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Thread: RTI brought marked decline in corruption in India: Study

  1. #9
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    Corruption index: Will India emerge cleaner?


    Corruption index: Will India emerge cleaner?
    as reported by Shobha John,TNN , 21 Sep 2008,

    NEW DELHI: India may have some cause for cheer when the annual worldwide league table of corruption is published 48 hours from now.

    Transparency International's (TI) report last year had put India 72nd most corrupt of 180 countries. TI, the NGO leading the fight against corruption worldwide, says India has been doing better for itself ever since it published its corruption index in 2001. In 2005, it was 88 among 159 countries and in 2006, 70 among 163 countries.

    On a scale of 1-10, says Anupama Jha, executive director, TI-India (TII), it was 2.9 in 2005, 3.3 in 2006 and 3.5 in 2007, (where 9.9 is for very clean (governments) showing slight improvement.

    The signs of change are slowly seeping in. One of the tools to fight corruption, Development Integrity Pact, will be rolled out from Raipur, Chhattisgarh, next month and is a first of its kind. Citizens are counselled on ways to force government departments and politicians to deliver on their promises. TII says the weapon used could be questioning through dharnas or through the media, "so that the guilty party (who could be an MLA too) is shamed into keeping his promise, be it building a road or making a school."

    TII refused to divulge details of the report before its release on Tuesday. But it says the police, judiciary and politicians continue to be very corrupt in India and other countries. Jha says, "There are laws to fight it, but they're ineffective. Political will is often lacking in cleaning up the stables."

    Even so, TII suggests India can do a great deal to fight the systemic rot.
    Here are other tools for battle:

    Social audit: TII says a good example of knowing one's rights as a citizen is Indian Railways e-ticketing, which have put touts out of business. TII has already held workshops to teach ways to conduct a social audit and plans to partner with local NGOs in different states.

    Right to Information Act: This has already thrown up several success stories.

    Integrity Pact (IP): This helps government and civil society fight corruption in public contracts and procurement. A government department is required to sign a pact with every bidder for a contract. Twenty-four PSUs have already signed up for it. These include ONGC, SIAL, Coal India Ltd and GAIL. Jha says Integrity Pacts are "good for the company too as it helps its bottomline, its image and decreases arbitration cases. There are external monitors with impeccable records who oversee it. Besides, this has the blessing of the Central Vigilance Commission."

    Citizen's charter: This includes basic information such as how to file an FIR or complain about bribes demanded in a government department or a ration shop.

    Even though the Citizen's Charter may sound platitudinous, it could be invaluable to the most vulnerable in our society because they are generally the victims of corruption. Last year's TII-CMS (Centre for Media Studies) India Corruption Study looked at 11 government services and found that one-third of Indians officially below the poverty line (BPL) were forced to cough up a whopping Rs 9,000 million as bribes to avail of basic public services. These included state-subsidised rations through the Public Distribution System, hospital care, senior secondary school education, electricity and water supply, and services like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, land records and registration, forest, housing, banking and police.

    Indian police were found to be the worst offenders. Nearly half the 5.6m BPL households were forced to bribe the police Rs 2,150m. Many of these bribes were for basic rights as registering a complaint.

    Corruption index: Will India emerge cleaner?-India-The Times of India


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    India slips on corruption index


    As reported by TNN in Times of India, Hyderabad Edition, dayed 24 September 2008:
    Article Window

    India slips on corruption index


    From 72nd Place In 2007, It is 85th In This Year’s Transparency Index

    New Delhi: The cash-for-vote scandal that marred the July 22 trust vote might well have cost India a few points on the transparency index as the country has slid down to the 85th position in terms of the global ranking for corruption from 72nd last year.

    The fall by 13 places may not surprise those who have had even a brush with India's governing mechanisms, but it is not the report card that an economy growing at 8%, and which has bulldozed its way into the world's nuclear club, would expect. Even a small improvement would have been welcome but the usual suspects -- police and politics, along with lower judiciary -- have pulled down India's score.

    India appeared to have been hurt by sluggish reforms in major sectors like power, banking and insurance, slow progress on regulatory processes, lack of transparency in government contracts and non-passage of bills like the Lok Pal legislation.

