Shocking story on how 5 Indian Rupee Symbols were shortlisted!July 13, 2010We all have been eagerly waiting for the Rupee Symbol to be finalized. It was supposed to happen in last week of June, butfor some reason the Rupee symbol has not been finalized out of the 5 shortlisted ones.However, there is a Shocking story behind how the 5 symbols were shortlisted, which was revealed after an RTI applicationwas filed by Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh. He left a comment on one of our earlier posts giving details of the same. The RTIApplication is in Hindi (given below)Here is the first shocker – There were total of 3331 entries that came in from the design competition announced by IndianGovernment. The jurors took only 17 hours to go through all the 3331 designs, which means roughly 18 seconds per designwere given.The 5 shortlisted symbols are not bad, but they are not good enough when you consider that over 3300 designs werereceived.Here is another thing, the person, Ms. Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, who had given the suggestion to go in for this competitionis one of the 5 rupee symbol shortlisted candidates.The RTI query also clearly shows that the procedure was not at all transparent – It was not video-graphed, which now-a-daysis a norm for all such government decisions. Additionally, whole jury was not present during the rupee symbol presentations.It is really a shame that our Government Babu’s have made shambles of such a symbolic & prestigious task.Corruption In India: A Billion Dollar IndustryJanuary 16, 2010It is a no brainer that Corruption In India is at its rampant best.There is not one section of the society that is spared fromit.Corruption in the form of bribery takes the cake and given that it begins at the grass root level makes it even more difficultto monitor and control.TheÂ Corruption and Bribery Report published at trak.in earlier , gives a detailed breakdown of thescale of the bribes and the reasons why bribes are given.The striking though well known findings of the report points out that close to half the bribes are requested by theGovernment Officials both at the state and national level.The same government personnel who are entrusted with thedevelopment of the nation are filling their own pockets.No wonder then the nation’s politicians are the most corrupt lot.
However, it it was only for the petty money minded officials filling their own pockets, the enormity of the bribery might berestricted to a certain level.What if corruption takes the shape of a billion dollar behemoth.According to Management GuruC.K.Prahalad , the cost of corruption to the country might as well exceed Rs. 250,000 crores.The total spending for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections is pegged at a whopping Rs. 10,000 crore.The breakup of this spendingthrows up some interesting insights too. Rs. 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion) by the Election Commission Rs. 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) by the Centre and state governments Rs. 8,000 crore (Rs 80 billion) were spent by political parties and individual candidates8000 crore spent by political parties and individual candidates ? Where do they get hold of this kind of money to spend.Again, it comes as a no brainer that it is hugely attributed to the Private Funding that political parties attract from big pocketindustrialists.The reasons why private spending of this scale happens again is rather simple Favourtism.It is a well knownfact that government support is crucial for industries small and large.One favourable swing in a huge tender or a favourablepolicy, and all the benefits can be reaped.C.K.Prahalad fitting compares politicians with Venture Capitalists :-)Given the risky nature of the investments in elections, politicians as venture capitalists, we can assume, will not settle forless than a 10-fold return.More than spending by individuals and political parties, what i fail to understand is , Why is a 10,000 crore rupee spendneeded for carrying out Elections.There can be infrastructure and operational costs, but they can never amount to suchalarming numbers.Now, when the government is well aware of crores of amount spent on election campaigns and product like advertisementswith politicians selling themselves door to door, why cant regulations be implemented to stop all this waste of money.Whycant the regulatory bodies impose a maximum cap on the amount spent on election campaigns failing which the politicalparty is banned to contest.However, accountability is something that leaves a lot for asking and barring which none of themeasures to put a stop to corruption can reap rewards.It is embarrassing that billions of dollars are being spent on electing leaders who do nothing more than succumbing to takingbribes after getting elected.Is this enough to curb corruption in India?September 29, 2009Do you know that Indian Government has a website giving you details of people who have been caught taking bribe?
