India slips in corruption index

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    The police, the political establishment and the lower judiciary have been found to be the most corrupt institutions, and have made India marginally more corrupt than the past two years according to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), 2008.

    The country, with an integrity score of 3.4 this year, has slipped from 72 to 85 in the list of the corrupt countries. According to figures prepared by 13 international agencies and released by Transparency International, India's integrity score in the last two years was 3.3 and 3.5 respectively. The higher the integrity score, the lower the extent of corruption in a country.

    Releasing the figures, the chairman of Transparency International, Admiral (retd) R H Tahiliani said: "It's depressing that instead of improving our country has dipped. It gives the perception that we aren't doing enough to improve the situation."

    When asked which systems contributed most to the problem, Tahiliani named the police, the political establishment and the lower judiciary respectively, according to the survey.

    He said that the figures were worrying since they reflected the world's perception about India experts do the evaluation of the extent of corruption independently with figures secured from sources like the Asian Development Bank, Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, Economist Intelligence Unit and so on.

    Stressing the need for electoral reforms, Tahiliani said that former CEC B B Tandon had joined them and for the next couple of years Transparency International would devote itself to press for improving the political system. "Corruption in the political establishment is rampant. Huge money is spent for contesting elections and its no secret that the money comes from corruption. There is need to reform it," Tahiliani underlined.

    He added that the political establishment does not seem to be serious about battling corruption, as the Lok Pal Bill and the Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill continue to be in limbo. "Lok Pal will act as an ombudsman for the common man", he pointed out, adding that there is a strong correlation between corruption and poverty corruption continues to jeopardise the fight against poverty and threatens to derail the UN Millennium Development Goals.

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