Corruption checked?

Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index has the same old story to tell about India


If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to maintain his momentum, in fighting corruption as much as on the policy front, he must show forward movement. Photo: AFP
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to maintain his momentum, in fighting corruption as much as on the policy front, he must show forward movement. Photo: AFP

The just-released 2015 iteration of Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index has the same old story to tell about India. Although India’s ranking has improved from 85 in 2014 to 76, this is due to movement among other countries. India’s score remains unchanged at 38 points out of 100 (the higher, the better), reflecting just how deeply corruption still afflicts the public sector.

Since 2014, cleaning up corruption has been one of the leitmotifs of Indian politics—whether it’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising cleaner governance or the Aam Aadmi Party fighting the Delhi elections with anti-corruption as an integral part of its poll plank.

Admittedly, given the entrenchment of the Indian state and its bureaucracy, cleaning it up is not a year’s work. But if Modi is to maintain his momentum, here as much as on the policy front, he must show forward movement.