|Nearly half of
those who avail the services of the most-often visited public departments
of the Government in the country had first hand experience of giving bribe
at one time or other. In fact, as high as two-thirds of the people think
that corruption in these offices is real. However, one-third think
corruption is more often exaggerated. And yet, 80 per cent of the people
are passive as hardly 20 per cent had ever complained about corruption to
In Lucknow and Hyderabad, a much higher
percentage had used influence of one kind or the other to get things done.
In both cities, around 60 per cent had in fact given bribe against only 38
per cent in Chennai and 42 per cent in Pune. Those in Pune obviously are
more active citizens - little over a quarter have ever complained about
corruption. In Chennai, more than 60 per cent had named politicians as
responsible for corruption. ``Middlemen'' menace seems to be far more in
Hyderabad and Lucknow.
Offices of driving licence and civil
supplies were viewed as most corrupt in all the five cities. The city
government of Hyderabad is viewed by its citizens as more corrupt than in
Relatively more among businessmen and
self employed agreed giving bribe in all cities. Interestingly, even among
``government employees'' more than 40 per cent agreed giving bribe at one
time or other in all the cities covered.
These are some of the highlights of the
first-ever ``exit poll'' on corruption conducted by the Centre for Media
Studies (CMS) in five cities across the country at six government public
service departments in each city during the Vigilance Awareness Week of
October 31-November 4. In all, 2,576 visitors to these departments during
the week were personally interviewed on their way out from these offices.
The exit poll was carried on the suggestion of the Central Vigilance
About 63 per cent of people think that
despite corruption in these offices is ``real'' and ``big'', it is not
being tackled seriously and that the judiciary has been ineffective. Most
consider politicians and officers responsible for corruption in the
country. This is what Mr. S. P. Agrawal, Commissioner of Delhi Municipal
Corporation, confessed last week before a Delhi Court when he said that
``there was rampant corruption in the MCD and that corruption is there in
any organisation which has public dealings.'' This exit polls shows that
it is so not only in Delhi but elsewhere too.
The Official concerned not being
available and relevant clarifications not being known to the visitor are
some of the reasons most often mentioned for sustaining corruption in
these offices, according to the CMS exit poll.
Experience about corruption
In the case of around one-third of
visitors to offices of one or other six key public service departments in
the five cities covered in the poll, they need not revisit the office for
the same purpose as the work has been done. In the case of 54 per cent,
however, they have to revisit the office as their job could not be
completed that day. Little over half of them, in fact, had been there
earlier too for the same purpose. Many of them visited more than twice.
In the case of one-fifth, they had to
revisit because the official concerned was not available. Another little
over a quarter had to come back ``with one or other clarification.''
All the sampled visitors were asked
whether they had ever used any ``influence or favour'' to get the work
done in the said department where they were interviewed. Nearly 60 per
cent said they never had to do anything to get their job attended to.
However, one-third had a different experience.
To another question whether anyone in
``the close circle of friends and relatives'' had the ``experience of
paying or using a contact'' to get things done in the department, 41 per
cent said positively. However, in the case of nearly half they knew no one
with such experience.
All those who had such an experience said
they had to do so either to get the work done or to get it expedited.
Menace of middle men
About 42 per cent of all the visitors
covered in the exit poll said that there were ``middle men'' for the
In fact, little over one-third had
confirmed experience of dealing with such ``middle men'' or some one close
in the circle who had used middlemen. Nearly half of them, however, had no
To a more direct question, 48 per cent
had said that they themselves or someone close to them had in fact given
``bribe, however, small or big'' at one time or other.
Hardly one-fifth of all visitors covered
in the poll confirmed ``ever complaining'' about any problem encountered
in availing the public services covered in the poll. However, 81 per cent
never did so, as most ``passive citizens''.
Only one-third of all visitors covered in
the poll heard about the Central Vigilance Commission's initiative for
organising Vigilance Awareness Week.
However 69 per cent, had not heard of the
week although the offices/ departments covered in the poll were supposed
Perceptions about corruption
As high as two-thirds of people think
corruption is ``real'' against only about a quarter who think corruption
is more a ``hearsay''. Nearly 40 per cent think that corruption is often
exaggerated, against about 40 per cent who think otherwise.
In fact, a little over 60 per cent of
people think corruption is ``large'' against less than one-third who think
it is only ``petty corruption''.
Recently a former Prime Minister, a
former Chief Minister and a few of politicians were sentenced for corrupt
practices. But that seems to have no effect on the psyche.
Only one-third think that corruption is
being tackled seriously in the country against about half who think that
such efforts are ``more symbolic''.
In fact, a little over 40 per cent of
people think that judiciary in the country is not able to tackle
corruption cases. About 26 per cent, however, think that it is because of
``other reasons'' that we are not able to tackle corruption in the country
Interestingly, as high as 48 per cent
think that politicians are responsible for corruption in the country.
Nearly one- third, however, think bureaucrats/ officers are responsible
for corruption. Nearly 10 per cent think so of ``businessmen''. About 5
per cent consider ``media'' as responsible.
The poll confirms wider perception of
what Mr. N. Vittal, Chief Vigilance Commissioner has been saying that ``neta,
babu, lala, dada and jola'' constitute the crux of corruption in the
These are some of the highlights of a CMS
``exit poll'' of six most commonly used public departments conducted on
the eve of Vigilance Awareness Week starting October 31.
``Visitors'' to those six departments
were sampled for five days at five key cities of the country. This is the
first time in the country that a Vigilance Awareness Week was celebrated
as a part of CVC's campaign against corruption.
These cities where this exit poll was
conducted are New Delhi. Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. The public
departments covered were those of electricity, telephone, ration
card/civil supplies city government, driving licence and local urban
development office where a large number of people usually go.
At each of these selected offices
``visitors'' for some service or other were systematically sampled each
day during peak hours of office for a structured interview at the exit
gates on their way out after the visit.
Thus, in all, some 2,576 carefully
sampled such visitors were interviewed for this CMS ``exit poll''. From
each city not less than 500 visitors were covered in the poll during the
For consistency in the poll a structured
questionnaire was used for the interview of visitors in all the five
The interview covered ``perceptions''
about corruption as well as first hand ``experience'' in availing the
services of these public offices.
Considering the sensitivity in conducting
the exit poll in some cities, CMS co-opted local assistance from local
premier institutes like, IIM in Lucknow, Symbiosis in Pune.
The CMS researchers witnessed threats and
obstacles in conducting the poll at least one point or other mostly from
the ``middle men'' operating from outside these sampled public offices.
This is the first time in the country
that such a structured study was conducted on corruption.
CMS is currently developing a methodology
to conduct time series study on ``corruption and civic concern''.