Nepotism is the practice by a family member or close associate of an organization of favoring other members of that group over more qualified outsiders for appointments to positions of influence and responsibility, especially to the exclusion of persons not related to the group. Most jurisdictions regard nepotism as a conflict of interest. Nepotism can also refer to particular appointments, such as those awarded to family members or close associates regardless of merit or qualification.
Nepotism is also known as favoritism or cronyism. People appointed to such positions because of nepotism are not chosen purely on merit, and they may not even be qualified for the job. It is common in all societies where a family member who has the power to appoint is given a position.
Nepotism is prevalent in every society because of a solid emotional bond between relatives. It is characterized by the preferential treatment given to family members over non-relatives in terms of access to material resources, opportunities, and services. Nepotism can cause adverse effects on the organizational structure since it encourages the rise of personal influence, friendship, and connections within the organization rather than merit. Also, nepotism has been seen as a negative influence on organizations because it encourages favoritism and increases corruption and fraud.
The two words are used similarly as both refer to discrimination towards an individual by neglecting the benefits of others. However, there are differences in their definitions. Nepotism is defined as “favouritism granted to relatives or friends,”” whereas favouritism is defined as “”discrimination in favor of oneself or one’s group.”
In short, nepotism and favoritism are two sides of the same coin – if you were going for a job interview for a position at your friend’s firm and you were accompanied by your best friend who occurs to be your cousin, this could be considered nepotism. If your best friend didn’t accompany you, but another member of your family did instead, then this could be regarded as favoritism.
Some of the laws related to Nepotism are:
1) In India, a law governs Nepotism in government organizations. As per rule 4(1) of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, no government servant shall use their influence directly or indirectly to fix employment for any member of their family in any company or firm.
2) The Government has also issued guidelines on appointments in government service. As per this guideline, members of the immediate family of a Government servant cannot be appointed in the same department.
3) The guidelines also advocate that immediate family members should not be given contracts worth more than Rs 10 lakhs by a public sector undertaking during two years preceding their appointment and for one year after its termination.
4) A bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha in December 2011, which sought to prohibit ministers from appointing relatives under them in their ministries. The bill was passed in February 2012 and became an Act on 23 June 2012. It came into force w.e.f 14 August 2012, thus making it illegal for ministers to appoint their close relatives to posts in their ministry or department.
5) In case of violation of provisions mentioned above, it can take disciplinary action against concerned government servants.
Nepotism is not illegal in India, but it is a form of corruption. Within the Indian culture, nepotism has been practiced for many centuries and has become so deeply rooted that it is hard to make people realize its ill effects.
Nepotism is also known as Cronyism in politics. Cronyism is a practice whereby jobs or other opportunities are awarded not based on merit or qualifications but to the closest friends, relatives, and associates of those in power.
Cronyism is often practiced in politics, which may be informal and unspoken.
Nepotism is prevalent amongst many countries and organizations in the world. Among the top, most common sectors where nepotism prevails are politics, entertainment, and corporate/government organizations (for employment).
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