Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. One part of the remedy is to limit the role of ministers to evolve policies and leave the application of policies to individual cases in the hands of an independent commission/authority in each such area of public interest.
Each such commission/authority may be a statutory body whose members are ‘appointed by the cabinet on the basis of their professional credentials for a fixed tenure. Conditions of service similar to those for judges and other constitutional officers may be evolved to ensure independence
If the decisions of these commissions are not under the purview of ministers but only challengeable in courts, one source of corruption may be eliminated.
If political corruption is at the heart of our corrupt system, then funding of elections is at the core of political corruption. Electoral reforms are crucial in this regard. Several reforms have been suggested -state funding of election expenses for candidates; strict enforcement of statutory requirements like holding in-party elections, making political parties get their accounts audited regularly and filling income tax returns.
Denying persons with criminal records a chance to contest elections; reducing number of days of campaigning and providing airtime on Doordarshan and AIR to campaign; treating as electoral malpractice the violation of the Model Code of conduct prepared by the Election Commission. These reforms need to be evaluated and the meritorious ones implemented immediately.
Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system. The bureaucracy must be made sensitive to the needs of the citizens and be purged of its ‘ruler syndrome’. In addition to it, there should exist a machinery independent of the government which can provide speedy justice to the citizen with a genguine grievance against the state.
To make an anti-corruption movement credible, it is necessary to punish some major corrupt figures. Punitive action is necessary to jolt the system out of the corruption trap.