A THOROUGH data mining of the past corruption cases of senior bureaucrats stored in agencies such as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) will reveal some kind of a pattern of corruption by senior bureaucrats in the government, both at the Centre and the states. But an IAS officer claiming to have 10 years of experience revealed a lot early this week while answering a question on Quora, a popular question-answer website. The question was — what is the lifestyle of an IAS officer? The post, seen so far by over 2.3 lakh visitors, went viral in social media sites on Monday. There, the officer mentioned about…relatively poor salary in government, overtime work, least time to be spared for the family etc., but the officer’s observations on corruption are not only interesting but are closer to the reality, according to a number of officers saying without being named.
As estimated by this anonymous IAS writer, 10% IAS officers are “extremely corrupt” looking for money in clearing each file whereas 20 to 40% are “moderately corrupt” with rates fixed only for certain types of work such as clearing layout designs etc. In both these categories, the officers make in crores in a year through corrupt practices. The next 20 to 40% are “less corrupt” who take bribes from builders, industrialists etc., but don’e harass them if bribes are not paid. There are 10% who accepts freebies ranging from free cinema ticket and free dining to free hotel stay etc. And the last 10% are “extremely honest”. The anonymous officer then writes about instances of IAS officers travelling in state transport bus, sleeper coach of train for personal travel so as to save money. Another instance of a secretary-level officer not availing a club facility to save Rs 12,000 per year is also highlighted.
Then, can the corrupt IAS officers be compared with corrupt bureaucrats belonging to other services According to the anonymous IAS officer's post, IAS ranks just below armed forces and higher judiciary in terms of number of honest officers, but it is way above other services such as IPS, IRS etc. and also PSUs, engineering services, lower judiciary etc.
Another interesting line of the post is when the anonymous writer says, restaurant and cinema hall owners usually refuse to take payment from IAS. “But this is usually 2-3 times in a year luxury”, the “officer” adds.
(Disclaimer: Those figures are not based on any survey or actual findings, but taken from a post by someone being identified as an IAS officer with a decade-long experience)