New Delhi, Dec 1: India's image on tackling graft seems to have gone from bad to worse in the perception of people dealing with the system, with its rank slipping to a low 95 among 183 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
While the debate continues in India over an anti-graft ombudsman, the study by the international watchdog shows the country's image declining consistently over the past three years. This year, the country scores 3.1 on 10, with 10 being the highest score.
Since 2007 when India was ranked 72 among 180 countries with a score of 3.5, the score has declined, so have the rankings. Last year, India was placed at 87.
The CPI ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be and is a composite index that draws on data and studies by a number of specialised international agencies through a complex process.
India's score is a result of an average of 13 studies including World Bank's Country Performance and Institutional Assessment, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey and Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, among others.
New Zealand is at the top spot with a score of 9.5 followed by Finland and Denmark. The countries that occupy the bottom ranks in the index are Somalia, North Korea, Myanmar and Afghanistan, which are helmed by unstable governments and conflicts.
With the unearthing of major scams, arrests of influential people over corruption and a movement for a Lokpal stealing headlines in India, people associated with Transparency International India said since the study is a measurement of perception, these factors could have marginally contributed to the decline.