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CORRUPTION IN INDIA

India more corrupt than China, better than Pak: Transparency International

  • In the Corruption Perception Index for 2017, India was ranked at the 81st place with a score of 40.
  • India has been ranked worse than China and Bhutan in terms of ‘corruption perception’, but fares better than its other neighbours including Pakistan and Bangladesh, as per a global list released by graft watchdog Transparency International.
  • In the Corruption Perception Index for 2017, India was ranked at the 81st place with a score of 40.
  • Among the neighbouring countries, Pakistan was ranked at the 117th place with a score of 32, Bangladesh at 143th (score of 28), Myanmar at 130th (score 30) and Sri Lanka 91st (score 38).
  • Bhutan has the best score of 67 among India’s neighbours and has been placed high on the index at the 26th place. China also fared better than India with a rank of 77 and score of 41.
  • The index ranks 180 jurisdictions by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people and uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 denotes highly corrupt and 100 very clean.
  • In the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) block of major emerging economies, South Africa is ranked the best (71st), followed by China and India, while Brazil is at 96th and Russia at 135th.
  • As per the report, there is a high variance in public sector corruption across the Asia Pacific region as more than half of the countries in the Asia Pacific score less than 50 on the index.
  • “While corruption continues to be a rampant problem across the region, improvements will only be made if there is strong political will for change and if a comprehensive strategy is adopted, not one based on isolated actions,” the report said.
  • New Zealand and Denmark have topped the list, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia have been ranked the lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively.

Defining Corruption :

  • Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.
  • It is a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit
  • It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.
  • Grand corruption consists of acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good.
  • Petty corruption refers to everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments and other agencies.
  • Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth.
  • Systemic corruption or endemic corruption is corruption which exists primarily due to the weaknesses of an organization or process. It can be contrasted with individual officials or agents who act corruptly within the system. Factors which encourage systemic corruption include discretionary powers to officials; monopolistic powers; lack of transparency; low pay; and a culture of impunity. Specific acts of corruption include “bribery, extortion, and embezzlement” in a system where “corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception.”
  • Collusive and Coercive corruption: In Collusive type of corruption, the bribe giver and taker, both benefit from the deal. In Coercive corruption, the citizen is forced to pay bribe in return of some kind of service, which he is entitled for.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF CORRUPTION?| Corruption in India

  • Corruption impacts societies in a multitude of ways. In the worst cases, it costs lives. Short of this, it costs people their freedom, health or money. The cost of corruption can be divided into four main categories: political, economic, social and environmental.
  • On the political front, corruption is a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their legitimacy when they’re misused for private advantage. This is harmful in established democracies, but even more so in newly emerging ones. It is extremely challenging to develop accountable political leadership in a corrupt climate.
  • Economically, corruption depletes national wealth. Corrupt politicians invest scarce public resources in projects that will line their pockets rather than benefit communities, and prioritise high-profile projects such as dams, power plants, pipelines and refineries over less spectacular but more urgent infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and roads. Corruption also hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, which in turn deters investment.
  • Corruption corrodes the social fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. A distrustful or apathetic public can then become yet another hurdle to challenging corruption.
  • Environmental degradation is another consequence of corrupt systems. The lack of, or non-enforcement of, environmental regulations and legislation means that precious natural resources are carelessly exploited, and entire ecological systems are ravaged. From mining, to logging, to carbon offsets, companies across the globe continue to pay bribes in return for unrestricted destruction.

What are the methods of Corruption?:

  • Bribery: Bribery involves the improper use of gifts and favours in exchange for personal gain. This is also known as kickbacks.
  • Embezzlement, theft and fraud: Embezzlement and theft involve someone with access to funds or assets illegally taking control of them. Fraud involves using deception to convince the owner of funds or assets to give them up to an unauthorized party.
  • Graft: when funds intended for public projects are intentionally misdirected in order to maximize the benefits to illegally private interests of the corrupted individual(s) and their cronies.
  • Extortion and blackmail: While bribery is the use of positive inducements for corrupt aims, extortion and blackmail centre on the use of threats.
  • Influence peddling: Influence peddling is the illegal practice of using one’s influence in government or connections with persons in authority to obtain favours or preferential treatment for another, usually in return for payment.
  • Networking: Networking has been described as an attempt to corrupt formal hiring processes, where all candidates are given an equal opportunity to demonstrate their merits to selectors.
  • Abuse of discretion: Abuse of discretion refers to the misuse of one’s powers and decision-making facilities. Favoritism, nepotism and clientelism: They involve the favouring of not the perpetrator of corruption but someone related to them, such as a friend, family member or member of an association. Examples would include hiring or promoting a family member or staff member to a role they are not qualified for, who belongs to the same political party as you, regardless of merit.

Institutional framework to control corruption in India:

The central government has set up the following four departments as anti-corruption bodies:

  • Administrative Vigilance Division (AVD) in the Department of Personnel and Training
  • Central Bureau of In­vestigation (CBI),
  • Domestic Vigilance Units in the Ministries/ Departments/Public Undertakings/Nationalised Banks, and
  • Central Vigi­lance Commission (CVC).

Legal Framework

  • Corruption laws in India Public servants in India can be penalized for corruption under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 prohibits benami transactions. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 penalises public servants for the offence of money laundering.
  • India is also a signatory (not ratified) to the UN Convention against Corruption since 2005. The Convention covers a wide range of acts of corruption and also proposes certain preventive policies.
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