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How to tackle Corruption in India

Updated on June 6, 2011

Most people are unaware of how their everyday actions and behaviors affect others and impact the whole society. People are becoming very greedy and egotistic which has resulted in inhuman exploitation of others. Everyday you read or hear so money stories and news about people whose desire for earning more and more wealth leads them to do unethical, cruel and even criminal things. So many people have gone to the extent of snatching others basic necessities of life. Black-marketing, corruption, murder, or even adulteration hold no bar for them. They can adulterate food-stuff such as milk, ghee, spices,etc., and even the lifesaving stuff such as medicine.

Although we can not ignore the fact of money and I also agree that money is much needed to survive and live a good life but in general we see people are running after money, even if they have enough for themselves and their generations. In this race of earning endless wealth and power, we have completely lost our moral values, social responsibilities and even the meaning of happiness and peaceful life.

We often blame government, politicians and other people but hardly take any responsibility to improve ourselves. We talk about the corruption, unethical behaviors, crimes, etc., but hardly take any action to promote honesty, integrity, ethics or to eliminate corruption.

What is corruption?

As per the Transparency International (TI); Corruption is operationally defined as the misuse of entrusted power for private gain or the use of public office for private gain. In other words, use of official position, rank or status by an office bearer for his/her own personal benefit. Therefore the corrupt behaviour would include, bribery, fraud, stealing the public resources, partiality/favouritism, seizure of public assets for private use, etc.

Transparency International (TI) further differentiates between "according to rule" corruption and "against the rule" corruption. Facilitation payments, where a bribe is paid to receive preferential treatment for something that the bribe receiver is required to do by law, constitute the former. The latter, on the other hand, is a bribe paid to obtain service.

Corruption in India

The most shocking part of the widespread corruption in India is the fact that it is not anymore within the parameters of how TI defines corruption, it is no longer limited to politicians or the public servants, it has become very common amongst almost every section of the society at every level. It is not only prevalent amongst rich who are greedy in spite of possessing enough but also prevalent amongst poor. The fact is that large number of Indians are now involved in corrupt practices in one way or the other, either due to greed or due to so called compulsion. People have gone even to the extent of adulteration of food-stuff such as milk, ghee, spices and also lifesaving medicines.

International Perspective on India

On the international stage, India is considered a nuclear power and one of the fast growing countries in the world. Despite of the very high level corruption, the world's economists consider India as Emerging power in the world. The US government is talking about India's world power status ( The Forbes magazine lists 53 Indian billionaires in the world. India has also become the biggest exporter in the world of software services and software workers. The Indians are contributing to American and Global progress; a few facts are: 12% of scientists in the US are Indians 38% of doctors(physicians, dentists, PhDs, etc) in America are Indians; 36% of NASA scientists are Indians; 34% of Microsoft employees are Indians; 28% of IBM employees are Indians; 17% of INTEL scientists are Indians(German Magazine).

BUT same time India is amongst the most corrupt countries of the world with a score of only 3.4 out of 10. It ranks 84th amongst 180 countries (Corruption Perceptions Index 2009, ( ). India is worse than many countries in Asia and Africa such as Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Taiwan, Korea, Bhutan, and China.

In the world competitiveness scoreboard, which is the assessment of several factors, e.g. Government system, Business efficiency, infrastructure, etc., it is dragging only at 31st position.

Though India boasts of a high economic growth, it is shameful that there is still large scale poverty in India. It has the world's largest number of poor people living in a single country. The recent study confirms that India has more poor people than in 26 African Countries.(VOA news). One of the main reasons of this poverty is ‘CURRUPTION'. A recent news on IBNLive ‘Corrupt Indians siphoned out $125 bn in 8 years', more than $125 billion worth of funds meant for the uplift of Indians were illegally siphoned out of the country by corrupt politicians and corporate sectors, between 2000 and 2008. Last year there was shocking news in Indian media reporting on trillions of dollar black money Indians have in Swiss bank. Almost every day we hear about many scandals and corruption cases in several government and corporate sectors in India.

The government of India has taken a few steps to reduce poverty, stop corruption and improve delivery of public service but most of them did not get much success due the corruption and bureaucracy in whole system and at each level. Several international investors and development agencies are always afraid to invest in India due to the high level corruption. The recent example of misuse of fund and corruption in commonwealth game is shame for our country.

