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Corruption Perceptions Index in 2015

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According to the latest report by the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), India has moved up nine spots on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2015 to 76, from 85 in 2014 and 94 in 2013. Denmark led the rankings, the other top spots, from second to ninth, were occupied by Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore and Canada. Denmark took the top spot scoring 91 points, while North Korea and Somalia were the worst performers, scoring just eight points each. Brazil, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Tunisia and Zambia are the other countries that shares the same ranking as India. Brazil was the biggest decliner, dropping 7 positions to rank 76 in 2015. China fared poorly, at 83. Pakistan is the only country among the SAARC countries, to have improved its score this year, though its rank remains poor at 117. The US rose one spot this year to 16th place with a score of 76, tying with Austria. The UK rose three spots to place 10th, with a score of 81 that tied it with Germany and Luxembourg. The watchdog uses data from institutions including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and business school IMD to compile the perceptions of the scale of public sector corruption. According to TI's analysis, the Americas territory and Asia-Pacific region has witnessed several large scale anticorruption movements and cases of public corruption and countries from both territories are faring poorly on the CPI. In fact all the emerging economies from the BRICS grouping -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- have scored less than 50 on the CPI with Brazil's score sliding down. Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50 points on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). A poor score denoted widespread bribery, "lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don't respond to citizens' needs". Top ranked countries were characterized by high levels of press freedom, access to budget information, high levels of integrity among people in power, and independent judiciaries. Major scandals such as the one in Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras involving massive kick backs have resulted in the country's rankings plunging sharply this year. Graft allegations surrounding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has also been cited as an instance of why that country scored poorly at 50 over its last year's score of 52. Transparency noted that in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana, citizen activists have "worked hard to drive out the corrupt.

Not much improvement:

  1. But, the jump in rankings should not be construed as an improvement, as the country’s score on the index has stayed at 38 in both years.
  2. The improvement in rankings is partly because fewer countries were ranked in the latest report. In 2015, 168 countries were ranked on the index, down from 175 countries in 2014.
  3. India though does not have much to cheer about as neighbouring Bhutan has achieved a much better ranking of 27.