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Debate upon the significance of virtues for civil services conduct.

Topic : Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7.Debate upon the significance of virtues for civil services conduct. (250 words)

 Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of virtues and its relevance to civil services conduct.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of virtues for civil services conduct in detail with suitable examples.


Debate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:


 Briefly explain what you understand by virtues. Virtue can be defined as an excellence of character which leads one to act in a morally praiseworthy manner. Thus, Virtue ethics propounds the view that while doing right things is important, it is equally or more important to be a virtuous person.


Start by discussing the virtues which civil servants should ideally possess. Talk over the views of some moral thinkers in your answer, regarding virtues.

Throw light upon Aristotle’s theory of cardinal virtues viz. prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.

Discuss relevant examples to justify the importance of such virtues to civil services conduct.


Conclude that Virtue ethics allows people to maintain personal and interpersonal connections important for the good life. It is more so relevant for civil servants due to the underlying trust and confidence of people in public service.