Across the globe, there is a growing demand for governments to uphold ethical standards and integrity in their governance processes.
Various nations have taken substantial steps to establish robust Civil Service Ethics, Codes of Conduct, transparency mechanisms, Ethics and Integrity systems, and anti-corruption agencies.

It is essential for public servants to maintain and enhance public trust by exemplifying professionalism, efficiency, adherence to the Constitution and laws, and striving for the common good.

Role of Common Citizens in Institutionalizing Ethical Conduct and Good Governance:

1. Responsible Interaction with Officials:

  • Citizens have a duty to engage with public bodies, civil servants, and officials honestly and responsibly.
  • Example: Truthful reporting of crimes or providing accurate information in court proceedings.

2. Being Role Models:

  • Prominent individuals, such as celebrities and sportspersons, can influence ethical conduct in society.
  • Example: Amitabh Bachchan’s involvement in the polio eradication campaign and his decision to withdraw from Pan Masala advertisements for public welfare.

3. Grassroots Empowerment:

  • In the context of decentralized governance, citizens at the grassroots level, like Gram Sabhas, play a crucial role in promoting ethical practices.
  • Example: Local people’s participation in advocating for women’s empowerment and effective decentralization.

4. Resource Conservation:

  • Given India’s resource challenges, citizens must adopt efficient practices.
  • Example: Transitioning from flood irrigation to micro-irrigation, conserving electricity, and embracing renewable energy sources.

5. Behavioural Change Initiatives:

  • Behavioural change is pivotal for initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign).
  • Example: Citizens actively participating in maintaining cleanliness in their surroundings.

6. Constitutional Duties:

  • a. Fundamental duties have been enshrined in the Indian Constitution, emphasizing that rights come with responsibilities.
  • b. Citizens are obliged to preserve India’s integrity and uphold constitutional principles for an inclusive and cohesive society.

High ethical standards and good governance are not solely the responsibility of public servants but require a harmonious balance between citizens’ rights and duties.

In cases of citizen non-compliance, government organizations may impose administrative penalties, such as temporarily withdrawing services.

In essence, both public servants and common citizens are integral to the establishment and perpetuation of ethical governance practices and the promotion of the public interest.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish May 25, 2024