Q. India has nothing to cheer about as it has marginally improved in the Corruption Perception Index. Critically evaluate.
India moved up to the 76th rank on the Corruption Performance Index (CPI) released by global watchdog Transparency International (TI) in their 2015 report, gaining nine places over the previous year. The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be, and it showed that India was ranked 76 out of a total of 168 countries and had a score of 38 on the CPI out of a possible 100. In 2014 and 2013, India’s rank was 85 and 94 respectively.
For a third year running, Denmark was perceived as the cleanest country with a score of 91. Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and Netherlands made up the rest of top five cleanest countries globally. The CPI has a scale of zero to 100 and countries scoring zero are the most corrupt while the ones scoring a 100 are the cleanest. India has scored 38 on this scale, same as 2014, but it moved up in rank as other countries seem to have not performed well, an associate from TI India explained.
India though does not have much to cheer about as neighbouring Bhutan has achieved a much better ranking of 27. Countries facing strife and conflicts were found at the bottom of CPI. Somalia fared the worst along with North Korea, Afghanistan and Sudan. The global watchdog evaluates the CPI based on data provided by 12 sources who are experts in analysing business and governance climates. The Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, World Bank - Country Policy and Institutional Assessment 2014, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) 2015 were some of the sources used for calculating the CPI.
According to TI’s analysis, the Americas territory and Asia-Pacific region has witnessed several large-scale anti-corruption 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. As per the report, nearly 53 per cent of countries have scored less than 50, indicating a serious corruption problem across the globe.
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.
While Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland and Sweden — topped the chart with their clean public sectors as in previous years, strife-torn or repressive states — Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia — form the bottom rung of the CPI ladder.
Interestingly, the report also points out that many “clean” countries such as Denmark Finland, Sweden, Norway and Netherlands have “dodgy records elsewhere”. It cites Sweden as an instance. While the country comes third in the index, the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index. The company is now pulling out of business in Central Asia.
But Sweden isn’t the only “clean” country to be linked to dodgy behaviour overseas, the TI website reports. Their research shows that half of all OECD countries are violating their international obligations to crack down on bribery by their companies abroad.