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Day 60 – Q 3.Are legal means like rules, regulations, advisories etc adequate to ensure ethical governance? Critically examine.

3. Are legal means like rules, regulations, advisories etc adequate to ensure ethical governance? Critically examine.  

क्या नैतिक शासन सुनिश्चित करने के लिए कानूनी साधन जैसे नियम, कानून, सलाह आदि पर्याप्त हैं? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


Ethical governance denotes administrative measures procedures and policies that fulfil criteria required for the ethically good or acceptable handling of public affairs, such as in public administration, public health care, education, and social security. 

Ethical governance thus implies

  • Concern for probity, justice, fairness, equality, and integrity on part of public officials
  • Prohibition of all forms of corruption and favoritism
  • Accountability and responsibility of public administrators towards different entities


Legal means like rules, regulations, advisories etc adequate to ensure ethical governance 

  • Laws are subset of ethics. Laws are designed in consonance with prevailing ethical practice. For instance – Respecting women is part of Indian ethos. Hence rules for reservation of seats for women in public transport are the natural extension of ethics and lead to ethical governance.  
  • Legislation like RTI has brought direct accountability of government to the people.
  • Policy of e-governance has decreased scope of corruption. For instance – online bidding process, geo tagging of NREGA, online income tax filing etc

Legal means like rules, regulations, advisories etc are NOT adequate to ensure ethical governance 

  • In absence of values, there will be rampant circumvention of Law
  • Recent ban on sell of diesel vehicles above 2000CC in Delhi to curb pollution Mahindra comes with diesel SUVs of 1900 CC, foreign companies followed with the order. However one Indian firm tries to twist the order.
  • Circumvention of Model code of conduct.  
  • Unethical use of Anti-defection law, just to remain in power. 
  • Using contract labour for regular production job
  • Surrogate advertisement 
  • Use of technology in governance for equality, inclusiveness requires ethics and values in governance. For instance to work on ground to minimise exclusion error in case of Direct Benefit Transfer etc.
  • It has been generally accepted that Quid-pro-quo type of corruption is very difficult to identify and curb. All rules and legislation in such cases fail. Only values can ensure ethical governance.
  • Spirit of Charity is there in Indian culture since ancient times. Companies that follow ethical principles go beyond legal commitment of Corporate Social Responsibility. However many deliberately fail. 


Ethics fills the gap left out by law. It caters to the dynamic nature of the administration.  Values fill the gap between policy formulation and ground reality. Ethics helps to provide governance without the authority of – gender equality. Ethical governance cannot be envisaged without ethics in administration, only on the basis of rules, regulations, advisories etc.

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