Skip to main content

India's democracy score under NDA "better" than that of previous UPA rule: British conservative thinktank

By Rajiv Shah
The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), attached with the powerful British conservative weekly “The Economist”, has assessed India as ranking No 32nd, much better than the four peer countries South Africa (39th), Brazil (51st), Russia (134th), and China (136th) in its report Democracy Index 2016.
The EIU report comes despite doubts being expressed worldwide, including in India, about alleged efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to undermine democratic institutions.
Not only does the report, which is sub-titled “Revenge of the ‘Deplorables’”, rank India quite high, it insists, India is among the group of countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan which are “close to being classified as ‘full democracies’ (from 'flawed democracies') and could make the transition over the coming years, depending on public support for democratic governance, increased voter turnout or stronger confidence in political parties.”
Significantly, the report, which ranks in all 167 countries, has found that India has improved its overall ranking on a scale of 10 over the years. India’s latest score for 2016 was 7.81, an improvement over 7.74 in 2015, though a slight deterioration from 7.92 in 2014, but it is better than previous years.
India scored 7.69 in 2013, 7.52 in 2012, 7.30 in 2011, and 7.28 in 2010. These years happened to be the years of the Congress-led UPA rule, the report suggests. However, it gives no explanation on how the score went up in under the NDA government, led by the BJP.
What is particularly interesting is, on a scale of 10, India’s score is one of the best for the category "electoral process and pluralism", 9.58. And, despite concerns of human rights violations over the last three years, in civil liberties, too, the report scores India at 9.12 on a scale of 10, again one of the best.
The report appears to suggest, what may be pushing down India’s score is its political culture, in which it scores a poor 5.63 on a scale of 10. It scores 7.50 for functioning of government, and 7.22 for political participation.
The report states, “In the 2016 Democracy Index the average global score fell to 5.52 from 5.55 in 2015 (on a scale of 0 to 10). Some 72 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2015, almost twice as many as the countries which recorded an improvement (38).”
The report says, “In the 2016 Democracy Index five regions, compared with three in 2015, experienced a regression – Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Western Europe – as signified by a decline in their regional average score.”
It further says, “Eastern Europe recorded by far the biggest decline (from 5.55 to 5.43). Not a single region recorded an improvement in its average score in 2016”, adding, “Two regions, Asia & Australasia and North America”, says the report, “stagnated in 2016.”
“Almost one-half (49.3%) of the world’s population lives in a democracy of some sort, although only 4.5% reside in a ‘full democracy’, down from 8.9% in 2015 as a result of the US being demoted from a ‘full democracy’ to a ‘flawed democracy’”, the report asserts, adding, “Around 2.6bn people, more than one-third of the world’s population, live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being, of course, in China.”
The US, a standard-bearer of democracy for the world, has become a “flawed democracy”, as popular confidence in the functioning of public institutions has declined, the report asserts, adding, “The score for the US fell to 7.98 from 8.05 in 2015, causing the world’s leading economic superpower to slip below the 8.00 threshold for a ‘full democracy’.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.