Thursday, April 14, 2011

IITians in Canada & Corruption !!

It was quite a glorifying tweet from the_hindu that praised IITians. It read, "IITians in Canada observe day-long fast for Anna Hazare #Lokpal".

My first reaction was 'What are they doing in Canada after India sponsored their education."

Isn't that corruption? Isn't a collective and selfish action towards siphoning off of taxpayers' money? The politicians use tax payer's money to build swiss bank accounts. These IITians settled abroad use tax payers' money to build bank balances in US, Canada and other developed countries. They are worse than the politicians, as they even pay taxes to those developed Governments, and help in building education infrastructure there. What a sorry irony!

Since 1953, nearly twenty-five thousand IITians have settled in the USA alone. Although the trend has been on the down-slide, the reason is neither a healthy conscience nor patroitism. The reason is lower earning prospect in the US and higher earning potential in India.

Dreaming of higher income and success is neither criminal nor immoral, however we should pay for the opportunity cost. We should pay for the higher income potential made possible by the IITs. The Govt should enable a process for the IITians to repay the Government subsidies that they enjoyed while studying in IITs.

The last word is that corruption can range from IITians going abroad to 2G scam involving crores. It would be foolish to rally against corruption by politicians alone. The need is to create a better conscience right through primary education.

Additionally, we have to put processes for better accountability, making it difficult for the opportunists to siphon off tax payers' money. We should also create an environment of predictable punitive punishment to discourage misuse of tax payers money.

The Lokpal Bill should aim to do the same. More than vigilance, the Lokpal Bill has to be futuristic and pragmatic to create an environment of a healthy conscience against corruption, an environment of accountability and predictable penalty.

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