Combating Corruption through e-Governance in India

Combating Corruption through e-Governance in India

Durga Shanker Mishra (State Government of Uttar Pradesh, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1909-8.ch014
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Studies have shown a prevalence of high level of corruption in the Indian Administrative System, which adversely affects the day-to-day lives of common citizens. This chapter examines the role of e-governance in combating corruption in delivering public services. Through a literature review assessing the outcomes of a few e-governance initiatives related to improving service delivery in different parts of India, this chapter argues that even though technology assists in instituting a transparent, accountable, consistent, reliable, and efficient system for delivery services, it cannot overcome corruption by itself. It will require political will, focused administrative strategy, business process reengineering for simplifying and opening up the system, and persistent efforts to ensure that corruption entrepreneurs do not subvert the gains of the technology.
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The poor and disadvantaged populations in developing countries are not able to make the best use of the public services effectively on account of lack of access due to social, economic, physical, informational, and other barriers; and inadequate mechanisms to provide their feedback on complaints/ views/ requests to the service providers and policy makers (Shadrach & Ekeanyawu, 2003, p. 2). Quoting a study in Bangalore city, they indicate a prevalence of widespread corruption in delivery of services by public agencies. Srinivas and Nayar (2007, p. 20) cite a survey of the Bolangir district of Orissa, stating that 63% of respondents expressed that government welfare schemes are riddled with corruption. They refer Harish C. Saxena, Member, National Advisory Council, saying that weak governance resulting in poor service delivery, excessive regulation, and wasteful expenditure are factors impinging on social indicators. Based on a detailed field study of petty corruption in India, a Centre for Media Studies Report (2006, p. 1) states, “Despite a reduction in reporting of corruption in 2005, a large cross section of households had to pay bribes to avail public services in 2005. In case of five public services (Police, Land Administration, Judiciary, Electricity, and Government Hospitals) covered in the CMS corruption study, more than 10 million households had paid bribes during the year for availing services.”

Addressing an official ceremony, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, pointed out that corruption is a social cancer eating away vitals of institutions of governance and the society and is a threat to national well-being. Reiterating national resolve for providing corruption-free, transparent, accountable, responsible, and responsive governance system, he urged for zero tolerance to corruption and a multi-pronged approach to stem the rot (CBI Bulletin, 2006, p. 11). Following the recommendations in World Bank (1997, pp. 157-158) and World Bank (1998, pp. 85-93), the Bank and other donors insist on good governance practices in the reforms agenda. However, Demmers et al. (2004, p. 10) quote World Development Reports 2000/2001 and 2002 in emphasizing that there is no blueprint for good governance. Considering the discourse on good governance, Dwivedi and Mishra (2007, p. 705) summarize transparency, rule of law, accountability, incorruptibility, sensitivity, and ethical behaviour as key factors that determine good governance. Critical among these is designing the systems for corruption-free delivery that requires all other factors to be automatically entwined as necessary elements.

