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Anna’s movement now in UK varsity’s curriculum

mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2012 01:48 IST
Prachi Pinglay
Prachi Pinglay
Hindustan Times
Prachi Pinglay

Even as social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement struggles to stay alive, it will soon be part of the curriculum at a UK university. University of Sussex, ranked 11th in the UK and known for studies in humanities, now plans to start the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption (SCSC) and offer a one-year masters’ programme from the 2012-13 academic year.

"Traditional anti-corruption strategies have been thought up in western capitals and exported to places such as India. One size fits all approaches have only worked infrequently. The SCSC will hopefully help to come up with more nuanced agendas that learn from these mistakes and focus on diverse sets of local circumstances," Dan Hough, director of the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption, said.

The idea for a programme on corruption studies was mooted in 2009, after four British parliamentarians went to jail after using public money for personal gains. The centre plans to research basic questions like what is corruption, how is it caused, and what can be done about it. It will study corruption in governance in different countries, including the anti-graft movements in Egypt, Libya and India. Last year 200 students signed up for full time under-graduate and postgraduate courses at Sussex University.

Apart from political corruption the centre will also focus on corruption in sport, particularly football and cricket, according to Hough. “Indeed, many in south Asia fully expect their politicians to be corrupt, but not their sportsmen,” he said.

“The centre should study historical perspective and process of how corruption got institutionalised through economic policies since independence. Apart from that it would help policymakers and research students to study how other societies such as Europe and the US have coped and created systems that work,” said Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation, a south Mumbai non-profit group, which released report cards on the performance of city corporators recently.

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