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Corruption in India and Fixing it

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Corruption corrodes national economy, makes life difficult for citizens and inhibits investors not interested or skilled in managing corrupt politicians and bureaucratic establishment. There are many facets to corruption. Some corruption involves paying off power holders (politicians, bureaucrats, police, judges, etc and middlemen including clerks and peons who control access to officials or process paper work). Some corruption reflects on the prevailing morality and ethical values in the country, as well as international politics. This blog addresses several facets of corruptions and offers some viable solution to tackle it.

To solve the wide spread corruption problems of India several strategies are suggested:

  1. A publicly voted national code of conduct to encourage citizens to be disciplined or morally and ethically responsible by not practicing selfish business practices.
  2. Honoring basic human rights guaranteed to all citizens in the constitution.
  3. Implement a legal framework free of misinterpretations to make it easy for the judiciary and citizens to operate with to bring down corruption.
  4. Offering reformed comprehensive education to citizens to cultivate discipline, and to act morally and ethically.
  5. Implementing good governance practices.
  6. Improving good governance by eliminating heavy handed bureaucracy (license raj).
  7. Conforming to a globally agreed national code to conduct international business and to eliminate violation of national integrity by the strategic depths seekers and paranoid leaders.

This blog covers following topics:

  1. Two Categories of Corruption
  2. Moral and Ethical Corruption  
  3. Values and Law
  4. Corruption in India
  5. Fixing Corruption
  6. Fixing Values
  7. Corruption and Governance
  8. Morality and International Politics
  9. Acknowledgement, References and notes

Two Categories of Corruption

Corruption may be divided into two broad categories:

  1. Corrupt have a broken regulatory system of moral and ethical values and
  2. Corruption is money transactions not conforming to laws of the country.

In recent times world bodies have used a set of criteria to compiled “Corruption Perceptions Index” to gauge degree of corruption in 160+ nations. It attempts to present a holistic view comparing corruption on same basis. According to this index many developed democratic lands, although corrupt, are less so than nations with emerging economies. Most kleptocracies – communist and theocratic or a religious political ideology dominated lands rank among most corrupt nations.

Different set of moral and ethical values guide different political ideologies. Some organizations like UN, IEA, and Global Subsidy Initiatives, etc have developed definitions of corruptions that are not necessarily consistent with laws of many countries. Communists, for example, never feel that they have much corruption because their definition is very different than the one used by capitalists.

Most Arab and want-to-be Arab nations practice some variation of theocracy and some nominal democracies, like Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Iran and Indonesia to name a few of 57 Muslim majority lands may be predatory states that follow tenets of Islamic political ideology to establish kleptocracies exploited by feudalists, warlords, army generals, clerics and other politically motivated citizens for personal gains. A predatory state is a kleptocracy with a single bandit eliminating competition, monopolizing theft and transforming into a kleptocrat (dictator). The revolutions taking place (January – February 2011) in Muslim lands of Africa and Middle East illustrates my point.

Moral and Ethical Corruption

Unlike in theocratic nations, morality and ethics can not be legislated in multi-cultural multi-ethnic constitutional democracies with basic human rights guaranteed to all citizens. The constitutional democracies can adopt a unified code of discipline approved by voters to define state sponsored moral and ethical values. For national unity it is important for common persons to conform to a unified code of discipline – a set of values – for being good citizen. A national code of discipline can be implemented with reformed comprehensive education.

Moral and ethical values are imposed by religious and social orders. These values are generally observed by believers and ideologues based on interpretations of scriptures and the political ideology. The believers in the ideologue states deny same human rights to all its citizens and force citizens to conform to government mandated moral and ethical values; sharia for Muslims and a manifesto for communist.

However, the personal values and beliefs have no legal force in constitutional democracies. The personal values and beliefs may be misinterpretations of scriptures. Every religion offers a set of scriptures embedded with various personal values for the believers.

Given such liberties with morality and ethics, it is hard but possible to define corruption as my friend Sudhir Krishna (SK) did by stating, “Corruption in the moral sense arises out of selfishness and a lack of concern for fellow beings and society.”

SK elaborated, “Moral standard could be based on religious values.” But personally SK defined it on compassion and empathy. If individuals based their actions on concern for others and the general welfare, they may well exceed the legal standard.

I agree with SK, “Even well-meaning people may have trouble with the “gray” zone, where it is not clear as to what the right course of action might be.  For example, if one stops buying goods from a place using child labor, an unintended consequence might be that the children will be discharged and not have enough to eat. Ethical dilemmas involve drawing the line somewhere. Corruption here is about not reflecting on the issues but taking the most expedient and self-serving route.”

Values and Law

The national laws are backed with power enshrined in the justice system by the state. Unlike the laws of constitutional democracies, believers are free to disregard any values they are not comfortable with. The world in 21st century is destabilized by jihadis, who are radical fundamentalist believers committed to personal code of conduct and values that are not same as ours.

Corruption in India

To discuss corruption related to money and goods exchanges the informed citizen should have a working definition of corruption. In Indian context, a working definition of corruption is, “any business transaction performed in black market to generate income by anyone – poor, rich, private citizen or government employee – is black money.” Black market in India feeds parallel economy estimated to be about $640 billions a year and about 50% of the white economy.

SK in principle agreed with me that a comprehensive definition needs both a legal standard and a moral standard. SK offered a definition, “Legal standard involves the constitution, laws, statutes, regulations, codes, standards, specifications, policies, procedures, etc. Corruption is a deviation from these standards.”

SK illustrated, “if it is specified that the fee for a birth certificate is 100 rupees but the clerk wants something above and beyond that, we have a deviation and hence corruption.”  Black market is also a deviation and a “white collar crime.” Legal framework should incorporate stiff punishment for white collar criminals.

The legal standard to be considered just and fair should be voted in by people in the interest of national unity. The laws of despotic regimes or the ideological states are considered unjust and unfair and hence, it is a national problem if the shariah is applied to prosecute non-Muslims and if the manifesto is used to punish those who defy communists.

