The Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill.
The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Key Findings of Corruption Perception Index 2021
- The top-performing countries were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand — all having a corruption perceptions score of 88 — followed by Norway, Singapore and Sweden, all of them scoring 85.
- In contrast, the worst-performing countries were South Sudan with a corruption perceptions score of 11, followed by Syria (13), Somalia (13, Venezuela (14) and Afghanistan (16).
India’s Rank in Corruption Perception Index 2021
- In 2021, India ranked 85th with the same CPI score of 40.
- India’s rank improved by one place to 85 in 2021 from 86th in 2020, according to the index.
- Except Bhutan, all of India’s neighbours are ranked below it. Pakistan dropped 16 spots in the index and was ranked at 140.
- There are concerns over the country’s democratic status, as fundamental freedoms and institutional checks and balances decay.
- Journalists and activists are particularly at risk and have been victims of attacks by the police, political militants, criminal gangs and corrupt local officials.
- The report further alleged that civil society organisations that speak up against the government have been targeted with security, defamation, sedition, hate speech and contempt-of-court charges, and with regulations on foreign funding.
Back to Basics
About Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
- The CPI is an index which ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.”
- The CPI generally defines corruption as an “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.
- The index is published annually by the non-governmental organisation Transparency International since 1995.
- The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
- It uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank CPI, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
What kind of corruption does the CPI measure?
The data sources used to compile the CPI specifically cover the following manifestations of public sector corruption:
- Diversion of public funds
- Officials using their public office for private gain without facing consequences
- Ability of governments to contain corruption in the public sector
- Excessive red tape in the public sector which may increase opportunities for corruption
- Nepotistic appointments in the civil service
- Laws ensuring that public officials must disclose their finances and potential conflicts of interest
- Legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption
- State capture by narrow vested interests
- Access to information on public affairs/government activities
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) does not cover:
- Citizens’ direct perceptions or experience of corruption
- Tax fraud
- Illicit financial flows
- Enablers of corruption (lawyers, accountants, financial advisors etc)
- Private sector corruption
- Informal economies and markets
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