Sunday January 19, 2020
Home Uncategorized Measuring Cor...

Measuring Corruption: Perception vs Actual

0
//
corruption

By Amit Kapoor

Evidence of corruption in a developing country like India can cause massive turmoil. Two cases in point have been the near collapse of UPA-II and the rise of the AAP in Delhi.

And yet, India is not alone when we talk about the endemic problem of corruption. Brazil has seen a lot of turmoil in the recent past with impeachment charges being pressed against the president. Similarly, the Petrobras scandal dented the image of Brazil internationally. All this points to the fact that countries across the world have seen corruption in the past.

Historically, even Kautilya (more than 300 years before Christ), in the treatise Arthshastra, mentions the problem of illegal transactions as well as public fraud. In a reference to it among officials stealing the money, he mentions that it is easier to ascertain the movement of birds in the sky rather than track the activities of corrupt officials. While things have gotten a lot better than the Mauryan times, there remains the endemic problem of corruption. The question is how do we track or measure it?

Reference to corruption is used in the context of use of public office for private goods. However, this is not the only form of corruption one can think about or in which it can exist. It can be with respect to the movement of files quickly through a system, as well as be in the form of benefits in kind and the like. It can be classified in various ways – as public versus private, moral versus monetary and even institutional versus retail. However, a fundamental feature is that it corrodes public wealth and often causes a loss to the society. It is worth mentioning that corruption can also be between two private individuals, though often people conceive it to be a public problem.

Transparency International, which works in the area of transparency and accountability of corporations and public institutions, does exactly that and measures corruption annually. It has just released its Corruption Perception Index 2015.

The index is on a scale of zero to 100 with zero being totally corrupt and 100 being totally clean. India has a score of 38, which shows it is relatively corrupt. However, this year the country is ranked 76 out of 168 economies compared to 85 out of 174 economies in 2014. India is better placed than its BRICS peers with Brazil at 76; Russia at 119; China at 83; and South Africa at 44.

While the index shows scores and ranks across countries, it does not tell much about the level of corruption actually observed. The problem arises as the index assumes that the best way for measuring corruption is measuring its perception. Another point is that is it valid to put a single number on the plethora of experiences businesses have in governance. What about the experiences of common citizens? Proxies in the index like the number of people caught for actual corruption can add value to the index. These can include details about charges of corruption and enforcement of these charges by public officials. Such actual cases can help assess corruption and not just the perception of it.

Over time, India should improve on the perception rating as well. The new government, to its credit, has not had big scams in the past, but the retail level corruption seems to be where it was. On a methodological note, Transparency International could use actual indicators which tell about corruption charges and enforcement on the ground. (IANS)

(The article is co-authored with Sankalp Sharma, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Competitiveness, India. Amit Kapoor is Chair, Institute for Competitiveness & Editor of Thinkers. The views expressed are personal)

Next Story

Singer Udit Narayan Sings a New Song Entitled “Chanda Song” on Political Funding for Munish Raizada Films

The song aims to reflect the disappointment and anguish of the common man against the system

0
Song
The song goes "Kitna chanda jeb mein aaya", and is about political funding, which is a means for political parties to raise money for election campaign as well as routine activities. IANS

Playback star Udit Narayan is ready with a new song titled the “Chanda Song”, which is also a part of the upcoming web series, “Transparency: Pardarshita”.

The song goes “Kitna chanda jeb mein aaya”, and is about political funding, which is a means for political parties to raise money for election campaign as well as routine activities.

Every political party is public funded, and dependedant on public donations.

The “Chanda Song” is produced by Dr. Munish Raizada. It follows the recent successful release of Kailash Kher’s “Bol re Dilli bol”, also by Munish Raizada Films.

Song
Playback star Udit Narayan is ready with a new song titled the “Chanda Song”, which is also a part of the upcoming web series, “Transparency: Pardarshita”. Twitter

The song aims to reflect the disappointment and anguish of the common man against the system. It seeks to act as a clarion call, and is an appeal to politicians in Delhi to get their political act right.

ALSO READ: Most Advanced Radiation Therapy For Cancer Patients Arrives in India

Munish Raizada is a Chicago-based medical specialist and a co-convener of the NRI cell of Aam Aadmi Party. He has run a campaign titled “Chanda Bandh Satyagraha” against his own party. (IANS)