As part of the Vigilance Awareness Week 2022, the University conducted a talk on the theme of “Corruption Free India for a Developed Nation” by Shri Umesh Sharraf, DG, Telangana Special Protection Force. Shri Sharraf is a highly decorated officer and has worked in the area of anti-corruption for a long time, and has received multiple awards for his integrity and hard work.

Shri Umesh Sharraf was joined by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. BJ Rao, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. RS Sarraju, the Chief Vigilance Officer Prof. B Senthilkumaran, and the Registrar, Dr. Devesh Nigam.

After formal introduction of the speaker by Dr. Devesh Nigam, Registrar, Prof. B Senthilkumaran talked briefly about the Vigilance Awareness Week and shared with the audience and dignitaries some of the activities undertaken in the university for the occasion which included a pledge undertaken by professors and staff in all the departments and several events that took place in various departments. Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. RS Sarraju, talked briefly about the implementation of various vigilance activities in order to ensure that the campus remains 100% corruption free. Vice-Chancellor, Prof. BJ Rao shared that anti-corruption vigilance is a do-it-yourself exercise and should come from within, and that a seamless system would always help it.

Shri Umesh Sharraf started his talk by talking about the multiple excuses that people offer to reconcile with the culture of being okay with the corruption in India, and how these are in fact all excuses, since there are multiple activities and exercises that take place without corruption. He gave the example of the Telangana Police Recruitment activities which take place purely based on merit, and do not permit corruption.

Talking about the classical way of looking at corruption as a crime within the Indian Penal Code, he highlighted that it was also necessary that we look at it from the perspective of an individual putting their own individual interests above those of their organizations. He also shared the utility of corruption, based on the economic principles of supply and demand, where corruption requires more man-hours and costs to bring down once it is below a certain threshold, and how it is less expensive to reduce when it is above a certain threshold.

The three major schools of thought involved in reducing corruption include –

  1. Dis-incentivizing crime
  2. Incapacitating the criminal
  3. Persuading the criminal

Talking about the behavioral aspect of preventing crime like corruption, Shri Sharraf then talked about the Principal-Agent-Client Relationship, the material and moral costs of corruption, conducting vulnerability assessments and finally, frameworks for policy analysis. He highlighted the role that Information Technology and Management Technology has played in reducing corruption. He also reminded the audience to say no to cynicism and fatalism as corruption has reduced and with hard work, it can be reduced even further. Shri Sharraf also answered questions from the eager audience, who wanted to know more.

The event was concluded after a formal vote of thanks from Dr. Devesh Nigam.

Contributed by Ms. Lavanya Rana, MA Communication (Media Studies)