Prez for multi-pronged strategy to curb corruption

Corruption has to be rooted out by adopting a multi-pronged strategy, President Pratibha Patil said.

New Delhi: Corruption has to be rooted out
by adopting a multi-pronged strategy including prompt delivery
systems, transparent processes and public accountability,
President Pratibha Patil said on Saturday.

Addressing Governors and Lt Governors at the two-day
`Conference of Governors` here, the President said public
sentiment against corruption in public life was on the rise as
this menace stalled development and eroded rule of law.

"There is also heightened expectations among our citizens
from the Indian polity. Corruption stalls development,
undermines social progress, undercuts confidence in the
fairness of public administration, impedes good governance,
erodes the rule of law, distorts competitive conditions,
dampens investments and above all hurts the common man the
"It has to be rooted out. The remedy lies in a multi-
pronged strategy combining preventive and punitive
interventions, including simpler rules, transparent processes,
judicious exercise of discretion, prompt delivery systems,
better public awareness, public accountability and discharge
of responsibilities with utmost rectitude," she said.

Patil also spoke about the menace of ragging in
educational institutions and urged the Governors, who are also
Chancellors of state universities, to play an important role
to wipe it out from the system.

"I will also like to focus your attention on the inhuman
conduct on the part of senior students, inflicting physical
cruelty and mental torment on freshers, that have outraged
society. The apex court has taken a strong stand against
ragging. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has
endeavoured to build a credible architecture of deterrence.

"Many states have enacted laws, rules and regulations to
prevent ragging. The regulatory structures have to be
constantly monitored and all inadequacies removed. While it is
the primary responsibility of the management of educational
institutions and teachers to prevent ragging, parents and
guardians have to be mobilised to counsel their wards to
behave more responsibly," she said.
Patil also sought to rope in NGOs to foster a climate of
awareness against ragging.

"Your persuasive influence, especially as Chancellors of
state Universities can immensely help in wiping out this
blot," she said.

The President also asked Governors to play a pivotal role
in safeguarding the interests of the varied sections of
population living in autonomous district councils created
under the Sixth Schedule.

"It is often complained that the Autonomous District
Councils created under the Sixth Schedule have been stunted in
their functioning, due to tight regulatory control by the
state government and impediments in the flow of funds. The
counter complaints are that wherever Autonomous District
Councils become entrenched, they have deprived traditional
village institutions from having a say in decision-making,"
Patil remarked.

Pointing out the role of Governors in the Sixth Schedule
areas, she said they should play a pivotal role in
safeguarding the interests of varied sections of population
residing there, and in harmoniously inter-twining the
indigenous good governance practices and traditional
institutional mechanisms with modern system of administration.

Touching upon various other important issues, Patil said
"we cannot lose sight of the multiple challenges of terrorism,
Left Wing Extremism and insurgency facing us. India`s external
and internal security is paramount and requires foremost

Both Central and state governments have to work hand-in-
hand to fortify security architecture, and create an effective
deterrence to achieve zero tolerance of terrorist activities,
she said.

Another area where the Constitution casts a specific and
special responsibility on the Governors is the administration
of Scheduled Areas and the role of Governors acquires greater
relevance since a large chunk of the Scheduled Areas is
affected by Left Wing Extremism, she said.

"There is a felt need for a sensitive and sympathetic
administration. You may also urge the state governments to
intensify the government -- tribal interface at the grassroot
level, to map out the most optimal path for their good. The
functioning of the Tribes Advisory Council has to be
invigorated," the President said.


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