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Public Office, Private Interest: Bureaucracy and Corruption in India

S.K. Das (Author)
Synopsis This book is about corruption: the use of public office for private gain. Controlling corruption has always been a big challenge for state reform. In the nineteenth century, the creation of a merit-based bureaucracy with a pay structure that rewarded civil servants for honest effort was seen as the solution. It was assumed that if merit was made the basis of administration, it would exclude private interest. The author, S.K. Das, looks at the Indian experience and finds that the merit-based civil service system, which was put in place during colonial India and largely retained after independence, has failed to restrain corruption. The public bureaucracy in India is rated as one of the most corrupt in the world today. Part of the reason, Das discovers lies in politics. Ruling politicians have preferences on how to use a public bureaucracy and these preferences translate into an incentive structure which governs the behaviour of civil servants. Depending on the nature of politics, the preferences can result in public bureaucracies with radically different standards of integrity. Building on an analysis of the alternative paradigm—the new public management model—which is being implemented in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Great Britain, the book argues that this new paradigm has the right credentials to succeed in restraining corruption in public office. Written by a civil servant, Public Office, Private Interest is essential reading for anyone interested in corruption, civil service, politics and reform.
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About the author

S.K. Das

After Post graduation from Calcutta University Dr. Sujit Kumar Das joined Bangabasi College as lecturer in 1981 and served the institution up to January 2000 when he joined New Alipore College as Principal. He did his Ph.D. from Kalyani University under the supervision of Dr. Pronab Kumar Bhattacharya, Dean, faculty of Arts and Commerce, Kalyani University.

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Bibliographic information

Title Public Office, Private Interest: Bureaucracy and Corruption in India
Author S.K. Das
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195653823
length xii+252p., 23cm.