Civil servants must have the courage to provide frank, independent and unbiased advice to the political executive, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday. Addressing a group of civil servants undergoing training at the Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration who called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said political leaders are elected to represent the wishes of the people in a democracy and frame the agenda of the government.
Civil servants are to assist the political executive in formulation and implementation of policy, Kovind said. He said they must ensure that government policies are formulated in accordance with the law and the spirit of the Constitution. “Civil servants must have the courage to provide frank advice, independent and free from bias, to the political executive whom they assist,” he said. The President said that in their professional conduct, officers’ honesty and integrity, humility, and sensitivity to the diversity of India and of society are “nonnegotiable”.
He said that as IAS officers, they must inculcate and display an even greater commitment than before to rise above considerations of caste, community and regional identities. Kovind said one cannot ignore that there are often legitimate questions that are asked about the quality of the country’s governance systems. “You have to focus your energies to serve those among our fellow citizens who are economically weak, socially disadvantaged and politically under-empowered,” he said.