New Delhi: Believe it or not, India is becoming less and less corrupt. According to Transparency International, a global NGO committed to fighting corruption which studied 180 countries this year, India's ranking has improved from 70th in 2006 to 72nd in 2007. The organisation studied 163 countries in 2006.
"India has improved its position in the comity of nations in terms of integrity as it is ranked 72 among 180 countries in the corruption index in 2007," the organisation said.
Burma was ranked with Somalia as the world's most corrupt country while Israel was ranked 30th. The 'Corruption Perceptions Index' of Transparency International was released on Wednesday.
India's integrity index has also improved marginally to 3.5 in 2007 from 3.3 a year ago on a scale of 10 points, TI said in its report. India's rank at 72nd is also shared by China, Mexico, Morocco and Peru. Pakistan is way down at 138th position.
India and China both score 2.3. Russia is 143rd with a score of 2.3, ranked below Iran, which is 131st on the list.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand are the least corrupt countries, which jointly top the list with integrity index of 9.4 points each. Singapore and Sweden followed them at 9.3. Britain is ranked 12th and the United States 20th, with scores of 8.4 and 7.2, respectively.
The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 indicating high levels of perceived corruption and 10 indicating low levels of perceived corruption. Somalia and Burma share the lowest score of 1.4.
The list is taken from 14 different surveys carried out by 12 research institutions. The survey focuses on corruption in the public sector and among politicians, and the organisation defines corruption as 'the misuse of entrusted power for private gain'.
A Transparency International official said more than half of the 180 states that were examined received scores of three or less, which indicates that funds needed for education, medicine and infrastructure are being pocketed by politicians.