    India's integrity score on a scale of 10 has gone down marginally from 3.5 in 2007 to 3.4 this year, but it has meant a sharp slip in rankings as some other nations have improved. At the 85th slot India is pretty much in the middle of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of 180 countries. Given India's size and muddled politics, a comparison with high-scoring Nordic countries would be out of place, but even holding the 72nd slot would have been some consolation.

    Transparency International's annual study has ranked Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Singapore and Finland as the five least corrupt nations with Britain at 16th place and Japan sharing the 18th slot with the US. Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar and Somalia (180th) were the five most corrupt countries.

    India, however, has done better than other countries in South Asia except Bhutan which has an impressive CPI of 5.2, ranked 45. There is limited satisfaction be drawn from being better than Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. India and China were at par last year but the communist country has maintained its position of 72 with a slightly higher score of 3.6.

    Transparency International India's chairperson R H Tahiliani said police, politics and lower judiciary were the worst dens of corruption in the country. "We have been pressing for the passage of the Lok Pal Bill, Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill and other measures like the ratification of UNCAC (United Nations Convention against Corruption). But our political establishment has shown no will to address these measures which would influence India's standing in the world community and show that it is serious about combating corruption," said Tahiliani, a former navy chief.

    The ranking, rated as fairly credible, is done through a mathematical model based on surveys sourced through 13 institutions like Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Freedom House, Global Insight, Merchant International Group and Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

    Nearly half the countries scored 3 or less points, indicating that corruption is perceived to be rampant. The declining performance of some wealthy exporting countries shows their failure to honour their commitment to end questionable methods of their companies in acquiring and managing domestic and overseas business.

    The study also found that a strong correlation between corruption and poverty continues to exist, jeopardising the global fight against impoverishment and threatening to derail the UN Millennium Development Goals.

    India's CPI had come down in 2006 and 2007, possibly because Integrity Pact (IP) procedures were adopted by some PSUs in public contracting and procurements. IP procedures aim at greater transparency and integrity between buyers and sellers, eliminating external interventions and improving a sense of ethics.

    "While 28 PSUs have agreed to implement IP procedures, the government-nominated directors on boards of some PSUs have shown reluctance. Power sector is one area where not a single PSU has introduced IP despite advisories by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)," Tahiliani said.

    Defence ministry has adopted IP for all procurements of Rs 100 crore or more, while the cap for the ministry's public sector enterprises is even lower at Rs 20 crore or more.

    The failure to enact the Lok Pal Bill -- introduced in Parliament eight times and then allowed to lapse -- is also a major failure of successive governments.

    CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX - 2008

    AMONG 180 COUNTRIES LEAST CORRUPT
    1. Denmark 2. New Zealand 3. Sweden 4. Singapore 5. Finland

    MOST CORRUPT
    1. Afghanistan (176) 2. Haiti (177) 3. Iraq (178) 4. Myanmar (178) 5. Somalia (180)

    SOUTH ASIA

    1. Bhutan (45) 2. India (85) 3. Sri Lanka (92) 4. Maldives (115) 5. Nepal (121) 6. Pakistan (134) 7. Bangladesh (147)

  3. #11
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    Re: RTI brought marked decline in corruption in India: Study


    Friends

    Dontlive in utopia. If corruption needs to be ended or even lessend The Central Govet must take a decision that the SICommissioner will not be appointed by state government. Central Government should also make it clear that the SICs will not remain posted in one state for more than a year.

    Giving the selection powers f SICs to state government is one of the biggest mistakes as the SICs are mostly retired govt servant. And wat can u expect from the person who havs been a part of the corrupt and in sensitive system.

    Still

    Mera Bharat Mahaan

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    Re: RTI brought marked decline in corruption in India: Study



    Yep Deepak you are right.

    Performance of SIC's have not been upto the mark, in fact in all the states. If it was one state one may attribute the failure to a particular individual SIC, but if it is a problem with all the states then definetly there is a problem with the system.

    Also it is interesting to note here that different states are being ruled by different political parties, so the failure cannot be attributed to any one political party, they all are just the same.

    Hence one can conclude that it was not a great idea to recruit SIC's from the CM's source.

