India: A Case of Bad Governance

In today’s Business Standard, Pranab Bardhan in his article “India — A case of bad governance“, makes a number of very important points.
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A Digression on Corruption in Six Acts

ACT 1: A Course on Development

This summer for teaching an undergraduate course on economic development (Econ171) at Berkeley, I naturally considered the major factors that affect — and effect — economic growth and development of an economy. The major headings included growth models, energy, infrastructure, urbanization, education, agriculture, and one other topic which I will come to presently. It should come as no surprise that the government of India — being one that professes a sincere commitment to economic growth and development — actively intervenes in all of those areas. There are government departments and ministries at the central and state levels. Continue reading “A Digression on Corruption in Six Acts”

Of Trucks and Roads and Corruption

Let me tell you a story. It’s a vignette of what I consider to be important although it may appear to be rather trivial. Perhaps its apparent triviality is what should astonish us. But allow me to first recount a conversation I had the last week.
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Congress, Nepotism and Corruption

Congress, Nepotism and Corruption: The Eternal Rotten Braid

The three — corruption, nepotism and the Congress party — form India’s most enduring triumvirate. It is hard to think of one without thinking of the others because they characterize India’s politics and political landscape like nothing else conceivably can. The Congress party is the fiefdom of one family — being part of that confers the inalienable right to be the boss. Nepotism gains a whole new meaning in the hands of the Congress. Chronic, acute and pervasive corruption at the highest levels of governance India could only have been engineered by the political party which has held the reins of power for practically all of India’s existence since 1947. So it was with incredulous wonder that I read two news items yesterday.
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Education and Corruption

The Indian education sector is in distress. How does one explain the lack of outrage among the population at something which affects them so forcefully? Could it be because they are not aware of how dysfunctional the system is? That must at least partly explain the apathy. Perhaps they know but accept it with the fatalistic resignation of the type that accepts corruption among public officials? Perhaps they mistakenly consider pervasive corruption as normal. But how can they not see that government control of education, the rampant corruption, and the crippled education system are all of a piece?

Here’s a news item which reports that medical post graduate studies involve bribes of up to Rs 2 crores (around $ 400,000.)
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