Main cause of corruption

Why do officials misuse public office for private gain and steal public money? Why does a common man get involved in the corruption and unethical activity? Although there are many causes of corruption but based upon several research, surveys and studies, the following are most common causes in most of the governments and societies:

- Lack of rules, regulations, transparency and accountability in public sectors.
- Lack of control, supervision and auditing.
- Lack of articulated Code of Conduct for public servants and politicians.
- Attitudes or circumstances that make average people disregard the law.
- The change in the value system and ethical qualities of people. The moral and ethics have declined and most people give more importance to money than excellence.
- Bribe may provide a convenient means of getting work done or avoid any punishment.
- Bad incentives, such as any employee not earning enough to live on; so he supplements his income with bribes.
- Tolerance of people towards corruption.
- Absence of strong public forum or civil society to oppose corruption.
- etc.

Consequences of Corruption

Corruption is found to be one of the most damaging consequences of poor governance and poverty, classified by lack of efficiency, transparency and accountability. Corruption diminishes investment and suppresses economic growth and development and also reduces the effectiveness of public administration. It diverts the public resources towards corrupt politicians and officials and away from the needy and poor people. So, corruption can be considered anti-poor and anti-development.

How to eliminate corruption in India

Many people think that only government has responsibility for eliminating corruption and we often blames the government; however in view of the level of corruption and the existing framework that we have in India, it is very clear that government alone cannot stop corruption. If we, the people of India and civil society institutions remain unconcerned and hopeless in fighting against corruption then it can never be eliminated or even can't be reduced. Thus, it is the responsibility and duty of every Indian to fight against corruption and take some actions to promote honesty and integrity and contribute in the motion of ‘Honesty' in India. We need to promote excellency and teach our young generation the actual meaning of success.

No matter what your position is, what your age is, whether you are a government employee or working in a private sector, a student, a retired person or even a housewife, each and every individual has the ability to contribute in eliminating corruption in India and push government, civil society and policy makers to implement more measures at each level. .

Furthermore, fighting corruption requires more than government policy, laws, tools and legal system; it requires awareness of our social responsibility, moral values, excellence in our daily work, etc. We need role models, campaigns, debates, and many different approaches to educate our people, to inspire our young generations, to change the mindset of corrupt people and to tackle with every cause. Moreover it need willingness, commitment and active participation of media, civic associations, voluntary groups, teachers, students, social workers, etc.

Overall, India has a strong potential for being a reasonably corruption-free society if every citizen of India, joins hands together and take some actions to deal with every cause. In this 21st century we have knowledge and proven mechanism to fight corruption. We also have the power of media and technology to spread the message to millions of people within a fraction of second.

So don't sit back; every one of us needs to come forward and take actions. If you are not affected today you will be affected tomorrow.

In addition to the ongoing initiatives such as Citizens' Charters, RTI Act, social audit, e-governance, lokayukta, etc., which needs some improvement and harmonized approach across all states, the followings are a few other good initiatives which could help to tackle corruption and every cause:

1.Initiative taken by St Joseph's School in Darjeeling to award a certificate of merit — of honesty — to students who desist from cheating is an excellent example. Another example of opening a bookshop without salesman at Bhagat Puran Singh Memorial Senior Secondary School and Girls College at Rajewal town in Ludhiana, is great initiative ( )

2.Introducing anti-corruption classes in the school curriculum in Indonesia is another great example to fight against corruption. ( )

3.The Citizens Charter in Indian Government ( ) which was introduced to improve the quality of public services to ensure accountability, transparency and quality of services provided by various government organizations was also a good approach but it has not been very effective as many people are not aware of it.

Our media can help to bring awareness of these kinds of initiatives, so that others also can learn from them. We have so many TV channels in India, if these channels start inviting role models, social workers, celebrities and youths on one platform to hold debates/discussions and bring awareness of consequences of the increasing corruptions, I believe people will become more active in fighting corruption and improve their ethical qualities.

The media can interview general public, government officers, etc., if they know about Citizens Charters.

Our teachers can also play a major role in teaching moral values & integrity to our young generation. To bring the awareness and educating the young generation in upholding the honesty, they can also organize debates, discussions and plays in school to encourage the new generation to be an honest citizen.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?" Join the ‘Indian Honesty Movement' group on Yahoo to build a network of the honest people in India like you to share your thoughts and ideas. If you like this article, forward this to all your Indian friends to create more awareness.



