I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was:

The United Progressives Alliance-2 government set up the Nirbhaya Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1000 crore.

Reading definitions of the word "corpus" in most of the dictionaries, I don't think it has been used in its right sense. Am I right?

2 Answers 2


"Corpus" has a specialised meaning in financial, tax and legal contexts, mainly in the US, but clearly in India too. The corpus of a trust or estate is that amount of money which is invested to provide income for the trust or estate.

Corpus (1)

Corpus (2)

Trust property


In Indian English, a corpus can be an amount of money. This is not found in most dictionaries, but it appears in at least one Indian English dictionary.

In other dialects of English, corpus is only for collections of text (or occasionally artifacts): a corpus of 10 billion words.

If the fund is intended to keep its initial money intact and only spend the interest, there's a special term: endowment. So this fund has "an initial endowment of Rs 1000 crore".

If the fund will spend that money, then there's no special word, and it could be "with initial funding" or "with an initial value".

But this is an Indian newspaper writing about an Indian fund, so it's perfectly normal to use Indian English.

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