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Which is bigger evil - Corporate corruption or Civil Corruption

Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

Corruption is defined as the misuse of entrusted authority / public power for the fulfillment of selfish motives (or) gain personal gratifications. The Corruption is the most dangerous threat to development and internal security of the country. This trend of constituting the breach of law or social norms exists in every country. The Corruption severely undermines the social and economic development of the nation.

India ranked 76 among 175 countries in Global Corruption Index report published by the renowned global civil society organization - 'The Transparency International'. Corruption in India prevailed since times immemorial in various forms. In today's scenario, it shows an increasing drift due to nexus between bureaucracy, politics and criminals shaping the public confidence into total erosion. The crisis of proper governance, recruitment of fake employees, poor quality of programme's infrastructure, etc., often lead to unintended destructive effect on common public and national economy.

Corruption occurs in various forms to deteriorate the national development. Major contribution to the corruption is through bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion. Bribery is the most widespread form of corruption which is defined as an act of voluntary giving or offering or receiving or soliciting some value for the accomplishment of certain events in violation of rules of law or social norms. A bribe may be of monetary or of personal favors or anything the recipient considers as valuable. The Extortion is the criminal offence wherein the property/money is obtained from the individual or any institution through coercion. In other context, Extortion is the demanding and obtaining something through force or threats.

Based on entities/sectors practicing corruption, it may be categorized into two groups as follows:

  1. Corporate Corruption: The corporate corruption is an offence of corruption by business entities. The growth of international trade and business in recent days has created many situations of attracting companies to the bribery. This seems highly beneficial to the corporate that pay them by bringing access to profitable contracts. The main causes for corporate corruption may be inordinate delays in execution of tasks, lack of moral values in education system, inefficient behavior towards the rules and obligations, personal greed, lack of strict punishments for breach of laws, lack of unity and mutual cooperation, dominant role played by political officials etc.
    In India, the Corporate Corruption is practiced at high rates in the departments of Land and Property, Hospitals and health care, Science and technology, Income tax department, etc. Few examples of such tremendous scams are:
    • Indian Coal Allocation Scam of worth Rs. 1.86 Lakh Crore
    • 2G Spectrum scam of value around Rs. 1.76 Lakh Crore
    • Satyam scam, the biggest fraud in corporate history to the tune of 14,000 Crore.
    • Kingfisher scam by Vijay Maa owing to around Rs. 9000 Crore to the financial Institutions, etc
  2. CIVIL CORRUPTION: Civil corruption is the bribery encouraged by common public or such non-governmental organizations established specifically for the purpose of serving society on no-profit strategy. Compared to the Corporate Corruption, the value corrupted in civil society may be less, but the extent it spreads by small and medium enterprises involving most part of its huge population accounts to drastic impact on national development. Due to low wage structure or lack of proper encouragement to the right talent or non-adherence to rules and obligations, grounds may open for the bribery which turned out to be usual practice of most of the people.

With reference to the above facts, the following two inferences may be drawn:

  • In terms of the value being corrupted, the Corporate Corruption is the biggest evil and
  • In terms of size of spreading corruption, the Civil Corruption plays evil role in deteriorating the development of the nation.


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