Will E-Governance End Corruption?

July 6, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Vishnu Sridharan and Anjana Ravi write that: “From digitized service-delivery to computerized bureaucracy, India is illustrating how information communication technologies can redefine government by taking bureaucrats out of the picture.” Highlights include:

  • India has a large number of people living on less than $1.50 a day. Fighting corruption is important so that the poor can make the most of their incomes.
  • In 2011 it was reported that half of all Indians had paid a bribe.
  • One project called “Bhoomi” digitized land records. This allowed farmers to print documents at kiosks themselves rather than go through village accounts. Bribery dropped from 66% of users to 3% of users, and the average value of a bribe went from $2.75 to $0.06.
  • After India’s Stamps and Registration Offices were computerized in one Indian state, those who said they felt it was necessary to pay a bribe fell to 8%. In another state where the old system prevailed 78% felt it was necessary to pay a bribe.
  • However there is resistance from politicians who would lose if corruption is curbed.

To read more including how this has become an election issue for the main parties in India, more details of both the studies described here, what the University of Pennsylvania has to say, and one example of the system failing click here.

Source: Slate