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Corruption Perception Index 2019

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

Corruption Perception Index 2019

What to study?

For Prelims: Performance of various countries in the corruption perception index.

For Mains: Need for transparency, efforts by government.


ContextCorruption Perception Index 2019 has been released.

It is prepared by Transparency International.

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.

How are the countries ranked?

It ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. 

It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43.

Performance of India and neighbours:

  1. With a score of 41, India is at the 80th spot.
  2. The rank is also shared by China, Benin, Ghana and Morocco.


  1. Neighbouring Pakistan is ranked at the 120th place.

Performance of various other countries:

  1. Denmark and New Zealand have cornered the top spot, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland in the top ten.

Key observations:

  • This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.
  • Not only are more than two-thirds of countries — along with many of the world’s most advanced economies — stagnating, some are seriously backsliding.
  • In the last eight years, only 22 countries have shown significant improvement on the CPI, while almost as many have declined.

Indian scenario:

Even in democracies, such as Australia and India, unfair and opaque political financing and undue influence in decision-making and lobbying by powerful corporate interest groups, result in stagnation or decline in control of corruption.

What next?
Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems.


To end corruption and restore trust in politics, it is imperative to prevent opportunities for political corruption and to foster the integrity of political systems. Transparency International recommends:

  1. Manage conflicts of interest.
  2. Control political financing.
  3. Strengthen electoral integrity.
  4. Regulate lobbying activities.
  5. Empower citizens.
  6. Tackle preferential treatment.
  7. Reinforce checks and balances.

Sources: the Hindu.