Meaning of Integrity

  • Integrity has been derived from the word integer.
  • Integrity – adopting similar principles or standards in similar situations across time and concerned parties.
  • It means unity, coherence, a state of undividedness, non-selectiveness and a non-negotiable state of values.

Types of Integrity

  1. Intellectual Integrity
  • Intellectual integrity means to be consistent and true to ones thinking and to hold oneself to the same standards one expects others to meet. It also means to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one’s thoughts and actions and to be able to identify inconsistencies in one’s thinking.

2. Moral Integrity

Moral integrity means consistency and honesty in the standards used for judging others as well as yourself as right or wrong.

3. Personal Integrity

  • Personal integrity means being honest and consistent with thought, speech and action. It refers to the quality of eliminating the gap between what we think, what we say and what we do.
  • Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs and behaviour. People with integrity have an internal locus of control (self-governed). People with integrity are controlled by their conscience rather than what’s happening in the environment.

4. Professional Integrity

  • Every profession deals with integrity in its context. A person in a profession shows his integrity by acting in agreement with the relevant standards, norms and values of that profession.

Integrity of Civil Services

  • According to the 2nd ARC, Integrity means that civil servants should be guided solely by the public interest in their official decision-making and not by any financial or other consideration in respect of themselves, their families or their friends.

Importance of integrity for civil servants

  • Integrity integrates morality with behaviour.
  • Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching so it will ensure virtuous behaviour.
  • Integrity is non-negotiable and non-selective so it promotes role modelling-type behaviour. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: when he was the President, he invited his family for two days. The president bore all expenses himself even though as per law president’s house would have taken the expense.
  • They deal with public resources.
  • They deal with a selection of beneficiaries
  • They work as adjudicating authority in many cases.
  • They are the policymakers
  • They are the central to ethics of the whole administration.

Integrity and Efficiency

  • For efficiency, integrity is a must but is not sufficient.

Integrity and Corruption

  • The basic meaning of corruption is moral impurity. A person who has moral impurity cannot go for moral analysis. If the moral analysis is not there, integrity is not there.

Measures Taken to Promote Integrity

  • Separate column of integrity in Administrative Reforms Commission.
  • In the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)selection criterion, one integrity clause has been added that a person should be of unquestionable integrity.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) has Integrity Hotline for handling allegations against staff misconduct for internal and external sources.
  • Integrity pacts – a tool developed by Transparency International. It was used in the AgustaWestland deal.
  • Integrity survey for honest officers.
  • Integrity recognition certificate by the government.

Reasons for decline in Integrity

  • Historical causes
  • Changing values and desire
  • Economic cause
  • Lack of strong public opinion against corruption
  • Complicated and cumbersome procedures
  • Inadequate laws to deal with corruption
  • Undue protection is given to civil servants

Suggestions to improve the integrity

  • Fill the gap between position and remuneration
  • Simplify the procedures
  • Create healthy public opinion against corruption
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