My definition of corruption in India is limited to illegal money and goods transactions in black money. A Google search offered many more definitions of corruption, and they all acknowledge the essential element of legal requirements. A sampling of Google search for “definition of corruption” follows:

  1. Dictionary defines corruption, “corruptness: lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.”
  2. A handbook on political corruption is complied by Arnold J. Heidenheimer, Michael Johnston
  3. Legal definition of corruption is “An act done with intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. It includes bribery, but is more comprehensive; because an act may be corruptly done, though the advantage to be derived from it is for some but not offered to others.”
  4. In business situations corruption often results from patronage. Business dictionary defines corruption as, “giving or obtaining advantage through means, which are illegitimate, immoral, and/or inconsistent with one’s duty or the rights of others.”

By any standards except that of moral and ethical values, the judiciary and citizens requires a legal framework to operate with to bring down corruption. Citizens need to cultivate discipline to act morally and ethically. Discipline means conforming to acceptable moral and ethical standards or a uniform national code of conduct; respecting human rights granted to all in a constitutional democracy of a multi-religious and multiethnic nation.

Black market exists as proper legal system/framework is not in place in India. In America many laws exist that have reduced black market at the level of common person but not at higher levels – politicians and big businesses. America politicians collect millions – hundreds of millions to get elected as president – in campaign contributions by exploiting big loopholes in the laws. The legal framework makes American system transparent and India can learn from it.

Recently I came across several articles and also a Power Point presentation that the black money held by Indians in foreign banks may be as much as $1.5 trillions. In 1995, an estimate was Indians had stacked away in foreign banks about $225 billion, which in 2008 was valued at under $500 billion. This number appears to be a third of what some politically motivated commentators claim to be the amount of black money held by Indians in foreign banks.

Fixing Corruption

I am all for fixing corruption by implementing proper legal framework. I am not for making political statements by politically motivated commentators and laptop warriors. The adoption of a legal framework is a step for good governance. Legal framework that eliminates misinterpretations will and should help judiciary to expedite resolution of cases related to corruption and inhibit black market by “white collar” criminals. It will also offer transparency, discourage wide spread white collar crime and may help silence political opportunists, who link the black money in foreign banks to poverty – 80% Indians earning less than Rs 100 per day.

Implementing reformed comprehensive education is a viable possibility to instill discipline consistent with a national code of conduct for good citizenship.

At national level, fixing corruption requires good governance and improving prevailing morality and ethics by replacing it with a national code of conduct to be considered good citizen. Politicians and policy makers have implement policies that have helped reduce corruption to practically zero in some developed Scandinavian lands, which are considered to be nations with excellent governance. Most developed nations like America have good, not excellent governance as they are more corrupt than Scandinavian nations according to the corruption perception index.

International systems based on a uniform code of conduct are being developed to help resolve international disputes and improve cooperation. For resolving international business disputes WTO sponsors the DOHA conferences. DOHA conferences are also sponsored to tackle other issues include interfaith dialogue, education, etc. It is important that to be effective and meaningful the interfaith dialogue emphasizes mutual respect for all faiths and not just tolerance as has been the case with some faiths that actively proselytize to pursue global domination.

Colonization by today’s global standards may be regarded as corrupt morality. Colonization has been a historical reality; see the section on morality and international politics.

Education for Fixing Values

Legislating morality and ethics, of course, is beyond powers of the policy makers. Governments, however, can implement policies to improve today’s objective educational system by making it a comprehensive with incorporation of science of living (see acknowledgements) that teaches personal discipline and spiritual practices to improve attitudes and behavior patterns for a responsible member of the society.

In a comprehensive system every person is educated to be disciplined for practicing good behavior required of a responsible member of society and community. Good discipline comes from within with spiritual education with science of living. Comprehensive education compliments the objective education and it incorporates learning principles and practices of science of living. The science of living focuses on spiritual development by learning practices for positive thinking. Learning to think positively requires awakening intuition, transendenting consciousness by improving generation of the vital energy and sensitizing neuro-endocrine system to optimize hormonal secretions by ductless glands (endocrines) to maintain a balanced emotional equilibrium at all times.

It surprises many, educated or not, to see people resorting to corruption represented by dishonesty, theft, oppression and anger. In reality, there is nothing unnatural about it. Unlike the focus of the comprehensive education on developing discipline and intellect, the objective system concentrates only on quickening the intellect, which enables people and laptop warriors to argue and to reason. The biased laptop warriors generally are selfish and deceptive.

Paradoxically, the tendencies to serve personal interests and needs by practicing deception are a direct result of one-sided intellectual development. Consequently, intellectuals, scholars and judges are frequently encountered falling pray to corrupt practices, traders indulging in smuggling and adulteration, and government employees accepting hush money and bribes. Within the framework of social mores warranted by the objective education such aberrations are not treated as objectionable but it should be. The utilitarian principle (pragmatism?) dictates its own logic.

Viewed dispassionately and scientifically corruption associated with questionable morality and ethics represented by various complexes arise in persons with one-sided intellectual development, unaware of the other side – discipline. In spite of riches and achievements such persons are under severe emotional stress and mental tensions. As individuals they have a right to act independently and discriminate between what is useful and baneful for them. Unless trained to be self-disciplined by cultivation of science of living the morality and ethical standards of the society they belong to will stagnate or drift downwards.

I will let you recall or look up the Tea party Republican’s rhetoric to illustrate pathological state of lies some politicians used during the US elections of 2010 The corrupting influences of one-sided development of intellect devoid of self-discipline allows big politicians to engage in pathological state of lies  and scientists to practices that pose a serious threat to humanity as its survival is threatened by degradation of environment, potential for warfare with weapons of mass destruction, global warming due to depletion of ozone in upper atmosphere, etc. In a society they belong to the values suffer for lack of self-discipline or self-restrain. In an increasingly globalizing world consequences of these actions will affect us all.

