The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has been roped in by the Andhra Pradesh government to help it curb corruption in the state administration, a top bureaucrat has said. The institute would study the structural issues in the government departments in relation to corruption and come out with measures to tackle them, the official told PTI. The focus would mainly be on government departments that have earned alleged notoriety for corruption. Departments like revenue, police, municipal administration and registration have become synonymous with corruption.
"The IIM-A would help us identify the structural issues in mandal revenue offices, registration offices, town-planning wing in civic bodies and also the police that are leading to corruption. Based on the inputs, the government will initiate corrective action to eliminate corruption," the official said.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has been focussing on eliminating graft since he took over the reins in the state, has recently said at a high-level review meeting here that the fight against corruption should be taken aggressively.
He had announced that the AP Anti-Corruption Bureau would be deployed in full force across the state in the next couple of weeks to try and stem corruption at all levels. Engaging the services of a prestigious institution like the IIM in this endeavour, officials said, only denoted the seriousness of the government in trying to eliminate graft.
Officials, however, point out that there are several areas of concern within the administration that first need to be addressed. "Sanction for prosecution (of a corrupt official) is a major concern. In many a case, action against corrupt officials is dropped due to lack of sanction for prosecution (by the higher authorities), a high-ranking IPS officer, who worked in the ACB, said.
"In IPC cases like rape or murder, you don’t require any special sanction for prosecution. This should apply to the Prevention of Corruption Act as well, he added. Pointing to the 'great dichotomy,' the official cited the case of a village revenue officer (VRO) caught accepting a bribe of Rs 200 in 1994.
The lowly-ranked VRO is still battling his case in the Supreme Court whereas a senior officer caught in a multi-crore rupee corruption case has gone scot-free only because his superior authorities did not permit his prosecution. This is a clear travesty of justice, the IPS officer said.
While the IIM-A team may factor in all such aspects, the government, on its part, is said to be working on related issues like primarily reducing citizen-official interface in government offices, using information technology-based systems, curtailing discretionary power and arbitrariness of bureaucrats and publishing the names of the corrupt on public websites.
"Such measures will help curb graft but a drastic measure like making the risk of corruption much higher than instant gratification holds the key, the senior bureaucrat said.
It was expected that the government may suitably amend the PC Act, based on the IIM-A report, for a complete crackdown on corruption.
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