Transparency International defines Corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.


Corruption can take many forms, and can include behaviours like:

  • public servants demanding or taking money or favours in exchange for services,
  • politicians misusing public money or granting public jobs or contracts to their sponsors, friends and families,
  • corporations bribing officials to get lucrative deals.


Corruption can happen anywhere: in business, government, the courts, the media, and in civil society, as well as across all sectors from health and education to infrastructure and sports.

Corruption can involve anyonepoliticians, government officials, public servants, business people or members of the public.

Corruption happens in the shadows, often with the help of professional enablers such as bankers, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, opaque financial systems and anonymous shell companies that allow corruption schemes to flourish and the corrupt to launder and hide their illicit wealth.

Corruption adapts to different contexts and changing circumstances. It can evolve in response to changes in rules, legislation and even technology.

Types of corruption
1. Grass eating – No bribe is demanded but it is not refused if it is offered.
2. Meat eating – Actively pursue / open bribe is demanded.
3. Black corruption—All agree as to what constitutes corruption and that it must not be tolerated.
    Eg. Corruption in the armed forces.

4. Crony capitalism Examples- Coal gate, 2G (Chrony Socialism) PDS etc.
5. White corruption – All agree what constitutes corruption but all tend to tolerate it. Example- People considering Corruption as "Speed money".
6. Grey Corruption – Differences in perception as to what constitutes corruption as b/w different sections of country. Eg. Networking, Lobbying etc.
7. Coercive/extortive Corruption – Bribe being paid for legitimate dues
8. Collusive/transitive Corruption – Both the bribe giver and receiver make illegitimate gains.
9. Petty Corruption – Low level Corruption - Driving licence, MGNREGA job card making
10. Grand Corruption/Policy Corruption – High level political corruption. This does not affect common people but erodes the roots of the country
State capture (businessmen) – state seller (govt.)

Administrative factors behind Corruption
1. Procedural complexities and the need of middleman to get things done.
2. Slow moving administrative machinery.
3. Weakness of the internal grievance redressal machinery.
4. Bureaucratic resistance to administrative reforms
5. General culture of secrecy in the bureaucracy.
6. Peer pressures

Political factors behind Corruption
1. Criminalization of politics
2. Absence of political will to fight corruption.
3. Politicization of civil service management (transfers etc)
4. Political system does not encourage neutrality
5. Excessive use of money power in elections
6. Lack of voter maturity (keep voting back the same corrupt govt.)
TINA Factor- There is no Alternative.

Legal framework to tackle corruption
1. Sec.169 IPC—public servant unlawfully acquiring property
2. Sec.409 IPC—criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
3. DSPE act, 1946 (Delhi special police Establishment Act)
4. Sec. 123 RPA, 1951—corrupt practices during elections
5. Prevention of Corruption Act,1988
6. Benami properties Act, 1988
7. Benami properties prohibition Act, 2016
8. PMLA, 2002 (prevention of Money Laundering Act)
9. CVC Act, 2003
10. RTI Act, 2005
11. Lokayukta Acts of states
12. Lokpal Act, 2013
13. Whistle blower Act, 2014
14. Time bound delivery of services laws in several states

Institutional framework to tackle corruption
1. CBI
2. CVC
3. ED responsible for implementing FEMA & PMLA
4. CAG
5. Anti Corruption Bureaus in various states
6. The judiciary
7. Vigilance Departments (some states)
8. State level lokayaktas
9. DRI – Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
10. Banking sector ombudsman
11. Consumer forums

Measuring Corruption
 Popular perception about the level of corruption is largely based on anecdotal evidence nothing
 Official statistics can be misleading
 Perceptual and attitudinal surveys.
# Corruption Perception Index prepared by Transparency International (since 1995)
 Index score given from 0-100
 More the score lesser the corruption