• India's Corruption Perception Index score has improved from 36 out of 100 in 2013 (also same score of 36 in 2012) to 38 out of 100 in 2014. The country ranks 85 among 175 nations in terms of Corruption Perception Index. China ranks 100 among 175 nations with a score of 36 out of 100 @

• India's Corruption Perception Index score stands at 36, the same as it was in 2012. It is among majority of the 177 countries in 2013 having index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). The country presently ranks 94 among 177 nations. What is more surprising is that its neighbouring countries like Bhutan (Rank: 31; Score: 63), China (Rank: 80; Score: 40) and Sri Lanka (Rank: 91; Score: 37) are better performers in terms of Corruption Perception Index. Pakistan ranks far below at 127 #

• 54 percent of respondents from India reported having paid a bribe in the last 12 months to one out of eight services-police, judiciary, registry, land, medical, education, tax and utilities $

• 40 percent of respondents from India felt that over the past 2 years the level of corruption has increased a lot $

• 86 percent of respondents in India felt that political parties were corrupt/extremely corrupt. 75 percent of Indian respondents felt that police were corrupt/extremely corrupt. However, only 20 percent of respondents felt that military was corrupt/extremely corrupt $

• 45 percent of the rural households opined that ‘corruption has increased’ in public services in the previous one year (preceding the India Corruption Study 2010)*

• 11.5% respondents in the India Corruption Study 2010 had paid a bribe for PDS, 9% for hospitals, 5.8% for schools and 4.3% for water supply. On an average in a year, a rural household paid around Rs 164 as bribe to avail of these four public services*

• Rs. 8,830 million, in all, was paid as bribe by below poverty line (BPL) households in 2006-07**

• The poorest households of India paid Rs. 2,148 million to police as bribe in 2006-07**

@ Corruption Perception Index 2014, prepared by Transparency International (click here to access link1, link2 and link3)
#Corruption Perception Index 2013 by Transparency International,

$ Global Corruption Barometer 2013 prepared by Transparency International,

* India Corruption Study 2010, Centre for Media Studies

** India Corruption Study—2007, Transparency India International and Centre for Media Studies 



Is corruption a livelihoods issue? According to a World Bank study, the cost of corruption in India is around 3 per cent of its GDP. In other words, corruption erodes the gains of overall national growth, slows down economic activity, and gets in the way of investments and job creation. It also undermines the rule of law by making it possible for the rich and powerful to subvert the system by paying bribes. All this weakens the society’s moral fibre and sets off a vicious cycle of more crime and more corruption leading to more inequalities and more miseries for the poor. 

The poor in India routinely pay for the enrichment of the powerful. Many studies show that the poor are forced to pay bribes for services that the middle and upper classes take for granted. For instance, it is common for those living in unauthorised colonies to pay several layers of civic bureaucracy to get electricity or water connections but the slum dwellers pay even more, like two to three rupees for a bucket of water, and several times more to get an illegal power connection. Corruption in administration has a direct bearing on the delivery of services and benefits to people they are meant for. This compromises the spirit of democracy by distorting resource allocation and undermining planning and policy implementation.

From ration or BPL cards to land administration and from petty government officials to the judiciary, the rural poor have to pay bribes for every service meant for them. According to a Transparency International-CMS survey, Judiciary and land services occupy the second and third slots for India’s most corrupt departments after the police. Even the health services, particularly the government hospitals, are very high on the corruption index. It is common knowledge that the poorest of India’s poor have to pay bribes to exercise their right to employment under the NREGS. According to official estimates a third of all food grains meant for the Public Distribution System (PDS) are illegally sold in the open market.

The TI-CMS survey also shows that India’s most backward states like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh also happen to be India’s most corrupt whereas States that fare better on the Human Development Index (HDI) like Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are among least corrupt. India’s overall ranking on TI’s Corruption Perception Index is 88th among 159 countries. (Check the latest ranking). The debate about the causes for corruption is unending but it is widely believed that political corruption is at the root of widespread corruption in public services. Several high powered committees appointed so far to look into the cases of corruption have recommended steps like ban on criminals fighting elections and harsher punishments and disqualification for those convicted of corruption and criminal activities, protection for the whistle blower, strict norms for auditing and disclosures, and empowerment of regulators like the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Election Commission (EC)


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