Imphal, Jul 19: Manipur is among the four states of India which reported “very high corruption” standards while while the neighbouring state of Nagaland is among the six states in the “high corruption” category in terms of payment of bribes, according to a survey report of the Transparency International India which also says that India’s poorest are being forced to pay bribes to ensure their children go to school.
The Transparency International India-CMS survey that looked at corruption in India’s school education sector, specially focusing on below poverty line (BPL) households settled in rural India has thrown up shocking conclusions.
It said that Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Assam and Madhya Pradesh reported “very high corruption” standards while Chandigarh, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Nagaland were put in the “high corruption” category.
States like Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and West Bengal, despite figuring way below in the country’s Educational Development Index, reported “moderate” corruption, “thanks to active citizenry or social pressure”.
According to the report, on an average, a BPL household had to pay Rs. 171 as bribe in the last one year related to school education of their children. While looking at states with moderate or high corruption in the school education sector, the level of corruption in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Goa was found to be “alarming”.
More than one-fourth (28 percent) of BPL households across the country felt that there was corruption in school education, while 41 percent felt that there was no corruption in school education in the last one year.
In the survey, 22 percent of BPL households acknowledged that the school education service had taken some initiatives to check corruption while more than 40 percent BPL households felt that no measures were taken to check corruption in the last one year. More than one-third (37 percent) of the BPL households felt that the level of corruption in school education had come down while 18 percent felt corruption level had increased in the last one year.
The school education service report is part of a larger national TII-CMS India Corruption Study 2007 study.
Around seven lakh BPL households in India paid bribe in the last one year to avail services related to school education of their children – the total amount paid as bribe being estimated to be around Rs. 12 crore.
Another nine lakh BPL households used contacts to get their child admitted or promoted in school. However, another five lakh BPL households weren’t that lucky – their children couldn’t avail such services because they were either too poor to pay bribe or had absolutely no contact or influence to use as an advantage.
The survey – that covered 22,728 randomly selected BPL households across 31 states and union territories – said a majority of those who paid bribe did so for getting their children admitted in the school or for getting promotion of their children from one class to another.
Issuing school-leaving certificate was another lucrative business for corrupt school authorities. However, the amount bribed was highest when it came for allotment of hostels. In comparison, a higher proportion of urban BPL households (40 percent) paid bribe for new admission and issuance of certificate as against rural areas (33 percent).
On the other hand, a higher proportion of rural BPL households (32 percent) paid bribe for promotion of their children from one class to another as against urban households (28 percent). The same is the case in applying for scholarship where 12 percent rural BPL families paid bribe compared to 3 percent urban BPL households. Of those who paid bribe, 86 percent paid it directly to officials of the school while 12 percent paid it through middlemen.