What are the challenges associated with the institutional and societal framework for fighting corruption? (150 words – 10 marks)
The legal and institutional framework to curb corruption is well developed in the
country and there are various bodies in place for implementing anti-corruption
policies and raising awareness on corruption issues, but still it faces the following
CVC: Needs prior sanction to prosecute. Cannot probe officials below Joint
Secretary level until government refers case and Limited staff.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI): Cannot probe or frame charges on its
own. Cases have to be referred. Is under government control and not
The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C & AG): Limited to audits
and accounts. It cannot probe corruption as defined by the Prevention of
Corruption Act. It has powers only to recommend. It has no investigative or
Chief Information Commission (CIC): Composition and the slow pace of
addressing the issues, Lack of training of information commissioners on
disposing off cases, lack of staff to man the offices, and unfilled positions for
information commissioners are all adding to the problem.
One of the biggest substantial gap identified is the lack of whistleblower
The institutional anti-corruption framework generally suffers from a lack of
coordination, and overlapping and conflicting mandates between institutions
Thus, the law enforcement is significantly weak, suggesting a lack of political
will to effectively address corruption challenges in the country.
Problems/challenges in Social framework
Emergence of political elite which believes in interest oriented rather than nation oriented programmes and policies.
Artificial scarcity created by people with malevolent intention wrecks the fabrics
of the economy.
Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value
system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality,
services and honesty are regarded as anachronistic.
Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry
against corruption and the absence of a strong public forum to oppose corruption
allows corruption to rein our people.
Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life.
In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials compel them to resort to corruption. Graduates from Indian institutes of management with no experience draw a far handsome salary than what government secretaries draw.
Complex laws and procedures deter common people from seeking help from the government.
Big industrialists fund politicians to meet high cost of election and ultimately to
seek personal favour. Bribery to politicians buys influences and bribery by
politicians buys votes. In order to get elected, politicians bribe poor, illiterate
Reforms in Institutional framework
E-Governance can considerably increase the speed of government services in a
number of areas and reduce opportunities for bribery.
Citizens’ Charters should be made effective by stipulating the service levels and also the remedy if these service levels are not met.
All the bodies against corruption should be provided with autonomy and
resources to fight corruption.
Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill has been passed in 2013 but four years after that,
the Lokpal is yet to be appointed. The bill should be amended as soon as possible so that appointment of lokayukta can be done.
A conducive whistle blower protection act can be enacted.
Reforms in Social framework
The citizens’ voice can be effectively used to expose, denounce and restrain
School awareness programmes should be introduced, highlighting the
importance of ethics and how corruption can be combated.
A free media has a crucial role in the prevention, monitoring and control of
corruption. Such media can inform and educate the public on corruption, expose
corruption in government, private sector and civil society organizations and help
monitor codes of conduct while policing itself against corruption.
Social audit through client or beneficiary groups or civil society groups is yet
another way of eliciting information on and prevention of wrong doing in
procurement of products and services for government, in the distribution of
welfare payments, in the checking of attendance of teachers and students in
schools and hostels, staff in the hospitals and a host of other similar citizen
service-oriented activities of government.