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      snehal 2 years ago

      quite nice....but more points could be added. however, this has helped me a lot for my competition.:)

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      Sneha 3 years ago

      Very nice article.... Can u add something about corruption in medical practice and how is it stopped?

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      Siddharth Shende 4 years ago

      Hi, Dear readers,

      As the ancient study of India... so many's are preferred to India... its a "Bird of Diamond", who have got experienced.. are very lucky persons. If they are live today and see such type of Eridanus conditions of India...and sadly said they are...What we see?..Where we live?..How we experience...and How can its stops?3

      just simple ans is...Every individuals of the living India have got an Oath personally to "Don't give support to any Corrupt things for self benefits" And "Start to make a born childs to mold in purity..and give education such type of tradition to him" and "our Govt have to search all corrupt persons & put him in jail for life punishment and implement a strict & very strict Lokpal law have passed against corruption"

      So, as a result we likely to see India in coming time in 20 yrs, on the top to ancient positions & one's more we says that old phrase.

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      namrata s. 4 years ago

      it really proved to be very useful for me as well as helped me a lot for my essay competition

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      akshaya.m 5 years ago

      yes of course corrupton is increasing! but the main root of all this case is we people ourselves. we complain about corruption to government but first we should stop giving bribes. isn`t it? so lets start this good work today!!!!

      I will not let anyone walk through corruption with their dirty feet.

      from ,


      sacred heart high school,vashi,navi mumbai

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      Kiranvarma2u 5 years ago

      Only way curroption can be reduced is improving accountibility and transperancy,laws are bunch crooks and enforced another bunch of crooks ,the coursts can uphold justic but cannot make laws ,It will take a large non cooperation movment from citizen,till govt does not understand they dont have any choice till then they will not amend laws.

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      shahjahan 5 years ago

      its nice and lot of deep thinking demands for this

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      anurag 5 years ago

      congeess ko read kr leni chahiye

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      amar15 5 years ago

      Thanks to everyone for visiting my hubpage and leaving your comments. This is very encouraging for me to continue sharing my idea on this burning topic. Due to my busy work schedule I could not visit the hub for some time but today let me add something more.

      I always believe that there is no single solution in fighting corruption and this was proved in a very successful model which was used in Hong Kong. We in India can learn from this famous model in fighting corruption. This adopts a three pronged approach: deterrence, prevention and education. If you want to learn more about this model, please visit the link

      Jan Lokpal Bill which has some similarities with Hong Kong ICAC model gives a lot of hope but problem in India is lack of political will to fight corruption and that is the main reason why this Bill has not been passed yet by the parliament. Let’s continue to show the power of media, power of civil societies, power of general public and power of youth and I am sure one day we will get successes.

      Jai Hind

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      mausumi 6 years ago

      Thankyou for this information.It is very usefull & it can be a good message for young generations.

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      Neha sen 6 years ago

      Its really nice... I enjoyed as well as learn about corruption.. So wake up and work for corruption..

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      Thiong'o James 6 years ago

      It brings the suffering and hustles of the present to the future generations .we should therefore uphold integrity and economic as well as social success of each other and eliminate this pandemic

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      indian 6 years ago

      amarji what u r saying is exactly right it is very imp in india

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      affection 6 years ago

      Hmmmm thoughtful...

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      litheesha reddy 6 years ago

      excellent examples on the burning topic thanq

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      PD 6 years ago

      it mindblowing


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      Satwant Kalkat 6 years ago

      Your concerns about corruption are true. Your solutions to eradicate are also good. But problem lies in fixing of accountability. Who do you think will come forward for cleaning the administration. Politicians? No. Corruption is the major source of income for politicians. That is the reason they spend crores on elections though remuneration they get is far below than that. How are they to recover that amount? Would they spend for charity or for the sake of nation? We need to evolve a system where honest people are able to come forward so that the steps suggested by you are implemented. What is that system and how can it reduce corruption? Pl read Survival of Humanity at

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      ashwani k bali 6 years ago

      Dear Anil ji. those wanting to eradicate corruption will have to actively practice thinking like 'charity begins at home. Leave apart law and its course every one has to work for self and ones nation. We must follow the points for a brighter period ahead and real contribution will be to spread such Sanskaras amongst the coming generation and allow them to live quality life. Jai Hind & Jai Mohyal.

