London: In a 2018 global corruption index released by the Transparency International — an anti-graft watchdog —  India has risen by three points, surpassing China and Pakistan and secured the 78th rank in the list of 180 countries in the world. 

While China was ranked 87 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Pakistan managed to secure the 117th position. 

According to the list, the most corruption-free countries are Denmark and New Zealand and the most corrupted countries are Somalia, Syria and South Sudan.

"As India gears up for its upcoming elections, we see little significant movement in its CPI score, which moved from 40 in 2017 to 41 in 2018," the global watchdog said.

"Despite spectacular public mobilisation in 2011, where citizens demanded that the government take action against corruption and advocated for the passage of the comprehensive Jan Lokpal Act, these efforts ultimately fizzled and fell flat, with little to no movement on the ground to build the specialist anti-corruption infrastructure required," it said.

Overall, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50 in the 2018 CPI, with an average score of only 43.

With a score of 71, the US has dropped four points since last year. This marks the first time since 2011 that the US falls outside of the top 20 countries on the CPI, it said. Last year US was ranked in the 16th position. 

"A four-point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power," said Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the US at Transparency International.

"If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally. This is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.