For a civil servant, which is more important – Technical expertise or Moral values? Give logical arguments in support of your view.

For a civil servant, which is more important – Technical expertise or Moral values? Give logical arguments in support of your view.


  • Introduce with the role of civil services towards serving the society
  • Explain the importance of Technical expertise and Values for a civil servant
  • Evaluate the significance of one vs the other and comment on how both are ideally needed
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

Civil servants have special obligations because they are responsible for managing resources entrusted to them by the society, because they deliver services and take important decisions that affect all aspects of society. The society has a right to expect that the civil service functions fairly, impartially and efficiently.

Technical expertise and Values:

To fulfil their obligations in the right spirit and serve the people, civil servants are required to have certain skills, technical expertise, and values.

  • The technical expertise comes with the professional qualification, training, and experience.
  • The values facilitating the subordination of the self to a larger, societal good, and engendering a spirit of empathy for those in need of ameliorative state interventions are inculcated over individual life-times – the ‘right’ ethos takes long to evolve.

Technical expertise vs Values:

  • Technical expertise without moral values is dangerous as civil servants are qualified enough to manipulate things in their favour and hide their wrong doings.
  • A civil servant with good values but low technical expertise will be less efficient but will work in right spirit and will strive to acquire expertise or take help as necessary from the experts.

So, a civil servant with good moral values and low technical expertise is more preferable than one with great technical expertise but poor moral values. However, to fulfil the ethos of public service, a civil servant is required to work efficiently as well empathetically. For this, he is required to have both technical expertise and the right values.

In India, technical expertise of civil servants is at par with developed nations. This comes due to the competition and prioritization of education and training in Indian society. What is required to inculcate ethical values in administration through ethical training and implementing proper code of ethics.


Subjects : Ethics – Administrative

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