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NYT lauds Oommen Chandy’s 24/7 office webcast

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 20, 2011 07:06 AM
The Kerala chief minister Mr Oommen Chandy’s much hyped 24/7 webcast of his office has received global attention with the New York Times coming out with an article on the initiative.
NYT lauds Oommen Chandy’s 24/7 office webcast

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurates the live webcast of his office in Thiruvananthapuram - DC

The paper has termed the web-streaming of the chief minister’s office as an anti corruption experiment. 

"In an India beset by kickbacks scandals at the highest reaches of the government, and where petty bribes at police stations and motor vehicles departments are often considered as a matter of course, Oommen Chandy is making an online stand," the article points out.

But the paper also quotes Mr Sunil Abraham, the executive director of Bengaluru based Centre for Internet and Society, who finds the effort no more than tokenism.

However, Mr Abraham says, "This type of tokenism is also quite useful as it might check the behaviour of not only the chief minister but also his underlings and the powerful executives and politicians who come to visit him."

Mr Abraham says webcams might be far more powerful tool if installed in police stations, drivers licenses offices, welfare agencies and other places where people interact with officials who sometimes demand bribe to do routine work. 

However, he adds that the people who intent to pay bribe could probably still do it outside the offices.

This news was published in the Deccan Chronicle on 19 July 2011. It can be read here

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