From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Democracy Index 2019
Mains level : Fallouts on democracy in India
The latest edition of the Democracy Index spells gloom for India. The world’s biggest democracy slipped 10 places in the 2019 global ranking to 51st place.
- The report is published by The Economist Intelligence Unit — the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, which is the sister company to The Economist newspaper.
- It records how global democracy fared, analysing 165 independent states and two territories.
- The 2019 survey attributes the primary cause of “the democratic regression” to “an erosion of civil liberties in the country”.
- India’s overall score fell from 7.23 to 6.9, on a scale of 0-10, within a year (2018-2019) — the country’s lowest since 2006.
- India was graded in electoral process and pluralism (8.67), government functioning (6.79), political participation (6.67), political culture (5.63) and civil liberties (6.76).
- In the Asia and Australasia region, India ranks eighth, behind Taiwan and Timor-Leste.
- The report talks about the repeal of both Article 370 and Article 35A and various restrictions such as house arrests, internet shutdowns and excessive use of forces.
India: A flawed democracy?
The Index also categorizes India under “flawed democracies”, i.e. countries that hold free and fair elections and where basic civil liberties are respected, but have significant weaknesses in aspects of democracy, such as problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.