India’s rank on the Corruption
Perception Index fell two notches to 81 in 2017 from 79 in 2016, Transparency International (TI) said on Wednesday.
The Berlin-based non-government body ranked 180 countries in 2017, against 176 in 2016. The index ranks countries and territories by perceived levels of public sector corruption, on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
India’s score remained intact at 40 points. It had 38 points in 2015.
This year, the index scored more than two-thirds of countries below 50, with an average score of 43. This meant India's score remained below average.
No country came perfectly clean. New Zealand
was the least corrupt and Somalia was the most.
TI said it found crackdowns on non-government organisations (NGOs) and media were associated with higher levels of corruption
in the world. The 2017 index revealed — despite attempts to combat corruption, most countries were moving too slowly with their effort.
In the past six years, many countries have made little to no progress, TI said. Further analysis indicated countries with the lowest protection for press and NGOs usually had the worst corruption.
TI said a journalist is killed every week in a highly corrupt country. It found almost all journalists killed since 2012 died in such countries. “No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director, TI. “Given the current crackdowns on both civil society and media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.”
TI showed that in the past six years, more than 9 of 10 journalists were killed in countries that scored 45 or less on the Corruption
Perceptions Index. One in five journalists killed were covering a story about corruption.
Justice was never served in most of these cases, the organisation added.