Tag Archives: Governance

Corruption in India – laws, organisations, and measures to improve accountability and enhance anti-corruption efforts – PCA, RTI, Lokpal, CVC

Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Excessive and complex regulations, opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers with inadequate accountability provide ripe environment for corruption.

Several international reports and surveys indicate high degree of corruption in India – in government as well as in the private sector. The Corruption Perceptions Index, published by Transparency International, ranks India at 78th position among 180 countries with a score of 41/100 (2018 data). The index published annually ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys. Denmark and New Zealand are perceived as the least corrupt countries in the world. The Global Corruption Barometer is another such exercise undertaken by Transparency International and is the largest survey tracking public opinion on corruption across the world.

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Corporate Governance in India- regulatory framework, Companies Act, SEBI, NFRA, Kotak Committee, Independent Directors, CSR

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which companies are directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.

Why corporate governance?

  • to balance and protect stakeholders’ interests.
  • to enhance investor confidence so that funding can be mobilised for businesses.
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Civil Services of India – composition, hierarchy, norms, history, and reforms.

Civil Services are the backbone of the administrative machinery of India. They implement the decisions of the political executive elected through the parliamentary polity.

History

The foundation of civil service in India was laid by Warren Hastings, the first de-facto Governor- General of India from 1773 to 1785. His successor, Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793), reformed, modernised and rationalised the civil service. For this reason, Lord Cornwallis is known as the Father of Civil Service in India.

Please note that while Lord Cornwallis is known as the Father of Civil Service in India, it is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is known as the Father of All India Services. It was Sardar Patel’s vision that the All India Services should strengthen cohesion and national unity. In his address to the Probationers of Administrative Services Officers on 21st April 1947, he referred to civil servants as “steel frame of India”. To commemorate his address, every year the Government of India celebrates the Civil Services Day. As parts of the celebration, Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration are presented to Districts/Implementing units for ‘implementation of priority programme’ and ‘innovation’ categories.

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Black Money, Money Laundering, Tax evasion – Administrative and legal infrastructure to tackle them – GAAR, PMLA, FIU, ED, FATF

Black money is the money that is unaccounted for, wherein taxes have not been paid on that money. Sources of black money are often illegal, such as crime – trafficking, illegal trade, fraud – and corruption -bribery, leakages from government programmes; but the source of black money can be legal too. To be black, a money just has to be unaccounted for, and untaxed.

Some black money, especially in the poor classes, is unavoidable in any economy. The black money which the government agencies target is that associated with tax evasion and illicit organised crime such as human trafficking. Legal definitions of black money may vary, for example, under the Black Money Act 2015, the term ‘black money’ covers only the ‘undisclosed foreign income and assets’.

Money laundering is the process wherein proceeds of crime are converted into legal money or asset in order to obscure its origin.

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Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) – Evolution, 73rd Amendment, Salient Features, Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA Act 1996)

Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are institutions of local self governance existing since centuries in the rural India. In 1959, Rajasthan became the first state of India to give legal recognition and empowerment to the village panchayats. Other states too created their own models and followed the league. However, it was only with the 73rd Constitution (Amendment) Act 1992 that the Panchayati Raj Institutions got the recognition in the Constitution of India. The amendment added Part IX (Article 243 A-O) titled Panchayats to the Constitution. It also added the 11th Schedule listing 29 subjects that may be devolved to the PRIs by the state legislatures.

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Police Reforms – Supreme Court Guidelines

Political Interference and corruption are two major issues that hinder the processes of justice and damage the people’s trust in police. To reform the police, the Supreme Court issued some guidelines in 2006 (Prakash Singh and other vs Union of India), which aimed to improve the functional autonomy and reduce corruption in police. Till now, no concrete action has been taken by the states to implement these guidelines.

2006 Supreme Court guidelines for police reforms included:

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Police in India – legislative framework and organisation

Police is the civil force of the government, responsible for prevention and detection of crime, and the maintenance of law and order at ground level.

Legislative framework for policing

Police, prisons, and public order are subjects enumerated in the state list, while Criminal law and Criminal procedure are subjects enumerated in the concurrent list of the seventh schedule.

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