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SYNOPSIS: Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan – Day – 5


Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan 

Day – 5


  1. In your opinion, what it takes to be ethical both in private and public relationships? Also discuss the challenges one faces while trying to stay ethical in public life.(150 Words).

Reference (Selectively)


Each private and personal relationship has its own irreplaceable value. Each of it has its own unique history, character, and set of implicit and explicit understandings about what is to be expected of the parties to it.

Public relations involve relation between individual in public sphere. Public relationships are governed by many aspects. They may or may not be inherited. Many a times, they comprise complex situations, contradictory values and conflict of role and interest. Seven principles of public life are selfless, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Ethics in private relations helps in humanizing public relations and play an important role in forming the base for moral values of a person.


What it takes to be ethical both in private and public relationships :-

  • The governing factors for ethics in private relationships include individual virtues, universal human values, religion, social norms and law. Therefore they comprise limited influencing factor. 
  • In private and public relationships trust is an important factor for instance trust on family members, public trust on the government machinery etc. So transparency ,emotional intelligence are the factors which strengthen the relationships.
  • The private relationships demand individual’s responsibilities towards the role played in private life such as father, mother, husband, etc. These are self-imposed and voluntary and are backed by sanctions of one’s obligations towards self, family and society since ancient times. For example, in India, the Dharmashshtras provide moral codes to regulate the private relations.
  • Public servants play conflicting role due to conflict in private life and public life.. Conflict between ethics in both relations may lead to unrest, guilt, dissonance and confusion in the mind of the concerned person.
  • The public servant needs to cope with several roles altogether. This includes role in private life, role in personal and family sphere, role as a professional, role for job, role towards his / her area of jurisdiction, role towards seniors and society / humanity at large.
  • The public service role invokes legal and constitutional obligations, which when violated invite legal sanctions and penalties. Thus, a public servant needs to cope with these different roles which many a times conflict with each other.
  • Integrity: It is significant to follow ethical standard in public setting to sustain authority, develop confidence among people about the system, and to accomplish social wellbeing of society 
  • There are code of professional standards for the practice of public relation to meet goals. Such as
  • To provide behavioural guidelines to its members.
  • To educate management on public relations standards.
  • To distinguish public relations professionals from those individuals 

Challenges faced while trying to stay ethical in public life :-

  • Most ethical challenges in public life stem from social responsibilities issues or from relationships issues with the news media, a client or employer, colleagues or stakeholders. They usually result from poor relationships, inadequate corporate standards and conflicting obligations in certain situations where the values of a client, employer and society may not easily be reconcilable with a practitioner’s own values.
  • Sometimes laws conflict with individuals morals and values for instance stealing is a crime but a child might be stealing food because he/she is hungry. So internal conflict arises.
  • There is a lack of morality and ethics in public life that is this generally refers to the dishonesty in the economic affairs of those who are in various walks of public life. To put it simply, it is corruption, which is an international problem.
  • Most common challenges faced by officers in public life revolve around aspects such as:
    • Discretion
    • Nepotism will lead to the downgrading of the quality of the public service.
    • Public accountability
  • In the modern society there is more importance given to material means like money but the way it is achieved is not considered .The challenge in public life is to do the right thing through the right set of values and right path.

  1. Define the following with suitable examples:

Reference (Selectively)

a) Public interest:-

One of the public service obligations is to champion the public interest. In simple terms it is  welfare of general public. This is invoked by democratic imperatives, interdependency, and shared concerns, as well as empathy and respect for future generations. This obligation generates three standards: (1) avoiding conflict of interest, (2) maintaining impartiality, and (3) avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

For instance government schemes and policies are drafted and implemented in public interest only.

 b) Public service:-


Public service includes quasigovernmental agencies and the many nonprofit organizations devoted to community services and to the public interest. The many mixed activities and joint operations, such as public-private partnerships and contractual relationships, turn on working with government and are also oriented toward public service.  Examples of public services are the fire brigade, police, air force, and paramedics.

 c) Self interest vs Selfishness:-


Self interest is a concern for one’s own well-being. However selfish is being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself i.e.., seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.

Self-interest is essential for one’s happiness and well being. It enables the person to provide food and shelter for you and your family. Self-interest is necessary for one’s economic and career success.  Selfish people tend to be exclusively concerned about only themselves and their actions can be detrimental to others.

Self interest includes caring for others as well however when a person is selfish self is supreme .

A common example is doing well financially.  Some try to assign a stigma to economic success, incorrectly asserting that economic success can only occur at the expense of others.  If a person is acting in self-interest, he/she is compensated financially for providing a desirable service or product.  Therefore they prosper as the result of helping other people.

Selfish people don’t care what they have to do get money.  They have no ethics, morals, or standards.  Their main focus is only what’s in it for them.  Although selfish individuals may at times appear to profit, it’s only in the short term and not sustainable.

d) Public Sector ethics:-

Ethics refers to principles by which to evaluate behaviour as right or wrong, good or bad. Public sector ethics deals with ethics for those who serve in the public sector- primarily governmental and elected officials focusing on the public, whom they serve. While public sector ethics overlaps in part with government ethics, it can be considered a separate branch as government ethics is only focused on moral issues relating to governments, including bribery and  corruption, whilst public sector ethics also encompasses any position included in the public administration field. 

Public sector ethics emanates from several different sources. These sources range from the private ethical character of the individual public servant, via the agency-internal regulations and culture of the agency and national legislation, to international conventions with written standards and codes of conduct.

One of the sources of public sector ethics is democratic standards and principles. Democratic principles are partly codified in the political human rights, and partly expressed as an ideal form of government.

Administrative traditions can vary depending on a country’s culture, but there are generally shared views as to how public servants should fulfil their duties  democratically with accountability; transparently with integrity; fairly, honestly and effectively.