CMS Report (2006, pp. 25-28) suggests e-governance as a possible strategy to safeguard citizens from corruption in day-to-day dealings with public agencies and emphasizes that combating corruption is vital to sustaining good governance. This survey corroborates World Bank (2003, pp. 195-196) findings that the poor are the worst affected by petty corruption in delivery of services. Various initiatives (including e-governance) have been attempted in different parts of India (and elsewhere) for improving the delivery system, especially making it pro-poor, who have the least voice and virtually no options to exit in view of financial implications. World Bank (2006) examines 25 such innovative cases in service delivery across India. In this chapter, the author scrutinizes relevant cases from this report, other published materials, and his own experience in working over two and half decades as a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), to analyze whether adopting the strategy of e-governance in delivery of public services would bring good governance? Eradicating corruption is the crux of good governance and therefore, the chapter focuses on this specific issue in depth.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Muhammad Muinul Islam, Mohammad Ehsan
Muhammad Muinul Islam, Mohammad Ehsan
Chapter 1
Wolter Lemstra
In this chapter, the authors elaborate on the concepts of e-Government and e-Governance and place these concepts in the broader context of the... Sample PDF
From e-Government to e-Governance: A Holistic Perspective on the Role of ICTs
Chapter 2
Mehdi Sagheb-Tehrani
Some state, national, and local governments around the world have long played active roles in the use of Information Technologies (IT) to stimulate... Sample PDF
E-Government: Some Factors for a Conceptual Model
Chapter 3
Muhammad Muinul Islam, Mohammad Ehsan
Another new paradigm shift is in the offing and slowly becoming distinct from the amorphous shape of public administration. It is the ICT-blessed... Sample PDF
Understanding E-Governance: A Theoretical Approach
Chapter 4
Alberto Asquer
The development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) brings about considerable changes in the ways public administration provides... Sample PDF
E-Government, M-Government, L-Government: Exploring Future ICT Applications in Public Administration
Chapter 5
Manish Pokharel, Jong Sou Park
The authors in this chapter underline the significance of a wider environment in which e-governance has to flourish. Even though each and every... Sample PDF
Challenges of Implementing E-Governance in a Politically Driven Environment
Chapter 6
María de Miguel Molina, Carlos Ripoll Soler
This chapter explores the different literature that analyses the application of marketing strategies in e-Government to help government managers... Sample PDF
Marketing E-Government to Citizens
Chapter 7
Marcus Vogt, Kieth Hales
Information Technology (IT) investments and IT management have become increasingly important for an organization’s success. The principles of IT... Sample PDF
Alignment of IT Projects and Investments to Community Values
Chapter 8
Kathryn Kloby, Leila Sadeghi
Engaging the public is a vital component of the public policy process. Traditional strategies for civic engagement include town hall meetings as... Sample PDF
From Town Hall to the Virtual Community: Engaging the Public with Web 2.0 and Social Media Applications
Chapter 9
Roberto Santana Tapia, Pascal van Eck, Maya Daneva, Roel Wieringa
Business-IT alignment is a crucial concept in the understanding of how profit-and-loss organizations use Information Technology (IT) to support... Sample PDF
Key Success Domains for Business-IT Alignment in Cross-Governmental Partnerships
Chapter 10
Jiri Vanicek, Ivan Vrana, Zdenek Struska
The chapter deals with the problems of information technologies’ quality aspects and their importance for the state and public administration... Sample PDF
Information Technology Product Quality, Impact on E-Governance, Measurement, and Evaluation
Chapter 11
Rebecca Levy Orelli, Emanuele Padovani, Carlotta del Sordo
The influence of e-government on the modernization and growth of public sector initiatives in Europe has been deeply claimed. Little is known... Sample PDF
From E-Government to E-Governance in Europe
Chapter 12
Kim Cheng Patrick Low, Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Mohammad Nabil Almunawar, Fadzliwati Mohiddin, Sik Liong Ang
In this chapter, e-Government and national cultures of the island republic of Singapore and the Sultanate of Negara Brunei Darussalam (henceforth... Sample PDF
Core Values: e-Government Implementation and Its Progress in Brunei
Chapter 13
Noore Alam Siddiquee, Md. Gofran Faroqi
In this chapter, the authors delineate the overall policy and institutional framework of e-government from the perspective of Bangladesh.... Sample PDF
E-Government in Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges
Chapter 14
Durga Shanker Mishra
Studies have shown a prevalence of high level of corruption in the Indian Administrative System, which adversely affects the day-to-day lives of... Sample PDF
Combating Corruption through e-Governance in India
Chapter 15
Lloyd G. A. Amoah
By exploring the case of Ghana, this chapter examines the often cited linkages between good governance, ICTs, and development in developing... Sample PDF
Grey Hair, Grey Matter, and ICT Policy in the Global South: The Ghana Case
Chapter 16
Amlan Bhusan
Amlan Bhusan raises important questions in “A Positive Hegemony? Arguing for a Universal Knowledge Regime led by an e-Governance ‘Savvy’ Global... Sample PDF
A Positive Hegemony?: Arguing for a Universal Knowledge Regime led by an e-Governance ‘Savvy’ Global Knowledge Enterprise!
Chapter 17
Evangelia Mantzari, Evanthia Hatzipanagiotou
The challenge of better public service offering and the expectations of modern citizens and businesses, as well as the poor past practices of public... Sample PDF
Successfully Applying “e” to Governance
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