Monday, August 20, 2012

Cleansing the system is his mantra

BANGALORE: This 21-year-old Bangalore-based Srikar Gullapalli currently at Colgate University, New York, has a passion — to 'shudhify ' (cleanse) the corrupt system in his home town. During his summer holidays this year, Srikar Gullapalli interviewed the aam janata at the offices of BBMP, BDA, sub-registrar , RTO as well as police stations and government hospitals. He found that 33.38% of those surveyed were not satisfied with service, 37.98% were asked to pay a bribe, 38.61% used a middleman to work done and 15% felt threatened.

He's the youngest researcher at IIMB's seventh annual conference on public policy and management. IIM-B's Centre for Public Policy is coordinating with civic agencies to get rid of corruption in public services, based on his report. "We appreciate his efforts in reaching out to the public and asking them about corruption.

Gullapalli was selected as one of 60 youngsters worldwide (out of 1,500 applicants ) with the potential to change the world. He worked with the British Council and received funding for two initiatives , including Shudhify. Prof Michael Johnston, author of 'Syndromes of Corruption' and former director of Transparency International USA, was his mentor for the project. This research was sponsored by British Council, Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network at the World Bank Institute, and the Lampert Endowment of the PPE programme at Colgate University.

'We'll throw you in jail!'
Police threatened my surveyors talking to citizens outside the police station. The constable at Frazer Town police station said, "We'll throw you in jail if you continue with these surveys" . At sub-registrar offices, middlemen threatened to inform higher-ups , including the sub-registrar . This shows the nexus between these touts and officials. An MLA refused to admit the rampant corruption in government offices in his constituency. There's hardly been any effort by elected representatives to curb the menace. If processes are more organized, it reduces the likelihood of citizens using middlemen. The simpler the process, the less likelihood of citizens paying bribes. If government officers are accessible, it reduces the chances of citizens feeling threatened.

Survey methodology
2,580 interviews in June 2012 893 at 50 sub-registrar offices 452 at 20 government hospitals 952 at 54 police stations 215 household surveys in 8 zones Average age of respondents 34 years 79.95% respondents male 29% have college degree 36% have monthly income greater than Rs 10000 Driving licence test One person said his driving instructor completed the test on his behalf which made the process faster.
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