Q2(b). What do you understand by ‘probity’ in public life? What are the difficulties in practicing it in the present times? How can these difficulties be overcome? (150 words)
Probity means having strong moral principles and following them with honesty and integrity. In public life, probity means maintaining the highest levels of honesty and integrity in, personal and professional, life by the public servant.
Corruption exists in public life because of the social, cultural and administrative environment of government organisations. Indian government system provides time-bound and seniority-based salary and promotion. There is hardly any rewards and appreciation for honesty, while corruption usually goes unpunished.
The following can be done for promoting probity in public life:
• Simplify the law, rules and procedures
• Increase transparency by strengthening RTI
• Provide functional autonomy to anti-corruption agencies
• Introduce performance-linked pay and promotion
• Extensive use of information technology
• Minimise the discretionary powers of officers
• Compulsorily retire the inefficient and corrupt officers
• Strong Whistle-blower Act to encourage officials to report corruption
• Simplify the process of removing corrupt and inefficient government officers
• State funding of elections for curbing black money use in politics
• Empower citizens by awareness campaign and strong grievance redressal system (166 words)
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