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Why growth has not hit corruption hard in India

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Important and interesting article on corruption. Gives an overview of Corruption problem in India and the world.



  1. In the article, the writer is talking about relationship between income and corruption
  2. And also telling about the needs of strong institutions and supporting infrastructure

Overview of the situation

  1. India has been the fastest-growing major economy in the world for the most part of the last few years
  2. Economic progress has not seen a commensurate reduction in corruption
  3. In a survey released in March by Transparency International, among 16 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, India has the highest bribery rate of 69%

The CMS India Corruption Study

  1. According to the study, using the data using survey data for the period October-November 2016 for 20 major states in India
  2. The highest percentage of households reported experiencing corruption in police (34%) followed by land/housing (24%), judicial services (18%) and tax(15%) related public services

Effects of Corruption on a Country

  1.  Corruption stifles growth, hampers development, worsens income inequality, and affects poor people

How the World Bank measures corruption?

  1. The World Bank measures corruption on a scale of -2.5 to +2.5 with higher index value meaning lower corruption
  2. The World Bank on the basis of the GNI(Gross National Income) per capita divides world into four income groups: (1) Low income, (2) Lower middle, (3) Upper middle, and (4) High income
  3. This method shows different income groups have different levels of corruption
  4. Low-income economies have the highest corruption while the high-income economies have the lowest

 Why are low-income countries are unable to reduce corruption(like India)?

  1. Because the low-income countries do not have resources to build and sustain anti-corruption institutions
  2. And unless anti-corruption institutions are strengthened and supporting infrastructure put in place, an increase in income alone would not help much in the reduction of corruption in India

Shortage of human resources in Anti Corruption institutions in India 

  1. In India, the judge to population ratio is at 17.86 judges per million people against 50 as recommended by the Law Commission in its 1987 report
  2. The Central Vigilance Commission has a shortage of 27.77% personnel in Group “A” posts and 28.57 % in Group “B” posts when compared to the sanctioned strength
  3. Similarly, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also faces a shortage of 1,584 officers against the sanctioned strength of 7,274