Lokpal Search Committee Current Affairs - 2019

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Corruption Perceptions Index 2018: Facts about India

Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector and judiciary are perceived to be by experts and business executives.

It is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide and it does not consider corruption in the business sector. The corruption perception index draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.

The scores indicate the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-100. A score of 0 points that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and a 100 points that a country has sound integrity systems.

Where does India stand?

The Corruption perception index makes the following observations about India:

  • India’s score has been marginally improved 41 from 40 in 2017.
  • India’s ranking increased from 81st in 2017 to 78 in 2018.
  • India had slid from 79th rank in 2016.
  • The report cities countries like India along with Malaysia, Maldives and Pakistan will be important to watch moving forward.
  • The report notes that all these countries mentioned above have witnessed massive public mobilisation against corruption coupled with significant political participation and voter turnout resulting in new governments that promised extensive anti-corruption reforms.
  • The report mentions that these encouraging developments are yet to show some tangible solid action, especially when it comes to combating elusive forms of grand corruption.
  • The report noted that since India gears up for general elections, there was a little significant movement in its CPI score, which moved from 40 in 2017 to 41 in 2018.
  • The report notes that in spite of spectacular public mobilisation in 2011, where citizens demanded the government to take action against corruption and advocated for the passage of the comprehensive Jan Lokpal bill, the efforts ultimately fizzled and fell flat, with little to no movement on the ground to build the specialist anti-corruption infrastructure required.

These findings gain importance at the time Supreme Court has set the ball rolling for the appointment of Lokpal by setting a deadline for the search committee to recommend names for selection committee headed by Prime Minister.

Lokpal Search Committee holds its First Meeting

The Lokpal Search Committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai held its first meeting and discussed modalities related to the appointments of the chief and members of Lokpal.

The other members of the committee include former chief of State Bank of India (SBI) Arundhati Bhattacharya, Prasar Bharati chairperson Surya Prakash, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) head A S Kiran Kumar, former Allahabad High Court judge Sakha Ram Singh Yadav, former Gujarat Police head Shabbirhusein S Khandwawala, retired IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Lalit K Panwar and Ranjit Kumar

Supreme Court Sets a Deadline

The Supreme Court has set a February-end deadline for the search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.

Selection of Lokpal

The names proposed by the search committee would be scrutinised by the selection committee headed by Prime Minister and comprising of Speaker of Lok Sabha, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI and an Eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee through consensus.

Upon the recommendation of the selection committee, President has nominated Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India as ’eminent jurist’ member of the panel against the vacancy arising following the death of senior advocate P P Rao.