Probity in Public Life – UPSC Prelims

What do you understand by probity in public life? It is generally perceived that many politicians lack probity in public life. How can probity be inculcated in such politicians who lack this quality? Critically comment. (200 Words)

Probity means having strong moral standards for honesty, integrity and values. Probity encompasses all good values and virtues. Hindi Meaning of Probity is “Satya-Nishtha”.
Lack of probity among politicians has become one of the biggest menaces of society. To inculcate probity & adherence to ethical practices among them certain strides could be taken-
  1. Mandatory declaration of assets, liabilities and business interests by politicians before elections should be accompanied by a proper audit of these declarations by empowering Election Commission.
  2. A dedicated unit to oversee violation of Code of ethics & Code of conducts by politicians be set up both at state and centre level.
  3. CoE & CoC for politicians should be laid down in public domain indicating violations for public awareness.
  4. Illegal expenditure during elections is root cause of corruption among politicians, partial state funding of elections could be the way forward in controlling it.
  5. Schemes like MPLAD & MLALAD should be abolished to do away with the conflict of interests among legislators.
  6. Political funding should be brought under domain of RTI and CIC should be strengthened to deal with any non-compliance.
  7. Short duration training like civil servants on ethical aspects can be provided to first time MPs & MLAs.
Politicians of the day have become synonymous with corruption. Proper ethical guidance to them together with strict punishment in case of non-conformity will go a long way in cleansing of politics as well as better public service delivery.



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