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Corruption in India

Introduction "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It is not easy to define corruption. But in a narrow sense, corruption is mostly concerned with "bribery" and it takes several forms. Corruption is a global phenomenon and it is omnipresent. Corruption has progressively increased and is now rampant in our society.National scenario. Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India is now no longer considered a soft state. It has now become a consideration state where everything can be had for a consideration. Today, the number of ministers with an honest image can be counted on fingers. At one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.

Effects

of

corruption

Indian administration is tainted with scandals. India is among 55 of the 106 countries where corruption is rampant, according to the Corruption Perception Index 2004 Report released by Transparency International India. Corruption in India leads to promotion not prison. It is very difficult to catch big sharks. Corruption in India has wings not wheels. As nation grows, the corrupt also grow to invent new methods of cheating the government and public.

Causes of corruption The causes of corruption are many and complex. Following are some of the causes of corruption. Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies. Artificial scarcity created by the people with malevolent intentions wrecks the fabric of the economy. Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an achronistic. Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allow corruption

to reign over people. Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life. In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials compel them to resort to the road of corruption. Graduates from IIMs with no experience draw a far handsome salary than what government secretaries draw. Complex laws and procedures alienate common people to ask for any help from government. Election time is a time when corruption is at its peak level. Big industrialist fund politicians to meet high cost of election and ultimately to seek personal favour. Bribery to politicians buys influence, and bribery by politicians buys votes. In order to get elected, politicians bribe poor illiterate people, who are slogging for two times meal.

Measures

to

combat

corruption

Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. Many new leaders when come into power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon they themselves become corrupt and start amassing huge wealth. There are many myths about corruption, which have to be exploded if we really want to combat it. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. We will have to guard against all these crude fallacies while planning measures to fight corruption. Foolproof laws should be made so that there is no room for discretion for politicians and bureaucrats. The role of the politician should be minimized. Application of the evolved policies should be left in the hands of independent commission or authority in each area of public interest. Decision of the commission or authority should be challengeable only in the courts. Cooperation of the people has to be obtained for successfully containing corruption. People should have a right to recall the elected representatives if they see them becoming indifferent to the electorate. Funding of elections is at the core of political corruption. Electoral reforms are crucial in this regard. Several reforms like: State funding of election expenses for candidates; strict enforcement of statutory requirements like holding in-party elections, making political parties get their accounts audited regularly and filing income-tax returns;

denying persons with criminal records a chance to contest elections, should be brought in. Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system. Bureaucracy, the backbone of good governance, should be made more citizen friendly, accountable, ethical and transparent. More and more courts should be opened for speedy & inexpensive justice so that cases dont linger in courts for years and justice is delivered on time. Local bodies, Independent of the government, like Lokpals, Lokadalats, CVCs and Vigilance Commissions should be formed to provide speedy justice with low expenses. A new Fundamental Right viz. Right to Information should be introduced, which will empower the citizens to ask for the information they want. Barring some confidential information, which concerns national and international security, other information should be made available to general public as and when required. Stringent actions against corrupt officials will certainly have a deterrent impact.

Conclusion Corruption is an intractable problem. It is like diabetes, can only be controlled, but not totally eliminated. It may not be possible to root out corruption completely at all levels but it is possible to contain it within tolerable limits. Honest and dedicated persons in public life, control over electoral expenses could be the most important prescriptions to combat corruption. Corruption has a corrosive impact on our economy. It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world have to confront, solutions, however, can only be home grown. We have tolerated corruption for so long. The time has now come to root it out from its roots.

Role of media in a democracy

Introduction Democracy means "A system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives". Media came into existence in 1780 with the introduction of a newspaper namely "The Bengal Gazette" and since then it has matured leaps and bounds. It has been playing a very important role in shaping human minds.

Role

of

media

Media plays a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy. It is the backbone of a democracy. Media makes us aware of various social, political and economical activities happening around the world. It is like a mirror, which shows us or strives to show us the bare truth and harsh realities of life.The media has undoubtedly evolved and become more active over the years. It is the media only who reminds politicians about their unfulfilled promises at the time of elections. T.V news channels excessive coverage during elections helps people, especially illiterates, in electing the right person to the power. This reminder compels politicians to be upto their promises in order to remain in power.Television and radio have made a significant achievement in educating rural illiterate masses in making them aware of all the events in their language. Coverage of exploitative malpractices of village heads and moneylenders has helped in taking stringent actions against them by attracting governments attention.The media also exposes loopholes in the democratic system, which ultimately helps government in filling the vacuums of loopholes and making a system more accountable, responsive and citizen-friendly. A democracy without media is like a vehicle without wheels.In the age of information technology we are bombarded with information. We get the pulse of the world events with just a click of a mouse. The flow of information has increased manifolds. The perfect blend of technology and human resources (journalist) has not left a single stone unturned in unearthing rampant corruption in politics and society. We all are well aware of what tehelka did. Thanks to technology that has brought a kind of revolution in journalism.

