India, as we all know, is famous for three things in the world – its population, its poverty and its corruption. Being among one of the most corrupted nations in the world, hardly day passes without the media shouting about government officials caught with their fingers, hands and the whole body immersed in corrupt acts. Some days it is the 2G spectrum, others it is Adarsh society case and we wait to see what will come next. But, is there a solution to this all? Here is a list of the top 10 ways to finish corruption.
1. End of Red Tapism:
Have you ever tried purchasing land? If, yes, you’ll know how long the procedure is and how many bribes you have to give. There are 15 to 20 channels you have to cross before cracking the final deal, and in fact at each of these levels you will meet different officials who will have their own individual demands. So, the common man would hardly reach the point of buying land as his resources might exhaust before he’s there. This Red Tapism must end.
2. Competency of the Judiciary:
A competent judiciary is one of the best ways to finish corruption. We, all are aware about the duration of time it takes for the courts to decide a case. This encourages people to take bribes; they know how to manipulate the law. Cases keep lingering on for years and the parties or officials often retire before the verdict is out making the judgment worthless.
3. Misuse of laws:
Although each one of us has the right for a fair trial, people accused in corruption or even authorities should not be allowed to misuse laws to their own personal advantage. There are aspects of law which need to be modified so that loopholes are plugged. Archaic laws must be done away with and enforcement of law should be given top priority.
4. Setting up powerful institutions:
While institutions like Lokayukta are there at the state level to fight corruption, they seldom perform well due to lack of power. It’s still easier to manipulate them and therefore officials, ministers and legislators are often let off without any charges. This body must be given more power. Perhaps the civil society activists are right in demanding a strong Lokpal bill.
5. Moral awareness:
Although in schools and colleges we are taught the subject called moral science, it hardly ever goes beyond the theoretical. To make it practical the social conscience has to be revived and that can only happen when more people themselves become aware to fight against corruption. In order to heighten the level of moral awareness among students, certain topics should be taught in Indian schools which are currently outside from the curriculum.
6. Strengthen the powers of Right to Information:
While the Right to Information has been in existence for quite some time now, the lack of awareness about its application and uses hinders many from using this very powerful tool. Also, strengthening and widening the scope of the Right to Information will be of great help in fighting corruption.
7. Increase the emoluments of government officials:
The government officials in India don’t enjoy the same amount of emoluments their counterparts in the developed world get despite the sixth pay commission in force. This is one major reason why bribes seem so lucrative to them. Supplementing their incomes with incentives too could work in the benefit of all the people. Cops, judges, and all other officials up the ladder can be made more productive.
8. Encourage Whistleblowers:
Encouraging whistleblowers could be done in many ways. For one, a reward will always be an incentive, especially if it is a monetary reward. Secondly, the fear of safety dissuades many to expose corruption; therefore, law must make provisions for the safety of people who brave their lives to expose the wrongs in the society.
9. Transparent tax structure with clear cut enforcement:
While the tax structure of the country has undergone several productive changes, there has hardly been enough possibility to stop the evasion of direct tax; the most concerning area is the utilization of tax money. Seeing the dismal state of government schools, hospitals, roads, etc. one only wonders where all the money has gone.
10. Reconstruct the basic premise of accountability:
Once appointed as government officials, people take their jobs for granted. They are never questioned about their productivity and performance, and favouritism and networking dominate the criteria for promotions. This needs be completely wiped off. Officials should be made accountable for every action just like it is done in the private sector.