1. Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix. UPSC (GS-4) 2021

For judging any human, testing the ethical quotient can be a good yarstick. More so, for bureaucrats, it assumes greater significance because of the power they weild and the responsibility they have to live up to. Ethics can be a good Ethics is nothing but a set of “moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conduct of an activity”. Ethics relates primarily to the nature of ultimate values and standards by which human actions can be judged. 

For a civil servant, acting ethically is of utmost importance. . The five ethical traits – Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Objectivity, and Spirit of Service – form the ethical foundation of a civil servant and other values like non-partisanship, tolerance, responsiveness can emanate from them. 

Find below a matrix along with the reasons therein in favour of including that yardstick

Ethical Trait

Reason for Inclusion


  • Important for elimination of corruption.
  • Leadership quality perform in difficult times.
  • Optimal utilisation of public resources.
  • Professional conduct


  • Gives in a sense of responsibility towards them and not pity.
  • It will drive the desire to bring the change
  • Self-motivation to work for the weak and brings empathy towards them.
  • Outcome and effectiveness orientation.


  • Create an atmosphere of clean work
  • Makes administration transparent and public oriented.
  • Brings ethical quotient and builds public trust
  • Makes civil servants answerable for their decisions


  • Decisions based on reasoning.
  • Makes a civil servant impartial and non-partisanship.
  • Acceptance of other view points.
  • Builds efficiency in administration


  • Brings in the element of duty
  • Service as a responsibility 
  • Larger interest of their upliftment 


There are many other traits that a civil servant may need to display in testing times. Some of them could be, the power to stand for a cause, the ability of being anonymous is also an important quality etc etc.