India Corruption Study (ICS) 2010, which got published in 2011, is the seventh edition of studies undertaken by Centre for Media Studies (http://www.cmsindia.org) since 2000 and fourth in the last five years. The purpose of this and earlier rounds has been to provide a reliable tool for improving governance. The current and earlier rounds of India Corruption Study (hereinafter referred as ICS) have focused on general population’s (aam aadmi) perception and experience with public services.
The present report, based on ICS 2010 undertaken by CMS, focuses on household level survey in rural areas of twelve states. This is due to the policy emphasis on the rural sector over the last five years, and the substantial resources spent by the government in rural health, water and sanitation, and school education.
The present report focuses on 4 public services: public distribution system (PDS), school education (up to class 12th), water supply services and hospital services. The twelve states covered in this round are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Methodology: In ICS 2010, 9960 households in 664 gram panchayats (approx. 2000 villages) of 12 states across the country were visited. The households were selected using three-stage stratified sampling method. The first stage was selection of districts, followed by selection of gram panchayats and third and final stage was selection of households. The household survey was carried out in the month of August-September, 2010.
Key findings of the India Corruption Study 2010: Is the Scenario Changing?, http://cmsindia.org/ICS2010.pdf:
• CMS Media Lab analysis of the trend in corruption coverage in prime-time bulletins by the six television news channels during 2005 to 2010 show almost four times increase in percentage of time given for news stories on corruption.
• The factors, which have contributed in containing corruption between 2005 and 2010 are: 1) Opening up of the services for private participation breaking monopolies; (2) Competition and increased concern for market and the users; (3) Use of new communication technologies like computerization for better public interface; (4) Use of research in developing responsive systems; (5) Concern for redressal mechanisms; and (6) Dynamic news media.
• In ICS 2010, 45 percent of the rural households opined that ‘corruption has increased’ in public services in the previous one year. Compared to ICS 2005, a decline of 25 percentage points is noticeable. However, a significant, 19 against 23 percent of rural households in both the rounds felt that the level of corruption has remained the same in public services.
• Comparing the two rounds of ICS (’05 and ’10), across states indicate overall decline in general perception about corruption in public services. But in 2010 the percentage of those who think corruption has increased in the previous year (preceding ICS 2010 survey) is high in Bihar and Chhattisgarh (66% each) and low as 19% in Tripura and 33% in West Bengal but it was 59% in Kerala (also ruled by the Left Front).
• More than 40 percent of the rural households belonging to OBC and SC social group felt that the level of corruption has increased in public services during the previous one year (preceding the ICS 2010 survey) while 28 percent each from OBC, SC and ST categories opined that the level of corruption has remained same as in the previous year.
• Compared to ICS 2005, overall the percentage of rural households which paid bribe has come down exactly by half (28% from 56%). However, in states like Chhattisgarh (55%), Bihar (52%), Kerala (46%) and Maharashtra (40%), a high percentage of rural household paid bribe to avail a public service during the last one year preceding ICS 2010 survey.
• Perception about corruption in the previous year (preceding the survey) has increased in the case of public services like school and water supply in ICS 2010 as compared to ICS 2005.
• 11.5% respondents had paid a bribe for PDS, 9% for hospitals, 5.8% for schools and 4.3% for water supply.
• With 95 percent of the households who are asked for bribes end up paying it, brings out that grievance redressal system continues to be poor and lack of accountability of public service providers, despite all claims otherwise made by these agencies.
• In 2010, the difference between perception (P) and experience (E) for the four services ranges between 20-25 percentage points. In 2005, the difference between P and E in the four public services ranged between 44-60 percentage points. The narrowing of difference between perception and experience in ICS 2010 compared to ICS 2005 suggests that households’ perception is not far from experience.
• Compared to 2005, the increase in the percentage of rural households paying bribe in PDS services is almost two and half times more in 2010. One of the reasons for more rural households paying bribe in PDS services is that possessing a ration card is considered to be an important document for availing other benefits under different government schemes.
• In 2010, around 42 percent rural households opined that the level of corruption in PDS has increased during the last one year; however compared to ICS 2005, this percentage has come down by 26 percentage points. In states such as Bihar (62%), Chhattisgarh (58%) and UP (50%), more than half of the rural households feel that there is an increase in the level of the corruption in PDS services.
• In Chhattisgarh, more than 60% rural households out of those interacted with PDS services paid bribe. Other states where a sizeable percentage paid bribe for PDS services are West Bengal and Bihar (43% each). In states like Andhra Pradesh (10%), Kerala (17%) and Tripura (18%), relatively lesser percentage of rural households paid bribe or were ‘asked to pay bribe’ to avail PDS services.
• The average amount paid by a household in a year for availing PDS services was around Rs 145.
• Among the reasons for which rural households paid bribe or were asked to pay bribe are ‘to get a new ration card (37%)’ followed by ‘to take monthly ration (28%)’.
• In ICS 2010, the percentage of rural households which feel that the level of corruption has increased in school education services is around 35 percent.
• The states where a relatively higher percentage of rural households feel that corruption has increased during last one year are Andhra Pradesh (55%), Bihar (43%) and Uttar Pradesh (40%).
• In this round (2010), around 15 percent of the rural households which interacted with school services during the last one year paid bribe. Another 5 percent were asked to pay bribe but did not pay.
• Among states where relatively higher percentage of rural households paid bribe or were asked to pay bribe during the last one year are Maharashtra (35%), Bihar (24%) and Tripura (23%). Kerala (6%) and Andhra Pradesh (8%) are the two states, where corresponding figures are in single digit, thus indicating lesser prevalence of corruption in government school in the two states.
• The average amount paid in a year in the school related services was Rs 186 per household.
• The main reasons cited for paying bribe to avail school (up to class 12th) related services are ‘to get a new admission (34%)’ followed by ‘to get scholarship (18%)’ and ‘for issuance of different types of certificates (18%)’.
Water Supply Services
• A significant proportion of the rural households (41%), which interacted with water supply services feel that there is an increase in the level of corruption.
• Amongst the states where a sizeable percentage of rural households feel that there is an increase in the level of corruption level in water supply services are Bihar (73%), Uttar Pradesh (54%) and Haryana (46%).
• Overall, 21 percent of the surveyed rural households reported that they have either paid bribe or were asked to pay bribe to avail the water supply related services. Amongst the surveyed states, reporting of bribe was higher in Bihar (38%) followed by Maharashtra (34%), while in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh (5% each) it was relatively lower.
• The average amount paid as bribe for water supply services was around Rs 207 per rural household.
• Around 30 percent of the rural households each paid bribe or were asked to pay bribe ‘to get irrigation water’ or ‘to get the water pipe repaired’. Other reason for which households were asked to pay bribe was for ‘installation or maintenance of hand pumps (27%)’.
• Around 39 percent of the surveyed households feel that the level of corruption in hospital services has increased during the last one year.
• In ICS 2010, the states where a high percentage of rural households reported increase in level of corruption in hospital services are Bihar (67%) followed by Chhattisgarh (48%) and Uttar Pradesh (46%).
• Overall nearly one-fourth of the surveyed households reportedly paid bribe or were asked to give bribe to avail one or the other services of a public health facility in rural areas of these twelve states.
• The average amount paid as bribe was Rs 150 per household for hospital services.
• One-fourth of those who paid bribe cited getting medicines from the hospital as the reason. The other key reason for paying bribe is ‘to get examined as an out-patient’ and ‘for diagnostic services’.