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India: bottom of “good” lists, top of “bad” lists … WHY?

The cover story in Business & Economy, “Why India Ranks Near Bottom in Global Lists,” evaluates some lists in which India ranks poorly:
  • Corruption Perception Index
  • Digital Opportunity Index
  • Environmental Performance Index (worse than countries like Vietnam and Gabon; scores on sanitation and indoor air pollution, for example, are among the world’s worst)
  • Global Hunger Index (41.6% live below povery line, according to World Bank)
  • Global Gender Gap Index
  • Global Democracy Index
  • Global Peace Index
  • Global Competitiveness Index (improved lately, but still behind countries like Tunisia)
  • Globalization Index
  • Human Development Index
  • Information and Communication Technology environment and readiness rank (Iran, Maldives, and Sri Lanka score better)
  • Gini Coefficient
  • Index of Economic Freedom
  • International Tax Misery & Reform Index
  • The Environmental Sustainability Index
  • Trade & Development Index (ranked below countries like Moldova and Uganda)
Based on ”Illicit Financial Flows” by Global Financial Integrity (a program of the Center for International Policy), The Times of India reports that India is Number 5 in this “bad” list, with about $27 billion dollars flowing out of the country illegally every year.

What’s going on here?

People in India frequently point fingers at “corrupt Governments” (in just one State, the poor paid nearly 1 billion Rupees (20 million US dollars) bribe last year to get public services). But The Times of India (Sep 23, 2008) reported that 1200 companies listed on domestic stock exchanges cooked accounts.

Indian author Shobhaa De, in her column “Politically Incorrect” in The Times of India mentions “an ocean of corruption,” which to her is “the real and only curse in India.”

If corruption is present in Businesses besides Governments, might it be present in other “places” that we haven’t probed yet?

Would that discovery show us what’s fundamentally wrong? And therefore lead us to a potential Solution?

First posted in WordPress on April 27, 2009

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