Monday, January 22, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 9

hey guys,

Here comes the topic of the day even when there is analysis of the case and another GD pending. I thinking I am lagging in the effort when you guys are putting that extra hardwork. Well, I promise I will catch up and have the analysis by the end of the day or tomorrow.

So the topic is "Bribery: A menace or a means of correcting social and economic imbalance - Discuss this in Indian scenario"

This is a tough topic since it is not easy to come up with points that are not very obvious. So the group has to be innovative in bringing good perspectives out of obvious points.

Get going

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18 Comments:

Anonymous neeraj said...

start:
unarguably each one of us have encountered an incident of bribery in our life...and consider it as a part of society...whether its the peon of an office ...the traffic police or some officer higher up the rank....from public domain to private...even to the defence...nuthing is untouched....
So does it come naturally to our sub conscious self....have we donne any thing to eradicate it....do we approve it ???

6:29 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous neeraj said...

the extent to which bribery has creeped into the society that that a guy taking bride has been himself bribed by others....its more of a balancing phenomenon..where the general ledger of public sums up to 0.

so does that justify a menace like this....of course not....

6:33 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous neeraj said...

...thats my first stint with a GD..corrections are cordially invited

6:36 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Middle Points

1) Bribery is reciprocal i.e the person bribing an official too has vested interests. Example - Bribing a traffic cop so that you dont pay hefty penalty for rash driving (rs. 1000) or jumping a signal/crossing speed limit
So, citizens too encouraging bribery.

2) @Bribery by Judiciary - the biggest sin of all. If judiciary indulges in bribery, democracy would turn into anarchy. crimes would shoot up. Examples : Jessica Lal case.. hw manu sharma used his political clout to almost escape..

3) @Bribery by Govt employees : India is booming, and private-sector wages are soaring. So civil servants are justified in feeling left behind.
With the pittance the govt employees are awarded, bribery on their part is fair to some extent. Dont they dream to send their kids to quality public schools?

Bottomline : Pay the public sector employees private sector salaries if you want to see quick action and no bribery..

Jatin
p.s - my first post.. gyan-ee ji's comments r most solicited..

7:36 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous b2b said...

The word bribery in an Indians head strikes different picture. Each and everyone has heard, seen or talked about it. Easy as it is, to take a moral high ground and renounce bribery as concept, it is important that we evaluate it from our everyday life.

The literal meaning of bribery is “To influence someone into taking a biased opinion or position. Simply put, to influence someone’s opinion with favors”. This is not something, which is only endemic to India.

While myriad problems plague India, bribery is something which has had its genesis for India in modern India. Favors and gifts in olden times were norms and considered forms of respect. Rules were lax and not microscopic in nature as it stands today.

So why is bribery plaguing India?
Today we have bundles of laws which exist so as to systemize the smooth functioning of day to day operations of the country. The rule of law governs almost all parts of our lives and affects us in monetary, social and psychological aspects. We would like to see how each of this affects our forms of life in different ways.

Ineffective Judiciary
Our judiciary is plagued with civil and criminal cases which run into millions due to lack of resources. We have backlog of cases which run into years or decades and they are financially costly to plaintiffs and the opposing party.

Law enforcement troubles
We have under staffed civil law enforcements agencies like local police, and these do not have effective regulation and the oversight results in gross violation of human rights at times.

We have till 1991, followed disastrous economic policies of import/export quota wherein the Indian state used to tell us what should be produced and how much should be produced which sounded more of communist doctrine than a democratic one.

This resulted in gross mismanagement overall of the national priorities and helped shape a psyche of zealous regulation and policing. People with any sort of responsibilities in govt. positions right from peon to administrative officer had a miscalculated sense of job responsibility which included harassing common people endlessly with their official power.
All of the reasons above go on to suggest that it would be easy to have the law and law enforcing official on our side, to avoid trouble at the hands of police, babu-dom and regular visit to courts if that could be achieved by bribing them.


Additionally,

Economic Insecurity
On top of all these, while government job meant job security for life, the payment of government employees was not in sync with markets as such. While it was good enough to survive, it wasn’t good enough monetarily to bring them in sync with their aspirations. With all the power in hand, it was a matter of time that this financial gap in pay check was filled in by accepting a cut or percentage for whatever official duty they were executing.


