India 143rd on Global Peace Index; violence costs $177 bn: Study

PTI Posted online: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Ranking India among 20 most violent places in the world, a global study today said the country's economy took a hit of over Rs 1 lakh crore in containing and dealing with cases of violence last year.

In the latest annual ranking of Global Peace Index, India has been ranked at 143rd position out of 162 countries surveyed.

While India has slipped two positions, Iceland continues to top the list as the world's most peaceful place. However, Syria has replaced Afghanistan as the most violent place.

"The economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of India's levels of violence was estimated to cost the national economy USD 177 billion (about Rs 1.07 lakh crore) in 2013," the Sydney-based international think tank Institute for Economics and Peace said in its report adding that is equivalent to 3.6 per cent of India's GDP, or USD 145 per person.

It estimated the impact of violence on global economy at USD 9.8 trillion or 11.3 per cent of world GDP in 2013, an increase of USD 179 billion from the previous year. The increase has been largely attributed to upward revisions of China's military expenditure and the number and intensity of internal conflicts.

Within South Asia, Bhutan has been ranked as the most peaceful country, followed by Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India is ranked fifth in the region -- better than Pakistan at sixth and Afghanistan at seventh.

Globally, Pakistan is ranked 154th, while Afghanistan is at 161st position in this year's list.

As per the report, India suffers chronically from international tensions and widespread internal conflict.

"While Maoist movements are one of the biggest threats to India's internal security, sporadic conflict with its neighbours also threatens the country's external security," it said.

In concurrence, India is ranked number 4 out of 159 countries in the Global Terrorism Index.

"If India could improve its overall levels of peace, the dividend that would flow from this would substantially improve the country's economic growth rates. This can be achieved by a renewed government focus on building the underlying qualities that create and sustain peaceful societies such as low levels of corruption, well-functioning government and equitable distribution of resources," IEP founder and Executive Chairman Steve Killelea said.

The GPI is the world's leading measure of global peacefulness produced by the IEP. It gauges on-going domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarisation in 162 countries by taking into account 22 indicators.