Beware! Big Brother is watching you Mar 7, 2014, DHNS Curbing Corruption The proposal to install CCTVs to curb the entry of touts at Government offices and bring transparency in administrative functioning seems to be a promising step to curb corruption at Government offices and strengthen the public grievance system. Delhiâ€™s former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his drive against corruption had announced the project and directed the chief secretary to supervise it. However, the Chief Minister soon resigned after facing stiff opposition from BJP and Congress over the Jan Lokpal Bill, leaving his pet project in doldrums. Fortunately, Lt Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung soon after taking over the reins of Delhi administration, following imposition of President's Rule, has directed Chief Secretary S K Srivastava to look into the matter of installation of CCTVs in field offices and ensure regular monitoring of the same through the control room of Public Grievance Monitoring system. The proposal, if approved, will cover crucial areas like the regional transport offices, hospitals, sub-registrars offices and social welfare offices in the first phase. â€œInstallation of CCTV cameras is just like another government scheme whose proper implementation comes with a question mark. Who will ensure that these cameras are in working condition, are continuously on or that they have been fitted and are efficiently and effectively monitored? And what if Babus decide to take bribe outside office? Who will monitor them?â€ questions Amitosh Sharma, a merchant navy officer, living in Lajpat Nagar. Though the decision to install cameras has been welcomed, the common man, who has faced the maximum brunt of corruption in government offices, is by and large sceptical about its efficient monitoring and efficacy in bringing the corrupt to book. And for once it seems that both the aam aadmi and the â€˜khaasâ€™ aadmi (read Netas, Babus) seem to be on the same page! A senior official in a Government department, requesting anonymity, said rather matter-of-factly â€œthe modus operandi of the corrupt will changeâ€. â€œBribery might not take place inside offices but outside. It would become even more difficult to pin-point the corrupt, catch them red-handed or bring them to book. How will the camera record the corruption happening through files? CCTV cameras will only help to keep a check on the sabotage resulting from the fight between the public and officials. Keeping an eye on corruption will not be served by cameras alone,â€ the official added. But former Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami begs to differ, arguing that CCTV is an effective step towards controlling corruption. â€œThe initiative will help in maintaining transparency in officesand is good for security purpose,â€ says Ramakant. When asked whether the CCTV should be mounted in the cabins of senior officials, the former minister tried to skirt the issue. â€œWhether installed in a senior officialâ€™s cabin or not, CCTV is not the ultimate solution. Morality is more important,â€ he emphasised. Meanwhile, Amit Ganotra, a software engineer says, â€œIt is another stupid idea to deal with corruption. For starters there will be a large scale corruption in the purchase of CCTV cameras. There will be tenders for the supply of cameras, another tender for installation and maintenance. And when it come down to the final result, the cameras wonâ€™t work and the agencies will indulge in blame game.â€ How well we know the functioning of our Government!