Corruption and Governance

Corruption, repression of minorities, denial of fundamental human rights, and gender and faith based inequalities are hall mark of bad government. Bad governments have weak economies as opportunities are limited for development of a dynamic economy, the blood line of economic power of any nation.

Good governance and small government attracts investors to set up businesses and create jobs for the development of a dynamic economy.

  • If official documents are required for public to conduct business of buying and selling property and goods in overly regulated bureaucracy then persons in charge of issuing official documents may delay actions to impede the business transaction in timely manner.
  • In license raj (India before 1991), trying to get a permit to set up a business required passing money through so many different hands. Trying to open up, you had to pay people off. Trying to stay open, you had to pay people off. Trying to export goods, you had to pay people off. By the time you paid everybody off, it wasn’t a very profitable venture and businesses suffered.
  • Businesses create jobs; no business, no job – it is that simple and economic development is stymied.

Good governance with clean and small government means less bureaucracy in a low operating costs government. Bloated bureaucracy not only makes it expensive to operate government it also offers more opportunities for corrupt practices.

Morality and International Politics

Historically, by today’s standards, corrupt morality was used by Roman Catholics to make extraterritorial gains with colonization of Africa and Middle East. In colonies, they proselytized to spread Christianity under the sword, (3rd century to the rise Islam in 7th century).

Muslim conquerors of non-Islamic lands (from 7th to 19th century) were even more aggressive. Soviet leadership (for about 70 years before collapse of USSR in 1991) and that of Pakistan (for last 64 years) openly and publicly followed a morality to further their case, meaning reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie and to cheat.

Soviets built a huge empire by expanding to Eastern Europe, Far East and Central Asia over 70 years and acquired deep strategic depth against the enemy (Western Europe and USA) until it collapsed. Pakistan has consistently tried to acquire “strategic depth” in Afghanistan and launched three wars against India to occupy India’s Kashmir state.

Both Soviets and Pakistan considered their relativistic behavior moral, not immoral. While soviet leaderships didn’t believe in God or religion Pakistanis flaunt Allah and Islam along with outrageous standards of morality. These leaderships don’t subscribe to our sense of morality. They don’t believe in after life. Only morality they recognize is what will advance the cause of communism and Islam.

Acknowledgements, References and notes

I have extensively used the ideas from the following publications by Jain Vishva Bharati (JVB), Landu, Rajasthan (India). Note Landu and Ludnun are same with zip code 341 206.

  1. “The Art of Positive Thinking,” English Translation by R. K. Seth of a Hindi book, “Kaise Sochen?” by Acharya Shri Mahaprajna; JVB, Ludnun 341 306
  2. “Science of Living,” at http://www.jainworld.com/phil/sol/sol02.htm edited by Muni Mahendra Kumar; JVB

Note: A 3,500 word appendix with supplementary information and discussions is available upon request;.

References and notes:

  1. A discussion of corruption issues with Dr Bhamy Shenoy during preparation of the blog helped crystallize the analysis.
  2. “Corruption Perceptions Index” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.
  3. Stealing is a crime. Kleptocrats are thieves. 1010 1030 2010 by Kishan Bhatia (1,299 words) at ivarta.com; http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Stealing-crime-Kleptocrats-are-thieves/blog-389.htm)
  4. Sudhir Krishna, e-message, February 1, 2011
  5. Political corruption: a handbook By Arnold J. Heidenheimer, Michael Johnston at http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fiVeX-lICtcC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=definition+of+corruption&ots=sQl4SFQvJs&sig=l3S59wv_EhMXjCNjhwv3isbKkrE#v=onepage&q=definition%20of%20corruption&f=false
  6. Legal definition of corruption is at http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c314.htm
  7. Business dictionary, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/corruption.html
  8. Tolerance Isn’t Good Enough: The Need for Mutual Respect in Interfaith Relations 1211 2010 by Rajiv Malhotra, Founder, Infinity Foundation at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-malhotra/hypocrisy-of-tolerance_b_792239.html
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22 Responses to "Corruption in India and Fixing it"

  1. Mayank Patel says:

    Corruption started flourishing under Indira Gandhi regime when Income tax rate was 92%, Huge regulatory web was created, decision making was subjective and arbitary, license quota’s killed the market. Hence, day to day necessities needed to be purchased from black market. This gave a lethal blow to moral and ethical fiber of india which survived centuries of foreign rule and invasions.

    Total dismantling of Nehruvian system would be the first step towards reducing corruption. Here are few:
    – Eliminate unnecessary taxes (e.g. octroi)
    – Eliminate unnecessary controls ( e.g. inter-state trade. Shutting down RTO offices on state borders would reduce corruption big time).
    – Current taxes like stamp duty are not only high but also easy to cheat. Elimiate such taxes and replace them with low taxes which are difficult to cheat (e.g. VAT, Real-estate tax). Lower incentive and avenue to cheat.
    – Eliminate discretionary power which allows subjective and arbitary decision making. Replace it with open, transparent, rule based decision making.
    – Automation and e-Goverance.
    – Eliminate and/or simplify government forms.

  2. Kishan Bhatia says:

    Thank you, Mayank.

    Granted high tax rates was a contributing factor for wide spread corruption in India. However, what about lack of discipline in India after Gandhi?

    Your suggested strategies for corruption reduction are good but effectively implementing it requires discipline we need to cultivate with a uniform code of conduct, and less selfishness on part of all those who indulge in black market.

    No black market, no corruption is a formula that requires discipline, not government regulations.

  3. Kris Dev says:

    Simple. The magic wand is biometric smart card for every individual. Ban currency circulation and instead introduce biometric smart card linked to a money account for tracking all transactions and make them public. There can be no corruption and we can see a transformed India in a few years. We can ensure good health, food, housing, education, employment, social security, etc. We can create a level playing field and equality of opportunity, all round peace and prosperity.

  4. Kishan Bhatia says:

    Kris, you have an elegent technology based practical solution.

