Countries with the highest scores on the index are viewed as having the least corruption; countries with the lowest scores, the most.
Worse, there has also been a decline in India’s integrity score to 3.3 in 2010, from 3.4 in 2008 and 2009, and 3.5 in 2007. These figures are on a scale of zero to 10 with the former being perceived as highly corrupt and 10 indicating low levels of corruption.
“It is an indication that the country continues to be perceived as more corrupt than in the past. This perception seems to have increased primarily due to alleged corrupt practices as evident during the recently held Commonwealth Games in Delhi,” the CPI report for 2010 states.
“The surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts,” says a release accompanying the 2010 CPI.
“It is unfortunate that India has gone down in the corruption index, even in terms of the integrity score,” said P S Bawa, chairman of Transparency International India. “The solution to this problem is in the hands of the legislature and the government.”
The Commonwealth Games, held in the country early-October, was marred by charges of corruption, with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) forming a ‘special cell’ comprising senior officials to look into complaints of corruption in CWG projects. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also set up a committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu, to inquire into the conduct of the games.
Transparency International -- a global non-governmental organisation that monitors political and corporate corruption across the world -- has been publishing an annual CPI since 1995.
The CPI ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be, and is a composite index drawn from a combination of polls.
Apart from the public sector, the CPI focuses on corruption involving public officials, civil servants and politicians.
The 2010 CPI draws on 13 source surveys from ten independent institutions including the World Bank, Freedom House Foundation and the Global Competitiveness Report, among others. These sources, which provide a ranking of countries and measure some aspects of corruption, range between January 2009 and September 2010.
According to the 2010 CPI, Somalia is considered the world’s most corrupt country with a score of 1.1, followed by Myanmar and Afghanistan; Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are perceived to be the least corrupt with scores of 9.3.
China is in 78th position, indicating it is less corrupt than India. Pakistan is shown as just a notch worse off than India. The US ranks fairly high at 22nd and is perceived to have relatively low levels of corruption. In Asia, Bhutan is perceived to be the least corrupt country.
Rounding out the ten highest scores: Finland and Sweden, 9.2; Canada, 8.9; Netherlands, 8.8; Australia and Switzerland, 8.7; Norway, 8.6. Japan was 17th on the list with a score of 7.8; the United Kingdom 20th (7.6); and the United States 22nd (7.1).
At the bottom of the 178 countries, Somalia scored 1.1, just below Afghanistan and Myanmar (1.4) and Iraq (1.5). Among emerging economic powerhouses, Brazil was 69th on the list with a score of 3.7; China 78th (3.5); and India 87th (3.3).
Overall, Transparency International says of the survey: “These results indicate a serious corruption problem. With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much-needed progress.”