Curbing graft with technology

TALKING SHOP: ISB students participating in a global videoconference on combating corruption on Thursday. - Photo G.Krishnaswamy  

Staff Reporter

Mobile phones can help check corruption effectively, say ISB students

HYDERABAD: The omnipresent mobile phone in India can be turned into an effective tool to expose and curb corruption. This was a suggestion from the students of the Indian School of Business (ISB) who participated in a global discussion through the mode of video conference organised by the World Bank Institute on Thursday.

The ISB team's recommendation that technology right from e-governance, e-procurement to mobile phones can play a powerful role in combating corruption, as it empowers the common man, was voted as one of the three best suggestions at the global discussion.

Technology to the fore

Students of leading business schools and public policy schools across the globe participated in the 24-hour discussion to complement an ongoing conference on "Improving Governance and Fighting Corruption: New Frontiers in Public-Private Partnerships" at Brussels on March 14 and 15.

The WBI together with the Belgian Government and the OECD organised the discussion to get the views of future leaders across the globe and take them to the decision makers attending the Brussels conference, said Harish, faculty at ISB who moderated the videoconference discussion at ISB.

"Simple technology is the key to combat corruption. With 140 million cell phone users in India and the number increasing by six million every month, it could be a tool to focus corruption anywhere and anytime.

Corporate sector

Technology would bring down the number of intermediaries, thus bringing down the scope for bribes and ensure transparency," the ISB team said. Happy about the Indian private sector's initiative in setting high standards of transparency after 50 years of public sector dominance, they said the trail-blazing experiences of the corporate sector should be shared with the civil society.