    I believe Mr. Nandan Nilekani is already working on the national unified id card scheme, which I understand can be easily complimented with your idea to make electronic money transactions for all business transactions a reality. I believe policy makers of India have already started planning for payments to poor rural day workers enlisted in the various yojanas for rural development projects.

    Electronic systems have eliminated wide spread corruptions and improved ticketing for railways, airlines and movie business. I believe electric power companies are in the process of installing electronic water meters. These are very effective practical solutions.

    Many more such effective solutions are possible and the treand should be encluraged.

    Here is a made in India electronic solution for improving rural education for youth in remote backwoods. An IIT graduate working in Bangalore has created and implemented a model school for Bihar remore rural village. I can not C&P here so I will e-message it to you. I believe information technology groups can solve the problem of quality education for rural kids with this model. In fact I vae a group in Mumbai and Gujarat already clammering to duplicate this mode of rural education.

    However, we still haven’t addressed the issue of a mindset geared to selfishness, lack of compassion and empathy for fellow citizens and the basic changes in daily living practices. For tThese changes to come a spiritual awakening is required. It is for individual to acquire skills for personal spiritual awakening. Indian sages have offered lessons to develop positive thinking practices that can be adopted by practicing preksha meditation; preksha means awakening a reasoning mind.

  5. Shmuel Almagor says:

    We here in Israel, for many years, had a huge problem of a black economy.
    The way this problem was solved, not completely but to a very large extent, could be indicative as to how different forms of corruptions should be dealt with.
    It took:
    a) educating the general population on how harmful to society a black economy is,b) reducing taxes to a level that tax payers could reasonably comply with and c) harsh and heavily publicized sentences to those who were caught evading taxes.
    Cultural changes are not easily achieved. They require resolve and perseverance.

  6. Kishan Bhatia says:

    Shmuel, thanks.

    I agree with what Israel did to tackle corruption both at legal and moral levels. These solutions are very much required in India.

    Cultural solutions are for self-improvement through learning to discipline using ancient Indian methods of yoga and meditation.

    Many in West appear not to understand that yoga meditation is designed to awaken reasoning mind by changing body chemistry through breathing exercises.

    Basically, relaxation meditation is used to relieve stress and tension followed by a systematic an hour long breathing exercises designed to sensitize the neuro-endocrine system according to the science of living.

    Endocrins secreations, as you may know, are by ductless glands, including pitutary, thyroid, pneal, adrenelin and a part of brain that produces endorfins.

    What you may not know is that a healthy mind, body and speech requires optimizing endocrine secretions to reequilibrate emotional mind, so that negative activators – anger, fear, hate, envy, suspicion, inferiority, self-pity, cynicism, indecision, etc are inhibited and positive activators – confidence, anticipation, expectations, belief, humility, patience and undestanding are enhanced to give a positive spin to life.

    All this is incorporated in the science of living that is not thought in schools oriented to objective system of education popular in the West, US and most of developed and developing lands.

    The comprehensive education I mentioned in the article has two sides to the equation. On one side is the objective education and on other is the discipline gained by self-initiated spiritual education by methods such as yoga meditations.

    Specific breathing exercises are designed to activate neuro-edocrine secretions and with a disciplined approach one can regain a healthy outlook on life with positive thinking. More later.

  7. krisdev says:

    Both of you are right. But is it that we have not practiced these ideas for generations and decades now after independence? Are we not seeing progressive degeneration in geometric proportion and not just arithmetic proportion? So what has gone wrong suddenly with our present few generations? Unwanted, unnecessary, undesirable greed has overtaken need. If we need to transform India and the world, we need rules to be in place and implemented by force i.e. fool proof systems just as in Singapore, a city state. India is a vast, multi culture society and very difficult to transform just by education. The law maker is intelligent; but remember, the law breaker is more intelligent. It has been invariably observed the successor could be worse then the predecessor. So more law enforcing authorities means, more law aggrandizing, just as the fence eating the crops.

    Hence the system of management by danda (stick) i.e. strict rules. A single multi purpose biometric smart card (BSC) based tracking of all activities / transactions could be the only solution, including for the education being imparted to rack the efficacy of such a system. Why I’m saying this is because I was a part of the UNICEF Kerala IT@School meet and found they have no statistical way of proving IT has indeed helped students and teachers! They have no track of students performance over the years! BSC can help ensure this including tracking the attendance in yoga and its commensurate benefit. I’m ready to support any initiative towards implementing such an useful tracking system to transform India and the world. The Aadhar project is limited to UID but the Kris Formula is to integrate all actions for total transparency and accountability into one. For more see:

    4Ps Business and Marketing Magazine – A Plan Media Publication, New Delhi, India – Special Feature – COLUMN CITIZENRY – A prescription to end corruption – Unique identification of every citizen will help kill the corruption malaise in developing economies http://www.4psbusinessandmarketing.com/17072008/storyd.asp?sid=2112&page…. or http://ll2b.blogspot.com.

  8. Krisdev, the link you provided takes me to front page of 4P but no article.

    Conceptually, your idea to integrate all actions is a work in process in India and I do not know how to differentiate what you stated from what is in making by Nandan Nilekani group.

    The idea, in part, is being implemented by financial institutions in US and other developed lands in part as e-banking is a rich source of income for banks.

    IMO, once UID is assigned to all Indian citizens, financial institutions as well as various state and central government agencies will start implementing it to eliminate widespread corruption at the level of aam adami.

    In any multiethnic multifaith multicultural land even after implementation of unified code of behavior and access to electronic banking corruption in one or other form will continue, but at much lower level, judging from heterogeneous societies in US and other developed lands.

  9. krisdev says:

    I’m pasting the contents of the article on “Prescription to end corruption”

    A prescription to end corruption to empower citizens to create all round peace and prosperity

    What ails the under developed and developing nations? Reply: “corruption leading to self perpetuating poverty”. Reason: lack of honesty and transparency. Result: lack of accountability for sustained growth.
    Let’s analyze these statements in detail.