Evils of Bribery

But this has also resulted in the situation that since independence, we have come to accept bribery as a norm. The folly of the past has subsided with advent of less regulated economy; people have rights in forms of Right to Information, e-governance initiatives of the state/central govt and decentralization of power to panchayats(village councils). But the devil of the past still lurks back at us and is still causing enormous losses to the nation.

Some of the staring challenges associated directly/indirectly with bribery are lost productivity, bankruptcy of almost all Public Sector Undertakings, loss making State Electricity boards, bankrupt state governments, high budget deficit of the Govt of India, delayed or poorly executed projects of national importance. Some of the serious charges for bribery are when it comes to defense expenditure, where we can see bribery has lowered morals of some people so low that they think it is ok to compromise India’s defense needs by buying sub standard weapons.

Many Indians take public services for granted, if there is any and don’t mind paying bribery for avoiding their monthly electricity, water bills etc. Since, these services can not be stopped. The end result is that a legitimate tax payer end up subsidizing a corrupt one and resources which could have been utilized on health services, education, defense and other priority sector are diverted to fund these utilities/activities.

In short, bribery causes immense opportunity cost to our nation in forms of resources being denied for future generations because of mismanagement of current resources.
Future generation would be penalized with taxes, so that govt could pay back the loans it took for budget deficit of the present caused in part by bribery.

Conclusion
While we are still infested with bribery due to institutional evils of the past, there are efforts of improvement seeping in from the govt too which needs to do more. It is important that bribery be tackled by making the whole system transparent. More efforts are still needed though to address these issues which are causes of bribery. On more simplistic note, everyone would have to reject bribery in their daily lives.

11:17 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bribery can be described as an act of giving some incentive to carry out a particular work...And it is very common in an Indian scenario...How often it is to c an officer being tipped to get off the hook or for license or for any government work...But is it just limited to government employees??? Does there exist the need for extra money to carry out the task assigned to us in a sincere way??? Is it that effective that all "educated" souls r using it to get their work done??

1. Bribery can be found from simple things like tipping an officer to bigger things like match fixing, bofors issue, Volkswagen issue hence it is just not limited to government officials...

2. Bribery is nothing but our mere act of procrastination...We do not want to wait or take pain in doing things over again which is the sole reason for using touts..

3. Bribery acts as an extra source of income for some corrupt officers and some other people which is the reason it is widely accepted in India...

4. Bribery is a contagious disease which is far and widely spreading and unless the givers come to an abrupt standstill, we will never c the takers line diminishing...As we have seen in the movie "Lage Raho Munnabhai" regarding the pension thing, we sud really take strong steps to prevent people taking bribes...

-PS

10:35 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Start-> India is ranked on 70th position on world transparency index.Thanks to the main ingredient of corruption,"Bribery", which prevails unfazed due to the continuous involvement of govt. offices in peoples day to day matters. Bribery is universally regarded as a menace but here we have a opportunity to see if it can be considered as a means to correct socio-economic imbalances.

1) Bribery is the menace which breeds inefficiency and favourism in the working culture of hte country.It makes workign with the govt. difficult and may worsenthe law and order situation in the country.

2) Considering it as a means to curb t he imbalances in the economic gap is like suggesting a wrong solution to a right problem. A person demanding bribe doesnt differentiates between the rich and the poor.

3) It increases corruption and redtapismwhich has a negative impact iont he image of the country hindering FDI investment and global operations. For ex- according to a study, it takes 2 weeks to start a business in china while to start the same, it takes 5 months in India.

1:30 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START
How often we see parents alluring their kids for an extra candy if they finish their homework or eat something which they don't want to? Is this not bribery? And this bribery has got into the psyce of Indian body and mind that we get our work done, how so ever big or small it may be, by bribing people at one stage or another. Rajiv gandhi once said, 'For every Re.1 that you spend for development program, only 5 paise reaches the cocerned individual'

In history we can read so many instances of people deflecting from one side to another beacuse they were bribed. British annexed so many kingdoms partly because they had the right resources and partly because they were able to bribe right people at the right time.

