Corruption: It can be derived from two words “corrupt and conduct”. Corrupt means bad or spoiled and conduct means corruption literally means conduct. conduct that is immoral and unfair in any way.
Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offence that is undertaken by a person or an organization that is entrusted with a position of authority, to acquire illicitly benefits or abuse power for one’s personal gain
Corruption can take many forms and can include behaviours like
- public servants demanding or taking money or favours in exchange for services,
- politicians misusing public money, power or granting public jobs or contracts to their sponsors, friends, and families,
- corporations bribing officials to get lucrative deals.
Corruption can happen anywhere: in business, government, the courts, the media, and civil society, as well as across all sectors from health and education to infrastructure and sports.
Corruption can involve anyone, politicians, government officials, public servants, business people, or members of the public.
Corruption happens in the shadows, often with the help of professional enablers such as bankers, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, opaque financial systems, and anonymous shell companies that allow corruption schemes to flourish and the corrupt to launder and hide their illicit wealth.
Corruption adapts to different contexts and changing circumstances. It can evolve in response to changes in rules, legislation, and even technology.
Consequences of Corruption in India
Hindrances for Development- Corruption leads to loss of wealth and prosperity which is a great loss for the future of India. For the past ten years, India has shown growth in corruption rate, where the country has lost billions and billions of dollars of money in various scams, which are tax paper money. Many development projects are taking unnecessary delays for their completion due to corruption. This leads to backwardness in every field like sports, technology, medicine, research, economy, defense, and infrastructure.
Obstacles for business- corruption in the public services sector carries high risks for conducting good businesses. Companies are likely to unwanted red tapes, petty corruption, and bribes for finalizing any procedures or deals. Payments to expedite public services, such as police protection, water supply, and government assistance will be a headache. Likewise, irregular payments to government officials even for applying for business licenses are proving to be a major hindrance for business. Companies personally feel bad, when they have to bribe officials even for getting water or electrical connection.
Backwardness and Poverty- Due to corruption in India, the Indian government is unable or lacked the will to eradicate poverty. While the rich are becoming richer, the poor are becoming poorer. Despite the announcement of rehabilitation and monetary packages, corrupt people in various government departments and contractors, suck the fund through various means leaving very little for the end-users.
Brain Drain and Loss of Talent- Corrupt government employees and mediators offer jobs to unskilled and incapable candidates by taking bribes leaving the management with poor decision making. When good employees in private sectors also face harassment due to government policies and corruption in India they move to foreign countries. This is a tremendous loss for the country as a developing nation without the contribution of talented and creative people can never grow.
Loss of Faith in Judicial System- There is a high risk of corruption in India while dealing with India’s judiciary, particularly at lower court levels putting the common man under great stress. Bribes often exchanged in return for favourable court decisions lead to people losing faith in the judiciary. Besides, the prosecution of office abuse by public servants is tough, as it requires authorization by a minister prior to launching an appeal. Such a legal hurdle hinders the judicial process. Besides, delaying the allotment of judges and the creation of more courts leads to delays in injustice. When it comes to resource shortages negatively impacting the efficiency of the court system; the current backlog of cases runs into crores.
Loss of Natural Resources- India is abundant in natural resources but abundant natural resources, but corruption in India leads to loss the of precious resources. Widespread problems in the illegal mining of sand results in loss of revenue also severely disturbing water resources in the country. Bribery in the mining industry is common, leading very huge revenue for the government. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a lack of oversight and transparency, for example, it is estimated that nearly half of the iron ore exported from the state of Goa has been mined illegally.
To Fight Corruption, We Must Embrace Transparency
Transparency is all about knowing who, what, how, and how much. It means shedding light on formal and informal rules, plans, processes, and actions, Transparency helps us, the public, hold all power to account for the common good.
Seeking and receiving information is a human right that can act as a safeguard against corruption, and increases trust in decision-makers and public institutions. However, transparency is not only about making information available but ensuring it can be easily accessed, understood, and used by citizens.
But transparency is only the first step to curbing corruption
We have learned from over twenty-five years of experience that corruption can only be kept in check if representatives from government, business, and civil society work together for the common good.
The first and foremost solution is to change the government processes. If the members of the government and procedures are transparent one can reduce corruption drastically. Besides, provisions related to the electing of the people representatives must be stringent that if they’re in any case filed against a person then he would not be eligible for election. In India, there is already a provision that no person as a criminal shall be allowed as a Member of the legislative. This would be effectively offered the first step toward zero corruption.
Secondly, offering direct connectivity between the government and the public. This can reduce corruption by increasing direct contact between the government and the governed. E-governance could help a lot in this direction. Thirdly, everyone should be a responsible citizen, it is essential that every citizen should perform his/her duties faithfully and to the best of their abilities. Every citizen should personally strive hard to eradicate corruption. Responsible citizens should report cases of corruption as a mere reporting of the evil practice is not sufficient for effective eradication.