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Whistleblower Magsaysay winner disappointed with political interference in AIIMS

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New Delhi: Whistle-blower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who won the Ramon Magsaysay award, on Wednesday said he was highly disappointed with the political interference in the administrative work of the country’s premier health institution, AIIMS, and the PMO’s response to it.

Chaturvedi told IANS in an interview that political interference has increased under the Narendra Modi government.

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“During the past 3-4 years, a lot of unwanted activities have happened at AIIMS. I am deeply disappointed with the prime minister’s Office. Honest bureaucrats are not allowed to work independently as there is a lot of interference by the political class in administrative work,” Chaturvedi, who got to know about the Ramon Magsaysay award given to him on Wednesday morning, told IANS at his official residence.

The 40-year-old, 2002 batch, Indian Forest Service officer of Haryana cadre, said bureaucrats in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were also subjected to humiliation if they worked against the government’s will.

Emphasising that he was highly inspired by Modi’s slogan “Na Khaunga Na Khane Dunga” or “Zero tolerance against corruption”, Chaturvedi said he was later disappointed, when action was taken against him and not the corrupt officials after he exposed corruption at AIIMS and other departments where he had served earlier.

Chaturvedi, who is currently the deputy secretary at AIIMS, was removed from the post of Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the institute in August 2014 much before the completion of his tenure that was till 2016.

Dedicating the award to all honest government officers across India, he said: “It is a strong morale booster for honest officers of the country who are discharging their duties in difficult circumstances.

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“My tribute to the founding fathers of the Constitution, particularly Sardar Patel, who was behind the creation of the all India services.”

Chaturvedi is the younger son of Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board retired engineer DS Chaturvedi. His elder brother Rajeev Chaturvedi is also an IFS officer of the Rajasthan cadre.

Noting that his grandfather was a freedom fighter and had participated in the 1942 Quit India Movement for which he was awarded in the year 1972 by the Centre, Chaturvedi said he was highly influenced by late former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who wanted to serve the country with the same positive attitude and selfless manner.

“During my convocation after the IFS course training, Kalam was the president, and he had come to our academy in August 2005 and awarded me two medals for excellence in training. His lecture was very inspirational,” Chaturvedi told IANS.

Asked if he had received any call from the health ministry, Chaturvedi answered in the negative, saying the first to congratulate him was Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ashok Khemka, who also faced government action for his fight against corruption.

Recalling his fight against corruption at AIIMS, he said: “My approval as the AIIMS CVO had the nod of all the statutory authorities of the institute and was also a part of the commitment to the Parliamentary Committee. However, all these were violated and a false excuse was given that my appointment had no prior approval of the CVC and that was why I was removed.”

“The worst part is that even as I sent more documentary evidence to the PMO demanding a probe against the culprits, harassment against me accentuated, work was withdrawn from me, instead of taking action against them.

“Attempts were made to implicate me in fake cases, and spoil my annual confidential report, my promotion was withheld and even my own ministry issued a defamatory press release against me of so-called complaints and inquiries,” the officer added.

Indicating corruption in the political system, he said: “When I had to be removed from the CVO’s post, 20 signatures were recorded within 24 hours, and when my reasonable and lawful cases of promotion, cadre change, deputation were concerned, these were kept pending for months. It shows how the system is working.”

Stating that he just had one message for the entire country, Chaturvedi said: “As long as I am a part of the bureaucracy, I will serve the country with full honesty and transparency, regardless of the consequences I face.”

(by Rupesh Dutta, IANS)

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India is The Most Corrupt Nation in Asia with Highest Bribery Rates of 69 %

More than half the respondents have had to pay a bribe in five of the six public services in India

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India is the most corrupt nation
India Against Corruption - Protesters in Bangalore - 22nd August 2011. Wikimedia
  • India has surpassed Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and, Thailand concerning bribery rate with 69 percent, the highest on the list
  • Vietnam stood second on the list after India at 65 per cent bribery rate
  • India also holds account for the highest bribery rates in public schools and healthcare sector, with 58% per cent 59 per cent bribery rate respectively

Sep 03, 2017: Indian government is struggling hard to defeat the evils of corruption, but there is still a long way ahead to fulfill the objective of corruption free India. According to a survey released by the Transparency International (TI) in March 2017,  an anti-corruption global civil society organization reveals that India stands as the most corrupt country in Asia with 69 % bribery rate. In the survey, approximately 22,000 individuals spanning across 16 Asian countries participated over a period of 18 months starting in July 2015.

As reported by ANI which further cited Forbes’ article “Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries”, the issue of corruption is pervasive across Asia. The TI report says that India has surpassed Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and, Thailand concerning bribery rate with 69 percent, the highest on the list.

It was mentioned that more than half the respondents have had to pay a bribe in five of the six public services namely-  hospitals, schools, police, utility services and, ID documents.

The article by Forbes also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for persistent efforts to eradicate corruption from India.

Also Read: Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption 

“However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against corruption has made a mark: 53 per cent of the people think he is going it fairly or very well. And it has led to people feeling empowered, as 63 per cent believe ordinary citizens can make a difference,” it stated.

Vietnam stood second on the list after India at 65 per cent bribery rate.

Pakistan stands fourth on the list with 40 per cent bribery rate. About three-fourths of respondents in Pakistan consider mostly the policemen to be corrupt. It said that seven in ten people had to cajole police officers or the courts for a bribe. When asked about the change in the situation, people sounded dejected when it comes to wiping out bribery from the nation. Only one third feel that ordinary citizens can make a difference.

Last year, India was placed 76th out of 168 countries surveyed by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog in its Corruption Perception Index, mentioned ANI.

India’s corruption perception has been the same consecutively for two years 2015 and 2014’s  as 38/100, which shows no improvement in the scenario.

According to the March 2017 statistics, Pakistan most likely of all was the country to have higher bribes legal institutions. While in India, the police bribery rate was 54 per cent.

India also holds an account for the highest bribery rates in public schools and healthcare sector, with 58% per cent 59 per cent bribery rate respectively.


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