In today's India we can see some glaring instances of bribery.
1> Pre-liberalisation, Indian economy was caught in the hands of License Raj and red-tapism. That was the breeding ground where bribery got its nourishment. Everything was subjugated to the whims and fancies of Babu's and to get your work done, you need to bribe them. Post-liberalisation, License Raj has been brought to an end but bribery is still not eradicated. But acts like RTI are moving in the right direction to completely get rid of menance of bribery in government organisation.
Had such rampant bribery not been there, India would have eradicated poverty long ago.
2> Bribery in defence deal is another major social as well as political issue. With all the major defence deals under the judicial scrutiny, it raises concerns in the mind of the armed forces as well as common men.
3> All political party are fighting with bribery within their organisations. From the famous Tehelka report exposing the ruling party taking bribes for defence deals to the recent suspension of 11 MPs from Parliament, bribery is rampant and is truly a menance.
4> Bribery in police forces is another major menance. But the roots over here are different. Police forces, esp. of the lower ranks are highly under-paid, and work in pressuring situations.
5> Even sports are not left untouched with fixing of matches to the unfair selection of players.

Thus, bribery has become a part of a daily life of an indian. A rich person can easily get away from law by bribing. He can also easily get his work done by bribing. But for a poor person, the road is tough. Also, its not the economically weak who indulge in taking bribes, but people accepting bribes belong to all strata of society, right from a peon to an IAS officer to a government minister. So bribery I think is more of a menance and not means of correcting social and economic imbalance.

appikap

2:03 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bribing can b taken s a means of reducing the economic gap partially, looking from a different perspective.
For eg, the distribution of TVs, gas stoves by Karunanidhi in the recent election acted as bribing the poor to cast votes...At least with this kind of positive bribing, the poor people got something they dreamt off for years.
-PS

2:45 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a counterarguent of Jatin's 3rd point, i want to state the afct that Since its inception, India is facing the problem of bribery and now a days when private sector salaries are soaring, the corruption has actually come down.(cource: world transparency index)

3:26 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bribe has been one of the important tools of getting things done from the System in the human society. It definitely is one of the enticements that a worker working in inefficient, unaccountable and incentive-less working system, might have to perform his duties though after taking a bribe. As such, bribe is considered a menace always but there are some good points worth mentioning in support of bribe as tool, to get the things work done.

1) To say that bribe becomes impediment in doing things done isn't entirely correct. In fact, Businesses always account the bribery costs while applying for licenses and getting things done. To those opposing bribery tooth and nail, i've one hypothetical situation. Assuming that all system flaws remain in the Indian bureaucratic system such as Licenses, no incentives for performing your duties well, permanent job security in a government job, low-paying salary.. Will there be any incentive left for a government babu to get the things done if not for bribery! What i mean to say is, all other things remaining same, you just remove the bribery from the system, Does anyone frankly believe that the government system will start working fast? No, it won't. In fact, Even the projects which get passed will slow down as there will be no incentive left for government clerks to pass the files.

2) When bribery is making things done in a highly inefficient and motivation less government system, it can be considered as an economic tool acting as the grease to the system which keeps it moving forward.

3) The negative effect of bribery are, it discourages entrepreneurs and those in the negative rungs of economic ladder aren't able to mold the system according to their wishes as the riches. But i feel that this point can be countered by considering the practice of payola in North American countries, where music bands pay radio stations a certain amount of money to play their songs on radio. Opponents argue that poor bands are disadvantaged due to this but there are few poor bands which have said that their music was a bit difficult and people wouldn't have liked their songs initially. But since they garnered some money and paid payola, with time slowly slowly audience liked their music and they became hit eventually. Since opportunity cost of bribery is already widely known mostly, it can be argued it is just a tool of making system work. In fact, Dhirubhai Ambani made his empire by bending various rules during his lifetime. Few of these rules such as license raj/inspector raj have been proved as the ultimate roadblock to any entrepreneur. So, in a way, bribery helped an entrepreneur in overcoming these mindless roadblocks put by an inefficient system.

