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Corruption Perception Index 2018

Topics Covered:

  1. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  2. Role of civil services in a democracy.


Corruption Perception Index 2018


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Performance of various countries in the corruption perception index.
  • For Mains: Need for transparency, efforts by government.


Context: Corruption Perception Index 2018 has been released.

  • The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.
  • It uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.


What is Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)?

It is a composite index that draws from 12 surveys to rank nations around the globe. It has become a benchmark gauge of perceptions of corruption and is used by analysts and investors.

The index is also based on expert opinions of public sector corruption and takes note of range of factors like whether governmental leaders are held to account or go unpunished for corruption, the perceived prevalence of bribery, and whether public institutions respond to citizens’ needs.


The Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index make the following observations:

  • Denmark is the world least corrupt country scoring 88 out of 100 points. Denmark is followed by New Zealand and Finland.
  • Somalia has been ranked last with a score of 10 behind South Sudan and Syria.
  • More than two-thirds of evaluated countries scored below 50 points, while the average score remained at last year’s level of only 43 points.
  • For the first time the United States dropped out of the top 20 and it was ranked at 22nd rank.
  • Along with Brazil, US was placed in the watch list by Transparency International.


Corruption and the crisis of democracy:

Cross analysis with global democracy data reveals a link between corruption and the health of democracies.

  • Full democracies score an average of 75 on the CPI; flawed democracies score an average of 49; hybrid regimes – which show elements of autocratic tendencies – score 35; autocratic regimes perform worst, with an average score of just 30 on the CPI.
  • More generally, countries with high levels of corruption can be dangerous places for political opponents. Practically all of the countries where political killings are ordered or condoned by the government are rated as highly corrupt on the CPI.


Performance of India:

  • India’s ranking increased from 81st in 2017 to 78 in 2018. India had slid from 79th rank in 2016.
  • Since India gears up for general elections, there was a little significant movement in its CPI score, which moved from 40 in 2017 to 41 in 2018.
  • In spite of spectacular public mobilisation in 2011, where citizens demanded the government to take action against corruption and advocated for the passage of the comprehensive Jan Lokpal bill, the efforts ultimately fizzled and fell flat, with little to no movement on the ground to build the specialist anti-corruption infrastructure required.


To make real progress against corruption and strengthen democracy around the world, Transparency International calls on all governments to:

  1. Strengthen the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power, and ensure their ability to operate without intimidation.
  2. Close the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement.
  3. Support civil society organisations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the local level.
  4. Support a free and independent media, and ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.


Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: Corruption is a multi-faceted problem and requires a comprehensive strategy to deal with. Discuss the ways in which corruption can be reduced.