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Scrutiny
 
BEST OF B&E 2011 "GOVERNMENT OFFICES: CAMERAS, B&E ISSUE DATED 28/04/2011"
..and for our bureaucrats too!
Why doesn’t the government install CCTV cameras in all offices? Why can’t all public dealings of bureaucrats be necessarily on camera?
Issue Date - 19/01/2012
 
The government’s acceptance of Anna Hazare’s demand is undoubtedly a triumph for the nation against corruption. Corruption is the biggest threat to the nation and people involved in it are its greatest enemies. The cash for votes scam in Tamil Nadu, the most talked about 2G scam, the Adarsh land scam... the shame list is just endless. Even as some instances of bribery and corruption come to the limelight, many high level officials also go scot-free due to lack of sufficient evidence.

In such a situation, video camera installations in government offices – especially Income Tax offices, Home Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Revenue ministry et al – can be an effective initiative forward to fight corruption. Not only do these cameras result in a Hawthornian movement of bureaucrats away from the impulse to accept bribes, it would also ensure that in case there is a future discrepancy in the proceedings during a bureaucratic meeting, the video footage could be easily checked and facts corroborated. A few entities are taking steps on this front. For example, the Haryana government has proposed a budget of Rs.300 crore to install CCTV cameras in all public hospitals. The DGCA, after the horses have bolted, has decided to compulsorily install CCTV cameras in its offices. Why should it always be the media to expose such utterly corrupt practices? Why can’t the government itself take a radical step for a change?

 

Akram Hoque           

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