New York: India has been ranked a lowly 74, two steps down since last year, among 180 countries of the world on the worldwide Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), prepared by independent international agency Transparency International.
However, corruption is much higher in Pakistan which occupies 140th place, a little below Iran, Libya and Nepal which are ranked 133, 134 and 135 respectively.
Meanwhile, China which was ranked a joint 72 with India in 2007, slided a step down to occupy a place above its neighbour this year.
Among other Asian countries, Russia is placed still lower on 145, while Sri Lanka occupies the 96th position and Maldives is ranked 90.
The least corrupt country in the region is the nascent democracy Bhutan, which has been placed at the 41st spot by the non-government organisation tracking prevalence of corruption worldwide.
Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden corner the top five spots retaining positions as the least corrupt nations of the world, while bottom of table is occupied by Myanmar and Somalia.
The United States also retains its position and is ranked 20th, just below Germany, Ireland, Japan and France. Besides, Britain occupies the 13th spot and is just ahead of Hong Kong.