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2 August, 2021 06:07:27 PM
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Is it possible to control corruption using technology?

The government should stop hiring teachers for bureaucratic work or withdraw them from there and engage them in the classroom and higher research work. One thing to keep in mind is that the desired goal can never be achieved without putting the right person in the right place and the right object in the right place
Md. Moinuddin Chowdhury
Is it possible to control corruption using technology?

Corruption is criminal behaviour, which is completely contrary to the prevailing principles, norms, and values of society. In its black clutches, human civilization all over the world including Bangladesh is in extreme danger today. Transparency International identifies corruption as an abuse of power for personal gain. According to them, corruption reduces trust, weakens democracy, impedes economic development, and exacerbates inequality, poverty, social divisions, and environmental crises. Some say that corruption is the abuse of power by the people for private gain (by elected politicians and appointed government employees).
Corruption originates from the boundless greed of man. We can call this work of a land office employee when he takes the public hostage in various ways and takes unethically large sums of money from them as a bribe. At every upazila and union level in Bangladesh, the government has been instructed not to pay more than the prescribed fee for land-related work (such as name issuance) outside the land office, but due to the unethical tactics of the land office employees, the people are being forced to pay bribes. It goes without saying that there are no CCTV cameras in different land offices. Moreover, those who are corrupt avoid bribery and do bribery outside the organization. Going to some upazila offices, the office assistant was seen demanding the bribe money fixed for his highest boss.
It is clear from such incidents that bribery is involved from the highest level to the lowest level of the organization and even the mismanaged individuals or employees. This is because third- and fourth-class employees know that where their superiors are involved in corruption, there is no problem if they are corrupt. That is, their superiors have unwritten or secret approval to accept bribes. So, where the servants of the people themselves are immersed in corruption, the service recipients have nothing more to do.
When respected officers of BCS education cadre and government college teachers on deputation as an officer in charge of the inspection and audit department of the Ministry of Education conduct the audit in an MPO registered college or school, they demand their one-month government salary allowance from each of their fellow non-government teachers as a bribe (not all). Then the helpless teachers have no choice but to accept this unethical demand. Because, where their other caste is sucking their blood by abusing its acquired power, there is no benefit in blaming others. So now is the time to think about whether there is a need for cadre service in education. I think the main objective should be to build the students as valuable human resources through teaching, not teachers in bureaucratic work.
Moreover, the government should stop hiring teachers for bureaucratic work or withdraw them from there and engage them in the classroom and higher research work. One thing to keep in mind is that the desired goal can never be achieved without putting the right person in the right place and the right object in the right place. It is pertinent to note that university teachers are not people of any cadre service, they are real teachers and are engaged in research work. Similarly, MPO registered private teachers are actual teachers, they are not involved in any bureaucratic work other than teaching. They have a lot of accountability, which BCS cadre government teachers do not have. As a result, there is widespread anarchy in education due to public-private inequalities, such as inequality in teachers' financial opportunities, distrust, distance, and mutual suspicion.
The negative attitude of government teachers towards private teachers, (despite having the same educational qualifications) and the tendency to exploit them in various ways is against the country's constitution, national education policy, and universal human rights. Such tendencies are also considered to be corruption. Due to such corruption and mismanagement, private teachers enrolled in MPOs are deprived of the opportunity where government teachers are promoted from lecturers to professors. None of the anti-corruption or quality education is possible by depriving the MPO registered private teachers, who contribute 97% to the education sector in Bangladesh, of their constitutionally recognized rights or privileges.
According to a report by the Bangladesh Anti-Corruption Commission, allegations of corruption in the land, education, and health sectors have increased. According to the agency, the lack of government management is one of the reasons for the increase in corruption. It is very unfortunate that corruption continues in various government sectors even after the government has increased the salaries of government officials and employees in the light of the recommendations of the pay commission at different times.
At various times in meetings, committees, and conferences, various dignitaries have expressed different views on corruption in Bangladesh and its remedy. It is not possible to suppress corruption without a political will; besides, the use of information and communication technology should be increased to prevent corruption. Prevention of corruption will not only be done with knowledge, people will also have to be involved in it. Right to Information Act can play a role in preventing corruption. In this case, government offices must have the necessary information. But in reality, the necessary information is not available in government offices. For example, if it is possible to punish those accused of corruption every year, the corrupt people in the concerned sectors will be scared, and as a result, corruption will be reduced to a great extent. National identity cards, fingerprints, signed databases can play a role in reducing corruption. Government offices should be stopped from being used for personal gain.
If everything goes digital, corruption will decrease a bit. To this end, all government offices must be computerized. The activities of the ACC should be able to gain the confidence of the citizens. Emergency operations need to be conducted by identifying the most corrupt sectors. It is a must to identify the ghost inside the mustard and make arrangements to drive it out. ACC officials need to arrange high-quality training in the country with foreign trainers. Food adulteration is considered as corruption. Small businesses are corrupt and they are a threat to safe food. Therefore, the anti-adulteration campaign should be intensified to eliminate adulteration in food and ensure quality food production. Since the officers and employees at the bottom know that his superiors are corrupt. So, if you do corruption, nothing will happen. Thus, in order to overcome such a tendency, various training on ethics can be provided to the senior and subordinate officers and employees. Corruption cannot be suppressed by law alone. Following religious rules is the biggest solution to curb corruption. Every religion, including Islam, has different solutions to eradicate corruption. If these regulations are followed by the state, it is hoped that corruption will be greatly reduced.
There is more or less corruption in every country. Bangladesh is no exception. Therefore, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the government, various anti-corruption organizations, journalists, teachers, researchers, civil society, and all concerned must be aware of corruption. We have to build a social movement against it, we have to make the people aware of it.
In this context, I would like to quote from the writings of Mr. Mustafa Jabbar, Information and Communication Technician and the current Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. The British bureaucracy did not change even after changing the flag once in 1947 and again in 1971. The kind of administration that is needed for an independent nation has not been developed. The way things work remains to be changed, he said. Financial institutions affiliated with the government, autonomous institutions, quasi-government institutions, and related institutions need to be digitalized.
The economy, industry, intellectual property, law and order, law enforcement, and the military need to be digitalized. If the digital system is implemented, the corrupt bureaucrats of the government will suffer the most and they are trying their best to stop the process of digital transformation. The government has come a long way in implementing Digital Bangladesh. Through digitization, corruption will be greatly reduced.

The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Shankuchail Degree Courage, Burichang, Comilla. Email: [email protected]

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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