    Now we have two options:

    1) To hope for a change in the system, whereby SIC's are recruited through a different and more appropriate source. An ideal thing to happen.

    2) Alternately untill that happens Do a Chakde India:

    In this movie the lead coach was given a team, inherent with the same set of problems as we are facing with the SIC's. The lead coach instead of complaining and changing the team made available to him by the government, motivated and got the work done from the same team, and went on to secure a gold medal for the nation. (A movie based on a factual story)

    I wonder if RTI activists + Media can play the same role, by persisting with the same set of people made available to us, and make them understand that their positive role can make a huge difference to our nation, and that they have a larger and a very responsible role to play in the interest of the nation.

    Maybe RTI activists can organize seminars/ events and invite SIC as a Chief Guest:
    Make him feel comfortable and important which he no doubt is,
    Make an emotional appeal to the SIC,
    Play RTI song for SIC which Kariraji has posted on the forum,
    and make SIC see through that he has a very very important role to play, and

    His postive role can make a difference to the billions of my brothers and sisters who are Indians.
    "A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." - H. L. Mencken.

  5. #13
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    Re: RTI brought marked decline in corruption in India: Study


    Quote Originally Posted by abhi987 View Post

    2) Alternately untill that happens Do a Chakde India:

    In this movie the lead coach was given a team, inherent with the same set of problems as we are facing with the SIC's. The lead coach instead of complaining and changing the team made available to him by the government, motivated and got the work done from the same team, and went on to secure a gold medal for the nation. (A movie based on a factual story)
    This is the best and as per my opinion, a doable solution.
    Work with the system given to you. Do not waste time and energy trying to change the system.
    Diligently and methodically read each and every act, law, rule which concerns RTI, even remotely.
    Use the same set of acts/laws/rules which the government has made and get the job done.

    If all fails, invoke the name of God !
    As mentioned in the letter drafted by member jps50 and posted in his blog - the one addressed to IC's - tell the PIO/AA/SIC that today, they might throw around your RTI application but one day they will be standing in front of God to reply to His RTI application - and for God, there are no Sections/Rules/Interpretation and not even a chance of First Appeal or Second Appeal.

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    Re: RTI brought marked decline in corruption in India: Study


    As reported in deccanchronicle.com on 26 October 2008:
    National News

    CVC raises questions on ‘integrity scores’

    New Delhi, Oct. 26: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has served a googly to Transparency International India (TII) by asking them to explain how they arrive at the "Integrity Scores" which decide the corruption index of a nation. The CVC believes that the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) has a tremendous impact on a nation’s economy because international funds flow on the basis of these indices.

    India’s position dropped from 72 to 85 in the world’s most corrupt nations according to the Transparency International report released in September 2008. Last year, India and China were at par in the corruption index, but this year, China’s stays at 72.

    With millions of dollars in funds riding these assessments, the CVC has written a letter to TII questioning their assessment. "As a nation, if they (TII) perceive us as having become more corrupt, then we need to know how they have arrived at this assessment. They need to maintain transparency on this crucial issue," CVC officials maintain.

    "A nation whose corruption index is poor, automatically develops a poor market image. This has a bearing on the nation’s market value, especially since we understand that TI is being funded by the World Bank and a host of key international donors," a CVC member pointed out. "India’s integrity score had fallen, indicating that corruption had increased," Mr R.H. Tahiliani, country’s chairman of Transparency International, had said when the report was released.

    In absence of Mr Tahiliani, Col. K.R. Dharmadhikary (Retd) explained, "The biggest blot for India has been the Parliament cash-for-vote scam. That has dented the image of the country." "But since the parameters for judging ‘corruption’ in a country are decided by our international wing, we have asked them to explain what these are," Col. Dharmadhikary said.

    The CVC has also received queries from the UN on how corruption is being tackled in India. The CVC pointed out that during the last two years, all PSUs and ministries have been contacted and asked to enter integrity pacts to ensure transparency. While the integrity pacts were adopted by all the ministries and PSUs, only ONGC has worked to ensure transparency in the bidding process which is not open to scrutiny by independent monitors, a CVC member said.

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