Question: Why should impartiality and non-partisanship be considered as foundational values in public services, especially in the present day socio-political context? Illustrate your answer with examples.
Answer: Impartiality or non partisanship is the ability of an individual to remain neutral regardless of the situation. This is one of the many qualities that defines a public servant. These values are valid not only on a personal basis but professional basis too.
Impartiality as foundational value
- Keeps away from controversy
The major advantage of this value is that it removes all scope of controversy that a public servant may encounter during his time of service. Neutral nature of work will keep issues away from public fanfare.
Ex: If a public servant gives permission for holding rally to a particular political party and denies the same for another, it will create controversy. By maintaining neutrality this can be avoided.
- Keeps balance between sections of society
In multi religious and multicultural society such as India there are many issues that arise between two groups, which may result in tension. The public official must exercise his duty by maintaining distance from both the parties in order to maintain peace.
Ex: Religious procession is one of the many events where different groups show their strength. During this time the public official must be ready to take rational decisions without favouring one party over the other.
- Upholds dignity of position
Government is ruling body that needs to maintain distance from getting involved too closely with public. If that barrier is broken, the value and dignity of the position will be compromised.
Ex: Members of UPSC should keep distance from candidates who they know personally. If any links are established then reputation of the body will be under threat.
Thus, impartiality is a virtue that cannot be ignored at any cost. Maintaining this value will only enhance reputation of a public officials.