Context: The Enforcement Directorate’s prosecution complaint against Jharkhand IAS officer, her husband, who owns Pulse Hospital in Ranchi, where much of the “proceeds of crime” where allegedly used, and her chartered accountant, was filed before a special court in Ranchi in July this year.
In this context let us analyse corruption and its consequences in Governance.
What is Corruption?
- Corruption is dishonest behavior by those in positions of power.
- Corruption can entail a variety of actions, including giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, and defrauding investors.
- India was ranked 85 among 180 countries in the corruption perception index 2021.
Reasons for the Prevalence of Corruption in Civil Service:
- Politicization of the Civil Service: When civil service positions are used as rewards for political support or swapped for bribes, the opportunities for high levels of corruption increase significantly.
- Lower Wages Compared to Private Sector: Lowering wages for civil servants compared to those in the private sector.
- Administrative Delays: Delays in the clearance of files are the root cause of corruption.
- Colonial Legacy of Unchallenged Authority: In a society which worships power, it is easy for public officials to deviate from ethical conduct.
- Weak Enforcement of Law: Various laws have been made to curb the evil of corruption but their weak enforcement has acted as a hindrance in curbing corruption.
Consequences of Corruption:
- On People and Public Life: Lack of Quality in Services: In a system with corruption, there is no quality of service.
- Lack of Proper Justice: Corruption in the judiciary system leads to improper justice. And the victims of offense might suffer.
- A crime may be proved as a benefit of the doubt due to a lack of evidence or even the evidence erased.
- Due to corruption in the police system, the investigation process has been going on for decades.
- Poor Health and Hygiene: In countries with more corruption, one can notice more health problems among people. There will be no fresh drinking water, proper roads, quality food grains supply, milk adulteration, etc.
- Failure of Genuine Research: Research by individuals needs government funding and some of the funding agencies have corrupt officers.
- These people sanction the funds for research to those investigators who are ready to bribe them.
- On Society:
- Disregard for Officials: People start disregarding the official involved in corruption by talking negatively about him.
- Lack of Respect for Rulers: Rulers of the nation like the president or prime ministers lose respect among the public. Respect is the main criteria in social life.
- Lack of Faith and Trust in Governments: People vote for a ruler based on their faith in him/ her, but if leaders are found to be involved in corruption, people lose faith in them and may not vote next time.
Aversion for Joining the Posts Linked to Corruption:
- Sincere, honest, and hardworking people develop an aversion for the particular posts deemed corrupt.
- Though they like those jobs, they tend not to opt for them as they believe that they also would have to be involved in corruption if they get into the post.
- On Economy:
- A Decrease in Foreign Investment: Corruption in government bodies has led to many foreign investments going back from developing countries.
- Delay in Growth: An official who needs to pass clearances for projects or industries delays the process in order to make money and other unlawful benefits. A work which can be done in a few days may be done in a month.
- Lack of Development: Many new industries willing to get started in a particular region change their plans if the region is unsuitable.
Indian Government Initiatives to reduce corruption:
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
- The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
- The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
- The Companies Act, 2013
- The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
- Central Vigilance Commission
- Government has launched ‘Mission Karmayogi’ with an aim to build a citizen-centric and future-ready civil service for the nation.
- Civil Service Board: By establishing the Civil Service Board, the government can curb excessive political control.
- Simplifying Disciplinary Process: By simplifying the disciplinary process and strengthening preventive vigilance within the departments, it can be ensured that corrupt civil servants do not occupy sensitive positions
- Emphasize Value-based Training: It is important to emphasize value-based training to all civil servants to ensure probity in public life.
Source: Indian Express