Singh also said that civil servants should be impartial and show "no hesitation" in taking decisions.
"If a political executive gives wrong orders, do not be scared to show them rules. Tell the political executive that you are legally wrong. Do not sign the file. Haan meinhaan naa milaiye (Do not become a yes master). Do not betray your conscience," he told the inaugural session at an event to mark the Civil Services Day in New Delhi.
The function was attended by officers belonging to the IAS and other all India services.
Lauding the role of bureaucrats in bringing changes in the society, the home minister said the job makes an officer responsible, accountable and impartial.
"Civil services has power. But with power comes big responsibility, accompanied by accountability. We should always remember this. Along with the responsibility and accountability, impartiality is the third most important aspect of our civil servants. Lack of impartiality may affect your decision-making capabilities," he said.
The home minister also took a dig at officers who "avoid" taking decisions, saying such hesitation may harm the country's interests.
"If necessary, discuss and deliberate with your seniors but there should be no hesitation in taking decisions."
Singh said Indian polity has never faced a vacuum and witnessed continuity in all these years as the civil servants contributed largely in maintaining continuity.
"This administrative continuity in India has been one of the important reasons for the success of Indian democracy," he said.
Singh said the Narendra Modi government through 'Jan Dhan, Aadhar and mobile connectivity' (JAM) convergence is transforming good governance into smart governance.
The Home Minister said the central government is committed to successfully implementing 'Antyodaya', a scheme for providing subsidised food to millions of poorest families.
Singh said civil servants have to play a more active and effective role in its implementation.
"Our government is known for its commitment and conviction. The Prime Minister has a dream of ensuring 'Roti, Kapda, Makan, Siksha and Swasthya' (food, house, education and health service) for everyone by 2022. Civil servants must ensure that the dream becomes a reality," he said.
Singh said the country's first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had said that if civil services was called 'steel frame' of India it would not be an exaggeration.
"The guiding principles for civil servants as enunciated by Sardar Patel in 1948 are extremely important in the present day context as well. The 'steel frame' of our civil services has not weakened even after 70 years of Independence," he said.