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Corruption in India Essay Sample

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Corruption in India Essay Sample


It is our privilege to express our sincerest regards to our project coordinator, Mrs. Rajandeep Kaur, for their valuable inputs, able guidance, encouragement, whole-hearted help and motivation for our project.

I take this opportunity with much pleasure to thank all the people who have helped me through the course of my journey towards making this project on the topic “CORRUPTION IN INDIA”. Apart from the subject of my research, I learnt a lot from him, which I am sure will be useful in different stages of my life.

Last but not least I wish to avail myself of this opportunity, express a sense of gratitude and love to my friends and my beloved parents for their manual support, strength, help and for everything.


The aim of India Corruption Study 2005 taken up by Transparency International India in alliance with CMS, is to sensitize the people of India against all-pervasive corruption faced on day-to-day basis by the Common Man in eleven public services in twenty major states. The study is by no means exhaustive, as some states and services have not been covered.

The other aim of the study is to recognize the good work being done in particular departments/ States where corruption levels have decreased and to share those success stories with other departments. An effort has also been made to suggest how the department concerned can improve service delivery and reduce corruption.

This benchmark study will also help to track and study the impact of various initiatives like the recently passed “Right to Information Act”, adoption of E Governance and various administrative reforms being undertaken across the country to improve service delivery and reduce corruption.

This study focuses only on the corruption experienced by the ‘Common Man’ in getting services from various service providers i.e. government departments. Citizens are entitled to receive these services, but are not only served poorly but very often have to pay a bribe to the service providers.

This study does not cover corruption at various other levels such as where a business man pays bribes to an Income Tax official or a custom official to pay much less tax than he is obligated to pay. It also does not cover the mega corruption, the grand larceny, in which hundreds, and thousands of crores of rupees are paid as bribes to corrupt functionaries or Government funds are siphoned off on large scale.

We believe that the money involved in such large corruption may be far larger than the money involved in corruption faced by the common man. However, the damage done to the nation is far greater in the day-to-day petty corruption faced by the Common Man as it corrodes the moral fiber of the society. We also believe that as the common citizens take a stand to combat petty corruption, the large corruption will automatically reduce.

In our 2002 study we had covered ten departments. Two of these i.e Railways and Telecom, have been left out in our new study. Computerization and issue of tickets for rail journeys and competition in the Telecom Sector have ensured that the common citizen does not have to offer bribes for rail tickets and telephone connections. (This not to suggest that there is no corruption in the procurement processes of either the Railway or Telecommunication Department). Three new department, viz water supply, municipal services (sanitation, construction and property tax) and agriculture (rural credit and rural banks / co-operative banks) have also been included in this survey. TI India and its State Chapters are ready to assist service providers and other to create systems to prevent corruption.

TI India hopes that with periodic country wide studies together with a potent “Right to Information Act” and faithfully implemented Citizen Charters will empower the common man to refuse to pay a bribe. This is the only way that this malaise can be combated. The service providers will then get used to doing their duties honestly without extracting any consideration. This is what TII hopes to promote in the coming months using the findings of this study.

This study is based on a rigorous and comprehensive methodology developed by CMS through various experiments and validations it has undertaken over the last four years while undertaking similar studies in the country. The study has also benefited from consultation with leading experts in the field who have themselves been in the forefront of reforms and analyzed one or other aspect of corruption over the years.

TI India gratefully acknowledges the financial support of several donors including Concern Worldwide and many useful inputs from several like minded activists. Last but not the least TI is greatful to the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) for undertaking the study.


Common citizens of the country pay a bribe of Rs. 21,068 crores while availing one or more of the eleven public services in a year. As high as 62 percent of citizens think that the corruption is not a hearsay, but they in fact had the firsthand experience of paying bribe or “using a contact” to get a job done in a public office.

India Corruption Study – 2005 brings out that the problem of corruption in public services affecting day to day needs of citizens is far more serious than it is being realized and calls for all out initiatives on the part of Government as well as civil society. Putting together corruption in all public services involving individual common citizens, will work out significantly high. Until now, this has never been reliably estimated specific to public service.

Three-fourth of citizens think that the level of corruption in public services is increasing in the last one year (2004-2005). Hardly ten percent think that such corruption is on the decline. There are no significant differences between the States in the perceptions about the extent of corruption or in their experience with such corruption.

