"Integrity in Public Life and Services" heralds my maiden entry in the literary field. My readers, therefore, should not get disappointed expecting great strides from me. We all feel exalted, when we associate ourselves with a meritorious task. I do feel elated in this way. The aim of this literature is to stress on the value of Ethics in Public Life & Service, in Industry and Business. It is an attempt to equip the honest officer with adequate resources of knowledge to counter challenges in his career, and to steer through the path towards progress and glory. This literature is compiled keeping in view the needs of the officers in Nationalised Banks. In view of the author's association with MYBANK for four decades, frequent references have been made to cite examples relating to my experiences in my service in this Institution. An attempt is made by me treating this as an educational work, to try to extensively survey existing related literature on the Internet and to gain as much knowledge on the subjects as possible for the purpose of my projects.
Ethics in industry and business are as paramount and essential, as they are for the individual. Improvident and selfish business policies can serve only the short-term goals of industry. Several Family-oriented business Houses emerged in the horizon of Indian Industry and Business in the past, but only the BIRLAs and TATAs survived the surge of time and continue to retain their distinct individuality over the decades. These are the two business families that stood steadfast and bestowed undivided and continuous importance to the upkeep of values and principles in business management. The BIRLA empire spread in all directions and covered all types of industries, except film industry and hotel industry. It is the faith of the BIRLAs in the assessment of value system that they did not want their youngsters to be exposed to the demeaning influence of these two sectors. TATAs have very recently only entered what is now called the hospitality industry.
Modern industry is a vast organization. It involves thousands of stackholders assembled together and working for a common goal. Powers and functions are decentralized and decision making is delegated at senior and middle levels of the hierarchy. The system works perfectly when moral values are firmly incorporated in day to day business functions and all concerned perform their part unitedly confining to a common code of conduct. Industry to survive global competition needs to build customer loyalty and patronage. These are gained over a period only through a consistent policy of fair and non-controversial business practices. When a national or global organization pursues short-term goals, it immediately reduces itself from a decentralised to centralized pattern of administration. Few dominant persons direct and control these ventures for a short period to get rich quickly through unfair means. But such industries do not sustain a stable future. The culture of unfair selfishness, in place of pursuing bonafide self-interest, initially directed externally, recoils over the years and percolates inwards and spreads in-depth within the system. Selfish individuals in the second phase work at cross-purpose with each other to lead to the decay and destruction of the venture.
Knowledgeable men in our country perceive that if corruption is controlled in India in all walks of our social and public life, nothing can prevent this country from becoming a mighty power on the globe in just a decade or two. This is possible if the common man wakes up to this evil and accepts to be no more a silent spectator or a dumb acquiescent. This is the number one objective today in our public life, as well as business, and industry.
It is necessary that a positive aversion should resolve in the mental frame of the common citizen against corrupt public servants and those in industry, business, politics or elsewhere. Corrupt persons should be considered as the social outcastes or enemies of our society. The damage we face from terrorist is visible, but the destruction by corrupt officials, politicians, and those in business and industry goes mostly unnoticed. The twin dangers that stand in the way of our progress are terrorism and corruption. The literature tries to imbibe and imprint this perspective in the mindset of its readers. There are immense opportunities for the honest man in this world. What is needed is a value system that makes one to give more importance for 'what he is than what he has'. Today knowledge is recognised as the supreme wealth on this globe. This is the paradigm not only for the individual, but also for Industry and business. What are termed, as "knowledge Enterprises", where business and industry jealously protect their intangible intellectual assets, have come to exercise their sway on the global horizon. Giant multinational corporations like IBM or Microsoft derive their worth in billions not on account of possession of tangible wealth, but due to their accumulation of intellectual resources, which are intangible.
For a public servant cleanliness and purity enables him to cross through half of the bridge. To attain total success capacity has to be added to character. Character without capacity leads to dismal failure, while capacity without character turns to be a calamity. Public services, in our country, today neglect the importance of need based, comprehensive and sustained training leading to acquisition of knowledge by employees of these Corporations at par with the employees of global players. We try to manage our business enterprises with the knowledge and wisdom of the remote past and we do not look to the emerging world of the 21st century.
Consider the plight of an average Branch Manager of a Nationalised Bank. When there is a problem or conflict his subordinates rush to him for guidance and resign themselves to the judgement that their next step is due only after receipt of specific instructions from their leader. But to whom can a Branch Manager look to, when he in turn, confronts a problem, a common occurrence for him in his day to day life? Can he get spot guidance from his next higher authority? "You are the man on the spot and you have to act guided by the rules. As the rules are clear, there is no need for you to make such reference to us. " This is the typical response he gets. In this hierarchy what emanates from the top towards those below are only directions, instructions and sermons, and not guidance to solve any critical live problem on spot. Many regional managers and higher authorities are not trained to think independently or innovatively. It is the responsibility of their office set up. The case-worker has to study the problem and thereafter refer to the manuals for the relevant rules. Then he puts up a note with a recommended course of action that, when executed will not load any responsibility on the part of the Regional Office. The job of the Regional Manager is to accept, or alter this note. The decision is conveyed to the branch thereafter. The wisdom can reach the branch manager after anything between a week to a fortnight of his making the reference. But how is it possible for global players like Citibank or AMEX to commit to their remote branches that they will respond to their queries within 3 hours positively. It is a case of difference between management through rules and procedures and management with the aid of expert knowledge resource. Today American business handles their routine customer service operations at their country by maintaining Call Centers in India.
