Transparency International’s Corruption Index lists India at 80th place that is 2 places down from the last year (78) while questioning the “unfair and opaque political financing” in the country.

About the Publisher :

The report is published by Transparency International, an international non-governmental organization that is based in Berlin, Germany. It came into existence in 1993.

Parameters of Evaluation:

It rests on 13 surveys and expert assessments to assess public sector corruption ranging across 180 countries and territories. The assigned scores vary from zero (highly corrupt) to 100(very clean)

Top Performers:

  • New Zealand and Denmark, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland.

At the bottom of the ladder 

  • The countries ranked at the bottom of the list are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria followed by Yemen, Venezuela, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, and Afghanistan.

Trends and Observations in the Report

Weighty Challenges:

  • Political financing not being transparent, the practice of lobbying and exercising influenced by corporate interest groups in policy-making has been cited as major reasons for the decline in control of corruption, especially in democracies like India and Australia.
  • It also revealed that in general, corruption is found to be more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral processes and where the voices of resource-rich individuals are paid attention to by the governments.  
  • In addition to that, economic openness is favored more by vibrant economies(Like China, Philippines ) compared to exercising dissent, public scrutiny, restrict participation in public affairs. As a result, they continue to struggle on the corruption front.
  • The report has observed that a majority of countries are showing low or no improvement in tackling corruption.

Asia Pacific Region:

  • The average score of the Asia Pacific region which has proved its prowess in the global economy hasn’t witnessed substantial progress in political integrity and governance. illustrates general stagnation across the region. Afghanistan, North Korea, and Cambodia are the key low performers.
  • However there lies a silver lining with the presence of high performers like New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Road Ahead:

  • Transparency International recommended that governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political system financing.
  • In this regard, Electoral Bond Scheme which was launched by the government to curb black money use in Political funding is currently under judicial scrutiny. 

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