CORRUPTION IN INDIA
Corruption, a well-known term, occurs in all civilizations. Corruption is widespread in our country and has caused maximum suffering to the common man. Simply put, corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It primarily includes activities such as bribery, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, misappropriation of public goods, nepotism and cronyism. Corruption in India can be described as a strong nexus between bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India has been ranked 80th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. This reflects that the problem is extremely deep rooted in our system..
Corruption in India emanates from various spheres. Some of the important causes include criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals, use of black money in elections, crony capitalism, complicated tax and licensing system, low wages of public servants, judicial pendency, lack of effective vigilance and lack of transparent laws and processes. Other factors such as increasing shift towards materialism, tolerance of people towards corrupt activities and failure of our education system to impart right values allow it to take roots in the society.
Corruption is a significant obstacle in the process of modernization and economic development. Issue of non-performing assets of our banks, lack of adequate foreign investments, time and cost overruns of infrastructure projects and red-tapism are some of its adverse effects. Several scams are reported leading to the loss of public wealth. It results in social inequality, widens the gap between rich and poor and degrades the social, moral and political fabric of the country.
Corruption is one of the chief enemies of the state as it hinders the process of growth and development. The following steps can be taken to minimize corruption from the system:
- Electoral reforms such as state funding of elections, asset declaration, account auditing of political parties regularly, filing of income tax returns, decriminalization of politics and inner party democracy, should be brought in.
- Public servants must also declare assets owned by them and their spouses and children.
- Bureaucracy should be made more accountable, ethical and transparent. Administrative procedure should be simplified to eliminate several gaps and delays.
- Laws must be effectively enforced so that its penalties can act as a necessary deterrent.
- Judicial reforms are necessary to expedite trials against the corrupt.
- Investing agencies should have more teeth and work autonomy.
- E-governance can lay the foundation of good governance by apt utilization allotted economic resources and adding transparency to the system.
- Public awareness is of utmost importance. A well-developed education system can create awareness about corruption and its detrimental effects. With active participation of citizens, the process of giving and taking bribe can be stopped.
Corruption is an unethical practice. It is a serious criminal offence. Black money generated through corruption drags the economy backwards. There should be a comprehensive fight against corruption. Government must strengthen our legal and institutional mechanism and citizens should have zero tolerance towards any kind of corrupt activity. Responsiveness, awareness, transparency and accountability and must for achieving a corruption free society.