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      Amar 6 years ago

      Thanks to Anna Hajare, his team and millions of his supporter who brought the historical movement to push the Locpal bill which was pending for more than 40 years. I salute Anna Hajare Ji.

      Although the Locpal Bill including the citizen charter, is one of the major steps to eradicate corruption but it alone is not enough. We all have to remember our social responsibilities and show our moral values in our daily work and teach the same to our new generation.

      As I expected and dreamed one year ago, I have seen the power of media, power of civil societies, power of general public and power of youth in last few months who brought the awareness and showed the path to make India a corruption free country.

      Vande Mataram


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      Anupama Bhardwaj 6 years ago

      vry nice basic informatn nd awesome

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      Amar 6 years ago

      Today I am very pleased to know that the government has agreed to introduce the revised Lokpal Bill, hopefully similar to the Jan Lokpal Bill, in the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. On 15th August 2010, I thought about the Indian Honesty movement and I thanks to Anna Hazare, his supporter and Millions of other Indians who started and supported the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement.

      The Jan Lokpal BIll, or the revised Lokpal Bill(if is similar to the Jan Lokpal Bill) will definitely deals with a few of the main causes of corruption which I mentioned in this article.

      In addition to the Jan Lokpal Bill, we should also promote Citizen's Charter , moral and ethical values in our day to day work. Lets continue the campaigns and organize debates to bring more awareness and keep the momentum on. I hope the Indian government will pass the revised Lokpal bill in the Monsoon session and implement it uniformely in all the states.

      JAI HIND!!!

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      Vaishnavi 7 years ago

      An enthusiastic one......Jai Hind

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      aditya kumar dandime 7 years ago

      'YATHA RAJA TATHA PRAJA' i believe in this saying. any change has to come from the top.if the top politicians and even judges are corrupt how can we except the general public to be sincere and sincere voices are brutally silenced in our country. one need not be reminded of the brutal murder of RTI activists in India. the Supreme Court and the top politicians are silent spectators and the common people who raised their voice have been eliminated.the corrupt have become very powerful.i think death penalty for corruption should be the law. unless we elect some sincere politicians i do not see any hope.

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      Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay 7 years ago

      Nearly all the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in 'Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administration system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming parents (mindlessly) only by blindfold self-procreation, simply depriving their (the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenting, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children who are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. Can the Indians (Bengali) ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of 'poverty') in their own life/attitude, start themselves 'Production of Space’ (Henri Lefebvre), at least, initiate a movement, by heart.

      - Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee lane, Howrah-711101, India.

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      Sadik 7 years ago

      We all are same,rules must be same for everyone.

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      Rajan Sharma 7 years ago

      Awesome!!!. Mr Amar has put a number of reasons together to explain the root cause of corruption in india. Continuously declining moral and ethical values in our societies is one of the main reason of corruption. If we do not teach ethics and integrity to our young generation, we will pay a huge cost of it.

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      Anil 7 years ago

      In the latest report published by TI, India scored only 3.3 in the corruption perception index which pushes it down from 84th position in 2009 to 87th.

      We should learn from Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore which are world’s most corruption-free countries.

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      ak babu 7 years ago

      quite nice. very usefull.

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      shrikant umakant deshmukh 7 years ago

      To stop corruption, government should remove all the currency notes except Rs. 100/- and start all the transaction by cheque's only. It is also necessary to increase commission on cheque payment.It will definitely help to avoid corrupted practice or underground money.

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      Amar 7 years ago

      Thanks for posting very encouraging comments. Lets build a network of honest people to share more ideas to make India a curruption free country. Here is the link to yahoo group -

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      OSHIN MANI TRIPATHI 7 years ago


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      neel 7 years ago

      media should organise confrence and seminars on bribe between different sactions of public servants and politicians.

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      fred 7 years ago

      what an awesum s'a !

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      geneex 7 years ago

      quite nice, i enjoyed reading it

    • profile image

      harini 7 years ago

      It is very usefull for students

    • profile image

      v.harini 7 years ago

      It's supper

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      nabanita 7 years ago

      it is very very helpful for the students that help them to know more and more about corruption that is going on in our country...