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Democracy Index 2019: India slips 10 points to 51st Rank due to 'Erosion of civil Liberties'

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New Delhi, Jan 23: India, deemed as the world's one of the largest democracies, has slipped 10 places to the 51st rank among 165 nations and two territories in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited 'erosion of civil liberties' in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend.

In the 12th edition of the EIU's Democracy Index, India has been categorised under 'flawed democracy', attaining the lowest rank since 2006, when the index was first published.

Democracy Index 2019: India slips 10 points to 51st Rank due to Erosion of civil Liberties

India's overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in the Index that provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories.

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    It should be noted that the Democracy Index 2019 of the EIU is based on five broad categories - electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, as well as political culture.

    Based on their scores out of 10 on 60 indicators within the categories, each country is then classified under four types of the regime - full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and authoritarian regime. India was included in the "flawed democracy" category.

    Listing the reasons for the fall of India's democracy rank, the report said, the country dropped ten places in the Democracy Index's global ranking to 51st. The primary cause of democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberty.

    India has witnessed a significant decline in all the five categories on the chart, scoring 8.67 in 'electoral process and pluralism', 6.79 in 'functioning of government', 6.67 in 'political participation', 5.63 in 'political culture', and 6.76 in 'civil liberties'.

    Meanwhile, China's score fell to 2.26 in the 2019 index, and the country is now ranked 153rd, close to the bottom of the global rankings.

    "Over the past year discrimination against minorities, especially in the north-western region of Xinjiang, has intensified. Digital surveillance of the population continued apace in 2019, representing a further constraint on individual freedoms," the report said.

    Among other emerging economies, Brazil was ranked 52nd with a score of 6.86, Russia stood at 134th with a score of 3.11.

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    Meanwhile, Pakistan was ranked 108th on the overall list with a score of 4.25, while Sri Lanka was at 69th place with a score of 6.27, Bangladesh (at 80th with 5.88 score).

    The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Iceland and Sweden. Other countries in the top 10 include New Zealand at the fourth place, Finland (5th), Ireland (6th), Denmark (7th), Canada (8th), Australia (9th) and Switzerland (10th).

    North Korea was at the bottom of the global ranking at 167th place.

    Here are the top five countries:

    1. Norway with 9.87 score
    2. Iceland with 9.58 score
    3. Sweden with 9.39 score
    4. New Zealand with 9.26 score
    5. Finland with 9.25 score

    The bottom five were Chad, Syria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and North Korea.

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