Day 37 – Q 5.Can a person without dedication to public service be a successful civil servant? What if he/ she considers the civil services yet another ‘job’? Explain.
5. Can a person without dedication to public service be a successful civil servant? What if he/ she considers the civil services yet another ‘job’? Explain.
क्या लोक सेवा के प्रति समर्पण वाला व्यक्ति एक सफल सिविल सेवक हो सकता है? यदि वह सिविल सेवाओं को भी एक और ‘नौकरी’ ही मानता है तो क्या होगा? समझाएं।
In India, civil servants perform the regular administration and also play an important role in socio-economic development of the nation as a whole. The real spirit of the work of a civil servant is dependent on a moral base of benevolence to all citizens. Thus, public service is a concept that has dedicated service inherent to it.
Even though the motivation stems from various factors like the urge to serve the nation, job respect and prestige, inspiration from elders, or money itself, a civil servant can be successful only when dedication to public service is underlying all of it.
- Ability to arrive at a useful solution: A civil servant may encounter several obstructions like social opposition against any programme, lack of support from political executive and complex situations that need utmost care and precautions. Without dedication to help, he/she may never be able to arrive at the best solution. For example: Schemes for promoting family planning are generally opposed in rural areas as they consider contraceptives as taboos. Without personal assurance and dedicated outreach, implementation of the scheme may never be realised.
- Preparedness to face challenging problems: Public service often entails unforeseen or sudden situations that require one to be ready and provide quick assessment. A dedicated civil servant is aware of this and always devoted to give his best efforts in such situations.
- Credibility and efficiency: A true civil servant ensures that no policy or action is taken at the cost of the welfare of public at large. Devoted to public service is what ensures an officer to oversee a credible and efficient policy formulation and implementation. For ex: One’s colleagues may be involved in corruption, at the cost of a larger destruction to social welfare. Commitment to foundational values and concern for public will prevent this.
Public service as a journey may be non-exciting and unwanted at times. One who considers civil services as just another job faces dislike and deterrence all along the way:
- He/she does not exert the required efforts to implement a policy, and hence fails to see the improvement, resulting in subsequent hindrance to welfare.
- Considering it just as another job fails to encourage him/her to come up with innovative techniques and solutions to problems.
- For example: In the remote areas of Manipur, the two villages of Tusem and Tamenglong were inaccessible with no road, connectivity and the locals had to either walk for hours, or swim across the river. IAS officer Armstrong Pame decided to get the road built, he wrote to the government of Manipur, but was refused funds. This, however, did not deter his plan and Armstrong began gathering support through social media. He collected Rs 40 lakh for the construction of the100km road.
Had he considered his position as just another job, the villages would have never seen the light of the road now popularly called as People’s Road.
- In India, where a large population are poverty-ridden, many are victims of social disadvantage and vulnerability, treating civil services as just another job may not give the civil servant the required encouragement and urge to eliminate this from the society. Only when the perseverance and dedication to service is inherent, can one effectively contribute.
However, dedicated civil servants often are in a fix to balance their duty and personal lives. But one must remember that for public service to be an end in itself, it is important to establish a meritocracy that values strength of character and personal morality, above all. To work for common good is the greatest good should be his/her motivation.
The power to impact public welfare in a strong and efficient manner that a civil servant evokes is unique and unparalleled to other professions in the country. Dedication, honesty, empathy, integrity and selfless service from civil servants can go a long way in assuring a wholesome growth and inclusive welfare of the common people.