Meaning of Impartiality

  • Impartiality is unbiased behaviour. Decisions are taken on objective criteria rather than any bias or prejudice.

Related terms of Impartiality

  • Biasness is the inclination of some at the cost of others.
  • Partiality is the result of bias attitude. Partiality is behaviour and biases are attitudes.
  • Prejudice is being pre-judgemental.

Political Impartiality

  • Political impartiality holds that a civil servant will serve the government to the best of his ability, no matter what his own political beliefs are. He will act in a way that deserves and retains the confidence of ministers. It involves serving the position rather than the person occupying it.
  • The civil servants will not be biased or will not carry any prejudice towards a particular politician. He will give the same treatment to all kinds of politicians irrespective of his ideology.
  • Impartiality also means that the civil servant will comply with any restrictions that have been laid down upon him. Eg –
    • He cannot criticize the decision and views of the ministers. But on the other hand, he must explain and implement ministers’ policies with objectivity no matter what his personal views are.
    • A civil servant cannot disclose the advice that he has given to the ministers. In 2013 code of conduct for ministers (given by the Ministry of home affairs) was amended (section 2) on the recommendation of the 2nd ARC: Ministers shall uphold the political impartiality of civil services and not as civil Servant to act in any way which would conflict the duties and responsibilities of the civil servant.

Public Impartiality

  • Equal treatment toward all people. Acceptance of bureaucracy is due to public impartiality. Public impartiality is a constitutional obligation (article 14).
  • In unequal circumstances, impartiality will be replaced by equity and fairness. Eg –
    • Separate line for old age and women.
    • Reservation on social and educational backwardness.

Importance Of Impartiality

  • Acceptance and authority of bureaucracy.
  • Credibility and trustworthiness.
  • It enables a civil servant to ask an appropriate question to anyone Eg: Salman Khan, Shashikala etc
  • It helps the civil servant to maintain the queue. v. Political interference can be resisted on this principle.
  • Fulfilling all interests equitably.
  • It is by constitutional provisions of articles 14, 15.
  • It is by professional ethics.
  • It will encourage ethical work culture.

Enablers of impartiality/disablers of partiality:

  • Interest analysis
  • Bias free
  • Decision validation
  • Decision support system
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