Our training is insignificant and imperfect. We conclude that if manuals and rules are generated administration will march by itself for the next several decades. Training to employees is provided merely in terms of explaining the contents of these manuals. Regional Managers are not taught organization management, or remote control systems. How many executives in our public undertakings today would have heard about McGregar or Maslow, not to speak of the progressive behavioural concepts propounded by these eminent thinkers, which have been further developed and adopted in the day to day administration of business enterprises in the Western Countries. The live problems that confront customer service or in the process of management of an organization are not taught to Regional Manager. It is a system of investing power at the central point and responsibility for business results at the remote centres, i.e. branches. There is demand for feedback at the branches from the controlling office, but no effective feed-forward (guidance inputs) to be of value to the branches. The branch manager is equally unaccomplished to meet the total demands of his job that has become vastly complex in the last two decades. Many old systems and procedures have become out-dated. They all leave it to the system to function finding ways and excuses to defer action. The result is a slow process of sluggish movement. It is this inefficiency or unpreparedness that breeds corruption in public services. Knowledge and corruption do not exist together, but inefficiency and corruption do, as they are twin sisters. Purity in public life and possession of skill and knowledge go together. These are inseparable.
The Indian Manager is not intellectually less proficient, but he is ill-equipped, not being trained and furnished with adequate knowledge resources to tackle the challenges of management, to look ahead and seize the opportunities or to face squarely the threats that emanate from the business environment. He knows less about his market, about his customers, about the opportunities or the threats that emerge before him. He looks to the past for his inputs and does not visualize the future and is unaware of what changes are taking place. He does not change, resists changes, and fails to respond to the constant changes that is part of our environment today. Indian industry can compete with global players like IBM, Microsoft, Cocoa Cola etc. if our Managers accept the importance and strive to secure a robust and innovative management, where intangible assets and intellectual capital turn to be mainstay of our business possessions. India can become CLEAN INDIA if public services shun corruption and accept purity. But India can become GREAT INDIA only if our people accept knowledge wealth as a prized possession and apply it in all spheres of activity and are able to compete and march ahead of the most advanced nations.
The website portrays the evils of corruption and other threats that confront business and public services. It emphasises the need for public servants to be alert and to innovate themselves to respond positively and profitably to the overwhelming opportunities and threats of the Information age. The industrial age of the 19th and 20th centuries is over. We have entered the information age in the new millenium, where the global economy invests immensely in intellectual wealth (knowledge capital), customer capital, human capital and structural capital as the mainstay of successful business. They do not look to loyal employees or committed employees. They look to human capital. They are not satisfied with patronizing customers, but they look to customer capital. I present before my readers these pertinent facts, to bring in them a quest for acquisition of better knowledge.
My desire was to compile web pages on principles governing departmental inquiries comprehensively. But departmental inquiries comes under "Exception Management" If you endow yourselves with necessary qualities and shields, your endeavour will be to avoid pitfalls. This thought prompted within me to widen my efforts for comprehensive projects governing all facets of Public Services.
"Integrity in Public Life and Service" stresses the need for purity in Public Service, while pinpointing the problems one may confront in Public Life. The virus of Corruption that we confront in Public Life is adequately covered in Part II. Problem that a Public Servant confronts are covered by my Projects on "Public Servant & Legal Awareness" and "Guidelines for Conducting & Defending Departmental Inquiries" The Page "My Encounters in my Service" is an autobiographical sketch of the author's confrontations in public service for forty years. And I leave it to my readers to judge if my quest for certain values in life has enabled me to lose or to gain overall in my life.
I am immensely benefited in this endeavour of mine, thanks to my insatiable devotion for ceaselessly accessing Internet and searching the web. I had made immense use of this revolutionary source that has ushered a knowledge revolution today available at our desktop.
I have drawn beneficial assistance from the web site of CVC. Most of the Web sites of our Central Government and Statutory Corporations are informative and transparent. This is an immense help to the common citizens, which is undreamt of a decade back. Supporting the voice of CVC several NGO agencies have sprung up in the virtual domain.
I was concerned with departmental inquiries in one way or other for the past 23 years. I happened to study many textbooks and printed literature on law and procedure for these inquiries. I am particularly obliged to the following treatises that served to enrich my knowledge.
Vigilance Management in Government and Public Sector by N.K.Chakrabarti. (Bahri Brothers)
- Guide to Departmental Enquiries Against Government Servants by P.V.Ramakrishna (Asia Law House)
- Swamy's Compilation of CCS CCA rules by P.Muthuswamy (Swamy Publishers)
- Introduction to Anti corruption Work by S.Subramaniam I.P.S.(Higginbotham Ltd)
- Law And Procedure of Departmental Enquiries by B.R.Ghaiye (in Private and Public Sectors
The objective of these Projects is not to claim to have published readymade answers to solve your problems. But it is intended to guide and provide you the mindset and the inspiration to search for and find solutions to all emerging problems in your career