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India Corruption Study - 2005

In June 2005, Transparency International India released its India Corruption Study 2005, undertaken in alliance with the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) Delhi.

The "India Corruption Study - 2005" is the largest corruption study ever undertaken in the country with a sample of 14,405 respondents spread across 20 States. More than 525 respondents were interviewed in each state. Designed and conducted by CMS, the study covered 151 cities and 306 villages. It was based on a combination of research methodologies, including exit polls at the public offices covered and household studies.

"The aim of the survey taken up by TI India in cooperation with CMS is to sensitize the people of India against all-pervasive corruption confronted by the ordinary people in their day to day life." R. H. Tahiliani, Chairman of TI India pointed out in Delhi. Tahilani also emphasized "This study focuses only on corruption experienced by the ordinary people in getting services from the public sectors i.e. governmental departments. Citizens are entitled to receive public services but very often they have to pay bribes to the public servants."

According to the study, the Police ranks highest in the corruption index. The Judiciary (Lower Courts) and Land Administration are rated next. Corruption in Government Hospitals is mostly to do with the non-availability of medicines. Despite reforms, electricity services also figure high on the corruption index.

Kerala stands out as the least corrupt State in India. Bihar, on the other hand, is the most corrupt State overall as well as the worst in each of the 11 sectors studied. Jammu & Kashmir ranks next to Bihar.

Three-fourths among all citizens believe that the level of corruption in public services has increased in the last one year (2004-2005). Only ten percent think that such corruption is on the decline. There are no significant differences between the States in perceptions about the extent of corruption or in their experience with such corruption.

A third of all citizens are of the opinion that both the officials concerned and users of these eleven services know how much extra has to be paid to get a job done.

The Study brings out the fact that corruption in public services affecting the day to day needs of citizens is far more serious than is commonly realized. S. D. Sharma, a Board Member of TI India emphasized that "We believed that the money involved in such large scale corruption may be far larger than the money involved in corruption faced by the ordinary people, while the damage done to the nation is far greater in the day-to-day petty corruption in that it corrodes the moral fiber of the society. Tackling this evil calls for concerted efforts by Governments as well as civil society."

The study indicates that a third to a half of the factors causing corruption can be addressed and removed with simple initiatives, including the use of technology. It finds that using technology such as Computerized Railway reservations at the front-end of offices is likely to bring down corruption while enhancing transparency.

To find out more about the study, click here

To read the Summary Report, click here

Selected links to press coverage:

Corruption in Karnataka (opinion)
10.07.05 - Deccan Herald DH Forum

Corrupt practices cost citizens £2.7bn, says watchdog
02.07.05 - The Guardian