Saturday, November 27, 2010

Corruption in India

The extent of corruption in India has to be seen to be believed. The cabinet level people take such open and outlandish bribes that they would put President Noriega of Nicaragua and President Marcos of the Phillipines to shame. I always beleived that once you have a billion dollars or so, why would you want more since you cannot spend it no matter how hard you try. I was so wrong. These people have billions of dollars and they still want more.

I saw the documents containing the "smoking gun" with my own eyes and now I believe that the current top most Indian leaders are the most corrupt in India's history.

The smoking gun I saw relates to the ambulances you see in the photo above. They were purchased by the Delhi Government (DG) for the Commonwealth Games, that were held in Delhi in October 2010. The amblulances have advanced life support equipment including Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). DG invited tenders for the AEDs. I saw the tender notice and the requirements to be considered an "approved vendor." Several companies applied. DG rejected some of the most well known companies including Phillips Electronics as not meeting the "approved vendor" requirements. Phillips Electronics sent letter after letter showing that they had met all of the qualifications. Then the tender from an unknown vendor was accepted to supply the AEDs for Rs. 310,000. There was another company that protested in writing that they have a long history and better reputation then the company whose tender was accepted. This company had bid Rs 125,000 for each AED! Their bid was rejected.

These ambulances were ordered in a hurry because a lot of money was to be made by the officers of DG. They had no plan for the ambulances after the Commonwealth Games. So these ambulances are sitting in a parking place with nothing to do. Even if they are pressed into service by DG, what are they going to do? They can take the patient to a hospital but the hosptial has no equipement for advanced life support!

I have been working with Arvind Kejriwal, who along with some others, has been fighting the corruption. I spent several days working on draft of a model law to appoint an anti-corruption agency that would be free of political appointees. I think I have done what I can do, there is not much else for me to do.

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