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Five ways to reduce corruption

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“Merely shouting from the housetops that everybody is corrupt creates an atmosphere of corruption. People feel they are in a climate of corruption and they get corrupted themselves,” remarked Jawaharlal Nehru, shortly after India’s Independence and these words seem apt even today.

The following measures can be taken or, more so, should be taken to reduce corruption:

  • Education and awareness on corruption: First and foremost, education needs to be imparted among people about the issue of corruption and how it is engulfing the society. By education on corruption, it means that people should be empowered with information on issues that can lead to corruption. Education can play an integral part in reducing corruption. Corrupt officials often misinform (or hide information from) people and demand a bribe to help them through. One of the major reasons is being unaware of the laws, public rights and procedures hence such uneducated common people suffer the most out of corruption in the society. 
  • Proper compensation to government employees: Government employees should be paid in accordance of their work and conditions under which they work. For example, a traffic cop puts his life under threat every day as he/she can be targeted to an accident at any given point but the general mentality is such that he is looked at in similar lines with a regular cop or havaldar. And, the conditions under which our police forces work is not hidden to anyone. Especially in cities like Delhi where the pollution level are racing towards hazardous condition, these people need better pay to even remotely compensate for their regularly deteriorating health.
  • Transparency and accountability: Another big reason for the prevalent corruption is the lack of transparency and professional accountability in the system. We can’t regulate corruption until people individually take steps to be honest towards their profession, and if they do so, the corruption would automatically decrease. Attention needs to be given towards professional accountability as it can lead to improvement in the administration itself.
  • Legitimate autonomy and corporatisation: Legitimate autonomy should be given in public/government sector so that unnecessary interference from other sides, like politicians and bureaucrats etc, can be avoided. As PM Modi said during his speech at the recent HT Summit, that one of the best ways to bring professionalism in PSUs is to induce a corporate culture. The contract mechanism should be opened up outside the government premises with outsourcing and standards should be strictly implemented by those agencies. PSUs such as Air India, for instance, place huge contracts for various products and services. There is always a possibility of political leaders exercising their powers to swing agreement from the selected ones to get kickbacks. Thus, these intermediary powers would be removed from day-to-day functions.
  • Blacklisting the corrupt: Most importantly, anyone and everyone party to corruption should be ‘blacklisted’ across the public and private sectors. Employees caught indulging in corrupt activities or people bribing executives ought to be blacklisted for some specified period of time.

On the other hand, the definition of corruption also needs to be explained, specifically that of the not so obvious corruption in nature. Corruption has now become a part of our daily lives on minor as well as substantial ways. The not-so-obvious categories would be- inferior/less amount of material used for road contraction where one inch of tar is used as against the supposed four inches. As a result, the road disintegrates after one monsoon. There are a plethora of such subtle ways which the common public isn’t aware of even in the empowered age of RTI.

The awareness of the concept of corruption and how it prevails in the least expected place in a subtle way is more important than cognizance of the theory.

Next Story

Central Government to Launch ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ Scheme in a Bid to Curb Corruption

There will also be the creation of a Central Repository of all RCs which will help in checking duplication

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one nation, one ration card, corruption
An Indian agency distributing ration. Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to curb corruption and dependence on one Public Distribution System (PDS) shop, the Central government will launch the ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme.

The scheme, according to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, will ensure that all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any shop of their own choice.

The Minister asserted that the biggest beneficiary of this will be those migrant labourers who move to other states to seek better job opportunities and will ensure their food security. “This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption,” the Ministry said in a statement.

ration card scheme, corruption
There will also be the creation of a Central Repository of all RCs which will help in checking duplication. Wikimedia Commons

It added that in the next two months, beneficiaries of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be able to access the PDS shops. The objective of the department is to ensure that this is implemented nationally in a time bound manner.

ALSO READ: Dr Harsh Vardhan Orders Ban on Sale of Biscuits in his Ministry; Only Healthy Snacks to be Served

At present, the Integrated Management of PDS (IMPDS) is a system that is already operational in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura wherein a beneficiary can avail his share of food grain from any district in the state. Other states have also assured that IMPDS will be implemented at the earliest, the statement said.

There will also be the creation of a Central Repository of all RCs which will help in checking duplication. (IANS)