4) Thought this point covers a very low percentage of Indian population, A Government servant taking bribe is able to live a upper-middle class life. In fact, a lot of aspirants for Government jobs apply for these jobs only for the lure of power and upari aamdani(income from bribe). They get handsome dowries too in their marriages. If you consider bribe as evil, then in some ways, money is evil too. Perhaps, it is only due to bribery that still we are getting the cream of the students in UPSC jobs. If jobs after IIM or IITs were paying less than 2-3 lakhs per annum, No matter what, there wouldn't be 2 lakh aspirants sitting for CAT and IIT-JEE every year. Ultimately, these government jobs are a means to come out of poverty for most aspirants and give their families a healthy life. Therefore, Bribery along with Power is definitely a means to social and economic equality to a lot of people in India (This also includes the parents and kin and relatives of the aspirants preparing for Governments jobs).

There is nothing wrong with Bribery as such. In fact, just removing the practice of Bribery without changing the inherent flaws in system would almost stop the functioning of the system. If we want to remove the ill-effects we attribute to bribery, We must remove our archaic laws, host of middlemen between government and common citizen, introduce accountability and a proper appraisal system in which those performing their duties responsibilities are duly rewarded and not punished, as it often happens in India.

4:00 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START:
Chai-Pani, Hafta, Payment, call it what you want, all of us know what it bribery is. Paying money, to get it through, or get out. Many of us complain about it, we want to get rid of it, yet all of us have used it, at some point or the other. The question is, does it help anyone, can we shake off this burden on India?

More points:
1)Bribery is so ingrained in us, that we take it for granted. We even have a general ball-park in mind depending on the job to be done! Driving Lisence, FIR lodging, legal documents or government papers, nothing can be done without a little tip.

2)Many have tried the straight path, tried to fight the moral question in their mind, but exhaustion & world-weariness, soon drive them down.

3)Yet none of us can say we havent used it to get out of the parking fine, the liscence check, or the helmet rules. We are a willing party to it. A paradoxical nation, that is willing to pay to get out of trouble, but resists otherwise.

4)Does it benefit anyone? Correct any balances? Yes, the slew of "agents" that roam around the government offices to get jobs done. The government officers, who dont distinguish between rich & poor while quoting their "rates".

5)The cause of this menance, is the permanent employee of the government, who cant be fired, transfered, or downgraded. He has no performance measures, & as long as his manager agrees, they have an amicable relation.

Some measure of accountablity, some uncertanity, or incentives, could make things better, for the poor souls who have to roam around the courts for decades for lack of requisite finanaces.

6)If the government employees, had some incentives for the quality of work done, or the speed of it, they would also have to gain from doing work efficiently.

But since they have no better way to progress, they choose this path.

7)Does it correct any imbalances? Unless we think of the government employees as poor or lacking, there is no correction here.

8)One positive thing that comes of it, is that we can pay to get "deluxe" service for jobs that would take the designated time otherwise. If you want it fast, pay for it! Very captialistic in that sense.

Aparna

P.S. Too anti govt employee? Good/bad?

4:42 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START - At d outset,bribery involves 2 parties:the one receiving bribe.. whho benefits by swelling his pockets...nd d 1 giving..who manages 2 get his work done hassle free..but ifwe look at it in a larger context it has large ramifications 4 d entire country...our appearance at d bottom positions of transparency report is 1 of them...So is it really a menace that has engulfed our country ..or can it b used 2 correct d inequalities inherent in our country...

POINTS:

(1)People r so busy these days ..that they simply don't have d time n patience 2 undergo huge formalities required 4 their work...so they opt 4 d easy route nd bribe d concerned authorities...this is d sole reason y our country has become a breeding ground 4 corrupt people..this is clearly a menace 4 d entire country which has 2 bear d brunt by earning d disrepute of being figured in d top positions of world's most corrupt countries..

(2)Bribery follows a vicious cycle..wherein by bribing a person 2day 2 get ur work done...u r actually giving him an impetus 2 repeat d same wid d others at large.In d process one paves way 4 asystem where it becomes almost next 2 impossible 4 a person 2 go about things in a correct manner..leaving him wid no other option but 2 bribe.

