Technology could be a potent weapon in the fight against corruption, incoming central vigilance commissioner (CVC) Pradeep Kumar told HT.
In his first comments after being cleared to head India's anti-corruption watchdog, Kumar said he would focus on harnessing technology to trim malpractices, implying that reduced public interaction with government officials would help minimise corruption.
Spelling out his blueprint, Kumar said he would work towards strengthening systems in the government to eliminate arbitrariness and discretion in decision-making -factors that facilitate corrupt practices.
Kumar's predecessor PJ Thomas, who is facing corruption charges in the Kerala palmolein oil import scam, had to demit office in March after the Supreme Court struck down his appointment.
Kumar, who hangs up his boots as defence secretary on July 31, described corruption as a "hydra-headed monster" and advocated "ruthless action" against it.
He, however, cautioned against witch-hunting in the garb of fighting graft.
"Wiping out corruption is fundamental to advancing good governance. The corrupt have to be dealt with ruthlessly, but there should be room for an honest mistake. The anti-corruption crusade cannot be made a tool for persecuting opponents," said the CVC-designate.
On civil society's role, Kumar said, "It is incorrect to create the impression that all politicians and bureaucrats are corrupt. There are people within the system who are committed to increasing transparency and accountability."
Kumar, a 1972-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer, said he wouldn't tolerate any cover-up of corruption.
"Corruption diminishes us as individuals - both the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker. The fight against corruption is not the government's alone, every Indian has to contribute."