Corruption Challenges – Lokpal, POCA, etc

[op-ed snap] The corrosive effect of corrupt anti-corruption campaigns

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Corruption Perception Index

Mains level : Corruption - data and analysis

CONTEXT

The crisis in the Amazon is a stark example of the damage that can be done when governments bow to business interests. It also highlights the manipulation of anti-corruption efforts to undermine democracy and advance an authoritarian political agenda.

Corruption Index

The US is 22nd on the 180-country list; among major developing and emerging economies, India is 78th, China is 87th, Brazil is 105th, and Nigeria is 144th.

Debate on corruption

  1. Some conservative economists argue that corruption can be beneficial as it enables economic actors to bypass regulations, thereby enabling markets to function more effectively. 
  2. But corruption corrodes markets, protects incumbents from competitive challenges by impeding the entry of new actors, destroys the moral fabric of society, and stunts economic development. 
  3. As Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows, there is a strong inverse correlation between development and corruption.
  4. According to the latest CPI data, the world’s least corrupt countries are Denmark and New Zealand. Both have achieved high standards of living. 
  5. The world’s most corrupt countries are Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria—all poor and mired in conflict. 
  6. Data suggests that the common belief that corruption is hardwired in some societies is not always correct. Corruption levels can and do change.
    • A couple of centuries ago, corruption was rampant in countries like the United Kingdom, which today ranks 11th on the CPI.
    • Prior to self-government in 1959, Singapore was beset by corruption. This year, it reached third place.

Addressing corruption

  1. There is a connection between corruption management and democratic compromise. This is why many leaders who come to power to control corruption end up nurturing cronyism and damaging democracy instead.
  2. Some political leaders launch a corruption “purge” that targets rivals or critics for prosecution. It is easy in countries rife with high-level corruption
  3. In countries where it is endemic, corruption can implicate even those who would prefer to operate according to the law. Corruption can proliferate easily, especially in a context where it is already an embedded part of everyday life. 

Back2Basics

  1. The index is released by Transparency International
  2. The index ranks the countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople
  3. It uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clear
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