Corruption in India

From The Economist (9th Oct 2003) an article on the perceived corruption of countries.

Finland remains the least-corrupt country in the world, according to the latest annual index compiled by Transparency International, a Berlin-based organisation. The index, which measures perceived levels of corruption, focuses on the misuse of public office for private gain. The United States ranks as the 18th least-corrupt country, only a little less so than Chile. Botswana is reckoned to be less corrupt than Italy.

India ranks 83 in the list of least-corrupt countries. Finland is the least corrupt and ranks first; Singapore is fifth; Botswana is ranked 30th — thus leading India by about 50 places.

In the Indian neighborhood, there are no clean countries. On a scale where 10 is the cleanest, India gets a score of 2.8 (with a standard deviation of 0.4, a fairly low standard deviation.) Compared to that, China scores marginally higher at 3.5 but has a greater standard deviation of 1.0 and therefore the estimated error is larger.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Bangladesh both score — surprise, surprise — lower than India. Pakistan gets a 2.5 with a large 0.9 standard deviation, and Bangladesh has the dubious distinction of being the least uncorrupt country of the 133 surveyed by Transparency International and has a score of 1.3 (std deviation 0.7).

I suppose if Sri Lanka were in that list, it would get a higher score than India. And I also suppose that the northern states of India (UP, Bihar, etc.) would be more found to be more corrupt than the southern states (Kerala, AP, TN).

Corruption and Underdevelopment

It is no mystery that underdevelopment and high degrees of corruption are highly correlated. There are causal links between the two and most likely these are bi-directional. Corruption is endogenous in most systems and clearly reflect the dominant cultural traits.

In India, the web of corruption probably has a bureaucratic core. A vast bureaucracy that is instituted to control every aspect of economic life creates the incentives for individual and institutionalized corruption. Then the “democratic” political system uses that bureaucracy to extract rents that are used for fueling the vast political machinery.

Dismantling the bureaucracy would be the first step to fixing the problem of corruption in India, followed by reduction of the public sector. This would lead to reduced rents that political parties could extract through the bureaucratic machinery and have the salutary effect of getting rent-seeking thugs out of the political system in India.

India’s development is critically dependent on reducing corruption.

Author: Atanu Dey


12 thoughts on “Corruption in India”

  1. true that politicians treat the bureaucracy as their fiefdoms but to dismantle the bureaucracy in order reign the politicians is like throughing the baby with the bath tub.
    to do away with the b’cracy entirely is not feasable especialy in a welfare government. yes checks need to be installed and these can be many and varied i am not going into the details for am not sure if u wud see this reply…………………….in case u do and are interested drop in a mail at


  2. improving citizen access to information and giving citizens a greater right to action will help in curbing corruption. the Right To Information Act will help in exposing corruption


  3. corruption is like a termite which is eating away and is having it roots deep into the Indian society.Every field like, investigating agency,political corruption,judiciary which was till now clean is also having to black clots of corruption on it.
    Every Goverment servant from the top level officer till the lower grade of peon is corrupt. And untill you dont pay some amount of money as bribe to get the work done your file will not be processed further or any work will not proceed further. The suggestion which i would like to mention in order to stop corruption are as follows.

    1, Separate courts to deal with the matter of corruption and expediately give the judgement of the same and that should be time bound.
    2, Removing the tecknicalities of the procedural laws while laying a trap which the corrupt official often get out from the charge of the corruption using the tecknicalities . So tecknicalities should be removed.
    3, Statement made before the police officer by the complianant should be irreversable and it should be seen that complainant is not making a frivlous complaint in the A.C.B office and he should be also punished if he turns hostile.
    4,The vigilence department should use new tecknological devices for the trap such as spy camera,ultrasonic recorders and other tecknology.
    5, The procedure of sanctions as prescribed by the prevention of corruption laws should be removed. No previous sanction to be neccesary will laying trap for the judicial person,or I.A.S personnel and any goverment officer bearing high post.
    6, The punishment given should be stringent like cancelling all kind perks and and while the officer is suspended his montly income should be cancelled till he is proved not guilty by the Honourable court .
    7, International accounts of the corrupt leaders,and their property should be confiscated by the goverment if they are found guilty after giving fair chance to the accused to present his case.and money laundering acts should provide strict punishment and income tax to maintain strict vigil on the corrupt goverment officer.
    8,Majority of the corrupt leader and goverment officer have their accounts in the international banks and goverment should tie up and negotiate with these banks to provide details of such corrupt official and freeze their account and return such money to goverment of India.

