The Nolan Committee provides 7 Principles which state that holders of public
i) Selflessness: act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in
order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their
ii) Integrity: Not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside
individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance
of their official duties.
iii) Objectivity: should make choices on merit in carrying out public business,
including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending
individuals for rewards and benefits.
iv) Accountability: hold themselves accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
v) Openness: be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they
take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only
when the wider public interest clearly demands.
vi) Honesty: declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take
steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
vii) Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
No, I do not completely agree with the statement. Even if the objective is noble,
the means through which it is to be achieved must not be compromised. For, if
they are compromised, the objective itself may lose relevance. A case in point is
the program of forced sterilizations that India witnessed in the 1970s. The
objective was noble, to control our rapidly burgeoning population. But such harsh
and draconian means would have violated the basic rights granted to us by the
Constitution, rendering the objective moot.
However, there may be circumstances where the situation is very compelling.
Here, usual norms can be overlooked as a matter of exception. But even so, the
means should not be contrary to public welfare. E.g. during disasters, the usual
rules can be relaxed, because this is being done for larger public good. But even
here, public welfare must not be jeopardized.
The basis of the statement lies in two elements: firstly, that it is possible to
change behavior but very difficult to change attitudes; secondly, that as one ages,attitudes become more rigid and difficult to change. Thus, the earlier we introduce interventions to correct or improve behaviours and attitudes, the greater the chances of a meaningful impact.
With regard to selecting an individual for pubic office, this emphasizes the
importance of the recruitment and training programs. The lower the age at entry, the more the possibility that the interventions will have the desired impact since it becomes easier to training the individual, with minimal resistance.
Similarly, the recruitment policy must ensure that the selected individuals are
genuinely pubic-spirited. This would ensure that their acceptance of the
organizational ethos is greater and attitudinal resistance is minimal.
Service quality can be defined as the difference between customer expectations
and customer perceptions. If expectations are greater than the customer’s
perceptions about service experience and outcome, the perceived quality is not
satisfactory. This emphasizes the fact that in assessing service quality, it is the
perspective of the customer that should be given precedence.
Improving the quality of public services requires interventions on the supply as
well as the demand side. The supply-side factors are:
i. Establishing objectivity in service standards through mechanisms such as
citizen’s charters, Sevottam etc.
ii. Inculcating a service orientation by selecting and nurturing a good quality of
iii. Providing scope for inspection and corrections through tools such as a
Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Whistleblower Protection etc.
iv. Information dissemination.
Demand-side factors promote citizen engagement and a citizen-centric culture
within administration. They include:
i) Information dissemination.
ii) Capacity building and Community mobilization.
iii) Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
iv) Institutionalisation of citizen engagement mechanisms.
Shweta Chauhan AIR 8 2016