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Day 35 – Q 1.Explain the meaning of the term ‘probity’. Why is it important in civil services? Discuss.

1. Explain the meaning of the term ‘probity’. Why is it important in civil services? Discuss. 

‘प्रोबीटी’ शब्द के अर्थ की व्याख्या करें। सिविल सेवाओं में यह महत्वपूर्ण क्यों है? चर्चा करें।


Meaning of probity:

Probity is the act of strict adherence to highest principles and ideals (integrity, good character, honesty, decency) rather than avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals.

How important in the public life?

Probity in public life requires adherence to high moral and ethical standards like integrity, honesty, impartiality, commitment to constitutional principles, dedicated and selfless public service on the part of all public servants. Public servants include not only legislature, executive (temporary and permanent) and judiciary, but also scientists, technocrats, members of statutory, advisory bodies and even non-governmental organisations, educational and research institutions receiving government grants in the conduct and performance of their official duties and responsibilities.

Probity has been described as a risk management approach ensuring procedural integrity. It is concerned with procedures, processes and systems rather than outcomes.

According to Second Administrative Reforms Commission, apart from the traditional civil service values of efficiency, integrity, accountability and patriotism, it is necessary for civil servants to inculcate and adopt ethical and moral values including probity in public life, respect for human rights and compassion for the downtrodden and commitment to their welfare.

Importance of probity in civil services:

  • Our civil servants who should set an example are the worst offenders. Corruption, favouritism, criminalisation of governance, self-centred functionaries etc. have hit at the trust of the people.
  • Poverty, illiteracy, low health care, and unemployment are the major challenges before the country and the biggest hurdle that prevents us from overcoming these challenges is the lack of probity in public life.
  • Probity in public life does not appear to be a serious concern of anyone in India.
  • Probity in governance is the antithesis of corruption in public life.
  • Probity is emphasised by the UN Convention against corruption. Probity is the evidence of ethical behaviour in a particular process.
  • For Government employees and agencies, maintaining probity involves more than simply avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It involves applying public sector values such as impartiality, accountability and transparency.
  • For example: Tough action against illegal sand Mining by IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal or against illegal land deal by Ashok Khemka sets an example of essence of probity among govt. officers.


Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development. Ensuring probity in public sector activities by civil servant is part of every public official’s duty to adopt processes, practices and behaviour that enhance and promote public sector values and interests.

Best Answer: kamal

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