Data

Data | How has the state of democracy in India changed since 2008?

File photo of Indian flag.

File photo of Indian flag.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

At rank 51, India dropped 10 places in 2019 from 2018 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. A look at how the country fared in 2008, 2014 and 2019.

At rank 51, India dropped 10 places in 2019 from 2018 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, a measure of the state of democracy. In the last six years, among 167 countries India saw the second-highest decline in civil liberties. While the democratic index improved between 2008 and 2014, it worsened between 2014 and 2019.

Latest position

The overall democracy index is a combination of five categories. Each is graded on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). The table shows India’s index value in 2019 and the number of countries that rank better or worse than India. Countries that have the same index value as India were ignored.

The 2019 scorecard

image/svg+xml Index Value Nations better than India Nations worse than India Overall democracy 6.90 50 116 1. Electoral pluralism 8.67 64 102 2. Governance 6.79 39 123 3. Political participation 6.67 26 119 4. Political culture 5.63 57 80 5. Civil liberties 6.76 69 94 4. Political culture

Civil liberties include freedom of the press, freedom to protest, unrestricted access to the Internet, an independent judiciary, religious tolerance, equal treatment of all citizens and basic security.

Political culture refers to popular support for democracy, a strong tradition of separation of religion and State, etc.

Political participation takes into consideration voter turnout, share of women parliamentarians, etc.

Governance refers to influence of elected representatives in determining government policy, supremacy of the legislature etc.

Pluralism refers to free and fair elections, universal adult suffrage, equal campaigning opportunities, etc.

2014 vs 2019

The table shows the change in index values between  2014 and 2019. For instance, the civil liberties index decreased by 2.65 points in 2019 from 2014. In the period, 164 countries saw lower degradation of civil liberties than India. In other words, their values did not decrease beyond 2.65 points. Only Nicaragua saw a higher degradation of civil liberties in this period (-2.94 points.

The change since 2014

image/svg+xml Index Change since ‘14 Nations better than India Nations worse than India Overall democracy -1.02 157 8 1. Electoral pluralism -0.91 133 29 2. Governance -0.35 102 54 3. Political participation -0.55 128 26 4. Political culture -0.62 128 27 5. Civil liberties -2.65 163 1

Two time periods

The table compares the change in India’s index values between 2008-2014 and 2014-2019. For instance, the overall democracy index of India increased by 0.12 points between 2008 and 2014 only to decrease by 1.02 points between 2014 and 2019. Except the governance index, all the other categories saw an increase between 2008 and 2014. All the categories saw a decrease between 2014 and 2019.

The story since '08

image/svg+xml Index 2008 to 2014 2014 to 2019 Overall democracy +0.12 -1.02 Electoral pluralism 0 -0.91 Governance -1.07 -0.35 Political participation +1.66 -0.55 Political culture 0 -0.62 Civil liberties 0 -2.65

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 7:33:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-how-has-the-state-of-democracy-in-india-changed-since-2008/article30634851.ece

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