India dropped six ranks in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020, docking at 86 out of 180 countries, even as its overall score plummeted only by one point to 40 from 41 in 2019, on a scale of 0-100, where zero indicates highest corruption level while 100 is cleanest.
China, meanwhile, is in the 78th position. The ranking of 180 countries has New Zealand and Denmark sharing the top slot, with a score of 88 out of 100 each. Among India’s neighbours. Bhutan has a good ranking—at the 24th position. Bangladesh is at 146, Nepal 117, Pakistan 124 and Sri Lanka at 94. Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are at the bottom end of the list.
The US is in the 25th spot, Russia in the 129th.
The CPI 2020 report noted the menace of corruption is highly pervasive in countries that least equipped to tackle COVID-19 crisis. “COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage. The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge,” The Times of India quoted Delia Ferreira Rubio, Transparency International chief, as saying.
The latest edition of CPI highlighted the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19, comparing countries’ performance in the index to their investment in health care and the extent to which democratic norms and institutions have been weakened during the pandemic.