C for Corruption – a Blot on India!

Corruption is no doubt a global phenomenon. There have been many instances of corruption all over and thanks to the media many were exposed.

Today, with technological advance and an alert print and visual media, things have become a lot easier for exposes. Whistle blowers too have played a vital role in informing us about corruption.

The Transparency International, a leading anti-corruption watchdog, published its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2011 on 1st December 2011. In this index they actually name the least corrupt to the most corrupt countries in a scale from 10 to 0. While the top slot with 9.5 rating goes to New Zealand, they are closely followed by the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Finland with 9.4 as their score. The ignominious last two places go to Somalia & North Korea with the lowest 1.0 scores. Where does India figure in the list? India is 95th (out of 183 countries covered by the index) with a 3.1 score. It is worth pointing out that in 2010 we were at 87 with 3.3 score and have dropped 8 places, thanks to the innumerous corruption scandals involving the ruling governments in both the Centre and the States unearthed.

On 8th December 2011, Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari have touched a raw nerve when they calculated the figures that the corrupt earn in India – a mind blowing Rs. 92,122 crore ($18.42 billion) which works out to 1.26% of the GDP! In their book aptly titled, “Corruption in India: The DNA & RNA”, Debroy who is a professor with Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research and Bhandari who heads Indicus Analytics, monitoring the performance of the Indian economy, lists out the various public services that are plagued with the mire of corruption. This includes industries of transport, real estate, illegal mining, government procurement, agriculture, forestry and logging, fishing, registered manufacturing, electricity, gas and water supply, construction, trade, hotels and restaurants, railways, storage, communication, and banking and insurance. Well, reading the exhaustive list, it occurred to me that it would be a lot easier to point out where corruption does not happen in this country than the other way around! It is sad that India’s economic growth is undermined by corruption that permeates the entire warp and weft of the nation.

Today, though there are anti-corruption laws, they are toothless and powers that be can easily circumvent them, break them with impunity, sneak away through loop holes and walk out of prisons & courts with ease. Coming out of prisons, they target whistle blowers (we have had so many – Manjunath Shanmugham, Shehla Masood, Niyamat Ansari – just to mention a few names that cannot be forgotten) and meticulously eliminate them, leaving no traces. RTI activists find themselves at the receiving end.

Where does all this leave us? Surely the need of the hour is a strong Lokpal Bill which will ensure stringent punishment to those who indulge in corruption of any kind. Let us all support it in every possible way. Let us hope that we are able to chain the monster of corruption and signal the awakening of the giant that India is – thanks to her man power, resources and timeless national values. Let’s remove the blot on this land which has “Satyameva Jayate” (meaning Truth alone triumphs, from the ancient scripture – Mundaka Upanishad) as its motto.

I want to end this post on a very optimistic note borrowing the immortal lines of John Keats in the Ode to the West Wind.

“The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Sharing Resources

This post is dedicated to all Teachers. In this 21st Century education scenario, there is so much material that is available on the net. My purpose is to share these resources with you so that you can enrich your teaching as well as provide your students a fine learning experience. After all you are dealing with the digital age learner!

Here is a long list of websites you can look into for resources. Each website has other links and you can go on and on into an exploratory journey into how materials can be used in your classroom and weaved into your lesson plan. This and some creativity will surely be a magic wand for you to look at classroom activity and resources in a new light. Explore and make interesting learning connections for students!

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/ Good teaching ideas for Primary 
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dg3mtjfp_12fq9wkn&pli=1 Teaching ideas which can be used across the curriculum 
http://english-avenue.com/index.php  Printable ESL Kids activities 
http://www.ei-india.com/  ASSET exams and other articles on education & teaching 
http://teachingenglishgames.com/  100s of ideas to make EFL / ESL teaching easier & fun. 
Multiple Intelligence – finding out about you. 
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/index.html Concept to Classroom. Tapping into Multiple Intelligence
http://www.chariho.k12.ri.us/curriculum/MISmart/stndunit.html  Multiple Intelligence integrated units 
http://www.chariho.k12.ri.us/curriculum/MISmart/tools.html  Multiple Intelligence teaching tools 
http://www.visuwords.com/          Online graphical dictionary 
http://www.manythings.org/  ESL with CALL computer assisted language learning 
 http://www.learnnc.org/        K-12 teaching & learning
 http://www.earobics.com/  Helping readers reach
 http://www.cdlponline.org/  For reading & life skills
 http://www.nationmaster.com/education.php  Link to Revision Checklist: Population dynamics and general
http://www.tutor2u.net/  For economics and Business Studies
http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/ Teaching business studies by example
http://www.sitesforteachers.com/ A comprehensive list of sites for teachers
http://teachers.teach-nology.com/ A web portal on the best sites for teachers

If there is any link that is broken, please let me know via the comments column. I will endeavour to give you the correct one.