Wisdom lies in knowing what to reckon with and what to overlook. An officer being engrossed with the periphery, ignoring the core issues before him, is not rare in the bureaucracy. Do you agree that such preoccupation of an administrator leads to travesty of justice to the cause of effective service delivery and good governance? Critically evaluate.

Sample Answer


Aristotle believed wisdom as the highest intellectual virtue.


Periphery issues:

  • Maintaining law and order
  • Record keeping

Core issues for civil servants:

  • Maintaining dignity and honour of people.
  • Justice in society.
  • Innovation
  • Inculcating spirit of public service.
  • Implementing ethics in administration
    • Principles of good and ethical governance
    • Values of transparency and accountability
    • Philosophy of ‘Sarvodaya through Antyodaya’, ‘service to man is service to god’ etc.

Preoccupation with peripheral issues leads to the travesty of justice:

  • Makes officers less empathetic and compassionate.  Recently an adolescent girl in Jharkhand died of starvation because her ration card was not linked with the Aadhar.
  • Low drive for innovation
  • Poor attempt to develop social capital.
  • Less responsive administration. Eg: low or poor-quality of RTI replies. 

However, for ethical administration, management of administration is also necessary. Right means must be adopted for right ends.

  • Record keeping helps in audit and effective utilisation of funds.
  • Maintaining law and order protects the rights of citizens.


The peripheral issues must be dealt using values of core issues. One reinforces the other and both are important to achieve the goal of civil services.

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