Corruption in India Essay

History The economy of India was under socialist-inspired policies for an entire generation from the 1950s until the 1980s. The economy was subject to extensive regulation, protectionism, and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow growth. [1][2][3][4] License Raj was often at the core of corruption. The Vohra Report was submitted by the former Indian Union Home Secretary, N. N. Vohra, in October 1993. It studied the problem of the criminalisation of politics and of the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India.

The report contained several observations made by official agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running a parallel government. It also discussed criminal gangs who enjoyed the patronage of politicians, of all parties, and the protection of government functionaries. It revealed that political leaders had become the leaders of gangs. They were connected to the military. Over the years criminals had been elected to local bodies, State Assemblies and Parliament.

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The unpublished annexures to the Vohra Report were believed to contain highly explosive material. According to Jitendra Singh, “in the bad old days, particularly pre-1991, when the License Raj held sway, and by design, all kinds of free market mechanisms were hobbled or stymied, and corruption emerged almost as an illegitimate price mechanism, a shadowy quasi-market, such that scarce resources could still be allocated within the economy, and decisions could get made. [… ] These were largely distortions created by the politico-economic regime.

While a sea change has occurred in the years following 1991, some of the distorted cultural norms that took hold during the earlier period are slowly being repaired by the sheer forces of competition. The process will be long and slow, however. It will not change overnight. “[5] One of the major problems and obstacles to development that many developing countries face is corruption by greedy, power-hungry politicians, which is endemic in certain parts of the world. [edit] Politics Main article: Indian political scandals Criminalization of Indian politics is a problem. [6][7]

In July 2008 The Washington Post reported that nearly a fourth of the 540 Indian Parliament members faced criminal charges, “including human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder”. [8] At state level, things are often worse. In Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2002, candidates with criminal records won the majority of seats. [edit] Bureaucracy A 2005 study done by Transparency International (TI) in India found that more than 50% of the people had firsthand experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office. 9] Taxes and bribes are common between state borders; Transparency International estimates that truckers pay annually $5 billion in bribes. [10]. A 2009 survey of the leading economies of Asia, revealed Indian bureaucracy to be not just least efficient out of Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Philippines and Indonesia; further it was also found that working with India’s civil servants was a “slow and painful” process. [11]. [edit] Land and property Officials often steal state property.

In Bihar, more than 80% of the subsidized food aid to poor is stolen [5]. In cities and villages throughout India, Mafia Raj consisting of municipal and other government officials, elected politicians, judicial officers, real estate developers and law enforcement officials, acquire, develop and sell land in illegal ways. [12]. [edit] Tendering processes and awarding contracts Government officials having discretionary powers in awarding contracts engage in preferential treatment for selected bidders, display negligence in quality control processes[citation needed].

Many state-funded construction activities in India, such as road building, are dominated by construction mafias, which are groupings of corrupt public works officials, materials suppliers, politicians and construction contractors. [13] Shoddy construction and material substitution (e. g. mixing sand in cement while submitting expenses for cement) result in roads and highways being dangerous, and sometimes simply washed away when India’s heavy monsoon season arrives. [14] [edit] Medicine

In Government Hospitals, corruption is associated with non availability of medicines (or duplicate medicines), getting admission, consultations with doctors and availing diagnostic services. [9]. There have been cases of diversion of medical supplies from government hospitals and clinics[citation needed] as well as supply and distribution of medicines of inferior quality[citation needed] [edit] Transport Officials who oversee transportation regulations, safety norms, traffic violations engage in rent seeking activity.

Typically a lenient treatment for an offending driver or vehicle is accompanied by expectation of a bribe[citation needed]. India has multiple jurisdictions for vehicular laws as well as overlapping laws at the central government and state government level which worsens bureaucratic complications. This leads to facilitation payments to accelerate normal government processes[citation needed]. Some airports, such as the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala, are notorious for theft of valuables from bags checked on incoming flights.

Such theft is a rude awakening to the state of corruption in Kerala to tourists and expatriates returning from vacations [15]. Corrupt officials and airport employees turn a blind eye to theft of passenger belongings often colluding in the theft. [edit] Income tax There have been several cases of collusion of officials of the income tax department of India for a favorable tax treatment in return for bribes [16][17] [edit] Preferential award of public resources As detailed earlier, land in areas with short supply is relatively common with government entities awarding public land to private concerns at negligible rates.

