Q. What are the challenges of corruption on public administration? Suggest recommendations to curb corruption in India.

Daily Answer Writing Program Relevance: GS II Date:31/12/23

Ans: The frequent suspensions of MPs, with over 149 since 2019, raise concerns about the functioning of India's parliamentary system. This issue affects democratic discussions, legislative productivity, and the overall effectiveness of parliamentary proceedings. It underscores the need for better adherence to parliamentary norms and constructive resolution of conflicts to maintain the parliament's role as a key democratic institution.

Implications OF MP’s suspension:

  • Diminished Democratic Discourse: For instance, when MPs representing specific regions or minority groups are suspended, their constituencies lack representation in critical debates, as seen in recent sessions where MPs from opposition parties were suspended.

  • Legislative Productivity Concerns: Suspensions have led to delays in legislative processes, exemplified by stalled discussions and delayed bill passages during sessions marred by such disciplinary actions.

  • Strained Government-Opposition Relations: The frequent suspension of opposition party MPs, as observed in several parliamentary sessions, mirrors the escalating tensions and lack of collaboration between the government and opposition parties, hindering constructive policy-making.

Underlying Causes:

  • Procedural Disruptions: MPs often use disruptions for political or publicity gains, as seen in instances of planned walkouts or loud protests during parliamentary sessions.

  • Lack of Constructive Dialogue: The absence of effective grievance-addressing mechanisms often leads MPs to disruptive behavior, exemplified by frequent interruptions during debates.

  • Media Attention and Public Image: MPs may engage in disruptive tactics to garner media attention, boosting their public image. For example, dramatic protests in the parliament often make headlines, influencing public perception.

  • Electoral Strategies: Disruptions are sometimes used as a strategy to appeal to electoral bases. MPs might obstruct proceedings to showcase their commitment to certain issues, resonating with their supporters.

  • Ineffective Parliamentary Procedures: Inadequate procedural frameworks can lead to frequent disruptions. For instance, limited debate times or lack of discussion forums may push MPs towards obstructionist tactics.

  • Personal or Party Agendas: MPs may disrupt proceedings to push personal or party-specific agendas, often unrelated to the legislative topic at hand. This tactic is evident in instances where debates are derailed by unrelated political accusations or statements. 

Measures for Balance:

  • Reform Parliamentary Conduct Rules: Update rules to define unacceptable behaviors and consequences, like the UK's 'Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament' for accountability.

  • Strengthen Grievance Redressal Mechanisms: Implement systems like the 'Parliamentary Ombudsman' in some countries, allowing MPs to address issues constructively.

  • Enhance Parliamentary Training: Offer training similar to the 'Parliamentary Education Services' in Australia, focusing on procedure, ethics, and communication.

  • Encourage Cross-Party Dialogue: Facilitate dialogues akin to 'All-Party Parliamentary Groups' in the UK to foster mutual understanding and reduce conflicts.

  • Amend Suspension Rules: Revise rules for a balanced approach, inspired by models like the 'European Parliament's Rules of Procedure' ensuring fairness and transparency.

In conclusion, effectively managing the rise in MP suspensions involves a comprehensive strategy. This includes revising parliamentary procedures, providing in-depth training for MPs, and nurturing a collaborative atmosphere in the legislature. Achieving equilibrium between upholding disciplinary order and ensuring vibrant, inclusive debates is crucial for upholding the principles of democratic governance.

Advait IAS