Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023

Recently, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023 has been released by Transparency International showing that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling public sector corruption. The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the globe by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

About the Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1993 based in Berlin, Germany. Its non-profit purpose is to take action to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and to prevent criminal activities arising from corruption. Its most notable publications include the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perception Index.

Key Global Highlights

Over two-thirds of countries score below 50 out of 100, which strongly indicates that they have serious corruption problems. The global average score is stuck at only 43, while the vast majority of countries have made no progress or declined in the last decade.

Top and Bottom Performing Countries

  • Denmark with a score of 90 tops the index for the sixth consecutive year, with Finland and New Zealand following closely with scores of 87 and 85, respectively. Due to well-functioning justice systems, these countries are also among the top scorers in the Rule of Law Index.
  • Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, South Sudan and Yemen, with their scores 11, 13, 13, 13 respectively, take the bottom spots in the index. They are all affected by protracted crises, mostly armed conflicts.

India’s Ranking and Score

India was ranked 93 out of 180 countries on the CPI 2023. The overall score for India in 2023 was 39, a slight decrease from 40 in 2022. In 2022, India was ranked 85.

Link Between Access to Justice and Corruption

According to the Rule of Law Index, the world is experiencing a decline in the functioning of justice systems. The Rule of Law Index is published by the World Justice Project (WJP), an independent organization that works to advance the rule of law globally. The index provides data on several dimensions of the rule of law, which are further broken down into 44 indicators. Countries with the lowest scores in the Rule of Law index are also scoring very low on the CPI, highlighting a clear connection between access to justice and corruption.

Factors Contributing to Corruption

Both authoritarian and democratic leaders are undermining justice. This is increasing impunity for corruption, and even encouraging it by eliminating consequences for criminals. Corrupt acts like bribery and abuse of power are also infiltrating many courts and other judicial institutions across the globe. Where corruption is the norm, vulnerable people have restricted access to justice while the rich and powerful capture whole justice systems, at the expense of the common good.

Key Recommendations

Corruption will continue to thrive until justice systems can punish wrongdoing and keep governments in check. When corruption persists and justice is influenced by money or politics, it harms the general public. It is high time to break the barriers and ensure people can access justice effectively. Everyone deserves fair and inclusive legal systems where victims’ voices are heard at every stage.

Corruption in India’s Neighboring Countries

  • Pakistan and Sri Lanka: Pakistan ranked 133 and Sri Lanka ranked 115 out of 180 countries. Both countries grappled with their respective debt burdens and political instability. However, both countries have strong judicial oversight, which helps to keep the government in check.
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh (ranked 149) emerges from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status, with economic growth supporting a continued reduction in poverty and improving living conditions. The flow of information on the public sector is hindered amidst an ongoing crackdown against the press.
  • China: China (ranked 76) has its aggressive anti-corruption crackdown by punishing more than 3.7 million public officials for corruption over the last decade. In China public officials often use corruption as a way to drive up their income. However, the country’s heavy reliance on punishment rather than institutional checks on power raises doubts over the long-term effectiveness of such anti-corruption measures.

Corruption: Key Points

Corruption involves collusive behavior when individuals or entities conspire together to achieve dishonest or fraudulent objectives. It also involves coercive behavior when individuals are compelled or forced to engage in dishonest activities by those abusing their power.  Corruption has wide-ranging implications on people and public life, society, and the economy. It leads to lack of quality and timely services, improper justice, loss of opportunities, distrust in government, discourages whistle-blowing, lack of ease of doing business, decrease in foreign investment, and prevalence of black money and markets. Some key Indian legal and institutional anti-corruption initiatives include the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lokpal Act, Central Vigilance Commission, CPGRAMS, and more. However, more comprehensive reforms are needed to curb political interference, simplify disciplinary processes, strengthen preventive vigilance, and emphasize ethics and values.



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