(3) Individually speaking ,we have absolutely no qualms in accepting or giving bribe..but when d matter cocerns our MP's ..the alleged cash 4 query scam...we fret at d plight of our country ..-sheer double standards.

(4)Bribery can certainly b means of correcting economic n social balance...but 4 that 2 happen people asked 2 pay bribe shud b d ones who can easily afford 2..d rich strata of society that doeas not even bats n eyelid b4 offering bribe...but sadly enough just like luv..those seekin bribe r also blind 2 differentiate beteen d rich n d poor.

(4)Another way 2 use it as means of correcting economic imbalances..is 2 make it legal 2 charge a fixed sum of money from those who want 2 hurry up wid their work..nd at d end of d month..distribute d amout so collected evenly among all d members of a department..this way it serves 2 purposes..d person gets hs work done ..nd d concerned authorities earn legal bribe money..

ANYA..

5:18 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding d point made by Himanshu:

Himanshu..by saying that bribes serve as an incentive 4 d govt. clerks 2 pass files..nd that if we undo wid it..d work will actually slow down..i guess u r forgetting that they r not offering free services...they draw salaries at d end of d of every month ..they r supposed 2 pass files coz that is wat they have been hired 4 and get paid 4.U seem 2 endorse d view that a person shud b given incentives 2 do wat he is anyways suppposed 2....

ANYA..

8:59 AM, January 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya, you seem to have missed the caveats that i've attached with my arguments in support of Bribery. Since we are talking about bribery alone here, it would be wrong to equate it with corruption and all the flaws of the Government system. Most of the arguments made in this Group Discussion have been doing the same. Please don't forget that we don't live in an ideal world and if the system itself is flawed, no amount of morality preaching will make it work. Our policies of License Raj, Inspector Raj, MRTP Act, Archaic Labour laws look all very good on paper and seem to serve the interests of the Indian Economy. However, In reality they virtually strangled the Indian Economy. If not for bribery acting as the grease to the system, our Economy might have been dead!!

For our discussion purposes, consider a Government Babu earning Rs. 1500 per month. He knows that he can never be fired from his job even if he does no work. Perhaps for next 20 years, he would get no promotion even if he works dutifully. He will certainly be lured by bribery if not for fear of government inquiry. Please understand that i don't support corruption, but if the system itself is wrong then something which is keeping the system moving forward has to be appreciated. In the present corporate world of today, why do we see less of bribery.. because a person living in corporate world knows that he too has a chance to have a go at high social and economic status. He too can rise to ranks of CTO and whatsoever if he works hard and performs for the company. He knows that he might be caught and punished if he takes bribe from client. It is the underlying system here which acts as a disincentive for taking bribe.

9:08 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Neeraj,
Welcome. Good points too. But be careful before taking a stand

Jatin,
Good to see new people here.
Good points but need to be consistent and also try not to divert from the topic

B2b,
You have to make sure you make the same points crisper in your GD. People may not allow you to speak for so long

Himanshu,
You not only have taken a tough pro-bribe stand but also have been able to defend it with good points. Very good, though I feel bribery is a menace

Aparna,
Being anti-Government is perfectly fine, but the arguments are not very strong. It is easy to take such a stand, so people tend to give mundane arguments. In a GD you have to raise above that.

11:08 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Points which the group made. I have put in my comments for the same too

