized if he does not provide a glass of water to an elderly couple who may be tired from waiting in line for too long. These are the ethics of public service and altruism that will drive him to do so.
  • Similarly, an official should allow disbursement of Public Distribution System (PDS) rations to beneficiaries, particularly women and senior citizens, even if Aadhaar identification fails due to a biometric data mismatch. It is critical to understand that denying such services may result in a person's death. As a result, compassion and human dignity serve as the foundation of ethical governance.
  • Ethical governance is a critical approach to building trust and mutual cooperation between citizens and public servants.

What are the Fundamental Elements of Ethical Governance?

  • Ethical governance is governance based on a set of values that are also "good." For example, probity, integrity, compassion, empathy, responsibility, social justice, and so on, all of which are required to uphold ethical issues.
  • Probity would ensure that the administration's sole goal is to serve the public interest, leaving no room for wrongdoing.
  • Responsibility, not merely accountability, ensures the instillation of internal accountability for every act of omission or commission in the form of conscience-based judgement. If this is accomplished, there will be no need for corruption.
  • Eliminating corruption is not only a moral imperative, but also an economic necessity for a country to compete globally.
  • To eliminate corruption and reduce bureaucratic delays, the rule of law should be one of the most important elements of ethical governance.
  • The rule of law checks arbitrariness in governance, reducing the possibility of misusing discretion.

What are the Ethical Challenges in Indian Governance?

  • A Violation of Authority or Rank Position: When officials act outside of their position, responsibilities, and rights, it harms the interests of the state or certain citizens.
  • Negligence occurs when a public official either fails to perform his professional responsibilities or performs them negligently, causing harm to the state or community.
  • Bribery: Corruption and bribery have become socially acceptable, lubricating the wheels of commerce.
  • The complacent, who are obsessed with status, rank, and emoluments and addicted to habits of personal luxury, outnumber the hardworking, dedicated, and conscientious officers.
  • Patronage: After-retirement assignments of senior officers to regulatory bodies and other important posts are mostly done on the basis of patronage, with no set guidelines.
  • Administrative secrecy: Administrative secrecy serves the public interest while protecting private interests. As a result, transparency is one of the most important characteristics of ethical governance.
  • Nepotism: By appointing relatives or friends to public positions without regard for the merit principle, the quality of public services may suffer.
  • Indifference to the feelings or convenience of individuals, as well as an obsession with the binding and inflexible authority of departmental decisions, precedents, arrangements, or forms, regardless of how poorly or unfairly they work in individual cases.

Way forward

  • Effective Laws: Effective laws will require civil servants to justify their official decisions.
  • New Management Methodologies: To encourage all public officials and civil servants to respond positively to instances of corruption and unethical behaviour.
  • Strengthening the Whistleblower Protection Regime: A whistleblower protection law to protect appropriate 'public interest disclosures' of official wrongdoing.
  • Ethics audits are performed to identify threats to the integrity of the most critical processes.
  • The second ARC recommendation is: Its broad recommendations include partial state funding of elections, tightening anti-defection legislation, and a code of ethics for ministers, legislatures, the judiciary, and civil servants.

Read Also: One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)

Source: Hindustan Times

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