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CPI report: Denmark least corrupt country, India ranks at 76

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New Delhi/Mumbai: The rankings of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015 are out. The report upped India from 85th to 76th position. However, this good news is just an unfavourable one in disguise since there were 168 countries in 2015 survey as compared to 174 in 2014.

This means that India’s score for 2015 in CPI remains unchanged. Despite major changes in both the Central and State governments, mainly due to public hue and cry against governmental frauds and bribery, corruption remains unchanged in the public sector.

CPI measures noted levels of worldwide public sector corruption. It is conducted on the basis of an expert opinion from around the world and measures on a scale of 0-100; higher the score point, lower the corruption in that country.

Observing the rankings of Southeast Asian countries, Bhutan ranked at 27 is seen scoring better than India at 65 points. Other neighboring countries, including China at rank 83 and Bangladesh at 139, have shown no signs of improvement. Scores of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal have increased marginally over the past year.

The CPI report blames shortfall of bold promises by leaders of India and Sri Lanka as one of the main reasons for prevalent corruption there. About governments in Bangladesh and Cambodia, the report claims downfall of civil society by them resulted in the worsening of corruption.

Srirak Plipat, director for Asia Pacific, Transparency International, in an email briefing to reporters said, “India has been flooded with anti-corruption promises especially in the last few years – from the general election in May 2014 to the recent Delhi election in February 2015. The CPI scores, staying firm well below 50 at 38 out of 100 for both 2014 and 2015, show that there has been no improvement. The rhetoric has yet to become action. This year’s CPI sends a message to people of India, as much as to the government. It invites people of India to question their governments and hold them to account for their election promises. If leadership is about delivery in an imperfect environment, this leadership is questionable, to say the least. The Modi government has set a new trend in Asia Pacific: fast and big in anti-corruption promises, while slow and small in delivery.”

The report further declares the failure of China’s prosecutorial approach as the reason behind the absence of a substantial remedy to their situation; while Pakistan’s failure to tackle corruption lies in giving the wind to their ongoing vicious conflicts.

Looking at CPI’s global stature, Denmark, acquiring 91 points, stands as the least corrupt country for the second year in a row now. The position retained is the result of many factors such as high levels of press freedom and integrity among people in power, a full disclosure of nation’s budget information and money flow to the public, revealed a press release by Transparency International. It further told that judiciaries don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and are truly independent of other parts of the government.

Next in line are Finland and Sweden with scores of 90 and 89 points respectively.

North Korea and Somalia are at the bottom with just eight points each. The release adds that Brazil fell 5 points and dropped 7 positions to a rank of 76, becoming the biggest decliner. The big decliners in the past four years include Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey.

Lack of punishment for corruption, public institution’s indifferent behaviour towards citizens’ needs and widespread bribery are the major factors resulting in a poor CPI score.

Other big shifts in the CPI ranking include entry of Netherlands in top five clean countries. Switzerland tumbled to the 7th position from 5th in 2014. Other big improvers include Greece, Senegal and UK.

In the end, the report estimated that around 68 percent of countries face acute corruption problem, globally. Moreover, half of the G20 are among them. (Inputs from Agencies) (picture courtesy: spring96.org)

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China Will Get an ‘Understanding India’ Programme To Facilitate Cultural Exchange

"We would like to demystify the idea of India through this programme."

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India, China
PM Modi meets Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

India plans to launch an “Understanding India” programme in China to “demystify” the country and create a better understanding of it.

Despite being immediate neighbours, India and China lack people-to-people contact and cultural exchange.

Indian Council of Cultural Relations President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who was in Beijing to attend the World Congress of Philosophy, said that by watching Bollywood and reading websites one can know India only superficially.

India and China on Saturday agreed on a joint economic project in Afghanistan, sources said after a two-day summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping here.
Representational Image, wikimedia commons

“India cannot be understood by simply reading books and visiting websites. India is an experience,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

“In most big countries like China, we are trying to have some kind of ‘Understanding India’ programme which will be a structural programme.”

The Rajya Sabha MP said that India was a “riddle” to the people outside because of its diversity and coexistence of masses despite the economic disparity in the country.

“We would like to demystify the idea of India through this programme,” Sahasrabuddhe added.

He also said the Indian cultural centres across the world that don’t have any name will be named after Indian monk Swami Vivekananda.

India, China
India is an experience

The cultural centre at the Indian Embassy in Beijing was named after the spiritual leader on Tuesday.

Also Read: Indian Art Forms in International Festivals Through Sands of Culture Series

“We respect everybody. There are Nehru centres; there are Mahatma Gandhi centres; there are Tagore centres but there are centres that did not have any names… so we thought it was fit to name all those under Swami Vivekananda because he symbolizes Indian culture in a multiple ways. He is an inspirational hero,” said Sahasrabuddhe.

There are 37 Indian cultural centres in the world. (IANS)