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Day 37 – Q 2.A civil servant must be an effective communicator. Why? Explain.

2. A civil servant must be an effective communicator. Why? Explain.  

एक सिविल सेवक एक प्रभावी संचारक होना चाहिए। क्यूं? स्पष्ट करें।


“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity” – Nat Turner.

A good relationship starts with a good communication. Lack of communication is often the reason for differences, lack of coordination between 2 entities. Civil servant at the forefront empowered with public resources must be an effective communicator for its effective and efficient utilization and bring transformative change in the society.


Why civil servant has to be a good communicator:

  • Inter-department coordination: A civil servant usually heads a department which works in coordination with other departments. A positive attitude with effective communication will help achieve timely coordination and thus help attain synergy. Lack of communication leads to inefficiency and grave mistakes. E.g.
    • Aspirational district prog requires synergy of central, state and district officers’ efforts and effective communication is a key. 
    • Lack of communication and coordination between intelligence agencies led to Mumbai terror attack.
  • Negotiation: an important role of a civil servant is to negotiate with various stakeholders E.g. Diplomacy by foreign secretary, trade deals with private companies etc., an effective communication builds rapport and helps in achieving the goal. For instance, S. Jaishankar is known for his diplomacy skills, a reflection of his good communication skills.
  • Public persuasion: a civil servant would only be as successful as the public allow him/her to be. An effective communicator will gain public trust and implement the policies and programmes with effective public participation. A civil servant has to hold awareness campaigns, seminars etc., to bring awareness among public and effective communication is a sine qua non. 
    • E.g. Rohini sindhuri , an IAS officer is known for effective interaction with the public in Mandya district of Karnataka which helped in 100% open defecation free in record time. 
    • Similarly, Poma Tudo, an IAS officer with her proactive meetings with tribal people of Nuapada district of Odisha has improved tribal trust and participation in administration.
  • Financing: A civil servant has to secure finance through submission of reports and presentation to the financial department. The resource allocation is only as effective as the persuasive ability of the civil servant which is contingent of effective communication.
  • Intra department relationship: the morale of the entire department is dependent on the civil servant. An effective communication by the one heading the department would bring clarity, commonality among the workers and hence boost the morale.
  • Persuasion of Public representatives: A minister/ a elected representative is the ultimate authority in approval of projects and scheme. A good communication would help the civil servant to build rapport and sanctions development projects for his/her department.
  • Handling emergency situations: For instance, a district collector during a riot/natural disaster/communal clashes, police during a hijacking situation has to be a good communicator to bring the situation under control without much losses. E.g. Ajit Doval in operation black thunder was able to successfully neutralize the threat by his good communication along with wit.
  • Handling media: a bad communication brings a disaster in a country with vibrant media. A civil servant has to have a high emotional intelligence and be careful in giving statements to the media. Effective communication would help in proper dissemination of information and avoid fake news, also helps in building social capital and trust of public on the government. E.g. A cabinet secretary of India was removed for giving adverse statement on Indian nuclear policy to the media 2 decades back.


Chanakya in his book Arthashastra has enlisted communication skills as one of the required qualities for a civil servant. According to him, a civil servant should know when to speak, when to stay silent, what to speak, how to listen and so on to be effective in his work. As Stephen covey observes ‘the art of communication is the language of leadership’.

NOTE: Prepare a list of civil servants who you can use in answers (Do it now, not after prelims. Those examples will stick in your mind only after repetitive reading). It would help you in essay, ethics and even in other papers if you are lucky

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