Daily Answer Writing
31 March 2021

Q) It is not the lack of resources but the lack of integrity which pushes even highly paid officers into corruption. Do you agree? Discuss. (150 Words

Source: The Hindu OPED Page: Of police and political quagmires

GS 4:  foundational values for Civil services, integrity.

Approach Answer:


Introduction: Integrity is being honesty when nobody is looking over your shoulder. It  represents how strongly you adhere to the values you espouse. The virtue of integrity indicates that one would follow the ethical principles in all conditions, time and space. And one would not budge in the face of adversity. This forms one of the most important foundational value for Civil services.


Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit. It is when a person fails to uphold the values in a position of responsibility. Corruption may include many activities including bribery, embezzlement, illicit favours for material or immaterial gains. For example, favouring a candidate of one's own caste is as much a corruption as a bribery. Here gain comes from the perception of power granted to ones micro community.


Thus Gain of resources cannot be the source of corruption:

               1. Gains not always material: Proceeds of corruption are not always material gains. For example gain of power and influence is also corruption.

               2. Being well of is not a guarantee of integrity: There are people with adequate salaries indulging in corruption. For example Rana Kapoor, the CEO of the Yes Bank giving illicit favours to relatives.

               3. Lack of resources doesn’t' necessarily corrupt: People with less resources can have impeccable integrity.


Thus lack of resource cannot be the main source of corruption.


Influence of lack of integrity:

               1. Corrupt once corrupt always: If a person has found a way to justify corruption. This excuse can always be used in other situation. Thus, integrity is the only wall standing before corruption.

               2. Budging under Pressure and bait: One with a questionable integrity is easy to budge under pressures and threats on one hand and lure of gains on another.

               3. Weak foundational values: Material or immaterial gains can only influence those who do not have firm foundational values.

               4. Weak Internal Force: Laws and Ethics are second wall of defence against corruption. The first defense against corruption is the internal urge to always remain upright, i.e. integrity.


Conclusion: Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles. It compels us to be socially conscious and to welcome both personal and professional responsibility.


Thus it is only logical that source of corruption is lack of integrity. One can only reduce the incentive for corruption by increasing the salaries of the officers and can't eliminate it.

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