Corruption Challenges – Lokpal, POCA, etc

Corruption has risen over the past five years, say 55% of respondents


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: ARC report;

Why in the news? 

In the run-up to elections, political parties make allegations of corruption against their rivals to reach out to voters and influence voting patterns. So, let’s see about the corruption trend in India.

What is Corruption? 

Corruption refers to dishonest or unethical conduct by individuals or institutions, often involving the misuse of entrusted power or resources for personal gain. It can take various forms, including bribery, embezzlement, fraud, nepotism, cronyism, and favoritism. Corruption undermines the principles of fairness, integrity, and accountability in both public and private sectors.

Corruption in India (Pre-poll survey of 2024 compared with 2019 Survey):

  • Increase in Corruption: According to a pre-poll survey, more than half (55%) of respondents believe that corruption has increased in the past five years.
    • The proportion of respondents believing that corruption has decreased has declined significantly, from 37% in 2019 to 19% in 2024.
  • Causes for Corruption in India: A majority of respondents (56%) hold both Union and State governments responsible for the increase in corruption, with a higher proportion blaming the Union government specifically.
  • Across Spatial Consistency: Regardless of whether respondents live in villages, towns, or cities, the perception of increased corruption is widespread.
  • Opinion of Respondents: Both rich and poor respondents largely agree that corruption has increased, though there is a slight increase in the perception of decreased corruption among richer respondents.

What does the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) report say?

  • Lack of Transparency: The opacity of government processes and decision-making provides opportunities for corruption.
  • Regulatory Environment: Cumbersome and complex regulations create opportunities for rent-seeking behavior by officials and bureaucrats.
  • Political Interference: Politicization of administrative processes and appointments leads to patronage networks and favoritism, fostering corruption.
  • Lack of Whistleblower Protection: The absence of robust mechanisms to protect whistleblowers discourages individuals from reporting corruption. Fear of retaliation and inadequate legal safeguards inhibit the exposure of corrupt practices.
  • Weak Enforcement Mechanisms: Inadequate enforcement of laws and regulations allows corrupt practices to thrive.

Conclusion: To combat rising corruption in India, comprehensive measures including enhancing transparency, simplifying regulations, strengthening enforcement, depoliticizing administration, and implementing robust whistleblower protection are imperative for fostering integrity and accountability in governance.


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