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Central Vigilance Commission-Role, Functions, limitations | Indian Polity | General Studies II

 Table of Contents:

  • About Central Vigilance Commission
  • Describing the composition in functions of the Central Vigilance Commission, analyse its limitations. ( UPPSC 2021)

About Central Vigilance Commission:

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex government body in India that is responsible for addressing corruption, promoting transparency, and maintaining integrity in public administration. It was established in 1964 on the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) acts as a watchdog and advisory body, primarily overseeing the functioning of the government and its organizations.

The following are key functions of the Central Vigilance Commission:

  • Investigating corruption allegations and misconduct by government officials.
  • Advising government departments on preventing corruption and improving governance.
  • Conducting inquiries and recommending penalties or actions against individuals involved in corrupt practices.
  • Promoting ethics and integrity in public administration through various measures.


Describing the composition in functions of the Central Vigilance Commission, analyse its limitations.

 (UPPSC Mains General Studies-II/GS-2 2021)


The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex integrity institution in India, established in 1964 to combat corruption and promote integrity in the functioning of public servants.

Composition of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):

The composition of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is as follows:


The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) who is appointed by the President of India. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) holds office for a fixed term, ensuring independence and autonomy in its functioning.

Vigilance Commissioners: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is assisted by Vigilance Commissioners, who are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Functions of the Central Vigilance Commission:

The primary functions of the Central Vigilance Commission are:

Corruption Investigation: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) investigates corruption cases against public servants, including those from the Central Government and public sector undertakings. It acts as a central authority to inquire into allegations of corruption, bribery, or other malpractices.

Advisory Role: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) provides advice and guidance to government departments on vigilance matters, promoting transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct in government functioning.

Preventive Vigilance: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) emphasizes preventive vigilance, helping organizations implement effective systems and processes to minimize corruption risks and malpractices.

Supervision of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI): 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) exercises superintendence over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in corruption cases, ensuring proper investigations and accountability.

Public Awareness: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) conducts public awareness campaigns to educate citizens about the ill effects of corruption and to encourage public participation in combating corruption.

Limitations of the Central Vigilance Commission:

While the Central Vigilance Commission plays a crucial role in combating corruption, it faces certain limitations:

Advisory Nature: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)'s recommendations are advisory in nature, and it lacks the power to take direct action against errant officials or to initiate criminal proceedings. It relies on the concerned government departments and agencies to take action based on its findings.

Limited Jurisdiction: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)'s jurisdiction is limited to Central Government employees and public sector organizations. It does not have jurisdiction over state government employees or private sector entities, which also face corruption challenges.

Dependence on Government: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)'s effectiveness is dependent on the cooperation and political will of the government. Its autonomy and powers can be influenced by political considerations.

Overburdened with Cases: 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is often overloaded with a large number of pending corruption cases, leading to delays in resolving matters and potentially affecting its efficiency.

Whistleblower Protection: 

Whistleblowers who expose corruption may face risks and threats to their safety. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)'s ability to protect whistleblowers and ensure their anonymity is limited.

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