Transparency International- Corruption Perception Index, 2017
Corruption is seen as a never-ending threat which is a major hindrance to the development of any country. Political corruption can be termed as the manipulation of government schemes and politics by public officials for their own profits. Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) is an anti-corruption organisation which actively works for the judging and curbing corrupt practices worldwide. TI publishes the Corruption Perception Index every year. This index analyses the levels of public sector corruption of 180 countries and ranks them using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 denotes highly corrupted nation and 100 means very clean.
The first Corruption Perception Index was published in 1996. TI’s methodology is based on a combination of various independent international surveys aimed at capturing perceptions of those in a position to offer expert assessments of public sector corruption in a given country.
ANALYSIS OF 2017 REPORT
According to the 2017 Corruption Perception Index, New Zealand and Denmark stand at the top two places with a score of 89 and 88 out of 100. Though no country was able to get 100, some have managed to near it. While countries have been striving hard to regulate corrupt practices, the report states that 2/3rd of countries have a score of below 50, i.e. only 54 countries out of 180 managed to get a score equal to or more than 50. Syria, Sudan, and Somalia have been marked the lowest with scores 14, 12 and 09, respectively.
Some countries have tried to improvise their score, for example, Belarus, Greece, South Sudan, Guyana, Latvia, Senegal, North Korea, United Kingdom, Seychelles, Czech Republic, Italy, and Laos. These countries have made an attempt to regulate corruption over the past few years. Whereas certain nations like Bahrain, Syria, Hungary, Liberia, Cyprus, Turkey, Australia, Barbados and Spain have become worse with a reduction in scores and ranking.
However, it must be also noted that while analysing the report one must take into account the scores and not solely look at the ranks. There are many more countries not considered in this list of 180, and so if some nations get added, the ranks might change. It is, thus, the score that depicts the actual picture of a country’s stand. For instance, take the example of India, our country’s rank in 2016 was 78 out of 176 and in 2017, it is 81 out of 180. But, the score in both the years is same, i.e. 40. This shows that there has been no progress made in eradicating corruption by India.
India stands at 81st position with a score of 40, a score which is below the overall average (43). Berlin Based NGO Transparency International points out India as one of the “worst offenders’ in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, the report states that India, Philippines, and the Maldives are the most corrupted countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The recent cases of the PNB fraud, Vijay Mallya case, etc. have made things even worse making India a more corrupt country. The Indian public sector is continuously facing constraints from big MNCs as they are likely to encounter red tape, petty corruption, and bribery and facilitation payments. These companies find government’s bureaucracy to be inefficient and they often interfere with public utility system.
Among the neighbours of India, Bhutan and China are ahead with ranks 26th and 77th respectively. Others neighbours like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal are behind India.
Corruption takes various forms and can impact the whole nation to a great extent. This problem can block the path for effective growth of investments, businesses, etc. and would also restrict the optimal utilisation of public goods. This, tackling corruption has become a priority for almost all countries to achieve their goals smoothly.
As mentioned earlier, according to the TI index, only 30% of countries have scored more than 50, which means that around 70% of the world is still under the burden of corruption. Immediate and more anti-corruption policies are required to curb the practice with the complete dedication of the respective governments.
The ineffectiveness of the public officials paves way for corrupt minds to enter. Thus, a more systematic and decentralized effort is required to reduce corruption, however, countries seem to be very slow in ending corruption. Now, almost a year is left for the next report to come in, and if countries take this opportunity seriously, there is a certainty for improvements.
Name: Umamageswari Maruthappan
College: Jai Hind College
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