Other examples include the award of mining leases to private companies without a levy of taxes that is proportionate to the market value of the ore[citation needed]. [edit] Judiciary Corruption is rampant in the judicial system of India. According to Transparency International, judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors such as “delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws”. [18] [edit] Armed forces

The Indian Armed Forces have frequently witnessed corruption involving senior armed forces officers from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Many officers have been caught for allegedly selling defence stores in the black market in the border districts of Indian states and territories. Recent sukhna land scandal involving four Indian Lieutenant Generals has shaken public faith in the country’s massive military at a time when unprecedented sums are being spent on modernising the armed forces. A string of eye-popping fraud cases has damaged the institution in recent years. 19][20][21] [edit] Police Despite State prohibitions against torture and custodial misconduct by the police, torture is widespread in police custody, which is a major reason behind deaths in custody. [22][23] The police often torture innocent people until a ‘confession’ is obtained to save influential and wealthy offenders. [24] G. P. Joshi, the programme coordinator of the Indian branch of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi comments that the main issue at hand concerning police violence is a lack of accountability of the police. 25] [edit] Religious institutions In India, the corruption has also crept into religious institutions. Some of the Church of North India are making money by selling Baptism certificates. [26] A group of church leaders and activists has launched a campaign to combat the corruption within churches. The chief economic consequences of corruption are the loss to the economy an unhealthy climate for investment and an increase in the cost of government-subsidised services. The TI India study estimates the monetary value of petty orruption in 11 basic services provided by the government, like education, healthcare, judiciary, police, etc. , to be around Rs. 21,068 crores. India still ranks in the bottom quartile of developing nations in terms of the ease of doing business, and compared to China and other lower developed Asian nations, the average time taken to secure the clearances for a startup or to invoke bankruptcy is much greater. [edit] Anti-corruption efforts [edit] Right to information act Main article: Right to Information Act

The Right to Information Act (2005) and equivalent acts in the states, that require government officials to furnish information requested by citizens or face punitive action, computerisation of services and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions have considerably reduced corruption or at least have opened up avenues to redress grievances. [9][27] The 2006 report by Transparency International puts India at the 70th place and states that significant improvements were made by India in reducing corruption. 28][29] [edit] Ombudsmen The LokAyukta is an anti-government corruption organization in the Indian states [30][31]. These institutions are based on the Ombudsman in Scandinavian countries. An amendment to the Constitution has been proposed to implement the Lokayukta uniformly across Indian States as a three-member body, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or high court chief justice, and comprise of the state vigilance commissioner and a jurist or an eminent administrator as other members [32]. [edit] Computerization Bhoomi is a project jointly funded by the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka to digitize the paper land records and create a software mechanism to control changes to the land registry in Karnataka. The project was designed to eliminate the long-standing problem of inefficiency and corruption. * Introduction of smart cards for vehicle registration and drivers licenses by Karnataka Regional Transport Organization[33]. * Enforcement automation of traffic violations by Bangalore Traffic Police [34]. [edit] Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers play a major role in the fight against corruption. India currently does not have a law to protect whistleblowers, which was highlighted by the assassination of Satyendra Dubey. [edit] Creation of Anti-Corruption Police and Courts Some have called for the Central Government to create an anti-theft law enforcement agency that investigates and prosecutes corruption at all levels of government, including state and local level. Special courts that are more efficient than the traditional Indian courts with traveling judges and law enforcement agents are being proposed.

The proposal has not yet been acted upon by the Indian government. Certain states such as Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Pradesh Anti-corruption Bureau) and Karnataka (Lokayukta) have similar agencies and courts [35][30]. The creation of a central agency with specialized courts with broad powers, however, is likely to have greater impact in curbing corruption at all levels[opinion][citation needed]. [edit] Private sector initiatives Several new initiatives have come up in the private sector to raise awareness about Corruption related issues and to build anti-corruption platforms. ttp://5thpillar. org is one such organization that is promoting the use of Zero Rupee Notes [36] to fight corruption by shaming the officials who ask for bribe. Another popular initiative Jaago Re! One Billion Votes from Tata Tea has now changed its focus from voter registration to fighting corruption [37]. nobribe. org is another platform for corruption free India and advocates the use of direct and regular measurement of corruption to force the hands of the leadership into dealing with corruption related issues[38].


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