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Corrupting a bad habit

Not quite enough to pull out that (mysteriously obtained) magnum of champagne yet, but India ranks 72 out of 180 countries in the 2007 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2007 23:01 IST

How corrupt is India? Oh, things are better. Not quite enough to pull out that (mysteriously obtained) magnum of champagne yet, but India ranks 72 out of 180 countries in the 2007 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International. In last year’s index, we were the 70th most corrupt nation. So, gloomsayers, eat your pure as driven snow hearts out. Somalia and Myanmar have tied for the most corrupt nation status. Chhi chhi.

Corruption in government has been an integral part of the desi landscape. There is no face left untouched by grubby hands and greedy minds. From religion to sports, from health to education, from business to politics, graft has been a crafty art in this part of the world for ages. The results are based on 14 ‘expert opinion’ surveys among world bodies dealing with the public sector in the surveyed countries. To qualify, a country needs to be part of at least three of the opinion surveys. For India, a total of 10 surveys were taken into account. So there seems to be hope tied at the end of the red tape. Considering that in the Global Corruption Barometer 2005, more than half of the respondents had felt that corruption would “increase a lot”, we can pat ourselves on the back that the RTIs and the ‘accountable governance’ wishes may be making a difference.

The only little statistical detail that rankles is that last year, the index took into account 163 countries. This year, the list has 180 countries. Among the low-income and ‘difficult’ nations added are Afghanistan (172), Somalia (179), Guinea-Bissau (147). But should we get bogged down with such numbers. Nah. We are getting better. Keeping repeating that line.