Corruption is commonly defined as misuse of public office for private gain. While private gain is typically interpreted in terms of monetary benefit, it can assume the form of non-monetary benefits such as improved chances of re-election and helping friends or members of one’s own social, professional, caste or religious networks, political party, vote bank, fraternity or cadre, to obtain public resources disproportionately or out of turn or to shield them from punishment for their wrongdoings.

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission’s 4th Report on “Ethics in Governance” says that “Corruption is an important manifestation of the failure of ethics and values system in a society.

Unless values are restored, nothing much can be done to improve the conduct of human beings. Creation and strengthening of institutions for monitoring adherence to these value systems and enforcing them by properly designing a set of incentives and disincentives are of utmost importance in promoting ethical conduct by public servants.

The solution to the problem of corruption has to be more systemic than any other issue of governance. Merely shrinking the role of the state by resorting to poorly thought through and/or badly implemented deregulation and mindless privatization is not necessarily the solution to the problem – it is simply abdica.....

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