The extent to which bribery has crept into the society that that a guy taking bribe has been himself bribed by others....its more of a balancing phenomenon, where the general ledger of public sums up to 0. So does that justify a menace like this? Of course not ----- Point taken, but the final stand is not supported by the previous statement.
Bribery is reciprocal i.e the person bribing an official too has vested interests. So, citizens too encouraging bribery
Bribery by Judiciary is the biggest sin of all. If judiciary indulges in bribery, democracy would turn into anarchy. crimes would shoot up ---- Crimes shoot up, agreed. But it takes more to turn a democracy into an anarchy. Avoid passionate and over-arching opinions. Also a little diversion from the topic
India is booming, and private-sector wages are soaring. So civil servants are justified in feeling left behind ---- They are feeling left behind, but not sure if they are ‘justified’.
With the pittance the govt employees are awarded, bribery on their part is fair to some extent. Dont they dream to send their kids to quality public schools
Pay the public sector employees private sector salaries if you want to see quick action and no bribery ---- does that mean that people getting top pays do not receive bribes?
People with any sort of responsibilities in govt. positions right from peon to administrative officer had a miscalculated sense of job responsibility which included harassing common people endlessly with their official power
On top of all these, while government job meant job security for life, the payment of government employees was not in sync with markets as such. While it was good enough to survive, it wasn’t good enough monetarily to bring them in sync with their aspirations. With all the power in hand, it was a matter of time that this financial gap in pay check was filled in by accepting a cut or percentage for whatever official duty they were executing
Some of the staring challenges associated directly/indirectly with bribery are lost productivity, bankruptcy of almost all Public Sector Undertakings, loss making State Electricity boards, bankrupt state governments, high budget deficit of the Govt of India, delayed or poorly executed projects of national importance
Many Indians take public services for granted, if there is any and don’t mind paying bribery for avoiding their monthly electricity, water bills etc
The end result is that a legitimate tax payer end up subsidizing a corrupt one and resources which could have been utilized on health services, education, defense and other priority sector are diverted to fund these utilities/activities
In short, bribery causes immense opportunity cost to our nation in forms of resources being denied for future generations because of mismanagement of current resources ---- mismanagement may not be the direct result of bribery though bribery adds to it
Bribery can be described as an act of giving some incentive to carry out a particular work ---- I thought it was called salary 
is it just limited to government employees ---- Good question
Bribery is nothing but our mere act of procrastination ----- REALLY!!
As we have seen in the movie "Lage Raho Munnabhai" regarding the pension thing, we sud really take strong steps to prevent people taking bribes ---- ‘better examples please’, many may not have seen the movie, however popular
Bribery is the menace which breeds inefficiency and favourism in the working culture of the country. It makes working with the govt. difficult and may worsen the law and order situation in the country ---- Oh, doesn’t it cause floods and famines too. Keep your passions in check and take stands that only derive from the points that you have made.
Considering it as a means to curb t he imbalances in the economic gap is like suggesting a wrong solution to a right problem ----- Very Good point. But why are there no strong supporting arguments
A person demanding bribe doesn’t differentiate between the rich and the poor ---- Mostly true.
It increases corruption and redtapism which has a negative impact on the image of the country hindering FDI investment and global operations --- Good point too. But bribery is corruption, it does not increase corruption
Had such rampant bribery not been there, India would have eradicated poverty long ago ----- SURE?? What facts to support it
Bribing can b taken s a means of reducing the economic gap partially, looking from a different perspective. For eg, the distribution of TVs, gas stoves by Karunanidhi in the recent election acted as bribing the poor to cast votes...At least with this kind of positive bribing, the poor people got something they dreamt off for years ---- Good point. Though Karunanidhi may not have been correct
Since its inception, India is facing the problem of bribery and now a days when private sector salaries are soaring, the corruption has actually come down ----- Corruption may have come down, has bribery come down? Also what do you mean since India’s “inception”
To say that bribe becomes impediment in doing things done isn't entirely correct. In fact, Businesses always account the bribery costs while applying for licenses and getting things done
What i mean to say is, all other things remaining same, you just remove the bribery from the system, Does anyone frankly believe that the government system will start working fast ----- Good perspective
Since opportunity cost of bribery is already widely known mostly, it can be argued it is just a tool of making system work
Bribery equivalent to the practice of payola in North American countries, where music bands pay radio stations a certain amount of money to play their songs on radio. Opponents argue that poor bands are disadvantaged due to this but there are few poor bands which have said that their music was a bit difficult and people wouldn't have liked their songs initially ---- Cool point
In fact, a lot of aspirants for Government jobs apply for these jobs only for the lure of power and income from bribe. Perhaps, it is only due to bribery that still we are getting the cream of the students in UPSC jobs ---- Wonderful perspective. Though it is a sad truth
If we want to remove the ill-effects we attribute to bribery, We must remove our archaic laws, host of middlemen between government and common citizen, introduce accountability and a proper appraisal system in which those performing their duties responsibilities are duly rewarded and not punished, as it often happens in India.
paradoxical nation, that is willing to pay to get out of trouble, but resists otherwise
The government officers, who dont distinguish between rich & poor while quoting their "rates" ---- I am not sure of this. Go in a car with tie and a blazer and I am sure you will get fleeced more
The cause of this menance, is the permanent employee of the government, who cant be fired, transfered, or downgraded. He has no performance measures, & as long as his manager agrees, they have an amicable relation ---- may not be true again since there are lot of temporary staff who still receive bribe
If the government employees, had some incentives for the quality of work done, or the speed of it, they would also have to gain from doing work efficiently ---- They do have a system of ‘Confidential Reports’ used for promotions, but it may not be the best system
One positive thing that comes of it, is that we can pay to get "deluxe" service for jobs that would take the designated time otherwise. If you want it fast, pay for it! Very captialistic in that sense.
Bribery follows a vicious cycle..wherein by bribing a person 2day 2 get ur work done...u r actually giving him an impetus 2 repeat d same wid d others at large --- Good point
Individually speaking ,we have absolutely no qualms in accepting or giving bribe..but when d matter cocerns our MP's ..the alleged cash 4 query scam...we fret at d plight of our country --- good again
Another way 2 use it as means of correcting economic imbalances..is 2 make it legal 2 charge a fixed sum of money from those who want 2 hurry up wid their work..nd at d end of d month..distribute d amout so collected evenly among all d members of a department --- very cool point
Himanshu..by saying that bribes serve as an incentive 4 d govt. clerks 2 pass files..nd that if we undo wid it..d work will actually slow down..i guess u r forgetting that they r not offering free services...they draw salaries at d end of d of every month --- good counter, though you missed the caveats

