Corruption is a word that is slowly making India popular for all the wrong reasons. The rate at which new scams emerge and fade out is disturbing these days. End result in 2011 we were ranked 95th out of 178 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. And I am ready to bet that we are not going to be any better in 2012.
To improve this grave situation we can go out and do protest marches or we can brainstorm on ideas on how we can try to change the system from grass root level. “Rapid Action Against Corruption in India” (RAACI) is an open sourced cross-platform framework built to reduce the corruption in India. Along with this initiative, the makers of the platform have also joined the social network like Facebook and opened up a blog to make people aware of the initiative.
One would debate that we have the Right To Information (RTI) Act in India that enables the common man to demand information from the Government Of India. Every year there is a staggering number of RTI’s filed but that data is neither structured nor readily accessible at one place. One of the primary reasons why RAACI has been built is to kill this pain point. The system will make tracking of RTI easy; later on this data can be used by other agencies and developers to further enhance it and finally it will empower the common man to keep a check on the projects via mobile technology.
It is a two-phase project: 1) The first phase is about data gathering in a centralized database and 2) the final stage involves geographically mapping the transactions onto the map of India. And lately, with the use of mobile phones one can crowd source data gathering, integrity, processing and verification of contracts. Later on depending on the magnitude of corruption, it would be colour coded and would be emailed weekly to CBI, GOI and other institutions.
The website has already started showing some genuine work. Click on the RTI Map section and you will see a pictorial display of the RTI’s filed from different city. If you click on any of them further details is highlighted.
The same efforts can be viewed on the Facebook page which has close to 1K fan following. Though the page and website is still fresh there is no dearth in effort. However, the page admins can think of doing 2 things on Facebook:
1. It would be great to see the RTI Map feature displayed on Facebook too as an app. This will make the interaction page bit exciting.
2. Providing more content on the initiative, RTI’s being filed, etc. May be the team can think of providing a monthly stats of the RTI’s and what has been the response from government agencies so far. These efforts can spread really fast on Facebook.
People are always ready to support a genuine cause and RAACI looks like one. It would be good to see if the developer community comes up and supports the initiative. After all the future of our country lies in our hands and not with the corrupted souls.