Impact of media The impact of media is really noteworthy. Excessive coverage or hype of sensitive news has led to communal riots at times. The illiterates are more prone to provocations than the literates. Constant repetition of the news, especially sensational news, breeds apathy and insensitivity. For instance, In Dhananjoy Chatterjee case, the overloaded hype led to death of quite a few children who imitated the hanging procedure which was repeatedly shown in most of the T.V. news channels. There is a plethora of such negative impacts. Media should take utmost care in airing or publishing such sensational news. Commercialization has created a stiff competition in media. In order to outdo each other print media has often gone one step further in publishing articles, cover stories, etc. on sex.Media experts say this is one of the means of attracting readers who are glued to T.V. news channels, which have cropped up swiftly in a recent past and they believe this is a cheap form of journalism.

Conclusion No one is perfect in this world and so is the media. Here I am not degrading the media, rather I would say there is still a lot of scope for improvement by which media can raise upto the aspirations of the people for which it is meant. I cannot think of a democracy without active and neutral media. Media is like a watchdog in a democracy that keeps government active. From being just an informer it has become an integral part of our daily lives. With the passage of time it has become a more matured and a more responsible entity. The present media revolution has helped people in making an informed decisions and this has led to beginning of a new era in a democracy.

Factors for slowdown of Indian economy, suggestions for its improvement

Factors for slowdown of Indian economy, suggestions for its improvement


Till a few years back, India was the next big thing on the global economic scene. While we succeeded in getting the respect of the developed nations, the developing nations were in awe of us. We hit a minor bump in 2008 due to the global economic meltdown but we rose again and proved to the world that nothing could come in between us and our limitless dreams. But a few months back, we saw ourselves standing at a unique, and an unpleasant crossroads. India has been struggling on almost all faces, economically, since then. Though this seemed sudden and unwelcoming, this was not completely unexpected. Of the numerous challenges India has been facing these days, four distinct situations stand out- 1) Free fall of rupee against dollar and other currencies, 2) widening current account deficit (CAD), 3) soaring inflation, and 4) dampened GDP growth. These four factors are alone sufficient to show that we are far from where we were standing a couple of years ago. All these factors possess a cause-effect relationship. The worsening of one factor leads to the impairment of others. So what exactly went wrong with the economic system of India to cause such a holistic downfall of the national economy? Surprisingly, the most recent and the most concerning situation at the momentrupees tumble- has very little to do with our faults or mismanagement or any shortcoming on the part of our central bank or government policies. The crisis literally started with the announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in may that it would taper off its quantitative easing (QE) policy, which pumps a huge amount of capital in developing economic markets, and which can substantially alter the state of a market like Indias. Even though the implementation of this policy change is yet to see the light of the day, it has already caused a sense of panic in investors and industrialists. It is not for nothing said that when the U.S. sneezes, the world catches cold. Hence, the reasons for depreciating rupee are less statistical and more speculative. The next important aspect is the burgeoning CAD- it is currently pegged at 4.8% of GDP (about $90 billions). The most obvious reason for this is increase in imports and decrease in exports in the recent years. India has seen a contract in the mining and quarrying sector and the growth in the manufacturing sector has been nominal. A soaring inflation, though, can be reasonably attributed to the governments policies, which are more voter-centric than citizen-centric. Policies like regulating oil and LPG gases and providing huge subsidies for them, which had to be amended at some point of time (petrol has been deregulated recently) were like time-bombs waiting to explode. Still not ready to learn from its mistakes, the government has recently decided to shoulder yet another colossus subsidy in the form of National food security bill. Though a policy like this is undeniably heartening, the government categorically fails

to answer from where the resources necessary for implementation of this apparent game-changing policy will come. Since all the above concerning situations, except the fall of rupee, stems from inside the system, the solution lies within the system only. Hence, the situation needs to be faced on a holistic basis, though handling them on different time axes would be more prudent. A very surprising fact about the Indian economy is that India transformed directly from an agrarian economy to a tertiary economy. At the time of independence, most of the people of the nation were dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and most of the share of the GDP came from this sector only. But today, though 62% people are still dependent on agriculture, only a meager 18% share of the GDP comes from this sector, the majority coming from the service sector. In this way, India could never realize the full potential of being an industrialist economy.Over-dependence on tertiary sector growth was certain to back-fire sooner than later. In the long run, India will need to strengthen its industrial sector, and it has no alternatives at all. Any other growth model would just not be sustainable, as we have seen in the past, not just in India but in the entire world. Since this massive task will start bearing fruits over the next decade or so only, an immediate, short-duration policy is the need of the moment. Since India has to rebuild its forex reserve, there is nothing more effective than foreign investments, especially foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI is stable, effective and flows directly into the system rather than some private hands, which is the case with FII. Disinvestment of PSUs, though on a limited basis, can be another stress buster at the moment. The latest government policies regarding FDI which underline its readiness to welcome foreign investors to bring in investments are very welcoming and should be supported by one and all without partisan differences. The next important idea is to cut down on unsustainable subsidies, which might prove untenable a few years down the line. The man responsible for bringing India back from crisis in 1992, the Prime Minister himself, should ensure that reforms are pushed again emphatically to ensure sustainable developments. The CAD has ballooned partly because court orders have closed Indian mines for iron ores and coal, reducing exports and necessitating imports of those products. The government should understand that non-essential imports, particularly those imports that have affected employment and livelihood, and gold imports have to be reduced substantially. The Governor-designate of the RBI, Raghuram Rajan has very wisely said that we have to shift our focus from consumption to supply. It is high time we understand that being a consumer doesnt count in the long run; it is being a producer that counts,

and that is the key to becoming an economic super-power. And if we are ever dreaming to be one, we better start acting like one. - Rishav jha

