- After rising up in the Ease of Doing Business Index, India has upgraded its ranks in ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017’ as well. At present, the rising trend in India’s prosperity is significant in view of the fact that India registered lower economic growth following demonetisation and implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) reform in 2017.
- The index, which offers an insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world, ranks India 100th on the list of prosperous countries among 149 countries.
- The rankings are based on a country’s performance on nine pillars, namely — economic quality, business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, education, health and natural environment.
- In the Prosperity Pillar rankings, India performs best on Governance and Economic Quality and scores lowest on the Natural Environment pillar. The biggest positive change, compared to last year, came in Business Environment increasing by 21 places.
- Of these nine pillars, India’s performance over the past year has improved the most on economic quality, business environment and governance. Much of this improvement is due to higher scores on international surveys conducted by Gallop and the World Economic Forum.
- According to the report, “India has significantly improved in the economic quality and education pillars. For example, more people are now satisfied with their standard of living and household incomes.”
- The country’s performance on this indicator is measured through the survey conducted by the Gallop World Poll, which asked households the following questions — “Which one of these phrases comes closest to your own feelings about your household income these days?” and “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your standard of living, all the things you can buy and do?”.
- On the business environment, the report says that India’s gains were driven by improving intellectual property rights. Performance on this indicator was measured through the World Economic Forum’s expert opinion survey that asked — “In your country, how strong is the protection of intellectual property, including anti-counterfeiting measures? (1 = extremely weak; 7 = extremely strong)”.
- But on economic quality, the report also says that the improvement is due to the proportion of the population with bank accounts, which increased from 35 per cent in 2011 to 53 per cent in 2014.
- This data is drawn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which measures the percentage of the population aged 15 or above with a bank account.
- The report also points out that “Indonesia and India saw the largest falls in reported availability of adequate food since last year. In India, the number of people saying there had been times when they did not have enough to eat rose from 26 per cent to 35 per cent.” Presumably, this is based on the survey conducted by the Gallop World Poll that asked respondents — “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”.