Corruption is consuming us
One of the key concerns in developing nations is the failure to address the menace of corruption. The evil of corruption is so deep routed that progress and development in the developing world is taking a hit. Ironically, the fight against corruption was also hampered owing to the Covid-19 pandemic which has consumed all the attention of governments and groups that were fighting to end the peril of fraud and red tape.
Various surcharged movements highlighting the hazard of corruption and ways to end it have failed to get the desired results as the issue of corruption and malpractices have not been put to an end. Rather these phenomena continue to spread fast and with gripping effect.
Even the ‘Berggruen’ Governance Index 2019 mentions that India ranked poorly on business regulation, public health and civil justice. The report looked at data over 14 years (2004-2018) from 38 countries and covered 95 per cent of the global GDP and 75 per cent of the global population.
Sponsored by the Los Angeles-based research organisation Berggruen Institute, the governance index ranked performance on three key indices — Quality of Democracy, Quality of Government and Quality of Life. Each index was further analyzed based on several sub-indices.
The Quality of Democracy index looks at civil society, culture, feedback mechanisms, and political engagement. The Quality of Government covered analytical capacity, coordination capacity, corruption, impartiality, judicial impartiality, politicised bureaucracy, procedural efficiency, bureaucratic recruitment, business regulation and tax collection capacity.
Ironically, India ranked in the bottom 10 countries in terms of Quality of Government and Quality of Life, but significantly overachieved in terms of Quality of Democracy. India’s democracy score remained steadily in the 40s data point bracket from 2013 to 2018.
Based on the sub-index Judicial Impartiality, which refers to a citizen’s treatment in the course of judicial procedures, India scored the most with 28 data points, Pakistan scored 14 and China 5.
On the existence and perception of corruption in a country, China was considered the most corrupt with a score of 39 points and India came next at 28 points. Pakistan was considered the least corrupt with just 13 points.
Ending corruption has been one of the main slogans of every political party that has been in power at one point of time or the other. However, the corrupt practices that have been prevailing since the past many decades have shown no decline.
Even today officials in almost all government departments fail to address the grievances of the common man and unless their palms are greased not even a single file moves from one table to another.
Corruption has been a major poll plank in the country for decades. All election winning parties have promised to eradicate corruption while they fight the parliamentary and assembly polls. But various surveys have shown that bribes are still the most efficient means to get work done in government offices. Ending corruption therefore, needs a well organized plan to be followed and executed at the ground level.