India Transparency International corruption index blow

Supporters of Indian rights activist Anna Hazare shout slogans during a rally in support of Mr Hazare's fight against corruption, in Mumbai, Aug 2011 Anti-corruption protests have gathered pace in India

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India has suffered a new blow to its reputation on corruption, dropping eight places on a key annual list by a leading anti-corruption watchdog.

The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions list ranks a total of 183 nations from a best of 10 to a worst of 0.

India fell from a 3.3 ranking in 2010 to 3.1, dropping from 87th to 95th.

The Indian government has been hit by a number of corruption scandals with a major new bill before parliament.

Parliament's winter session began on 22 November with discussion of the landmark anti-corruption law a priority.

However, there has been uproar in the lower house over a number of issues and virtually no legislative work has been done.

Ombudsman

India ranks lower than China (75th) on the new list but higher than Pakistan (134th). Nepal at 154th is the lowest ranking South Asian nation.

INDIA CORRUPTION SCANDALS

  • Telecoms scandal: Allegations that phone licences were mis-sold, costing the country about $40bn (£25.5bn) worth of telecoms
  • Cash for votes: Uproar over Wikileaks allegations about "cash for votes" in the 2008 confidence vote in Parliament
  • Anti-corruption chief: Key government appointee forced out of office because he himself faces corruption charges
  • War widow homes: Scandal over homes for widows of soldiers allegedly diverted to politicians
  • Commonwealth Games: Allegations of financial malpractice dogged the Games, which India hosted

New Zealand is top and Somalia bottom of the list.

Almost two-thirds of the nations scored less than five, with Transparency International saying: "Corruption continues to plague too many countries around the world."

The Indian government is under pressure from anti-corruption campaigners to pass the new law to allow the setting up of a citizens' ombudsman, also known as the Jan Lokpal.

Leading anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, who says he has the support of millions, has warned he will resume a hunger strike and revive street protests that rocked the government this year if the new law does not come into force.

Mr Hazare went on a 12-day hunger strike in August.

An alleged telecoms scam, which may have cost the country $39bn (£23bn), is only one of a number of scandals besetting the government.

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