• 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.
• The annual index that has been produced by the London-headquartered newspaper since 2006, has noted that not much has changed in India. India is ranked at 41 – a notch above last year.
• It is still classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ according to the index. India achieved a score of 7.23 on the index to maintain its position – the same it did last year. This is the lowest ever score attributed to India in the index ever since its publication.
• India ranks below the US (ranked 25th in the index) and other so called ‘flawed democracies’ like Italy, France, Botswana and South Africa.
• On expected lines, Scandinavian nations hogged were perched on top of the democracy pyramid.
• Norway was the world’s most perfect democracy followed by Iceland and Sweden.
Parameters of the Democracy Index
• The Economist’s Democracy Index ranks nations on five parameters – electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.
• Among all these parameters India fared the worst when it came to political culture.
• The survey is carried out every year by asking a sample group of people a set of 60 questions.
• India has been always classified as a flawed democracy.
• 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.
• However, there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.”
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Democracy Index 2019
Mains level: Details about the Democracy Index 2019