Does the public trust the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their establishments?
India score: NS/100
The public view the defence establishment as entirely indifferent to corruption within it, or as clearly corrupt, without the political will to tackle the problem.
The public view is that bribery and corruption are not, according to official rhetoric, acceptable to the defence establishment, but there is a widely-held belief that this is just that: rhetoric, and not seriously intended.
The public view is that bribery and corruption, though not acceptable to the defence establishment, is insufficiently addressed by the measures in place to tackle the problem.
This indicator is not scored. Please discuss conditions in the country context related to good practice (Score 4).
The public view is that there is a clear commitment from the defence establishment that bribery and corruption are not acceptable and must be prosecuted, and that their efforts to tackle the problem are sincere and effective.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.
The Indian public has traditionally had a deep reverence for its Armed Forces. It sees the Armed Forces as pillars of integrity and honour. Defence institutions are well-respected and are viewed as separate from the political apparatus .
According to a 2017-2019 study on Politics and Society between Elections by Azim Premji University and Lokniti (CSDS), 80% of people in India trust the military . According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer 74% trust the current government . Transparency International’s 2017 Global Corruption Barometer stated 53% of people in India think the current government is doing well to tackle corruption despite India having a bribery rate of 69% .
Each branch of the Armed Forces is governed by an Act. All Acts state conflict of interests, acquiring goods (gifts), forms of hospitality, situations which constitute as bribery; the punishments of such offences and the judicial process . The Armed Forces are viewed as being efficient and effective at tackling corruption when such incidences occur. The public view is that there is a clear, sincere and effective commitment from the Armed Forces that bribery and corruption are unacceptable and must be prosecuted .
Generally, corruption in India’s defence sector seems to have occurred more in defence procurement, where the government is responsible. There has been acknowledgement from the current government about this. In January 2020 Prime Minister Modi spoke out against the previous government and accused them of damaging India’s defence sector . There is evidence of clear commitment to investigate cases of corruption .
1. Shreehari Paliath, 30 September 2018, “Military most trusted in India; govt officials, parties take back seats”, Business Standard, accessed 19 January 2019
2. Rinchen Norbu Wangchuk, 8 December 2017, “Checks and Balances: How the Indian Army Became a Pillar of Our Democracy”, The Better India, accessed 19 January 2019
3. The Hindu, 27 March 2019,“’Political parties most distrusted, Army, judiciary win people’s trust,’ says study”, accessed 17 August 2019
4. Azim Premji University and Lokniti (CSDS), 27 April 2018, “Politics And Society Between Elections” Questionnaire 2018, accessed 19 January 2019 https://www.lokniti.org/media/upload_files/Society%20and%20Politics%20between%20Elections,%20Round%202%20Questionnaire.pdf
5. Edelman Trust Barometer 2019, accessed 20 January 2019
6. Transparency International, 7 March 2017, “People and Corruption: Asia Pacific, Global Corruption Barometer”, 19 January 2019
7. Indian Army, “Indian Army Act, 1950”, accessed 3 May 2019
8. Indian Air Force, “The Air Force Act, 1950”, accessed 3 May 2019
9. Indian Navy, “The Navy Act, 1957”, accessed 3 May 2019
10. India Today, 26 January 2016, “Two Army officers to face CBI probe for corruption”, accessed 2 February 2019
11. Bikash Singh, 15 October 2018, “7 armymen, including a Major General, given life sentence by Army court for fake encounter”, The Economic Times, accessed 17 August 2019
12. Neeraj Chauhan, 18 December 2018, “CBI files case against two Army officers”, The Times of India, accessed 2 February 2019
13. Rumel Dahiya, 1 November 2010, “Probity in the Armed Forces”, IDSA, accessed January 19th, 2019
14. IANS, “Congress government did deep damage to India’s defence sector”,
Business Standard, January 10th, 2019, accessed January 19th, 2019
15. Hindustan Times, 10 January 2019, “People deserve to know… : Narendra Modi attacks Congress on defence deals”, accessed 19 January 2019
16. Ministry of Defence Government of India, “Annual Report 16-17”, pg.190, accessed 14 May 2019
17. Ministry of Defence Government of India, “Annual Report 17-18”, pg.189, accessed 14 May 2019
18. Hindustan Times, 23 August 2017, “Army officer convicted of corruption after 27 years of trial”, accessed 14 May 2019
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