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Every student in India should know, What is Corruption and how it occurs? Must read this article till the end.
What is Corruption?
The answers to this question can help us understand what corruption looks like, why it happens, how it affects society, and how to stop it from happening.
Corrupt behavior is not always intentional. It sometimes occurs accidentally or unintentionally. Still, regardless of its cause, it is an abuse of power, position, or agency and should be addressed and stopped.
According to the Oxford dictionary, corruption is “the practice of receiving unfair advantages or any form of unfair advantage in return for the performance of a public duty or service.” Thus, to call something corrupt means to take it away from the public without just cause.
Causes of Corruption
The most common manifestations of corruption pertain to government institutions such as: politics, business, the media, nonprofit groups, labor, education, and the law.
Government and politics are closely related; politicians often get kickbacks from contractors, corrupt actors make donations to political parties in exchange for favors, and public officials benefit from subsidies. Business is a different story.
Although some businessmen do receive kickbacks, they rarely act corruptly. Instead, they tend to see more long-term benefits in their ventures, help the economy grow, and participate in economic markets that benefit all individuals.
The media, which is directly controlled by officials, is another good example of how corruption works. Because most reporters are expected to be apologists for the powerful, they tend to look the other way when powerful people are found to be guilty of graft or of abusing their position for personal gain.
They may not personally receive bribes, but they may still give an objective opinion about an issue or represent a viewpoint that is in line with the interests of those who pay them.
In fact, some reports have shown that the vast majority of crimes committed against officials and other individuals in positions of responsibility were perpetrated because these officials did not report the crimes.
Another manifestation of corruption within the private sector relates to the bribery and kickback industries.
These are relationships in which one person gives a bribe or payment in return for a contract or other action, and the person who receives this payment later also offers a kickback or payment to the original person involved in the transaction.
For example, trucking companies are known to pay employees in cash rather than using company credit cards, which have been found to be much safer for employees.
Also, some restaurants use plastic credit cards rather than cash to pay their workers as this method is very convenient.
Some analysts believe that some cases of legitimate public concern may simply be the byproduct of public policies, like corporate welfare and cronyism. The existence and growth of social programs designed to assist the less fortunate, for example, has been cited by critics as a valid cause for public anger over graft and corruption.
Likewise, the argument goes that free trade promotes corruption because it encourages businesses to take advantage of cheaper labor.
Many free marketers argue that the increased wealth of individuals inevitably leads to corruption, and therefore, increases the scope and depth of the problem.
In addition to these theories of corruption, there is also the simple matter of greed, which has long been cited as a root factor behind many corrupt activities in the world.
Greed, it is argued, can lead to graft as individuals with more money try to secure certain positions or gain favor by giving gifts or money.
Additionally, the world bank and other institutions have long been targeted as sources of corruption, because of their need for favors in the form of loans, investments, and so forth.
For example, during the time of the Iraq war, antiwar protesters repeatedly called on the US government and the World Bank to cut off aid to Iraq in order to increase oil prices and thereby benefit their own industries.
In short, corruption can undermine efforts to address sustainable development. But, without corruption, the benefits of good governance and effective enforcement of human rights would run more efficiently, as everyone would enjoy greater access to public services at lower costs.
Moreover, the rule of law that encompasses a healthy economy and the rule of lawfulness that safeguards citizens from abuse by those who seek to benefit from the exchange of public services at the expense of the public good would continue to flourish.
It is unlikely that corruption can be eliminated completely, but advanced education, more stable governments, and the promotion of good practices by businesses can make a significant difference in fighting corruption, promoting good government, and preserving and enhancing sustainable development.