Role Models for Civil Servants

  • Instrumentality Role – Civil servants should play basically an instrumental role in the process of public governance. They are instrumental in policy formulation & execution and at implementation stage.|
  • Neutrality Role – Political neutrality is the sine qua non of civil servants. Civil servants are expected to implement the policies decided upon by the government while being political neutral in their approach, outlook and activities.
  • Commitment Role – Different views have been expressed on the subject.
  • Commitment should be in accord with the policy objectives of the government.
  • Commitment should be related to the developmental philosophy of the state – social, economic and political.
  • Commitment should be to the ideals of the Constitution of the country.

Unfortunately, it is found that civil servants displaying their personal alignment to the political parties, and often display personal loyalty to their political masters. This form of committed bureaucracy reached its peak during Indira Gandhi regime.

However, in contrast to popular opinion on committed bureaucracy, this does not mean a bureaucracy loyal to a particular political party but the bureaucracy committed to the objectives and ideals of the Constitution.

  • Impersonality Role – Civil services should, by and large adopt an ‘impersonality’ profile while dealing with matters concerning policies, programmes and issues. Civil servants cannot afford to take or twist a decision on the basis of the persons who can be affected by it, but should strictly conform to the principles, rules, guidelines
  • Anonymity Role – It requires that the minister has to answer for the actions of civil servants in the Parliament. It means that civil servants work behind the curtain, they cannot openly come out and play a predominant role in politics. This anonymity helps them in taking honest and objective decisions.
  • Professional Role –They are employed for their knowledge, skill, expertise, experience, competence and merit. The civil servants must be trained to use all the mental, physical and technical skills at hand in a most effective and efficient manner.