IIM-Indore director Himanshu Rai
IIM-Indore director Himanshu Rai

Indore: Indian Institute of Management Indore director Prof Himanshu Rai here on Friday said that the annual growth rate of scams in India is 112 percent, whereas the country’s GDP grows just by 4-5 per cent.

“Hence, we need to talk more about accountability, understand the difference between right and wrong and need to bring this in the main discourse of leadership,” he said while addressing a webinar on Ethics and Accountability in Governance organised by IIM Indore in association with National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) on Friday.

V Srinivas, additional secretary to Government of India, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Prof Rai were speakers of the webinar.

Rai noted that in the ancient times, leaders were believed to be heroes or martyrs, who were born with leadership skills. “However, with time, this definition of leadership changed and it was supposed that leadership is a skill that can be developed. A good leader knows the difference between right and wrong and takes decisions which do justice—which aren’t based on his or her convenience,” he said.

Sharing his thoughts on the difference between morality and ethics, he said that morality is the difference between good and bad; however, ethics is the difference between right and wrong. “Doing the right thing consistently is the right thing to do. If you feel embarrassed, sense fear and have doubt about anything you do, it is definitely the wrong thing to do,” he said.

Srinivas said that ethics, morality and efficiency are the foundation on which the ethical super structure is built. He noted that moral courage is needed to go beyond the character of public duty and public service should be built on ethical behaviour.

“The general principals of ethics include selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The challenges that the IAS officers face in the 21st century are no different from 20th—which is commitment to the larger public good against all odds. Facing these challenges require non-negotiable values of integrity and credibility’, he said.

Sharing code of ethics for civil servants, Srinivas said that the public service values should be stipulated by law and conflicts of interest should be comprehensively covered in the code of ethics and in the code of conduct for officers.

Sharing his approach to fighting corruption, he said that enhanced use of technology, increased transparency, greater stake holder engagement and robust oversight and monitoring have been very significant.

He shared some important and common traits of institution builders like the aim high attitude, deep understanding of India’s institutions, having the courage, conviction and integrity to take decisions in challenging times and the ability to individually contribute to building strong institutions. “A constitution may indicate the direction in which we are to move, but the social structure will decide how far we are able to move, and at what pace,” he concluded.

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