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2017 news clipping of Forbes listing India as Asia’s most corrupt country is shared as recent

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A screenshot of a news clipping is being widely shared on social media claiming that American Business Magazine ‘Forbes’ had listed India as the most corrupt country in Asia. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

Claim: Forbes has recently listed India as the most corrupt country in Asia.

Fact: The news clipping shared in the post reports the Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries published by Forbes in March 2017. With a higher bribery rate percentage of 69%, India was listed as the most corrupt country in Asia. Forbes announced this list based on an 18-month-long survey conducted by Transparency International. According to the latest survey by Transparency International, the bribery rate percentage decreased from 69% to 39% in India. Lately, Forbes did not publish any report listing India as the most corrupt country in Asia. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, we found that the news clipping was being circulated on social media at least since 2017. When we searched to check whether Forbes had listed India as the most corrupt country in Asia, we came to know that Forbes had listed India as the most corrupt country in their Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries report published in March 2017. Several news websites published articles reporting this report published by Forbes. They can be seen here and here.

Forbes announced this list referring to the results of an 18-month-long survey conducted by global civil society organisation, Transparency International. With a higher bribery rate percentage of 69%, India was listed as the most corrupt country in Asia by Forbes. Referring to the bribery rates in India, the Forbes article said, “In five of the six public services – schools, hospitals, ID documents, police, and utility services – more than half the respondents have had to pay a bribe.”

The ‘Global Corruption Barometer Asia 2020’ and other latest reports published by Transparency International stated- “India has the highest overall bribery rate (39 per cent) and the highest rate of citizens using personal connections (46 per cent). Following India, Indonesia and China have the second and third highest rates of people using personal connections (36 per cent and 32 per cent respectively)”. While India still continues to be Asia’s most corrupt country with respect to the bribery rate percentages as per Transparency International, when it comes to the Global Corruption Perceptions Index 2021, India is ranked 85th, a much better position when compared to North Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries. North Korea ranked 174th position in the Global Corruption Perceptions survey conducted on 180 countries.

Lately, Forbes did not publish any report mentioning India as the most corrupt country in Asia. ‘The World’s Best And Worst Countries For Public Sector Corruption [Infographic]’ report published by Forbes in 2021 also did not mention India as one of the most corrupt countries.

To sum it up, an old news clipping reporting the news of Forbes listing India as Asia’s most corrupt country in 2017 is shared as a recent one.

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