GD Topic for MBA: New Lokpal will be effective in curbing corruption

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Updated on December 20, 2013
This is the Seventh article in the series of GD PI WAT preparation for MBA Admission 2014. This article is on the GD Topic "New Lokpal will be effective in curbing corruption" to help you prepare for your GD PI WAT round at Admission 2014
Lokpal bill could be one of the main topics in the GD PI round of various B schools during MBA Admissions 2014 has started a new expert series of GD PI WAT preparation for MBA Admission 2014. This series of articles will help aspirants prepare for their GD PI WAT by providing them valid contents, probable topics and experts advice to help you succeed during admission process at various B schools.

This article is based on the GD Topic “New Lokpal will be effective in curbing corruption” to help you provide inputs for your group discussion rounds.

Our last articles in this series were:

GD Topics: Gender bias in portraying Women in Advertisements

GD Topic for MBA: Corruption is the root cause for Indian Economy slowdown

GD Topic for MBA: The rise in vegetable prices is a man made farce

GD Topic for MBA: Opinion Polls be banned in pre election period

GD Topic for MBA: Should business lobbying be made legal in India?

GD Topics: Will India remain way behind China?

Lokpal bill has been a hot political topic of India since last couple of years. As it has been passed by country’s Parliament, comes up with this article to make you more aware about the topic which could be one of the main topics in the GD PI round of various B schools during MBA Admissions 2014.

 This article is based on the GD Topic New Lokpal will be effective in curbing corruption”.

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For the first time after being introduced in the Parliament 45 years ago, the Lokpal allowing citizens to complain against corruption in high places became a reality on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. It aims to check the corruption in the government offices effectively.

After failing eight times in the past to pass a Lokpal Bill, Parliament finally marked its seal of approval to a powerful ombudsman.  The word Lokpal was coined in 1963 by late Mr. L.M. Singhvi, a Member of Parliament during debate mechanisms. 

In order to draw the attention of the government and people of the country towards the immediate passing of Jan Lokpal Bill a civil society campaign having the name “India Against Corruption” was started in 2011 under the leadership of veteran social activist and renowned septuagenarian Gandhian Anna Hazare.

Important features of the Lokpal Bill:
To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level.

The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of 8 members, 50% of who would have judicial background. 50% on whole would be from SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

Appointment of Lokpal members will be by a committee comprising the PM, Speaker, Leader of Opposition, Chief Justice of India and eminent jurists.

The bill makes it mandatory for every state to set up a Lok Ayukta within a year who will be the corresponding ombudsman for public servants in the state.

Public servants can face imprisonment up to 7 years. While criminal misconduct and habitually abetting corruption can attract jail term up to 10 years.

All anti-corruption inquiry should be completed within 60 days and investigation has to be completed within 6 months. The Lokpal shall order a probe only after hearing the public servant. While an inquiry against the PM has to be held in-camera and will have to be approved by two-thirds of full bench of Lokpal.

Complaints against any officer of Lokpal will be investigated and completed within one month and, if found to be substantive, will result in the officer being dismissed within two months.

Lokpal can initiate prosecution through its Prosecution Wing before the Special Court and the trial has to be completed within two years.


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Arguments in favor of the topic
Here are a few points in favor of Lokpal and why this law is a ray of hope for the people who have to face the menace of corruption at each and every level of the system.  

The bill has been drafted and redrafted by two parliamentary committees and now enjoys strong bi-partisan support.

The Lokpal will be empowered to investigate complaints of graft against the highest political authority, including the Prime Minister and his cabinet, and will be able to supervise the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at every stage of a probe.

It will address the grievances of the common man and issues of every day red tapism like issuance of license, paying taxes, lodging of FIRs.

Lokpal will be empowered to sanction the prosecution against the public servants. It will be able to curb the national menace of corruption which is a major hurdle for country’s progress as a whole.

All anti-corruption inquiry will be completed within 60 days and investigation has to be completed within 6 months.

This Ombudsman Bill will instill fear in the hearts and minds of corrupt ministers, government officials, bureaucrats and all others who are sitting on the higher tables as they would be forced to think twice before taking their chair for granted. It would also result into the curbing of misuse of public funds.

The Lokpal will also result into the rapid punishment in the cases related to corruption. Through this the powerful politicians and bureaucrats will be made more accountable to the masses. Maximum punishment period has also been increased from 7 to 10 years.

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Arguments against the topic
The Lokpal bill passed by the government is being called 'weak' and 'ineffective'. So let’s analyze the short comings of the Lokpal which may not let it become a strong law to root out corruption from the country.

The Jan Lokpal demanded by ‘India Against Corruption’ demanded the protection of the whistleblowers. But according to the present Lokpal which has been passed by the government there will not be any protection for the whistle blowers. Instead, a whistleblower may face imprisonment up to one year and a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh, if it is proved at any stage that false and frivolous complaint was made.

The Lokpal passed by the government cannot initiate any probe against PM without the consent of two thirds of its members. There can be no probe against PM on complaints relating to international relations, security, public order, atomic energy and space.

The Jan Lokpal had demanded merger of anti-corruption branch of CBI into Lokpal and the Central Government should not have any control over the transferred part. While according to the government’s Lokpal Director of CBI will be appointed by a collegium comprising of the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India, the agency will work under the government control and the transfers on key positions may not be referred to Lokpal.

The movement in favor of Lokpal Bill has been one of the most powerful and effective movement in the history of post independence India but still there are reservations about whether it will be able to check the massive level of corruption.

Concerns are also about how a Lokpal will be able to check corruption at lower levels which affect the common man more than the massive corruption involving powerful politicians and bureaucrats.
The common man of the country is very much enthusiastic vis a vis Lokpal but at the same time most of the people are also concerned about the success of the whole concept of Lokpal where corruption is as deep rooted as anything at each and every level.

There are also concerns regarding the Lokpal undermining the democratic structure of the country.

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