What is Integrity | UPSC Ethics Paper 4

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Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It involves acting in alignment with one’s values and maintaining consistency between words, actions, and beliefs. Individuals with integrity are trustworthy, reliable, and ethical in their behavior. Here are some examples of integrity in various contexts:

1. **Honesty in Reporting:** A student who discovers an error in a research paper they are reviewing admits the mistake to the professor, even if it means more work or potential embarrassment. This demonstrates academic integrity.

2. **Truthfulness in Business:** An employee who notices a financial discrepancy in the company’s records promptly reports it to their supervisor, even though it might reflect poorly on the team’s performance. This showcases professional integrity.

3. **Keeping Promises:** A person commits to helping a friend move on a certain day and rearranges their own plans to fulfill the commitment. Even if something more appealing comes up, they honor their promise, displaying personal integrity.

4. **Avoiding Plagiarism:** An author gives proper credit to all sources and references used in their work, ensuring that they don’t present someone else’s ideas as their own. This is an example of intellectual integrity.

5. **Confidentiality:** A doctor respects patient confidentiality and does not disclose any sensitive medical information to unauthorized individuals, even if pressured to do so. This reflects ethical integrity.

6. **Admitting Mistakes:** A manager takes responsibility for a project that didn’t meet its goals and openly discusses what went wrong with their team. They seek solutions and learning opportunities, exemplifying leadership integrity.

7. **Fair and Transparent Decision-Making:** A government official involved in contract allocation ensures that the selection process is fair, transparent, and unbiased, even in the face of external pressures. This demonstrates public service integrity.

8. **Resisting Temptation:** A cashier discovers a discrepancy in the cash register but resists the urge to pocket the extra money, choosing to report it to the supervisor instead. This illustrates ethical and moral integrity.

9. **Consistency in Principles:** A community leader consistently advocates for environmental conservation and sustainable practices, even when faced with economic pressures that might suggest compromising these values. This showcases environmental integrity.

10. **Being Accountable:** An athlete who tests positive for a banned substance admits their mistake, accepts the consequences, and takes steps to rectify their actions. This displays sportsmanship and personal integrity.

These examples illustrate different aspects of integrity across various domains of life. Integrity involves making ethical choices even when no one is watching and holding oneself to a high standard of behavior.

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