Midland friend and Peanut Gallery regular Alan was ragging on Indian corruption on my post on the Indian navy moving out to protect its interest. From what I've heard and read, they've been making strides to clear out corruption by clearing out red tape that leads to corruption; if it takes forever through normal channels to get stuff done, a little greasing of the palms will get things fast-tracked. Also, Indian law often requires a majority stake go to Indian firms, so local businessmen have to be courted to be a foreign company's front man.
However, even though both Congress and BJP governments seemed to be moving in the right dirction, the perception of corruption is still there; a report fresh off the presses has Denmark, Finland and New Zealand heading up the list of least-corrupt countries. India was on the low end of the list, tying for 94th out of 176 countries listed; Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan share the boobie prize.
Just to touch the bases, Canada is 9th, the US 19th and the UK 17th. We've got some work to do here at home, but we try not to encourage corruption, at least direct profiteering from office; any government made of people will be somewhat corrupt based on the nature of the beast.
The Afghanistan score is not a good sign for the decade we've put in trying to improve things; one problem that was somewhat self-inflicted is that we used a lot of warlords as proxies in ousting the Taliban. The warlords were part of the reason the Taliban were doing as well as they did; they Taliban were Neanderthals, but honest ones, compared to the sleaze-bags that were running the place in the 90s.
We helped put the sleaze-bags back in power, and are paying for it both with a hard-to-break Taliban and the corruption noted in the survey. One upside is that it can't get much worse when two failed states are your partners in the outhouse basement.