    The economy is divided between the rich and poor; the rich are growing richer and the poor are growing poorer. The poor cannot afford the essentials for a decent living such as food, clothing, shelter, health, education and social security. The division is so sharp between nations and communities, while a rich family can afford to spend Euro 500 per week on food items, a poor family of the same size can hardly spend Euro 5 per week.

    Does this mean all citizens living in a poor nation are poor? Well the answer is a ‘NO’. The wealth in a under developed / developing nation is skewed. Almost 80-90% of the wealth of the nation is in the control of say 5-10% of the population. The majority of the populations hardly have access to any wealth and live in abject poverty.

    One of the biggest factors is ‘Corruption’. It is the cancer eating into the vitals of the society. It has permeated into all facets of life, affecting the poor and voiceless. Today, the common man with no money or muscle power, cannot think of getting any thing done in the developing world, without having to pay a bribe. This has created a parallel black economy sucking money out of the taxpayer and enriching the pockets of the rich.

    The Heads of Commonwealth nations at their recent mini-summit on 9 and 10 June, 2008 have stated that “Global institutions such as World Bank, IMF, and UN must enjoy legitimacy from their member countries and the international community. They must also be responsive, with the interests of all members, especially the smaller and poorer, being taken into account. The activities and governance of these institutions must be flexible, they must respond to new challenges, national priorities and specific circumstances in countries. Institutions must have clear responsibilities and the conduct of their business must be transparent and accountable to the entire membership and the wider public.”
    A scathing report from the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of IMF highlights the lack of transparency and accountability in IMF… The IEO measured governance along four dimensions – effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and voice – and against three standards – the Fund’s own governing documents, other international organizations, and private and public-sector corporations. The report finds accountability and voice are the weakest features of the Fund’s governance and these weaknesses entail risks to the Fund’s legitimacy, which in turn has a bearing on its effectiveness.
    If this is the situation with global institutions, we can well imagine what would be the situation with national and regional institutions, No wonder they abound in corruption of all sorts and get away with it. Then, how do we get over this corruption mania? One sure way would be to plug all the leakages in the system. This cannot be done without active support of the governments and its citizens.
    A unique identification of every citizen is the primary requirement. With the advent of ICT tools, every citizen can be uniquely identified from birth to death using unique identification methods such as fingerprint, iris, hand vein geometry and DNA linked to their ID, name, family details, photo, etc.
    A Multi Purpose Biometric Smart Card for every individual and organization linked to a money account and a e-Tool to link every citizen and service provider / public authority including the vertical and horizontal hierarchy of governance can be used as a single window of transactions for G2C, G2G, B2B, B2C, etc. If the transactions are thrown open, then total transparency and accountability can prevail, as envisaged in the Right to Information Act.
    Healthy citizenry can be created by covering all aspects of citizens from birth to death such as health, hygiene, housing, education, skills, employment, earnings, expenses, consumption, savings, social security, etc. based on genuine physical transactions and not ghost transactions. Thus corruption. money laundering, arms trade and terrorism can be eliminated and all round peace and prosperity can prevail as every one would feel good that no one can cheat any one and all have equitable opportunities to contribute and grow.
    Kris Dev, ICT & e-Gov Consultant, Manthan Awardee for e-Inclusion & Livelihood Creation. krisdev@gmail.com

  10. Siddhartha says:

    Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up.
    – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101, India.

  11. anjana says:

    One way to curb corruption would be to make our anticorruption stricter. Effective laws against corruption could make the government accountable. This would be a better solution that making more unenforceable laws. One of the actions that India could take as a country is to push for the UN Convention against Corruption to be ratified. Though we have ‘supposedly’ begun the process towards this end, considering we signed the convention in 2005 there is not much ‘beginning the process’ will do. We, as conscientious citizens should urge the government to do this. There is an interesting article that I read on this anticorruption site called ipaidabribe.com. They are running a one million signature campaign to get the convention ratified. They have got around 35k signatures in a very short span of time: http://ipaidabribe.com/content/bribe-bandh%E2%80%93one-signature-many-implications-corruption. I signed up because that is the least I could do to fight corruption.

  12. The Art of Spending (Black Money)

    As nearly every local municipal leaders, nearly every MLAs, MPs, Ministers and nearly all Government Officials of State and Central Government along with large industrialists have perfected the art of avoiding the money to land into treasury or government income account by all sorts of revenue and taxes, they all have perfected the art of converting government earnings into black money. They also have perfected the art of snatching income of farmers, labourers, workmen, employees and servants and converting the same into black money.

    Since most of the senior political leaders, MPs, MLAs and all major & famous industrialists are holding most of the black money outside india, it is but natural that ruling government is avoiding to declare the details and avoiding to bring the black money inside india.

    This article is for that situation when ultimately the government of India decides to bring the black money inside india.

    Then the question will be how to avoid these perfect snatchers from again snatching the money kept in outside india bank accounts by way of secret accounts i.e. BLACK MONEY.

    The government of india even having knowledge of the money, where it is kept and the procedure to bring the same into india is finding very very difficult to keep the corrupts hands off from this black money.

    Direct and sudden danger:-
    (danger inside government)
    The central and/or state governments or ministers or officials may miuse the money
    1) by using the same for importing low quality goods for higher prices and accept bribe in terms of gold.
    2) for foreign tours, foreign real estate investment etc..,
    3) for defense, computer, chemical or any type of technology purchase which is basically not required and sideline huge amount for their personal gains.
    4) For funding of earth saving scheme, environment protection schemes, scientific projects, space research, atomic research, social schemes, funding poor nations for their social schemes, funding poor nations for their economic and academic growth, funding private projects like save a river, forest, sea from pollution or erosion. And while doing so earn handsome personal gain.

