WE THE PEOPLE, who claim to believe in the concept of Ahimsa Parmo Dharma, today proudly stand behind 135 countries in the matter of peace and tranquillity.
According to 2018 Global Peace Index prepared by the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India ranks at dismal position of 136 out of 163 countries.
The report that covers 99.7 percent of the world's population and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators grouped into three key domains- ongoing conflict, safety and security, and militarisation, noted that "the world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade".
India’s GPI rank was 137 out of 163 countries in 2017, when the year 2016 was assessed. In 2018, when the year 2017 is assessed, India’s rank moved up to 136. This is in line with the performance of some of the South Asian countries. Nepal moved up from 93 to 84, while Sri Lanka moved up too, from position 80 to 67. Pakistan moved from 152 to 151. "South Asia experienced the largest regional improvement in peacefulness,” the report noted.
In the South Asia region, India was ranked lower than Bhutan (19th on the list), Sri Lanka (67), Nepal (84) and Bangladesh (93).
"The concentration of power in the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to a deterioration in India's score for political instability, and the country's scores on the Political Terror Scale and internal conflicts fought, at 4 and 4.7 respectively, remain elevated".
The only countries which were ranked lower than India in the South Asian region were Pakistan (151 position) and Afghanistan (162).
On India, the report said, "Government efforts to tackle violent crime have paid off with an improved score, and falling levels of military expenditure, particularly on weapons imports, resulted in a slight improvement in its militarisation score".
However, "the concentration of power in the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to a deterioration in India's score for political instability, and the country's scores on the Political Terror Scale and internal conflicts fought, at 4 and 4.7 respectively, remain elevated".
Iceland continues to remain the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark also sit in the top five most peaceful rankings.
Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia comprise the remaining least peaceful countries.
The only countries which were ranked lower than India in the South Asian region were Pakistan (151) and Afghanistan (162).
Meanwhile, Europe is still the most peaceful region in the world, but its position has deteriorated for the third successive year.
"In the last decade, 61 per cent of the countries in Europe deteriorated due to higher levels of political instability, increased impact from terrorism, and increased perceptions of criminality. No single Nordic country is more peaceful now than in 2008," the report said.
Ongoing conflicts such as those in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan have, in the past decade, contributed towards a significant rise in battlefield deaths, a surging refugee population and an increase in terrorism, the report added.
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