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Day 38 – Q 2.Why is impartiality an essential attribute for a public servant? Discuss with the help of suitable examples.

2. Why is impartiality an essential attribute for a public servant? Discuss with the help of suitable examples. 

लोक सेवक के लिए निष्पक्षता एक आवश्यक विशेषता क्यों है? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से चर्चा करें।


“Impartiality is the life of justice, as justice is the life of all good governments”

Impartiality refers to equal interest and equal lack of interest without hatred or passion. For a public servant, it means that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice or personal interest.


Impartiality can be seen in 2 contexts:

  • Public Impartiality: A public servant as an instrument of government serving the public without discriminating on the basis of caste, religion and gender. 
  • Political Impartiality: Principle of working without reservation and with devotion to the success of every government and its policies. It basically means you are not partial to any particular party or government.

Importance of Impartiality as an attribute for a civil servant:

  • Upholding constitutional values: impartiality helps a civil servant to uphold constitutionalism and prevent authoritarian government. It helps in upholding rule of law and makes the civil servant accountable to law and law alone. Also, it is in accordance with the constitutional provisions including Article 14, 15 and so on. E.g. Any political pressure to favor a group would be handled only if the civil servant is impartial all along.
  • Fulfilling all interests equally: As it is observed “Impartiality doesn’t mean neutrality. It also means partiality towards the poor”. Impartiality brings in objectivity and often when funds are to be allocated, an impartial civil servant would not favor his/her own village or city but allocate funds based on the needs.
  • Work culture: 
    • It keeps up the morale of the civil servant and with the sense of righteousness, the works get done efficiently. A positive environment is created in the office and a conducive work culture is created.
    • Similarly, a civil servant cannot be partial towards one set of employees. Whether in performance assessment or granting leaves, the criteria should be objective without partiality.
  • In accordance with professional ethics: Impartiality being one of the foundational values of civil service, a civil servant is expected to be fair and non-partisan. It is also one of the basic values as per the Nolan committee recommendations.
  • Majoritarianism prevention: especially in a diverse country like India, minority voices can be suppressed if the civil servant becomes partial towards majority for vested interests. E.g. Though in a state majority spoken language is promoted, civil servants have to make provisions for linguistic minorities to safeguard their language.
  • Handling emergency situations: like communal riots, ethnic conflicts etc., an impartial civil servant would have a better credibility and persuasive capability in negotiations. E.g. N Ravi, an interlocutor is effective in north east insurgency negotiations because of his impeccable record of impartiality.
  • Controlling corruption: It will keep oneself free from nepotism, political-corporate nexus and corruption. The examples are is Sagayam IAS of Tamilnadu cadre or Ashok Khemka of Haryana etc.,


Present-day civil servants need to perform multiple functions of giving suggestions to political representatives, addressing public grievances, institutionalization of the socio-economic changes, delivering goods and services. Hence a value committed and impartial bureaucracy is need of the hour.

NOTE: prepare a list of quotes (in a separate ethics booklet) according to syllabus (2-3 per topic) which would come in handy for writing introduction and conclusion (and of course in essays). 

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