Transparent government, via webcams in India

The chief minister of Kerala has installed a webcam in his office and puts the feed online as an anti-corruption measure. Vikas Bajaj in NYT:

Thiruvananthapuram — Little Brother is watching you.

That is the premise for the webcam that a top government official here has installed in his office, as an anticorruption experiment. Goings-on in his chamber are viewable to the public, 24/7.

In an India beset by kickback scandals at the highest reaches of government, and where petty bribes at police stations and motor vehicle departments are often considered a matter of course, Oommen Chandy is making an online stand.

“Instead of taking action against corruption, I believe that we have to create an atmosphere where everything should be in a transparent way,” Mr. Chandy, who recently became chief minister of Kerala state after his coalition won a close election, said in an interview in his office. “The people must know everything.”

About 100,000 visitors logged in to the video feed on the day it began, July 1. And through last Friday afternoon, it had been visited by 293,586 users.

The chief minister — equivalent to an American governor — gave the interview during a break in negotiations with leaders of the state’s private colleges over the fees they can charge students. More:

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