    (danger from outside -the actual market)
    All those persons who are actually holding the account and their black money which is otherwise ancestral property, may misuse the money for:-

    1) Importing low quality products, not necessary products, luxury products, fancy techknology, cosmetics and all sorts of luxury products and services
    2) Use the money for foreign tours and tourism, use the money for foreign real estate investment, use the money for

    Any type of use of money in India by either government or by the actual money holder will ruin the entire indian economy. It will surely collapse the existing hard working indian structure and dooms day like situation may emerge.

    One thing is for sure this money cannot be utilised until the indian government is purified, desciplined and corruption free and the money is cautiously used for every ordinary human be it poor or rich or backward or civilzed.

    Since as on today entire government machinery is very much corrupt this is not the proper time to bring the entire funds inside india. Keep it outside till we develop into desciplined civilized society without corruption.

    What will be method to utilize the money outside India?

    Priority
    No. 1 Repay all debt

    1) Repay all the international loans and money borrowed from any nation or nations or IMF or world bank or UN repay all outside india debt.

    2) Refund all the money which is taken as loan by every state from the central government.

    3) Refund all the money to the investors who had investmented in government scheme like national savings scheme.

    4) Refund every sort of debt which is taken by the state and central government from either industry society or public at large.

    5) Priority no.2 Repay every pending bills of all works done

    Priority no.2 sustatinable economic development investment.

    1) Ask all those persons holding black money outisde india, not bring the money inside india but invest it abroad only. Invest in sustainable economic development projects.

    Priority no.3 Form a bank (Establish a bank outside india)

    Using the huge amount outside india, india can establish a bank which will commercially fund industrial projects and scheme. Only commercial, financial, industrial profit oriented lending and no sympathy, social lending.
    This bank will not operate as any aid or social service agency but it will purely act as proft oriented bank.

    What could be the option starting bringing the funds in india.

    One must understand the ecological balance consept of mother nature and try to refund the nature what has been stolen from it. We and our many previous generations have stolen many trees from the mother nature and that has to refunded, returned to the mother nature. America is facing constant tornadoes and there is huge barren land not growing any try which are responsible for controling the speed flow of the wind. Soon india will face same kind of tornadoes as many jungles and trees have been cut down.

    It is first and foremost priority to refund what has been stolen from mother nature. The trees. Plant many trees and conserve them. This is the first option of spending black money inside india. Tiny irrigation projects is the second necessary investment to stop soil erosion during monsoon.

    Spend the money for :- Plantation of trees and conservation of those planted trees
    Funding tiny irrigation projects inside india (which will lead to water conservation and increase the ground water levels)

    Many government officers have perfected the art of diverting public money into their private pocket. The above two project be implemented in such a manner that every single rupee invested in the above project is utilised for the project only and not for anybody’s profit. If for nine years or more it is found that the above two schemes have been successfully implemented without single instance of corruption then only bring the money in railway lines and road transport like infrastructural development projects. When again for next nine years it is found that infrastructural development projects have been implemented without corruption then, bring the amount in water supply, water conservation, electricity projects. After yet another nine years invest the remaining amount in all branches of government functioning.

    Ask them (all black money holders) not to invest money in
    1) Education or education sector, let the education sector grow independent of
    shadow of black money. Already many education institution have been secretly getting large amount of donations which are used in infrastructure and not in actual human resource development. Many pre-primary schools are charging more fees than any engineering or medical institutions, they don’t need any funding.

    2) Any industry, as most of the current industries are the source of generation of black money, they will again generate black money only. All the industries have been the third biggest black money generating tool in india ecomony. By evading production, sales and all sorts of taxes, by not intimating the actual production, income from industrial outputs have been converted into black money.

    3) Any infrastructural development as the same is resposibility of government and since the government had failed to perform many of its supervisory duty, inspection and control duties black money is gernerated. Many government contractor supply huge black money bribe to government official by over valuing the projects and add to their income. After agriculture, the government contractors are the biggest blakc money generating machines.

    4) Any Real estate, since the poor have been already snatched from their possiblity of getting a home and if such black money comes in, every poor will go out, poor class would literary became slave of rich class for their accomodation, residence demand.

    5) Agriculture – agriculture is the biggest sector from where the income of farmers have been regulary snatched away by the traders and stockists, it is the biggest sector where the black money is either generated or converted into white. All indian leaders holding crores of landed property evade tax by showing themselves and agriculturist or convert their black money as agriculture income on paper. Again bringing that black money as investment in that sector would disturb the economy only.

    All and all, nothing in india except the environment, is requiring these funds. Any fund coming inside will certainly disturb the entire economy. All those persons who personally own the black money and hold the same shall be asked to declare the same and use it abroad only.

    During all such major steps to be taken, it is very much necessary to stop future black money generation by restructuring the taxing procedures, levying and penalty formats.

    Our complicated tax structure brings challenge to evade the same.

    Simplify the taxing structures Keep the same as nine percent of pure profit

    Say in housing income from rented premises, after deducting every maintenace expenditure, what ever rent comes it would be nine percent of that rent.

    No tax to agriculture income for the farmer upto 18 acres. When any one person holds more than 18 acres of lands in his single name, and his profit exceeds Rs.1,80,000/- Then 9 % for any amount beyond Rs.1,80,000/-. While calculating his profit, every seed, manuer, water charges, energy charges, labour charges, transportation charges are to be deducted.

    For service tax :- Every individual employee have to directly pay the service tax to the government and the employee would not pay the same.

    For Production Tax :- The Manuafacturer would be required to pay 9 % of service tax on the MRP of the product. He may sell the product at any rate to the dealer or supplier or stockist at a lower rate than M.R.P. but he has to pay 9 % of m.r.p of each product to the government as production tax. M.R.P. necessary for every product

    For Sales Tax :- When a manufacturers gives a production tax on the M.R.P of the product he is not required to pay sales tax while selling that product. When the

    Lastly:- Until a law is enacted to protect the law breakers who avoided taxes and generated black money outside india, no money holder would come forward to declare his money. Give them some incentive and protection of law to declare the money, then only law breakers would declare their funds.

