New Delhi: India ranked poorly on business regulation, public health and civil justice, according to the recently released Berggruen Governance Index 2019.
The report looked at data over 14 years (2004-2018) from 38 countries and covered 95 per cent of the global GDP and 75 per cent of the global population.
Sponsored by the Los Angeles-based research organisation Berggruen Institute, the governance index ranked performance on three key indices — Quality of Democracy, Quality of Government and Quality of Life. Each index was further analysed based on several sub-indices.
The Quality of Democracy index looked at civil society, culture, feedback mechanisms, and political engagement.
The Quality of Government covered analytical capacity, coordination capacity, corruption, impartiality, judicial impartiality, politicised bureaucracy, procedural efficiency, bureaucratic recruitment, business regulation and tax collection capacity.
The Quality of Life index analysed civil justice, crime, business procedures, education, environment, inflation, other public services, price control, public health and the shadow economy of countries.
How India fared
India ranked in the bottom 10 countries in terms of Quality of Government and Quality of Life, but “significantly overachieved” in terms of Quality of Democracy. India’s democracy score remained steadily in the 40s data point bracket from 2013 to 2018.
In 2008, the index fell to its lowest at 37 data points. In 2009, it shot up a staggering 60 points along with a significant improvement in quality of government and life. From 2009 to 2011, quality of government fell from 35 points to just 16. Manmohan Singh served as Prime Minister in all these years.
There was a significant drop in the Quality of Life data points during the early years of PM Narendra Modi’s first term that began in 2014 — from 21 points in 2015 to just 10 in 2016. Quality of Government declined during the tail end of his term, from 2016 to 2018.
India versus China versus Pakistan
Based on the sub-index Judicial Impartiality, which refers to “a citizen’s treatment in the course of judicial procedures”, India scored the most with 28 data points, Pakistan scored 14 and China 5.
With regard to Quality of Education, China took the lead at 80 points while India and Pakistan scored 30.
On the “existence and perception” of corruption in a country, China was considered the most corrupt with a score of 39 points and India came next at 28 points. Pakistan was considered the least corrupt with just 13 points.
On ‘politicised bureaucracy’, which is the influence of political connections and ideology in the “hiring and firing practices” of bureaucracy, India ranked highest of the three countries with 59 points, China came next with 23 and then Pakistan at 13.
With regards to Shadow Economy — the ability of the government to prevent economic activity from escaping its reach — China scored the highest (91 points), followed by India (57 points) and Pakistan (14 points).
Of the 38 countries, Sweden was the “overachiever” with the highest score in all three indices. UK achieved “more than expected in light of its GDP” overall, while the US performed “just above expectations” on Quality of Democracy, and just below in the remaining two indices.