The economy and the society have changed "hugely" over the years, he said, adding that civil servants should be fearless and not go only with the trend.
"He (civil servant) must have a credibility and an ability to pull along with his team. He must also have a capacity in Parliamentary democracy to understand what the government policy is, how it is to be pursued, and yet maintain a reasonable distance from the political thicket," Jaitley said.
The economy and the society have changed hugely over the years and it is the job of the civil servants to attune themselves with the changing times, he said.
"The economy, (is) no longer an economy of controls. Today world over changes take place... Internationally the world is getting more and more integrated and therefore a civil servant or any officer in any branch of governance needs to attune...with these changes in the society," he said.
Jaitley was speaking at the convocation of Indian Institute of Public Administration.
A civil servant may not like his minister to be populist, but the officer has to strike the right balance between governance and compassion, he said.
"What is it a successful civil servant must have... He has to attune to the highest levels of integrity, he must be fearless in speaking up his minds, he cannot only go with the trend, if he has an alternative view point it may be a valid view point, in a most disciplined manner, he has to express," he said.
Jaitley said it is the responsibility of the civil servants to act as a link between governance structure and citizenry as the aspirations and concerns of various sections of society are different.

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