11:09 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

I am not happy with the GD. The topic was very mundane and that was the trap and the group fell in en-masse with a few exceptions. You need to raise above the easy topics. Do not keep giving more examples and more obvious statements. If one says, police are corrupt, somebody else says it is there in military too. What is the value you are adding there. The group has agreed on the point that bribery exists in the Indian scenario. They also seem to fairly agree that most of the times it does not distinguish between rich and poor. So lets move ahead and use the rest of the GD time in talking something more rather than repeating the same stuff in different forms.

Only Himanshu made an attempt to see if it is an economic balancing factor. The rest just dismissed the idea with only one argument of lack of distinction between rich and poor. No one even tried to raise the bar and talk about the differences between salaries and incentives in Government and private sector. No one even took a strong stand saying that higher salaries may prevent bribery. When you don’t bring strong arguments, they don’t get discussed in detail by the group. You do a passing mention, then the group will not even notice.

My points
High salaries itself may not prevent bribes. There are so many top officials receiving good salaries and having good properties still taking bribes. This shows that bribery in engrained in the system and hence we need to wield a strong stick apart from giving the carrot of higher salaries in Government jobs.
Do we get bribed by companies in form of incentives? ---- I would have liked someone doing some introspection and comparing incentives with bribe. Understand that they are different, but if you don’t even analyze hard, it wont come out
Can bribe be looked as a transaction cost from economics point of view? The problem could be it is like a flat tax and everyone gets affected to the same extent. ----- You are all aspiring MBAs. Think economically especially when the topic urges you to
If we really think that bribery is such a menace causing such a problem to the whole nation, can we atleast pledge to make an individual contribution by not paying it at all ‘at any cost’? ---- I am sure most in the group would disagree with this 
People say it has dented the country’s image. As a Government servant earning a pittance for a salary, with rising costs of basic things especially in urban centers, do I care about my family or do I care about my country. And this is the country, that is ready to extend tax break to the booming IT sector, but takes years to implement pay commission recommendations

Parting shot
Bribes have helped in creating an economic balance in a country like India where, with the sudden economic boom, the private sector boomed leaving the Government salaries far behind. Though such sudden growth causes unintentional economic imbalances and bribes have helped reduce the imbalance, this is not an efficient system and hence unviable in the long run

11:28 PM, January 24, 2007  

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