Discuss why we cannot have a corruption reducer index to check the position of corruption in a every department of a State.A corruption index is a tool to know about the level of corruption in a...

Discuss why we cannot have a corruption reducer index to check the position of corruption in a every department of a State.

A corruption index is a tool to know about the level of corruption in a country.  If a pollution check gives us the level of pollution why not have a corruption check to check the level of corruption in a country?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a couple of approaches in answering this question.  The first would be that, to a great extent, the presence of the 24 hour news cycle helps to establish a "corruption index."  The inescapable presence of the media is something that provides immediate access and examination of corruption.  For example, in the Indian state of Karnataka, a judicial report about illegal land dealings was made public and in about a week, the pressure was brought to bear for the Chief Minister of the state to resign.  This pressure, a form of "corruption index," was brought to bear by the news media.  The constant presence of news, enhanced by online forums and 24 hour news networks, makes it very difficult for public officials to operate as "business as usual" in terms of corruption.  In this light, the news media has the ability to operate as a form of "corruption index."

In another sense, part of the reason why there cannot be an exact "corruption index" has to do with logistics.  What is the exact measure of corruption is difficult to define, so elusive of a definition that it cannot be fed into a mechanism and gauged with a numeric reading.  For example, pollution can be directly measured.  There is "X" percent of contaminants in a given sample.  In the issue of political corruption, the issue is much murkier because of the close line between business dealings and corruption.  Identifying and stating degrees of collusion between business and politics is difficult because of the human element.  For example, again going back to India, how does one quantify the 2G Telecom scam in a numeric reading?  The corruption index is a difficult idea to institute because of its nebulous state.

Another reason why a corruption index would be difficult to institute comes down to an issue of control.  Essentially, the problem resides in who is in control of the corruption index.  In nations where corruption is so rampant, there is such a strong collusion between the public and the private realms that it is near impossible to find a non- corrupted element in either.  A third party that is outside government and private business would have to be in charge of the "corruption index." If the government is corrupt, then it could not really be trusted to police itself with the index, as this would become a tool of corruption.  If the government is corrupt with private business, then this makes both realms unable to be seen as an arbitrator to prevent corruption. (See 2G scam revelations that the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet knew about the collusion between business and government.)   This makes the media a prime candidate.  In late June, Indian Prime Minister Singh argued that the media is "judge, jury, and executioner."  This helps to bring to light that the media has a role in the monitoring of corruption and can be seen as a "corruption index" of sorts.

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