This study taken up by TI India in alliance with CMS, brings out that one-third to half of the compulsions leading to such petty corruption involving the common man could be addressed and also removed with simple initiatives including introduction of technologies.

One-third of citizens think that “both the officials concerned and the users” of these eleven services know how much to be paid as “extra” to get a job done or attended to.

Corruption is not merely in the media or in the minds of people as it is sometimes made out. But it is in the system all across the public services, is what this study highlights. And the users and providers of those public services know what needs to be done to address the problem as this study has brought out.

The eleven public services covered in this study are: Police (Crime/Traffic), Judiciary, Land Administration, Municipal Services, Govt. Hospitals, lectricity (Consumers) PDS (Ration Card/Supplies), Income Tax Individual Assesses), Water Supply, Schools (upto 12th) and Rural Finacial Institutions (Farmers).

According to this survey, relatively Police stands out high on the corruption index. Judiciary (lower Courts) and Land Administration are rated next only to Police. The corruption in Government Hospitals is mostly to do with non availability of medicines, getting admission, consultations with doctors and availing diagnostic services. Despite reforms, electricity service figure high on corruption index. PDS figures lower in the corruption index score because the problem of common man dealing with services is more to do with leakages in the system rather than direct monetary corruption.

Going by composite ranking of States on corruption involving common citizen and in the context of eleven public services, Kerala stands out as the least corrupt State in India. Bihar, on the other, is the most corrupt State. Jammu & Kashmir is next only to Bihar. In fact, perhaps not surprisingly, on all parameters and in the context of all the eleven

services, Bihar stands out far-ahead as the most corrupt State. Himachal Pradesh perhaps is less corrupt – even compared to States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or Gujarat. Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Assam, on the other, also are on the top of corruption.

This unique study for its scope and sample size takes into account both perceptions, which are as important as actual experience particularly in the case of these public services, and experience of actually paying bribe to get attended to or serviced by these public services.

An overwhelming majority of citizens are vocal about absence of transparency and accountability in the delivery of these services. They are full of anguish and at times some anger at the state of affairs. It is evident from annual CMS surveys on corruption that use of technology at the front-end of those offices is likely to bring down corruption with increase in transparency.

One-sixth of public think that citizens/users of Government services themselves are responsible for corruption. They believe that there is no active and sustained civil society movement. The efforts are more sporadic, localized and short-lived and have never acquired a character of a larger movement.

One-third of citizens think that corruption is “an obvious fact” where both giver and taker are familiar with modalities, it cannot be addressed only by reforms and by adopting technologies, although they are the first order of initiatives to be taken, unless certain deterrent punitive action on those indulging in corruption are also taken.

Now that technology is being adopted in a big way, it should be feasible to take more specific action to bring down corruption. That is how the initiatives of Transparency International India (TII) in sponsoring studies like this help mobilize civil society. TI India proposes to go to States with the findings of this study to sensitize and promote civil society initiatives.

Citizens’ Charter, promising certain performance standard on the basis of “Where to Go, How to proceed”, is a recent initiative in most of these services. But the Charter as it is made out is neither directly relevant nor are citizens aware of such a thing, as this study brings out. In fact, not all concerned in the public services know about Citizens’ Charter or the promises made therein. The study brings out the urgency of activating Citizens’ Charter and making it directly relevant and implementation being reported back to public.

This study acquires added relevance in the context of more recent Right to Information Act. When this Act comes into effect, public utilities and services shall need to gear up to increase transparency in decision making. Next round of such national surveys could be expected to bring out the extent this Act would help in the process.

The India Corruption Study 2005 brings out the magnitude of the problem, the contours of petty corruption involving common citizen and the efforts required to address the issues in the case of each service.

Users of various public services across the country in this study have named seven key factors that stand out as responsible for wide spread corruption in the system.


India Corruption study is the largest corruption survey ever undertaken in the country with a sample of 14,405 respondents spread across 20 states. From each State about 525 – 950 respondents were interviewed. The survey covered 151 cities and 306 villages.

This national survey on corruption is the first in its scope. It is not just limited to estimating monetary value of petty corruption but also ranks public services and states. The study also looks into systematic aspects of corruption in the public services and has come up with service specific initiatives to reduce corruption.

The focus of this survey is on petty corruption experienced by common man in availing public services. Petty corruption is something which citizens end up paying to get one or other job attended to at the public utilities/services which they are entitled to without spending anything “extra money”.

