London: India has improved its ranking by three positions on a global corruption index in 2018, while its neighbour China lagged far behind, according to the annual index released by an anti-graft watchdog on Tuesday.
India rose by three points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world, while China ranked 87 and Pakistan 117 in 2018, the Transparency International said in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2018.
“As India gears up for its upcoming elections, we see little significant movement in its CPI score, which moved from 40 in 2017 to 41 in 2018,” the global watchdog said.
“Despite spectacular public mobilisation in 2011, where citizens demanded that the government take action against corruption and advocated for the passage of the comprehensive Jan Lokpal Act, these efforts ultimately fizzled and fell flat, with little to no movement on the ground to build the specialist anti-corruption infrastructure required,” it said.
The top countries on the list are Denmark and New Zealand, with scores of 88 and 87 respectively. Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are at the bottom of the list, with scores of 10, 13 and 13 respectively.
Overall, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50 in the 2018 CPI, with an average score of only 43.
With a score of 71, the US has dropped four points since last year. This marks the first time since 2011 that the US falls outside of the top 20 countries on the CPI, it said.
“A four point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power,” said Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the US at Transparency International.
“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally. This is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.”
(With PTI inputs)