Legalising Prostitution in India


Introduction Welcome to a world trapped between 'illegal' and 'immoral': Prostitution might be illegal in India, but the business of life goes on. Calling it illegal is a superfluous formality and denouncing it as an immoral blotch on society. Recognizing it as a profession will at least reduce the real illegalities that come with it, like child prostitution, drug abuse, and crime.

National

scenario

Societies in which prostitution is legal have concluded that it is best to regulate a profession, which will never disappear. India should learn from these societies, rather than pretend that prostitution doesn't exist here. Especially when figures reveal that the business of sex-workers takes a dip when it is vacation time for colleges. There are over 2.5 million prostitutes in India and a quarter of them are minors! Child prostitution is one of the issues facing our country today. The increasing incidence of the HIV virus is on the verge of a threshold, which, if crossed, could see the epidemic affecting, perhaps, everyone in the world. This profession makes the sex-worker the most vulnerable.

Global scenario Globally prostitution is legal in Canada, France, Wales, Denmark, Holland, most of South America, including Mexico (often in special zones), Israel, Australia, and many other countries. It's either legal or tolerated in most of Asia; Australia has a sex-service company whose stocks are traded on the stock exchange.

Pros

of

legalisation

No governments, no matter how hard they have tried, have been successful in abolishing prostitution. Prostitution is a reality and the chances of eliminating it are practically nil. By legalising prostitution, we also legalise the fight against Sexually

Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and the AIDS epidemic. Just like laws have managed to do with untouchability, legalising prostitution will give dignity to sex-workers and save them from living as second grade citizens. A separate hub can be created for it and health of sex workers can be monitored. Legalisation will deter police from extorting money from the helpless sex workers who are forced to give a part of their income to the policemen to let them live in peace. Legalisation of the profession will at least give a human face to the profession, where prostitutes are, otherwise, are treated as outcastes.Norms should be laid out for registration in terms of space, hygiene and medical facilities available. There should be periodical medical check-ups, and it must be made mandatory for every individual in the profession to possess a proper health certificate. Brothels should also be taxed like any other business house, and a certain amount should be earmarked by the government for providing medical facilities to sex workers. Their families and especially their children should be taken care of. A rehabilitation programme for sex workers wanting to opt out should also be worked out. Sex workers should be made to work only in the alloted areas or zones. Brothels must be situated away from residential areas and educational institutions.In India women are forced into prostitution due to poverty and illiteracy. So women in this profession become carriers of AIDS and other deadly diseases. To combat with this situation, womens organisations can be brought in to work at the grass -root level and to form a link between the sex workers and the government.

Cons

of

legalisation

As it is said, Every coin has two sides. Legalisation too has some shortcomings: Legalising prostitution would benefit the facilitators and the pimps, not their victims. In India, where women are coerced into the trade and kept in it almost like bonded labour, such a move will not benefit them. Commercial sexual exploitation is a form of slavery and slavery cannot be legalized. India should not compare itself with other Western countries, where prostitution enjoys legal status because our societal customs are most unlike those in the West. Since abortion is illegal in India, there is no question of legalising prostitution. So giving this business a legal status only means society is giving approval to the flesh trade. Some critics say, prostitution wrecks personality and affects marriage relationships. Prostitution affects family life, communicates diseases and thus brings social disorganization.

Conclusion Closeting the flourishing profession of prostitution as a morality issue not only amounts to ignoring the exploitation of the commercial sex-workers, who feed on the income they generate, but the larger issue of AIDS. What is required is a practical approach. By according legitimacy to the sex-worker, millions of women who enter into this trade to feed their families will be freed from the clutches of pimps, brothel-owners and cops on the take. Legalising prostitution will see these women, who live life on the edge everywhere, gaining access to medical facilities, which can control the spread of AIDS. Timely sex education to sex workers can make them aware of venereal diseases attached with this profession. Employment opportunities for women, who have no alternative than to enter this profession, can play wonders. Removal of widow marriage, the social custom that is still followed in most of the Indian villages, can help curb prostitution.There is a very strong need to treat the sex industry as any other industry and empower it with legal safeguards, which would rid this workplace of exploitative and unhealthy practices. The rising number of AIDS cases in India and the number of innocents being forced into the flesh trade are alarming. The time has come for lawmakers to be more serious about this issue. Legalisation is the answer.