The estimation of monetary value of petty corruption is to give a reliable idea of the money involved. This estimate does not include contractors or large scale transactions involving procurement, tenders, etc or the dealings of corporates or large business. It also does not include welfare and other Government programmes for the rural population or vulnerable sections. The estimate of petty corruption is specific to the services in each case and does not include valuation of “corrupt practices”.

The survey is based on a unique methodology developed by independent CMS, over the years. Improving on three previous CMS annual studies on corruption in public utilities, the methodology followed for this larger and comprehensive India Corruption Survey 2005 is unique.

Firstly, it aims at both “perception” and “experience” and, secondly, the outlook of the service provider too is taken into account. For this, the study relied on a combination of methodologies. These include household survey, “exit poll” to capture the experience of service users, discussions with service provider, case studies and tracking of implementation of initiatives.

The ranking of public services and the States on petty corruption is based on a “composite index” developed for the purpose. The indicators were carefully choosen based on our experience in the three earlier round of survey. The indicators ensure that there is minimum scope for over or under reporting. The weightages were finalized after extensive consultations with the experts. A detailed sensitivity analysis were undertaken.

The 11 public services short listed for the study are of varied nature; hence for the purpose of ranking the services have been divided into two groups

a) Need based

b) Basic services, based on the intensity of interaction.

The field work for the survey was undertaken during December 2004 and January 2005 months except in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and J&K where it was done later in March 2005. The survey in J&K could not be taken up earlier due to hostile weather conditions. The survey in Jharkhand was taken up after the elections to State assembly was completed.

Analysis and interpretation:


The Corruption Index scores show that Need based services are more corrupt than Basic services covered in this survey. This for two reasons, firstly, for most Need based services (except RFI) there are no alternatives sources to avail service unlike in the case of Basic services, where there are private service providers. Secondly, since most need based services are vested with substantial powers therefore the repercussions of not paying bribe could be quite serious.

(Figures in Percentage of respondents)

Among the 11 public services covered in the survey, the Police is the most corrupt. An overwhelming 80 % of those who had interacted with the department had paid bribe. Further three fourths of those who had interacted with Police department in the last one year are not happy with the services. No wonder then that 88 percent perceive the department to be corrupt.

Judiciary (lower courts) and Land administration are the next most corrupt public services. In Judiciary, of those who paid bribe, 41 % had paid to influence judgment, 31 % to speed up or delay judgment, 28 percent to get routine jobs like listing of case or to get copy of documents.

In Land Administration, of those who paid bribe, nearly half had paid for property transaction related issues (valuation of property, payment to registrars etc), 36 percent paid to get property documents or for mutation and 12 percent for clearing or settling tax dues. In Municipal Services, nearly three fourth of those who paid bribe for approval of building plan or modifications (53%) and tax related issues (22%).

Nearly two thirds of people surveyed perceived that the Income Tax department to be corrupt. In spite of this the department is low in the Corruption Index score. This is because the survey was limited to individual assesses who had apparently not encountered much corruption.

Among Basic services the Government Hospitals are the most corrupt public services. The corruption in the department is mostly to do with non availability of medicines, getting admission into hospitals, consultation with doctors and availing of diagnostic services.

Electricity service is the second most corrupt among Basic public services. Nearly 65 percent of the corruption involves issues of billing and grant of new connection. PDS figures lower in the corruption index score because the problems of common man dealing with service is more to do with leakages in the system rather direct monetary corruption. The corruption affecting common man is limited to getting ration card & over charging for ration supplies. However there are larger issues like diversion of supplies, irregular supplies, poor quality, under weighing etc.

Water supply services have low corruption score. This could be because water tariff in the most states is not consumption based or it is nominal as well. Therefore, there is limited scope for corruption. However, the corruption in the service is limited to certain areas like release of new connections, availing the service of water tankers and ensuring more supply of water.


As per the composite ranking of states on petty corruption, involving common citizen and in the context of eleven public services, Kerala stands out as the least corrupt State in India. Bihar, on the other hand is the most corrupt State. In fact, on all parameters and in the context of all the eleven services, Bihar stands out as the most corrupt State. Himachal Pradesh is less corrupt – even compared to States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or Gujarat. Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Assam are afflicted with the problem and score high on the index.

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