Friday, December 3, 2010

Helpline on Corruption by IIM-A students

Helpline on Corruption by IIM-A students

India is being rocked by a number of scams like 2G spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games scam and Adarsh society scam.It has brought the issue of corruption in focus.

In order to curb the menace of corruption, some students of Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad have decided to launch a helpline. A group of six IIM-A students proposed the idea of starting the helpline to former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and IIM-A professor Anil Gupta, which was appreciated by them.

“When the students mooted the idea of starting a corruption helpline, I thought that the idea was excellent in present context when the situation in the country is such that common people think that their work cannot be done without giving bribes,” Mr. Gupta said.

“At present, most people do not know where to complain against the corrupt officials and some of them even fear that if they complain their work will never be done. It is a very complex issue,” Gupta said.

“Groups of six students have started the ground work to start of the helpline. They have conducted a small survey on corruption. They have also visited various state agencies like Anti-Corruption Bureau, Regional Transport Office and other state government agencies like police,” he added.

“The helpline will assist those who just need counselling regarding their rights at various levels,” Mr. Gupta said.

However, for this we require the support of all the law-enforcing agencies. Talks are on with them and we will see how it works out,” Mr. Gupta said.

“We also have to look into complaints coming to us, scrutinise them and sort out to detect whether they are real or fabricated ones, so that upright government officers are not harassed due to this initiative,” he added.

Ravi Yadav, who is a part of the project, said, “In our proposed model, the complaints received shall be pre-screened by retired officials, before being fed into our online complaint database.”

“We are looking at integrating our corruption helpline with an agency like ACB so that database generated through this model helps create pressure on departments regarding which complaints are being reported,” Yadav said.

Apart from Yadav, five other students who have taken up the project are Udit Goyal, Saurabh Singh, Nikhil Bhaskar, Shantanu Sekhar and Daniel De Luna, a student from Italy.

Professor Gupta said, “I think this will be a first step in the right direction. It will build pressure on corrupt officials and also inspire people to come forward against the menace.”

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