I happened to look at the latest July 09 report to check out how many of them have been caught taking bribe and the actionthat was taken against them.With India being one of the most corrupt countries in the world, I was pretty sure that monthly number would be quitesizeable. But upon seeing the report, I was left in utter dismay.Out of literally lakhs of Government officials only 522 cases were referred to Central Vigilance commission – 258 cases willsee some action against them.Of these 258 corruption cases Government will launch prosecution cases again 22 of them and 236 may be imposedmajor penalty.Here is the interesting part – Due you know what a major penalty means?A small cut in pay (from 5% to 25%), a small cut in pension or gratuity (5% to 30%) or probably temporary suspension fromduty (3 to 6 months). Out of all these cases only 3-4 of them will face dismissal from service.Here is the July 09 CVC report – Have a look and decide for yourself.Also, the surprising part is that all of them who are caught are just the smaller pawns – who is looking at Politicians andsenior officers in the Government – They are the biggest culprits, not a single case will be ever registered against them.India Corruption & Bribery ReportJune 30, 2009We have been reporting from time to time on this blog about how corruption is widespread (as if I had to tell you that :) inIndia and who are the people who take maximum bribes.However, I was not able to actually provide any numbers on the extent of corruption in India. Finally after some research,we have some numbers for you that can quantitatively measure the extent of corruption.India Corruption & Bribery Report
What is the amount of bribes requested by people in India?The above numbers clearly suggest that Bribery in India is at a grass root level with close 86% demands were done for$5000 or less (2,50,000 rupees or less, out which more than half were for $26 (Rs. 1300) or less.Because, corruption takes place at such a grass root level, it is extremely difficult to contain it.Having said that, 14 people out of 100 taking bribes are for amount more than $5000 (Rs. 2,50,000). Actually, if you look atthe top officials are even more corrupt. I will tell you why I say that –The number of big bosses is merely 1%-2% of all officials, yet according to the report 14% of bribes are of huge amounts,showing that big bosses are involved even more compared to low level officials who are taking bribes.On a sidenote, China’s number is much higher with 24% of reported demands were for amounts between $5,001 and$50,000, 6% of reported demands were for amounts between $50,001 and $500,000, and 6% werefor amounts greater than $500,000. interesting… What is the nature of Bribe Demands in India?
No guesses here – if you want to get your work done, bribe em’ ! thats what is quite clear and in line with the notion wehave.More than half of all the bribes were paid to get the work in time !77% of all reported bribe demands in India are related to the avoidance ofharm, including securing the timely delivery of a service – which is actually a right of a person (such as clearing customs orhaving a telephone line installed) and receiving payment for services already renderedOnly 12% of the bribe demands were for gaining a personal or business advantage (including exercising influence with orover another government official, receiving inappropriate favorable treatment or winning new business).One thing for sure, we are now used to this corrupt system and take it in our stride as part & parcel. We do not want togo extra lengths and take the easy way out. But this easy way out is actually the roots of corruption in India.
Who demand bribe in India?No guesses here !Whooping 91% of reported bribe demands originate from government officials in India.The greatest sources of bribe demands, were from national level Government officials (33%), the police (30%),state/provincial officials and employees (16%), and city officials (10%) respectively .Do you know which of the two Indian ministries ask for bribe more than other? – They are Customs office (13%) andTaxation and Water (9%).China fares slightly well when it comes to Government officials taking bribe (85%) – Another major difference is that IndiaPolice (30%) are far more corrupt than their Chinese counterparts (only 11%).
What is the frequency of Bribe Demands in India?Nearly 90% indicated being solicited for a bribe between two and 20 times.Overall 60% people reported bribe demands of 5 times or lower from the same individual. However, 9% asked for bribesmore than 100 times.Compared to China, it differs significantly with 73% people indicating that they had received multiple bribe requests.Almost 20% of those individuals reported receiving more than 100 bribe demands in China. In what form was the bribe requested?Do you want any tips on how to give bribes? here is what our corrupt officials prefer..If in doubt, give cash, as 92% of all bribes are preferred to be “cash or cash equivalent,” The next best thing is a “gift,” (5%)including requests for company products, jewelry and similar items. Less common still, at approx. 1% each, were requestsfor hospitality or entertainment items; travel for other than business purposes; and other assistance, such ashelp with a visa, medical care, or scholarships.Surprisingly, there were no reports in India of demands for “additional business” or “sexual favors.” In China, thosedemands accounted for a combined total of 7% of reported bribe solicitations.