  13. I pretty much agree with article and would like to share my thoughts and my anti-corruption work.

    Corruption is not something that can’t be stopped. There are many incidences in history of the world when corruption was drastically reduced or stopped. E.g. French revolution, birth of Islam, Establishment of Roman empire, Chanakya-Chandragupta saga etc. I found the followings true for every such instance I know of.

    1. All the corrupt people lost power at once. They were or weren’t purified, but they were not kept on same level of power as they had before.
    2. The change was bloody, full of unrest.
    3. Masses directly fought with all corrupt officials throughout country.
    4. There was massive wealth transfer away from the corrupt officials.

    #4 in the above list is centerpiece of my strategy to combat corruption. Where the wealth earned through corruption should go? Conventional wisdom says that it should go to governments, I disagree. I say it should go half to governments and half to corruption fighters.

    Attaining #3 in the list is extremely difficult to recreate. Masses will sought slogans, light candles or join rally, but will not file a corruption complain which is required to make mass movements to mass actions. If a framework is created to give half the money recovered from corruption to those who file complains and provide reliable proof then it is possible to remove corruption without shedding blood.

    I have created a website http://www.NavTantra.org to promote my plan. Here is synopsis.

    1. Create a competitive private anti-corruption industry, with multiple private anti-corruption companies. Enforce huge financial penalty to government officials for getting into corruption. Give 50% of the penalty as revenue to the anti-corruption company. For big cases like 2G or Khel-gaun scam, give 50% of recovered money to investigating anti-corruption company.
    2. Make jail punishment very painful, without any torture. Ask corrupt officials to either pay heavy penalty (minimum Rs. 5 crore) for even smallest corruption, or live in jail for long time working on gutter & public toilet cleaning.
    3. Allow convicted officials to go unpunished if the officials provide enough information to prove other 2 officials’ corruptions with equal size as his own. Money is important, if anti-corruption company can make profit from 2 officials then why to take it from one only?
    4. Have annual public audit of each and every government departments at all levels, including district-level, state-level and central government level.

    The idea behind #1 is to attract 1000s of people to actively fight against corruption, at the same time brake monopoly of present anti-corruption system. Monopoly is culprit of many evils, including corruption.

    The idea behind #2 is to keep the anti-corruption business profitable. Nobody will benefit if a convicted official stay in jail, many will benefit it they pay money. Millions will fight hard with corrupts to earn Rs. 50 Lakh, it is hard to find 1000 persons who would do so to put a official or two in jail.

    The idea behind #3 is to spark anti-corruption chain reaction and instill fear among corrupt officials. Almost every corruption incidence requires more than one person involved. If they can’t trust each other then it is impossible to execute corruption. At the same time, it could strengthen a heavy flow of money away from the corrupt officials.

    The idea behind #4 is to find and block all the possible ways of corruption. The rights to audit government departments should be given to the companies by auction. Highest bidder should be given rights, and should be given 50% of the money recovered after financial mis-handling are found, if any.

    http://www.NavTantra.org explains much more than this, including concurrency of multiple investigations, security issues etc. Please let me know if you ave any questions.

    Thanks

    Bharat Chovatiya

  14. Kris Das on bio-metric card.

    Sir, your idea look impressive at a glance, but it has high potential to create a different kind of big problem for personal liberty. If some people can get all information of all money everyone have, then they have privilege which not everyone have. Those who have information can greatly benefit in business, and those who don’t have it are going to be definite looser. Thus the economy which should be build on efficiency and innovation would be build on information and it will finally ruin.

    American founding fathers banned personal tax for same reason, the people with power could get information of individuals revenues. There are hundreds of ways to abuse such information, and I am sure elite classes around the globe are doing it.

    Moreover, the government will suck people dry through extreme Tax once they find for sure that a class of people (doctors, engineers, contractors etc) have much more money then other classes. The money that could be used to build new industry or absorb shocks of recessions will be taken into treasury through Tax.

    Freedom is precious thing. I am afraid now people started thinking risk their own freedom to solve problem of corruption.

    Black money is a big evil, but it is also often life blood for economy. There are many instances in history when a mad politician try to stop black money market and killed economy on the way.

    What we need is administrative freedom. In stead of having a mammoth government, let’s have multiple private companies doing same job as governments are doing. Take this example: USA has a massive private military industrial complex. Combining with communication industry and energy industry, it can create a nuclear missile, launch a satellite and drop a nuclear bomb to anywhere in the world. The military industrial complex produces the most advanced guns, fighter helicopters and planes. Have we ever heard that it is a threat to globe? If they can have so much privatization without creating any risk, why can’t we privatize police service, admin service, border security and many more sectors?

    I remember people complaining telecom officer asking for bribe when it was under control of governments. Now being a private sector, no telecom employee asks for bribe, why? Competition my friend, competition and privatization is actually freedom.

  15. tcorreya says:

    I wondered if Google could answer questions like – How can one reduce one’s carbon footprint? Will India ever be a corruption free country? How can one help the intelligence teams to counter terrorism? Will anybody in India ever look at any other sport besides cricket? Out of sheer wastedness, I actually googled it. I didn’t quite get my answers but instead found this (http://www.jaagore.com/jaagore_asks). It’s a platform by Jaago Re for all the alert citizens to come together and share & seek information. Brilliant place to make chance connections of some real value

  16. rframesh says:

    Do you what to know why arrogant and corrupt congress will not pass a powerful LOK Pal Bill

    http://www.timesofassam.com/headlines/corruption-charge-against-sonia-gandhi-subramanian-swamy-to-move-supreme-court/

    http://www.janataparty.org/sonia.html (please pass on the link in every blog to teach congress a lesson)

    Go thru the web site with proof.

    Latest they have roped in Aruna Roy to create a third Lok Pal version to counter Anna. Aruna Roy is the member of National Advisory council (NAC) which has Sonia as Chair person.

  17. Kunal Nimje says:

    From last 50 year stupid congress is running government, We are paying high income tax, where they are investing our money can anyone tell me?
    I know the only thing 60% of money is going in corruption.

