Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 77 – Q 5.How does lack of probity affect the public services? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.

5. How does lack of probity affect the public services? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.  

सत्यनिष्ठा की कमी का सार्वजनिक सेवाओं पर क्या प्रभाव पड़ता है? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से चित्रण करें।


Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development. An important requisite for ensuring probity in governance is the absence of corruption. The other requirements are effective laws, rules and regulations governing every aspect of public life and, more important, an effective and fair implementation of those laws, etc.


  • The dictionary meaning of probity is integrity and honesty and hence by extension, an adherence to integrity and honesty should be the key to ending corruption. Probity in public life entails more than simply avoiding corrupt practices but also actively promoting certain values in public service such as accountability, impartiality, transparency and the rule of law. 
  • To bring about probity in public life one would have to ensure adherence to not only certain ethical norms but also pay due attention to proper conduct and also streamline processes. There are several objectives of probity of governance that are mentioned below:
  1. To ensure accountability in governance;
  2. To maintain integrity in public services;
  3. To ensure compliance with processes;
  4. To preserve public confidence in Government processes;
  5. To avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption.
  • There is no dispute that the twin principles of integrity and probity in public life are the bare minimum that society expects from those in positions of public office, yet these have to be based on well thought out processes and practices. The absence of probity in public life increases the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and also promote counter violence by disadvantaged groups.
  • Unfortunately, there is mounting documented evidence by credible organizations such as Transparency International that those in power often tend to misuse their power for narrow partisan reasons and thereby inflict immense and at times, irreparable, damage to society and their systems. This trend necessitates the recourse to legislative and legal routes to prevent and punish such kind of dangerous trends. 
  • Corruption is an abuse of public resources or position in public life for private gain. Political corruption which is sometimes inseparable from bureaucratic corruption tends to be more widespread in authoritarian regimes where the public opinion and the Press are unable to denounce corruption. The paradox of India, however, is that in spite of a vigilant press and public opinion, the level of corruption is exceptionally high.
  • India is rated at 78 out of 180 countries in the corruption perception index prepared by a non-governmental organisation, Transparency International. Corruption today poses a danger not only to the quality of governance but is threatening the very foundations of our society and the State. For example, Corruption in defence purchases, in other purchases and contracts tend to undermine the very security of the State.
  • Further, lack of probity in the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the welfare schemes for the poor including Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) affects the public service delivery. It is well-known that a substantial portion of grain, sugar and kerosene oil meant for PDS goes into black-market and that hardly 16% of the funds meant for STs and SCs reach them. This leads to growth of disenchantment with the system.
  • Public procurement or government procurement is an important activity for all countries.  In India, estimates of public procurement vary between 20% of GDP2 to 30% of GDP. While the existence of a strong legislation is a necessary means to ensure probity in public procurement, legislation alone cannot address the deviations that occur at a practical and grassroot level.


India is a country that has Satyam Eva Jayate or ‘Truth Always Triumphs’ as it national motto where probity becomes the vital feature of governance which facilitates government to act ethically and perform its duty. Therefore it is imperative for government to follow rules and adopt policies of impartiality, transparency to gain confidence of the populace.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email