Ans: Values are a body of abstract standards that influence human thinking and guide human conduct.Values are concerned with character and conduct of a person. They are used to evaluate the voluntary and habitual actions of individuals with reference to their being right or wrong.
Values are relevant in the context of the society in which they are practiced. So, they do depend on the nature of the situation and are subject to change. E.g., in British India before Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s interventions the practice of Sati was considered a value so cherished by the forward caste men to be imposed upon their widows. But with changing times such values were no longer seen to be sacrosanct and the society also began to despise them. Such values are called as extrinsic values which get regulated by external force and sanctions.
However, there are certain values which have worth in their own right. They are an end in themselves. Such values are truth, beauty, honesty etc. Aristotle used to call them virtues. E.g., honesty and courage are values that are always appreciated and do not change with societies or situations
Also, these values are not mutually exclusive and are used relatively. In public service as well the 2nd ARC identifies some values as universal such as selflessness, integrity and courage. These values are also inculcated in the code of ethics for the public servants.
To conclude, values are a guide to human conduct. Every society cherishes different values due to the demands of the time and situation. However, the existence of certain universal values cannot be denied.