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Kindly click here to access the document titled Overview of corruption and anticorruption developments in India (released in January 2022), which has been prepared by Kaunain Rahman of Transparency International. 

The main points of the document are: 

• Corruption remains an endemic problem for India, pervading all levels of governance.
• The violation of human rights in the Indian context is enabled by corruption, with the government using its control over key institutions, including but not limited to the police and judiciary, to silence dissent.
• Key anti-corruption legislation, such as the right to information and the Lokpal and Lokayukta laws, have been undermined in recent times.
• Accountability institutions are being strategically subverted.
• Media and CSOs face increasing pressures from incumbent powers to toe their line or simply shut down.

The key findings of Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 (released in January 2022), which has been created by Transparency International, are as follows (please click here, herehere, here, here, and here to access): 

• The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. It relies on 13 independent data sources and uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

• The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) was established in 1995 as a composite indicator used to measure perceptions of corruption in the public sector in different countries around the world. During the past 20 years, both the sources used to compile the index and the methodology have been adjusted and refined. In 2012, important changes were made to the methodology to allow for score comparison across time, which was not possible prior to 2012.

• The CPI draws upon 13 data sources which capture the assessment of experts and business executives on a number of corrupt behaviours in the public sector, including:
- Bribery
- Diversion of public funds
- Use of public office for private gain
- Nepotism in the civil service
- State capture

• Some of the sources also look at the mechanisms available to prevent corruption in a country, such as:

- The government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms
- The effective prosecution of corrupt officials
- Red tape and excessive bureaucratic burden
- The existence of adequate laws on financial disclosure, conflict of interest prevention and access to information
- Legal protection for whistleblowers, journalists and investigators

• More than two-thirds of countries (68 percent) score below 50 and the average global score remains static at 43. Since 2012, 25 countries significantly improved their scores, but in the same period 23 countries significantly declined.

• TI's latest analysis shows that protecting human rights is crucial in the fight against corruption: countries with well-protected civil liberties generally score higher on the CPI, while countries who violate civil liberties tend to score lower.

• The Asia Pacific region has made great strides in controlling bribery for basic services and petty corruption, but grand corruption and institutional and regulatory weaknesses hold Asia Pacific back. Some of the region's, and the world’s, most populous countries – China (Score: 45; Rank: 66) and India (Score: 40; Rank: 85) – score poorly, as governments crush dissent and limit human rights. Even high-scoring countries like Australia (Score: 73; Rank: 18) fuel transnational corruption with lax financial regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing issues in 2021 as governments have utilized the COVID-19 pandemic to tighten control and weaken accountability from Singapore (Score: 85; Rank: 4) to Bangladesh (Score: 26; Rank: 147), and Cambodia (Score: 23; Rank: 157).

• While India (Score: 40; Rank: 85) has remained stagnant on the Index, it is a country to watch. Mechanisms that help reign in corruption are weakening, alongside concerns over the health of democracy and the decay of fundamental freedoms and institutional checks and balances. Journalists and civil society organizations are being targeted for speaking out against the government.

• The case of India is particularly worrying. While the country’s score has remained stagnant over the past decade, some of the mechanisms that could help reign in corruption are weakening. There are concerns over the country’s democratic status, as fundamental freedoms and institutional checks and balances decay. Journalists and activists are particularly at risk and have been victims of attacks by the police, political militants, criminal gangs and corrupt local officials. Civil society organisations that speak up against the government have been targeted with security, defamation, sedition, hate speech and contempt-of-court charges, and with regulations on foreign funding.

• This year, the top countries are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, each with a score of 88. Norway (85), Singapore (85), Sweden (85), Switzerland (84), the Netherlands (82), Luxembourg (81) and Germany (80) complete the top 10.

• South Sudan (11), Syria (13) and Somalia (13) remain at the bottom of the index. Countries experiencing armed conflict or authoritarianism tend to earn the lowest scores, including Venezuela (14), Afghanistan (16), North Korea (16), Yemen (16), Equatorial Guinea (17), Libya (17) and Turkmenistan (19).

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