India moves up a rank on The Economist’s Democracy Index 2018

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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Democracy Index

Mains level: State of democracy in India & world


News

  • The Economist’s Democracy Index has a positive outlook on global democracy, with significant improvement in women’s participation, people willing to engage in lawful demonstrations and voters getting more proactive than ever despite being disillusioned with democracy.

About Democracy Index

  1. The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the UK-based company the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that intends to measure the state of democracy.
  2. It ranks nations on five parameters – electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.
  3. The survey is carried out every year by asking a sample group of people a set of 60 questions.
  4. The report defines a flawed democracy as nations that “have free and fair elections and, even if there are problems (such as infringements on media freedom), basic civil liberties are respected.
  5. However, there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.

India’s Performance

  1. India is ranked at 41 – a notch above last year.
  2. It is still classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ according to the index.
  3. India achieved a score of 7.23 on the index to maintain its position – the same it did last year.
  4. This is the lowest ever score attributed to India in the index ever since its publication.
  5. India ranks below the US (ranked 25th in the index) and other so called ‘flawed democracies’ like Italy, France, Botswana and South Africa.

Scandinavia: The usual topper

  1. On expected lines, Scandinavian nations ranked on top of the democracy pyramid.
  2. Norway was the world’s most perfect democracy followed by Iceland and Sweden.
Freedom of Speech – Defamation, Sedition, etc.
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