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Democracy Index 2017: India's rank slips to 42nd place

By Chennabasaveshwar

India's ranking in Democracy Index 2017, released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has slipped down to 42nd spot from 32nd last year and classified among "flawed democracies". India 's overall score has fallen to 7.23 points, even though it scored well on electoral process and pluralism (9.17). However, it has not managed to score so well on other four parameters -- political culture, the functioning of government, political participation and civil liberties.

Democracy Index 2017: India's rank slips to 42nd place

The EIU stated, "The rise of conservative religious ideologies also affected India. The strengthening of right-wing Hindu forces in an otherwise secular country led to a rise of vigilantism and violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims, as well as other dissenting voices."

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked 167 countries on a 0 to 10 scale. Only countries with scores above 8 are categorised as "full" democracies. Norway has again topped the list, followed by Iceland and Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.

Democracy Index 2017 Top 5

Rank Country Score
1 Norway 9.87
2 Iceland 9.58
3 Sweden 9.39
4 New Zealand 9.26
5 Denmark 9.22

Democracy Index 2017 Bottom 5

Rank Country Score
163 4 Dem. Republic of Congo 1.61
164 Central African Republic 1.52
165 Chad 1.50
166 Syria 1.43
167 North Korea 1.08

On the other hand, the US in 21st place was downgraded from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" in the same study last year, which cited the "low esteem in which US voters hold their government, elected representatives, and political parties."

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.

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