  18. mrhansum says:

    India Against Corruption – Anthem:

    Bhrashtachar aur ghotaalon se peedit aam-aadmi ka dukhda… Manoj Kumar ka hit “Mere desh ki dharti” ka remix..

    Watch the video –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbpuJpCrmso

  19. sourav says:

    A tragedy at Kudankulam Nuclear control set will be more caustic than the Bhopal gas calamity of 1984, assumed Satinath Sarangi, one of the influential of the society looking for honesty for dead of the Bhopal natter misfortune. He was cry to TOI after interact with student at the Park Group of institution on Wednesday.

    Sarangi claim that influence foliage in India together with persons in Tarapur in Maharashtra and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan were between the the pits in the world with respect to safety measures. Researchers from other country retreat these plant life to culture how not to run them, he said. He new that in the case of the proposed Kudankulam plant power, the nuclear establishment was still to reveal safety measures.

    a variety of administration agency have been suppress problems they have created in areas nearby the nuclear authority plant life, he said. waves leaks are ordinary in the vegetation but the government has not yet conduct a revise on the strength issues cause by power plantsattainment even basic in sequence on the number of people la-di-dah by radiation in areas near nuclear power plants is close to not possible, he added. hospital do not give in order and even conduct survey in villages in the surrounding area are not allowed. Therefore, the dangerous belongings that the power plants can cause are not yet familiar, he said.

    Sarangi also strut about the plight of the dead of Bhopal calamity. He said the regime has absolutely neglected the needs of thousands of those who were blown up by the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal three decades ago. Thousands of kilo grams of chemical waste have been covert in and in the region of the areas, sully subversive water sources and create staid health application. Birth defect, cancers and disease affecting the liver and kidneys are frequent in Bhopal, Sarangi said. To steer comprehensible of corresponding position the Kudankulam lodge must be stopped up, he said.

    Actor Rahul Bose also interacted with the students and spine about youth travels that target sleaze and other serious issue.

  20. Satish Kumar says:

    The corruption will be at its peak when moralities in the society is at its lowest level.

    If you see ancient Indian teachings have put maximum focus in morality in our day to day life. The importance of spirituality was much higher than materiality. Ever since we are moving towards more and more consumerism and market economy so to say, our problems have multiplied many times. The desires of every human being have been increased by few greedy businessmen and business minded countries that there is huge competition among people to demonstrate their possessions, which must be better than others. And obviously there is not end to it.

    I think there can not be simple quick fix solution for this menace. We will have to bring new heroes and will have to dump Film and Sports Personalities and Politicians, who flaunt there possessions more than their character.

  21. Kishan Bhatia says:

    Satis Kumar ji:

    I appreciated you comments on my article.

    IMO, corruption should not be viewed from any given set of moral and ethical codes.

    People in different professions follow different codes of morality and ethics. Morality and ethics are not one size fits all across the spectrum of all societies. Caste and class system were created for political and social administration of society. Each caste and class follows different codes of morality.

    My following thoughts may enlighten you. Kishan Bhatia

    Take any political system any time in last 5,000+ years when concepts of morality and ethics were introduced to manage society by organized religions. The Vedic practices were used by Manu to devise a society based on caste by incorporating a set of moral and ethical values. In Middle East, Jews left Egypt 5,000+ years ago to escape persecution and Moses came up with Ten Commandments that are code of morality and ethics for 3 Abrahamic sects (Jews, Christians and Muslims).

    Any deviation from predetermined set of morality and ethical standards or values can be viewed as corruption. Who is guilty and who is not for corruption in India or any other country is in the eyes of beholder. Pick up a banner of one or other political ideology and keep the issue debated as it sells the papers but politically nothing gets settled.

    Resolving the issue is not in the interests of those who thrive on a steady diet of hate and intolerance based on the communal divide. Consumerism sustains economic growth needed for job growth for a billion plus Indian population.

    One thing for sure politicians, bureaucrats and all concerned at all levels of society are corrupt. “Es hamam main sabi nange” (In this Turkish bathroom all are exposed).

    A majority of Indians live in poverty in slums around high rise buildings and developments in the urban areas, where prosperity is an oasis or an island in the sea of slums.

    Haves look down upon have-not and in any upwardly mobile society street smart have-not figure out how to navigate through clutter all around them to join a smaller group of haves.

    In recent times fortunate educated Indians have migrated to the US and West to use their knowledge power to generate wealth. Societies in their adopted lands are also corrupt except the level of corruption is lower than that experienced in India.

    Corruption is generally looked upon in negative terms. However, corruption can have positive impact, especially for slum dwellers anywhere and for slumdogs of India.

    Indian leaders are not different from leaders in any other country. Corruption among political leaders generally is looked upon in negative terms as it should because these are deep pockets corruptions.

    However, there are relatively poor and street smart people who are skilled in exploiting corruption for upward mobility in any given corrupt political system. Good examples of ‘positive’ corrupt practices can be found in slums anywhere. Here I am talking about a poor person applying for and getting a bank or micro finance loan that s/he has no ability to repay. Such loans generally are written off by banks.

    Another example in the US and West is people who participated in the creation of housing bubble with loans they had no visible resources to repay. We all know the global housing market’s bubble busted causing the global financial crisis of 2007 – 09.

    Sooner or later the slum dwellers figure out how to game the system. By gaming the system people make small but certainly impressive personal gains.

    Slumdogs of India have mastered these gaming techniques. For example see “Behind the Beautiful Forever” by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo. I specifically direct you to story of Asha, an upwardly mobile slumdog in Mumbai.

    The neo-rich compared to recent past, coming from families of generational cycle of poverty understand how in their neighborhoods gaming the system was prevalent for the families to keep head above water, so to speak.

    The immigrants from South Asia coming from established middle-class families of bureaucrats and families with political connections have seen how corruption practiced by parents was used to finance their education in college, graduate schools, both at home and abroad before they landed respectable well paying professional job in the adopted lands.

    En’f said.

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