PARTICIPATIVE VIGILANCE : THE EYE OF PROVIDENCE
BANKING FINANCE|June 2021
Chanakya has rightly said that Identify traitors before you hunt for the enemies. In 2018, the Punjab National Bank scam hit headlines, it rocked the entire Indian Banking sector as it laid bare the fallacies of the system. It demonstrated that how the presence of very few unscrupulous officials in a Bank can wreak havoc and hollow out the insides of a system like termites. Modernisation of Banking systems and the introduction of computers over the last two decades has increased accountability and put in place a system of checks and balances.
Baljor Datt Gaur

The system has undergone a process of automation and loopholes have gradually been resolved. The presence of such measures mean that perpetration of fraud is possible either by non-adherence to standard operating procedures and resulting lapses or, by the presence of corrupt insiders. These insiders are the Achilles heel of the Indian Banking system. The presence of these traitors is not unique to the Banking sector, such undesired elements are present in every sector and industry and majority of all frauds are made possible by them. India is ranked a lowly 80 on the Corruption Perception Index as evaluated by Transparency International. This shows how the menace of corruption has deeply penetrated the Indian society and is slowly leading to a state of decay.

Avarice is a malaise which has no cure, irrespective of how much anyone denies it there exists an Ebenezer Scrooge in everyone as Dickens rightly puts it Gold conjures up a mist about a man, more destructive of all his old senses and lulling to his feelings than the fumes of charcoal. Man may be a social animal, but he is also a greedy one. You throw a 500 rupee note on a busy street, look away for just a moment, more likely than not the note would have disappeared. In such a situation, it becomes imperative that you must not turn away even for a moment. This constant vigilance is the key to securing your interests.

Vigilance constitutes a vital cog in the management of an organisation and offers essential opportunities to enhance an organization's efficiency. The overall purpose of every organization's role in vigilance is to help management in achieving its goal by ensuring any operation is performed in compliance with laid out processes and procedures, thereby diminishing instances of employees' misconduct and misappropriation of funding. Vigilance is thus basically a management feature and seeks to protect the dignity, veracity, and productivity of management.Constant vigilance has become a crucial part of any organisation as it is a multi-faceted approach resulting in better expense management, quality assurance and enhanced productivity which can enable an organisation to survive in this increasingly competitive world.

Vigilance has mainly three facets, these are preventive, punitive, and participative. Preventive vigilance seeks to plug all the gaps, reduce all loopholes, and ensure that deficiencies of the system are dealt with to reduce instances of fraud. It aims to identify and resolve vulnerabilities present within the system. Punitive vigilance majorly aims to impose harsh penalties and punitive measures on those who aid, abet, and condone frauds, it seeks to set an example for others and acts as a deterrent measure. Preventive vigilance is a proactive approach which seeks to actively prevent frauds from happening whereas Punitive approach is a reactive approach which comes into action after an incident has happened. These two forms of vigilance have largely formed the backbone of the Banking sector since the very beginning.

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