[Solved] What do you understand by ‘probity’ in public life? What are the difficulties in practicing it in the present times? How can these difficulties be overcome?

Probity is synonymous with impeccably strong virtues in public life. It goes far above financial integrity or non-corrupt behaviour. Probity requires public servants to refrain from abusing their position in any way.

Difficulties in practising probity in present times

  • Morally lax environment
  • Political pressures on civil servants
  • Seniors’ lack of support
  • Risks to an honest officer’s career
  • Being transferred to inferior positions or transfers on a regular basis is an inconvenience to the family

Ways to overcome these challenges

  • A specialised unit to monitor government officials’ violations of the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct should be established at the union and state levels.
  • The general public must have access to information through websites.
  • Mandatory disclosure of government personnel’s assets and liabilities, accompanied by proper auditing.
  • Establishment of Citizens Advisory Boards for Independent Anti-Corruption Agencies to include ideas from the general people in strengthening governance.
  • All government programmes must undergo a mandatory social audit, for example, Meghalaya has enacted legislation requiring social audits of all government activities.
  • The absence of corruption is a necessary condition for safeguarding the integrity of governance. Other criteria include effective laws, rules, and regulations controlling all facets of public life and, more importantly, effective and equitable enforcement of those laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Apart from legislation and policy, the government should work to improve the behaviour of government officials so that they can easily empathise with the masses’ problems.

Probity in governance is a required and critical component of an efficient and effective governing system, as well as socio-economic growth. Thus, it is critical that not only public officials, but the entire population, embrace these ideals in their daily lives.

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