This topic provides information about corruption and ways to prevent it.
Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines rule of law, leads to violations of human rights and allows organized crime to flourish.
What is corruption
Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain or specific group interest”. The United Nations points out that corruption can take many forms that vary in degree, from the minor use of influence to institutionalized bribery, and that “this can mean not only financial gain but also non-financial advantages” (UN, 2010).
Corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.
- Grand corruption consists of acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good.
- Petty corruption refers to everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments and other agencies.
- Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth
Costs of corruption
Corruption impacts societies in a multitude of ways. In the worst cases, it costs lives. Short of this, it costs people their freedom, health or money. The cost of corruption can be divided into four main categories: political, economic, social and environmental.
- On the political front, corruption is a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their legitimacy when they’re misused for private advantage. This is harmful in established democracies, but even more so in newly emerging ones. It is extremely challenging to develop accountable political leadership in a corrupt climate.
- Economically, corruption depletes national wealth. Corrupt politicians invest scarce public resources in projects that will line their pockets rather than benefit communities, and prioritise high-profile projects such as dams, power plants, pipelines and refineries over less spectacular but more urgent infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and roads. Corruption also hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, which in turn deters investment.
- Corruption corrodes the social fabric of society. It undermines people's trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. A distrustful or apathetic public can then become yet another hurdle to challenging corruption.
- Environmental degradation is another consequence of corrupt systems. The lack of, or non-enforcement of, environmental regulations and legislation means that precious natural resources are carelessly exploited, and entire ecological systems are ravaged. From mining, to logging, to carbon offsets, companies across the globe continue to pay bribes in return for unrestricted destruction.
What is bribery
The offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust. Inducements can take the form of gifts, loans, fees, rewards or other advantages (taxes, services, donations, favours etc.).
Central Vigilance Commission in India
The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in February,1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. Arising out of the case of Vineet Narain vs. Union of India , the Supreme court had directed the Central Government to confer statutory status to Central Vigilance Commission , which was hitherto an advisory body, and also made it responsible for effective supervision of the functioning of CBI. The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body which is only responsible for the Parliament.
The CVC is not an investigating agency. The CVC either get the investigation done through the CBI or through the Departmental Chief Vigilance Officers. Secondly, the CVC orders investigation in to cases of officials of Central Government Departments/Companies/Organisations only.
In every State of India, there is either a State Vigilance Commission or Lok Ayukta which is looking after the vigilance matters of the State Governments.
Project VIGEYE (Vigilance Eye)
Looking into the magnitude of corruption, a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach is required to prevent and combat it effectively. Preventing corruption also requires an effort from all members of society at large. Information about corruption, malpractices or misconduct on the part of public servants may come to the notice of authorities through complaints which are made with the objective of getting instantaneous redressal of complaints and, expose the wrongdoers. The Central Vigilance Commission, with a view to improving vigilance administration and giving a tool to the general public to air their grievances and taking their help in fighting the menace of corruption, has started Project VIGEYE
Project VIGEYE (Vigilance Eye) is a citizen-centric initiative, wherein citizens join hands with the Central Vigilance Commission in fighting corruption in India. Project Vigeye is the platform through which vigilance information flows freely through common public, the government agencies and the vigilance commission, making it possible to achieve a step jump in improving the corruption index of the nation.
Features of Vigeye
The important features of Project Vigeye are:
- Citizens have multiple channels to air their grievances and complaints to CVC
- Through their mobile phones: by downloading the mobile application from the CVC website. The complaints can be better articulated with additional data like audio/ video/ photo evidence from their mobiles directly.
- Through the internet: by filling up the complaint form online they can attach audio/video/photo evidence.
- Through telephone: help line have been setup
- The entire complaint processing is done online, in digital form, enabling fast and accurate processing of complaints.
- The concerned CVO will interact with the complainant directly over phone/email or in person, as the case may be, to take it forward
- Status of the complaint is communicated back to the complainant - the communication loop becomes complete
How to become a Vigeye?
The term Vigeye refers to a person who is a vigilant citizen, a volunteer and one who helps the vigilance commission reporting corruption and in fighting it. Vigeyes are those who file complaints and their greivances of corruption with supporting evidences to the CVC. A Vigilant citizen can become a Vigeye by registering in the CVC website, by providing credentials such as name, email and phone number.
Process to register your complaints
Registering complaints through Mobile
A complaint can be filed through the mobile phones to the CVC. The application downloaded from the CVCs websites enables mobile users to file complaints with photo, or a voice recording, or a video or a note from the mobile. The complaint is uploaded using the GPRS connectivity. The complainant may choose the Organization and nature of the complaint for effective categorization and assignment of the complaint. The complaint is forwarded to the concerned CVO and the complainant is updated with the status. The complainant can login with your registered mobile number and password to view the status of all the complaints filed.
The requirements for registering complaints through mobile are as follows
- GPRS facility enabled mobile phone.
- Citizens can lodge complaints through mobile phone, after downloading the mobile software.
How to Register for VigEYE application through Mobile
- Send a blank SMS to 09223174440.
- A registration link will be received on your mobile (http://www.vigeyegpms.in/vigeye/?module=main&action=mobcomplaint).
- Click the link.
- Enter name, address, mobile number, mobile model, email (optional).
- System confirms the request and sends mobile application link, with login and password as SMS to mobile and email, if provided.
- Download the application by clicking on the link received in the SMS.
- Application automatically prompts for installation after download.
- Permit the application to be installed on the mobile.
How to submit a complaint on mobile phone
- Once the application is installed, Login with the user-id and password provided in the SMS earlier.
- Lodge the complaint with Category, Complaint type, Organisation, Region in first screen.
- Press Next.
- Reference-Id will be displayed on the screen.
- Uploading option is available for attaching Photo, Video, Audio, Notes with the complaint.
- Press Thanks for submitting the complaint.
- Login with registered mobile number and password to see the status of the complaints lodged.
Registering complaints through web
How to Register for VigEYE application through Internet
A complaint can also be filed through the internet through the CVC Web Complaints System.
You need to register in the CVC website. The textual content of the complaint can be enriched with additional information by attaching upto 5 files (such as photo, audio, video, documents) along with the complaint.
- Go to http://www.vigeyegpms.in/vigeye/?module=main&action=webcomplaint
- Under the tab “WEB COMPLAINTS”, register by further clicking either the “Web Complaints System” or “Register Web” links appearing on the first two lines in the content of the page.
- A “Web User Registration” Screen appears
- Register with your complete details like Name, E-Mail, Address, Pin Code, State, Mobile Number and press Submit.
- System sends user name and password at the email and an SMS provided during registration.
How to submit a complaint through Internet
- Login using the provided username and password
- Fill up the textual complaint in the web form. Upto 5 files may be uploaded with the complaint.
- Complaint ID will be given by the system once complaint is lodged.
- Login with registered user name and password to view the status of the complaint.
- Please refer VigEYE website for any clarification/details.
Source : Central Vigilance Commission