Codes of ethics and codes of conduct play a crucial role in defining the behavior and standards expected of public servants in the Indian context. While both documents aim to ensure ethical conduct, they differ in their scope and specificity.

Code of Ethics:

  • A code of ethics serves as a guiding framework for public servants, outlining the fundamental ethical principles that should govern their actions.
  • It emphasizes moral values such as integrity, accountability, and respect for the rule of law.
  • The code of ethics provides a broad, abstract foundation for ethical decision-making.
  • Example 1: The All India Services (Conduct) Rules lay down ethical principles for civil servants, emphasizing impartiality and integrity in carrying out their duties.
  •  Example 2: The Six Pillars of Ethics established by the Central Vigilance Commission underscore honesty, transparency, and accountability in the public service.

Code of Conduct:

  • A code of conduct delves into specific guidelines and rules that dictate the behavior and actions of public servants.
  • It addresses issues like conflicts of interest, political neutrality, and proper utilization of public resources.
  • The code of conduct offers detailed and concrete expectations for public servants to adhere to.
  • Example 1: The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 outlines strict regulations against bribery and corruption among public officials.
  • Example 2: The Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct imposes guidelines on behavior during elections to ensure fairness and impartiality.

In conclusion, both codes of ethics and codes of conduct hold significant importance in shaping the conduct of public servants in India. While a code of ethics establishes the moral foundations, a code of conduct provides practical directives for day-to-day behavior. Together, these documents serve to promote ethical behavior, accountability, and public trust in the functioning of the administration.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish March 27, 2024