India's rank improved one place to 85 among 180 countries in a corruption perception index (CPI) of 2021, according to a new report by Transparency International which, however, raised concern over the country's democratic status. The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

According to the Report

  1. Among those with weak scores are some of the world's most populous countries such as China (45) and India (40), and other large economies such as Indonesia (38), Pakistan (28) and Bangladesh (26).
  2. India's score has remained stagnant over the past decade; some of the mechanisms that could help reign in corruption are weakening.
  3. The report further alleged that civil society organisations that speak up against the government have been targeted with security, defamation, sedition, hate speech and contempt-of-court charges, and with regulations on foreign funding.
  4. A concerning trend across some of these nations (with weak scores) is a weakening of anti-corruption institutions or, in some cases, absence of an agency to coordinate action against corruption.
  5. Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Norway topped the list with the highest score.
  6. This year's scores reveal that all regions of the globe are at a standstill when it comes to fighting public sector corruption.
  7. In parts of Asia Pacific, the Americas, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, increasing restrictions on accountability measures and basic civil freedoms allow corruption to go unchecked. Even historically high-performing countries are showing signs of decline.
  8. The Corruption Perception Index relies on sources like Freedom House and the World Bank, and surveys based on questionnaires answered by experts and businesspeople.