Corruption in India

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    • Recently the International Anti-Corruption Day-2022 was organised by the CBI on ‘Anti-Corruption efforts – A sine qua non for Development and Security.

    About the Corruption

    • Corruption refers to misusing public power for personal gain. It can be done by an elected politician, civil servant, journalist, administrator of a school, or anyone in authority. 
    • Apart from public corruption, we also have private corruption between individuals and businesses. 
      • Thus, the corruption definition applies to different forms.
    • Corruption in India:
      • Corruption in India is not limited to collusive high-level scams. Petty corruption, which affects the delivery of basic services and rights to people, is rampant.
      • Global surveys/indices: 
        • India has the highest rate of bribery and use of personal links to access public services such as healthcare and education in Asia, according to a survey released by global civil society Transparency International.
        • India is in the 85th position among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index, 2021.

    Issues Linked to it 

    • Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice.
    • Corruption encourages dysfunctionality in government, perpetrates economic inefficiency and can be a serious threat to national security.
    • the impact of corruption is especially heavy on common citizens, and even more on poorer and vulnerable persons in communities.
    • Changing nature of Corruption: Since liberalisation in India, the nature of corruption has become more complex. 
      • With technological development, there are opportunities to prevent corruption but also areas where corruption can be much more difficult to trace, particularly in fields like cryptocurrency.

    Government initiatives:

    • Indian government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money.
    • It has enacted a comprehensive and more stringent new law – the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015
    • There’s also a Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, which empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate benami properties. 
    • Law enforcement agencies such as CBI have done a great deal to reduce corruption.
    • Prevention of Corruption Act:
      • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to combat corruption in government agencies and public sector businesses in India.
      • Amendment to the Act:
        • As the Prevention of Corruption Act saw limited success in preventing corruption in Government departments and prosecuting and punishing public servants involved in corrupt practices, an amendment was enacted (Amendment Act) and brought into force in 2018. 
        • The Amendment Act attempted to bring the Prevention of Corruption Act in line with United Nations Convention against Corruption 2005, which was ratified by India in 2011.
    • Right To Information Act, 2005 
      • The intent behind the enactment of the Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities. 
    • Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014
      • The Act seeks to protect whistleblowers, i.e. persons making a public interest disclosure related to an act of corruption, misuse of power, or criminal offense by a public servant.
      • It is provided by the Right To Information Act, 2005, it has been an important weapon for whistleblowers in previous years.
      • The RTI Act, 2005 is also called as a ‘twin sister’ of whistleblowing.
    • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013:
      • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 provided for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States.
      • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level.
      • It investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.
    • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
      • The Bill amends the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 in relation to the declaration of assets and liabilities by public servants. 
      • It requires a public servant to declare his assets and liabilities, and that of his spouse and dependent children. 

    Suggestions & way ahead

    • Different steps can help in managing corruption and bringing it down. 
    • Education:
      • Education is one of the most critical steps. It can help in reinforcing the correct business practices.
      • Mandatory education courses like anti-money laundering must be introduced. 
    • Accountability:
      • Accountability mechanisms can also help in curbing corruption.
    • Efficient Reporting:
      • Furthermore, it can be easier to reduce corruption if reporting it becomes simple.
    • Leading by the best practices:
      • The senior employees in the management department must lead by example and cultivate an open and transparent culture.
    • Encouraging ethical culture: 
      • Similarly, rewards and incentives must be granted to encourage people to cultivate an ethical culture. 
    • Need for innovative anti-corruption solutions: 
      • There is a the need for real-time information sharing between law enforcement agencies. 

    International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD)

    • It has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003
    • Significance of 2022 IACD:
      • The 2022 IACD  also marks the beginning of the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention Against Corruption – UNCAC.
      • This is reflected by the theme of this year’s international day, ‘UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.’
      • It seeks to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development

    Source: IE