Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth.~Abraham Maslow
What is Objectivity?
Generally, objectivity is defined as the quality of being free of bias. It refers to being true regardless of one's sentiments, imagination, ideas, and/or perceptions in philosophy.
In Platonic epistemology, for example, knowledge based on evidence, such as in mathematics, is objective. Opinions, on the other hand, are subjective. Scientific objectivity, often known as neutrality, is the ability to evaluate something with a systematic and empirical approach.
Importance in Civil Services
Objectivity in governance entails public authority adhering to reason, legality, and established standards, procedures, and norms in institutions. It means that governmental decisions should be made on the basis of merit and after a thorough examination of the available facts.
Objectivity is regarded as one of the most fundamental qualities in governance since it enables public authorities to make sound decisions based on evidence. It complements other qualities in governance such as integrity, impartiality, nonpartisanship, empathy, tolerance, and compassion.It goes hand in hand with the idea of impartiality; civil servants have an identity as well, and while making judgments, they must be objective enough to set aside existent biases and make rational observations that are not influenced by emotion or passion. In the eyes of the law, everyone is equal; nevertheless, when executing rules, they must avoid biases and prejudices.
Although objectivity is important one must proceed with caution, the text and the context both must be kept in mind to reach an ideal solution. That is why it is suggested-blend of pragmatism and objectivism should be applied rather than pure objectivity.
Problems of absolute Objectivity
Limits decision-making flexibility: In actual life, it is nearly impossible to retain complete rationality. It is neither desirable nor possible. In real life, decision-making is not simply in terms of black and white so to comprehend the gray area that exists,flexibility is critical. Sometimes events and circumstances develop in a manner in which objectivity must be compromised in order to make justiciable choices.
Improving the efficiency with which public services are delivered: For example, due to the recent requirement to link Aadhaar cards with ration cards, a teenage girl died of hunger in Jharkhand after not receiving any food rations from public distribution for several weeks.
Reduce administrative ability to deal with extraordinary situations: Due to the intricacy of Indian regulations, it is sometimes hard to achieve complete compliance with one legislation without violating a few others. In such a case, perfect objectivity in decision making is not recommended; rather, a pragmatic approach is required when such ethical quandaries arise. Maintaining basic objectivity necessitates allowing for deviations in exceptional circumstances. Rationally, it appears acceptable to follow the set of rules, yet there are occasions when merely obeying the rules is not the best course of action. If a diversion is required, it is critical to employ reason to genuinely detect the situation; this is what distinguishes people from mere machines that mindlessly follow directions.
Because India's society is pluralistic, it is vital to provide for the implementation of laws based on varied sociocultural and economic needs. Such administrative flexibility would be eliminated if governance were completely objective. At times there is no textual solution to problems, this requires contextual understanding and for that practical tact is needed not objectivity.
Reduce the efficiency of delegated legislation: Adherence to the parent law word for word would limit public servants' ability to shape the provisions of the current law to make it implementable, and in such a circumstance absolute objectivity could lead to administrative inefficiency.
Policy paralysis: pursuing total objectivity in governance may result in delays, inaction, and the inability of the government or its different departments and agencies that administer the country and economy to make policy decisions.
Although objectivity is required in governance to ensure accountability, openness, neutrality, and probity. Careful discussion and study of events in the public interest, as opposed to absolute objectivity, is more suited to enhance justice and adapt to the needs of changing societal paradigms.
The Indian Constitution, too, adheres to this concept, shifting from established procedure to due process of law.