India ranked a low 128th on this year's Global Peace Index(GPI) after it slipped six positions though it was ahead of violence-hit Pakistan, which was placed among the five countries which were least peaceful.
Internal conflicts, terrorism and human rights abuses were the factors assessed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to quantify global peacefulness in the only study of its kind in 149 countries.
India was ranked 122nd last year while it was in the 109th position in 2007 when the first GPI was compiled. Pakistan was ranked 145th this year.
For the second consecutive year, New Zealand has been ranked the most peaceful. It was followed by Iceland and Japan.
Iraq was ranked the least peaceful with Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Israel and Russia giving the Arab state company in the bottom of the table. Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan were the least peaceful for the second straight year.
Overall, the world became less peaceful for the second consecutive year, according to a report giving the findings of the fourth annual GPI.
As the global economy continues to falter, this year's data shows an intensification of conflicts and growing instability linked to the downturn that began in 2008, with several countries seeing sharp increases in homicides, violent demonstrations and fear of crime, it said.
According to the report, South Asia saw the greatest decrease in peacefulness, as a result of increased involvement in conflicts, a rise in deaths from internal conflict and human rights abuses.
The main countries experiencing decreases in peacefulness were India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Three BRIC countries-Russia (143), India (128) and China (80)-saw substantial declines in peacefulness, while Brazil's score remained essentially stable (83) compared to the 2009 Index.
In fact, Russia saw one of the largest drops in peacefulness of any country this year due to its war with Georgia, ongoing acts of terror, and some protests across the country resulting from a deteriorating economic situation.
China saw its score deteriorate because of worsening security in parts of the country, notably Xinjiang province, where violent conflict prompted rises in several measures of societal safety, the report said.
However, the US (85) improved its 2010 GPI score, registering its biggest year-on-year improvement since the first Index was released in 2007.
The improvement came as a result of a decrease in the number of deaths from external conflict and an increase in political stability.
Western Europe continues to be the most peaceful region, with the majority of the countries ranking in the top 20.
All five Scandinavian nations rank in the top ten; however, Denmark dropped five spots to 7 because of decrease in respect for human rights and continuing involvement in Afghanistan.
"How peaceful a country is depends on the internal structures, institutions, and attitudes that sustain and promote peace as well as on external factors," said Clyde McConaghy, board director of the IEP.