Civil servants must be polite, take decisions on merit

Govt issues 19 fresh rules; amends All India Services Rules, 1968

Civil servants must be polite, take decisions on merit

A civil servant should “make choices, take decisions and make recommendations” on merit alone and should remain politically neutral.

The government has now brought in 19 fresh rules for civil servants by amending the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, which also asks officers not to misuse their positions as civil servants and not take decisions in order to derive financial or material benefits for themselves, their families or friends.

According to the new rules, officers should maintain high ethical standards, integrity and honesty, promote principles of merit, fairness and impartiality in the discharge of duties and should be responsive to public.

 They should also be accountable, transparent and courteous with public. The new rules, published in Gazette by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), makes it mandatory for officers to declare any private interests relating to public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts in a way that protects the public interest.

The officer has to act with fairness and impartiality and not discriminate against anyone, particularly the poor and the underprivileged sections of society. 

He should also perform and discharge his duties with the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to the best of his abilities. The earlier rules were not this specific.

The rules cast an obligation on officers to maintain confidentiality in the performance of official duties. 

The officers should guard  information, disclosure of which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of state, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, friendly relation with foreign countries or lead to incitement of an offence or illegal or unlawful gains to any person.

The officer should “take decisions solely in public interest and use or cause to use public resources efficiently, effectively and economically” and maintain discipline in the discharge of his duties and be liable to implement the lawful orders duly communicated to him. 

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