London: India has moved up four places to the 137th rank among 163 countries on the 2017 Global Peace Index, due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement, according to a report by an Australian think tank.
Iceland remains 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 index is topped by Iceland, followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark, whereas war-torn Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.
India has improved by four positions in the overall ranking from 141st to 137th.
"This has largely been due to a reduction in level of violent crime, driven by increased law enforcement. Meanwhile, unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir in mid-2016 raised tensions between India and its neighbour Pakistan, with the number of deaths from external conflict increasing in both countries," said the report published by the Sydney-based Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
India was also among the countries with the biggest decreases in the number of deaths, along with Sri Lanka, Chad, Colombia, and Uganda.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis on the state of world peace. It said that amid continuing social and political turmoil, the world continues to spend enormous resources on creating and containing violence but very little on peace.
The countries that displayed the most significant growth in heavy weapons capabilities over the last 30 years are primarily in unstable regions where there are high tensions with neighbouring countries. These include Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, and Syria, it said.
The greatest increase in the number of deaths occurred in Syria, followed by Mexico, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen.
The results of the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI) show that the global level of peace has deteriorated by 0.27 percent in the last year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations. Ninety-two countries deteriorated, while 71 countries improved.
The 2017 GPI reveals a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the past decade remain unresolved, especially in the Middle East, resulting in a gradual, sustained fall in peacefulness. Underlying the fall in peacefulness, six of the nine regions in the world deteriorated in the last year.
The four most peaceful regions Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and South America ? all recorded deteriorations, with the largest overall deterioration occurring in South America, owing to falls in the safety and security domain, mainly due to increases in the incarceration rate and impact of terrorism.