Meet Ashok Khemka – the incorruptible Indian babu

Newton’s Law of Corruption: an Indian babu’s likelihood of  being corrupt is inversely proportional to the number of times he’s transferred. Higher the transfers, lower the likelihood of being corrupt. While babudom and anti-corruption agitation are topics that are not within the primary ambit of this blog, every once in a while I feel compelled to stray (for …

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Understanding the medieval battle for Uttar Pradesh

Last week we learnt, from a perusal of an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, that out of the 617 candidate names released in the first list, 31% and 15% had criminal cases and serious criminal cases registered against them. If you thought this was sobering, the news gets better with ADR’s addendum report on …

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UP Election Candidate Insights from ADR’s National Election Watch

National Election Watch (NEW), a nationwide campaign comprising of more than 1200 NGO and other citizen led organizations working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in India has been monitoring the candidates for 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election declared by political parties. Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Uttar Pradesh Election Watch (UPEW) and NEW …

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Welcome to India: a nation of national shames

“The results of this survey are both worrying and encouraging.” As I read the above gem from the transcript of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech on the release of the HUNGaMA report (see What we can expect from the HUNGaMA survey), I was reminded of my high school civics textbook — “Our constitution is rigid …

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A Call to Social Arms – Part 1

Israel’s mandatory military service program has long been an ideal for some concerned Indian citizens (Israeli citizens need to put in a 2-3 year military stint after turning 18). They argue that a similar program for Indian citizens is the only way to inculcate patriotism and selfless service. Perhaps. After all, we are living in …

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Corruption Cases in the Indian States – a Visual Story

Our good friends at PRS Legislative Services took 10-years of corruption case data (2000-2009) from National Crime Records Bureau and created a very useful visualization using Tableau. I’ll start off with some surprising observations before presenting the detailed graphical trends. The top 5 states, in descending order of total cases registered, are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa, …

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