Chanakya, an ancient Indian statesman and philosopher, authored the classic treatise Artha-shastra, addressing administration, economy, and ethics. His philosophy for civil servants is derived from Artha-shastra and Chanakya Niti.


Dharma (Duty):

  • Civil servants must uphold moral law, act justly, and promote the welfare of the people.
  • Example: Upholding constitutional values such as justice, equality, and democracy.


  • Emphasis on loyalty to the king and the nation, avoiding personal interests.
  • Example: Civil servants serving with honesty, integrity, and dedication.


  • Advocacy for wise decisions, avoidance of wasteful expenditure and harmful alliances.
  • Example: Adapting to changing circumstances for effective governance.


  • Stress on being skilled and knowledgeable, effective communication, and creative problem-solving.
  • Example: Civil servants excelling in their field with a thorough understanding of laws and policies.

Relevance for Contemporary Indian Bureaucracy:

Serve Public Interest:

  • Prioritize welfare and uphold constitutional values.
  • Example: Advocating for justice and inclusivity.

Enhance Efficiency:

  • Maintain integrity and deliver quality services to citizens.
  • Example: Improving service delivery through competency and dedication.

Deal with Complex Situations:

  • Adaptability and strategic thinking to address challenges.
  • Example: Navigating globalization, technology, diversity, and development.

Foster a Culture of Ethics:

  • Prevent corruption, promote values, and virtues.
  • Example: Upholding ethical standards to ensure a corruption-free environment.


Chanakya’s philosophy, emphasizing ethical governance, resource efficiency, strategic thinking, and continuous learning, is highly relevant for the contemporary Indian bureaucracy. Integration of these principles can significantly contribute to the nation’s overall development and the effectiveness and integrity of the civil service.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish November 15, 2023