    My name is Adv.Abhiraj.R.Trivedi from Baroda gujarat and i am llm-part2 student also and would like to get more information regarding the tecknicalities and loopholes if there are any left the kindly mail me at my email address.


  4. i think there are two important reasons why india is such a corrupt country. the first is what i would call parental failure. parents of the last four or five generations have utterly failed in inculcating values into their children. the most blatant cae of a total failure of parenting is with the father and of course the mother (ex dig of delhi police) of sanjay singh the rapist/murderer/lawyer. the next reson is teacher’s failure. teachers in the past four or five genetrations have completely failed in tranmitting values to children. there is no hope of any recovery from this double failure in a very long long time.


  5. to a certain extence it is the fault of parents and teacher for not beeing able to keep us in control, or teach the right morals. but i do believe there are some outthere that have good morals, every one reading this page or replying must have some morals and have been parented properly to a certain extenct. its the fault of every one. one cant just use parents, teachers, government as scapegoats. we could but taking some goddamm action would be a better idea. at the rate corruption is growing in india makes one wonder if itlll ever end. or as mentioned its going to end up in a blood shed. it is said that India got its freedom in 1947. i would say india will get its REAL FREEDOM/INDEPENDENCE once corruption is erased.(changing peoples mindset).


  6. It cannot simply be blamed on the upbringing of the children that India today rates amongst the most corrupt countries in the world. I think,the whole socio- environmental heritage is more to be taken into account as the influencing factor in the corrupt handling of the matter. The mother of the social-economic structure of a nation is its beliefs. This again reflects the prosperity of the people. A passive thinking leads to a poor productivity resulting in poverty in general. Underdevelopment of a nation would only bread corruption and criminality. The result being the basic religious belifs should be reformed, in order to bring a change in the entire mechanisum of social structure. The main aim should always be prosperity of the nation. Better education in all fields must be aimed.


  7. we can’t get sound with a single palm.The person who is corrupting is equally responsible as the person who is bribing.Usually we used to see corruption in government offices.It is our right and their duty to get our things done we shouldn’t buy that with money.As we the children of our Bharat mata we shouldn’t hinder the development of our country instead we should support. We all know that this corruption is spreading like HIV virus in our country,we may not cure it but we can prevent it.So we have to grow patriotism in the minds of yong children.Now a days we are seeing that college education is becoming financial aspect (business),inorder to prevent the corruption the only way is to educate the children morally even at the college level.Ibelieve that the “Todays children are not only the citizens of tomorrow but also the tren setters of the society”.The only way to make the country developed is to speard the moral education among the indians. Y.S.D.SRAVAN(EEE)


  8. i am really astonished by the way corruption has made remarkable standard in in indian politics. even the army officials who r the most trustworthy r getting entangled into this virus. i really hatsoff the movement such as lok pall bill which has a great role to play in present but as obvious it has not been implemented in proper direction and this has made the system think more intensely. then was the setting up of CVC which has also not proved positive. india’s root cause for underdevelopment is ite ever growing population.
    so lets make our govt. think about the steps to negotiate corruption and if we did it, india will surly become a true and properous place to live in.


  9. Everyone in India is corrupt. From the lowest town official to the the Prime Minister’s office. The country is so corrupt that I have even have to pay bribes to a private business to do their job!

    What the hell is wrong with you peolpe. You all claim to the rest of the world to be so spiritually superior and and so peaceful, and so generous. Yet all of these are lies. But I did not let corruption get to me. I just moved my business to another country!

    As an NRI, I vow never to return to India to set up a plant or mine or anything. Thank God my father left that country when I was a child.

    But you have my sympathies. I hope you can encourage people to come forward with their experience with corruption.I hope news media launces more investigation and takes more videos of corruption in action. I know that state and federal police will not lift a finger because they too are corrupt.

    Too bad that countries like China, where the excecute corrupt officials, are going to far outstrip India in terms of everything. But your politicians don’t care. I doubt that my post will even appear on your web site.


  10. i have read this article .these persons absoulately right in their aspect these facts are rarely true about india but my views are now india is devolping fast and in coming years it progerss fast so new generation come lighten has different thoughts youths start to go without bribe in recent years awareness and education level of india take a good progress as the education levels more and more indians come in touch with the study they know what is the harmful effect of corruption over our economy .thoughts of new gene are changing they go abroad watch that country and wants to go as that country youths understand and fight together for their democracy so i think in same way if all youths will go one day we will get rid of this problem


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