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Day 60 – Q 2.Would you support the idea of legally enforceable code of ethics for bureaucrats and politicians? Substantiate your views.

2. Would you support the idea of legally enforceable code of ethics for bureaucrats and politicians? Substantiate your views. 

क्या आप नौकरशाहों और राजनेताओं के लिए नैतिक रूप से लागू करने योग्य संहिता के विचार का समर्थन करेंगे? अपने विचारों को सारगर्भित करें।


Code of ethics represents certain values and norms that standardise one’s behaviour in different aspects of life. It leads to morality in actions and thus ensures fairness and justice to all. It is often seen that civil servants and politicians do not adhere to required moral values.


Need for Code of Ethics:

  • There is opportunism and playing of games to fulfil their personal gains.
  • Political promises, action agendas remain just statement of intent after coming to power. They remain among poor people only before elections, and forget their concerns later.
  • Misuse of political, official positions and power is often seen. e.g. abusive behaviour by an MLA with civic officer or Senior officers making junior officials cleaning their shoes.
  • Many corruption scandals unearthed such as in giving accreditation to educational institutes, coal-scam, conflict of interest, visit to foreign countries on public funds etc show a nexus between civil servants and politicians.
  • Horse trading, defections often show lack of integrity and organizational ethics. Officials taking prejudiced decisions or favouring an ideology while discharging official duties.
  • Internal democracy lacking in parties, Criminalization of politics, black money being used in elections, official being caught taking bribes and amassing huge properties.

Benefits of having legally enforced code of ethics:

  • It helps one in situations of dilemma. One may follow the code and function ethically.
  • Sets benchmark for appropriate behaviour. Provides a framework for reference in case discretionary powers are to be used.
  • Would ensure increased accountability and transparency among politicians and bureaucrats.
  • The relevance is more in present society where values and ethics are on decline either seemingly because of greater awareness or in reality
  • Helps curb the politician-bureaucrat nexus which often lead to crony-capitalism, scams etc.
  • This will have trickle-down effect on the society and would ensure Inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • This would ensure public confidence, trust on government and will result in effective and efficient implementation of public policies.

However, there exist certain limitations:

  • A code of ethics may be defined exhaustively but its implementation may not be that effective.
  • Not everything can be defined by a code.
  • Code of ethics may not be updated as per the needs of the present society.
  • A code of ethics can tackle corrupt mind but not corrupt heart.
  • The one who has to ensure that the code isn’t violated, may be corrupt or unethical.
  • Violating the code of ethics may burden the judiciary.

Considering the current issues in politics and governance, Code of Ethics seems to be right choice and time has come for its implementation. Still there are certain other things that needs to done like, right ethical training, value based education at school and college levels, inducting righteous people in the system.  


Though legal enforcement has potential to resolve the crisis but fear of law is not a sustainable solution. The values should be inculcated in the persons to have a long term effect.

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