Integrity – The quality of being truthful to others and most of all, to yourself, by your actions and your behavior. According to me, it is a quality that should be deep-rooted in a person. It is a characteristic which a person should never lose, be it any situation. A strong code of ethics is of foremost importance in academic, personal and professional spheres of our life. Since integrity is the practice of upholding the banner of ethics, it is the foundation for achieving excellence.

From my childhood, I have been always told that success in one’s life is only achieved by building strong professional and personal relationships. This, in turn, is the result of following a path of sincerity and virtue. From an academic setting, maintaining a high degree of integrity by an institution enables holistic development of its students. The practice leads to the creation of leaders of the society and widespread recognition of the institute. In an organization, strict adherence to a code of ethics develops a sense of loyalty and duty among the employees. This contributes to economic growth of the company by transforming it into an efficient body. Maintaining integrity in one’s personal life helps develop trust and openness. In short, integrity plays a pivotal role in creating a productive and happy community.

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This belief has strengthened over the years owing to various instances in my life. Practicing a strict code of integrity has helped me excel in various leadership roles in both academic and professional tenures. At the same time, it has also enabled me to forge long-lasting relations. In my current firm ZS Associates – “Get it right”, “Treat people right” and “Do the right thing” are the three core values. The three values revolve around the concept of integrity and is a testimony to the significance of integrity in my life.

Purdue University is an institute of rich academic heritage for close to 150 years. It should have tremendous expectations on this front. Each student should uphold the code of integrity and have a firsthand knowledge of consequences of failing to do so. The following statement in the academic integrity section of the university webpage – “Academic dishonesty undermines institutional integrity and threatens the academic fabric of Purdue University”, harmonize with my own thoughts and I strongly agree with the same.

Any student who fails to keep up academic integrity, by plagiarism or any other wrongful activity, must be severely punished. Issuing warnings to the first time defaulters would help them understand the importance of academic integrity. Subsequent violation should lead to cancellation of their papers or expulsion from the institute. At the same time, providing aid to a crime is equivalent to committing a crime. Hence, his fellow students are also held accountable in case of not reporting the incident or aiding the culprit. As a result, similar treatment is applicable for both the primary culprit and his fellow students.

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