Shri Rupak Kumar Dutta, the Chief Director General and Inspector General of police, Karnataka, was at Synergia Forum on July 22, 2017.
The IPS Officer of 1981 Batch (Karnataka Cadre), spoke on the topic, “Anti-Corruption Mechanism in India.” The session was attended by stakeholders including security practitioners, who brought key insights to the discussion regarding the problem.
As per Transparency International (TI), India ranks 79 in its Corruption Perception Index for the year 2016.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Dutta noted that India does not have an anti-corruption strategy. He emphasized the importance of keeping anti-corruption agencies, independent. He said, “In India, our anti-corruption agencies are part of the government machinery. They are not independent.”
The interplay of corruption and inequality feeds populism. When traditional politicians fail to tackle corruption, people grow cynical. Increasingly, people turn to populist leaders who promise to break the cycle of corruption and privilege. Yet this is likely to exacerbate – rather than resolve – the tensions that fed the populist surge in the first place.
One of the ways corruption can be addressed is through implementation of substantial measures. Mr. Dutta said that the scope of anti-corruption law needs to be widened and there should guaranteed protection for whistle-blowers. Effective anti-laundering mechanisms should be put into place and the public should be involved in the process. Internal vigilance is also indispensable while trying to root out corruption.
There are three types of corruption the Forum sought to address:
• Collaborative Corruption (between rich & the powerful, both are benefited and the nation loses)
• Coercive Corruption (between the government and the people, it’s unequal power and people loses)
• Corruption between private individuals/ companies (public loses)
At its core, Mr. Dutta said corruption happened because of “monopoly and discretion without the presence of accountability.” He noted that while monopoly was decreasing, accountability still needs to be addressed. Mr. Dutta underscored the importance of governance being responsive, transparent, accountable and effective.
According to Mr. Dutta, there have been positive developments in addressing corruption in the recent years. Some of the initiatives whose efficiency he acknowledged were - the Right to Information Act (RTI), Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojana, GST and demonetization.
During the discussion, multiple attendees spoke against collaborative corruption. The session concluded with Mr. Dutta and the experts at the Forum agreeing that there needs to holistic changes within in private and public institutions in the country.