India up a rung in global ranking

India up a rung in global ranking

New Delhi: India’s score on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) remained unchanged in the latest rankings released on Tuesday. The country, however, inched up one place to 84 in the anti-corruption watchdog’s annual list.

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The release of the list coincides with investigations into the country’s latest corruption scandal. Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for allegedly diverting state funds and making huge investments abroad.

Also See Corruption Perception Index 2009 (Graphics)

India’s CPI score, based on global perception of corruption in India’s political class and public sector, was unchanged at 3.4 out of 10. Transparency International studied 180 countries and territories around the world, with the scores and rankings based on 13 different expert and business surveys.

“The vast majority of the 180 countries included in the 2009 index score below five on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption)," the report states.

Retaining their top spots, the highest scorers in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. The report attributed their formidable performance to the “political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions" in these nations.

War-ravaged Somalia remains the world’s most corrupt country, followed by Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan and Iraq.

Barring Bhutan, which has a score of 5.0, India is still at the top of South Asian countries. China is just a few notches above India with a score of 3.6 and a ranking of 79. Nearly half of the 180 countries scored 3 or lower.

“The tremendous economic growth being witnessed by the country is not being shared by the poor and is not reaching them," said R.H. Tahiliani, chairman of Transparency International India. “The single-biggest reason for this is corruption."

Till 2005, India performed poorly with a CPI score of less than 3 but has since picked up.

Some experts, however, say such surveys are not necessarily indicative of ground realities in the country.

“It is not sensitive enough to capture and reflect all the initiatives that have been taken to reduce corruption in the country in the last one year," said N Bhaskara Rao, political analyst and chairman, Centre for Media Studies.


1. The 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) gathers data from sources that cover the past two years. For the 2009 CPI, this includes surveys from 2008 and 2009.

2. The 2009 CPI is calculated using data from 13 sources from 10 independent institutions. All sources measure the overall extent of corruption (frequency and/or size of bribes) in the public and political sectors, and all sources provide a ranking of countries, that is, include an assessment of multiple countries.

3. For CPI sources that are surveys, and where multiple years of the same survey are available, data for the past two years is included to provide a smoothing effect.

4. For sources that are scores provided by experts (risk agencies/country analysts), only the most recent iteration of the assessment is included, as these scores are generally peer reviewed and change very little from year to year.

5. Evaluation of the extent of corruption in countries/territories is done by two groups: country experts, both residents and non-residents, and business leaders. In the 2009 CPI, the following seven sources provided data based on expert analysis: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bertelsmann Foundation, Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Global Insight and the World Bank. Three sources for the 2009 CPI reflect the evaluations by resident business leaders of their own country, IMD, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, and the World Economic Forum.

6. To determine the mean value for a country, standardization is carried out via a matching percentiles technique. This uses the ranks of countries reported by each individual source. This method is useful for combining sources that have a different distribution. While there is some information loss in this technique, it allows all reported scores to remain within the bounds of the CPI, that is, to remain between 0 and 10.

7. A beta-transformation is then performed on scores. This increases the standard deviation among all countries included in the CPI and avoids the process by which the matching percentiles technique results in a smaller standard deviation from year to year.

8. All of the standardized values for a country are then averaged, to determine a country’s score.

9. The CPI score and rank are accompanied by the number of sources, high-low range, standard deviation and confidence range for each country.

10. The confidence range is determined by a bootstrap (non-parametric) methodology, which allows inferences to be drawn on the underlying precision of the results. A 90% confidence range is then established, where there is a 5% probability that the value is below and a 5% probability that the value is above this confidence range.