As the world’s rich and powerful gather in the Swiss resort of Davos, a study by public relations firm Edelman has found that general level of trust in institutions among college-educated people around the globe are at levels not seen since 2009 in many of the markets it surveyed.
Trust in institutions in India has improved sharply in 2015 with the country moving up three notches to the second place among 27 nations.
While the number of “truster” countries are at an all-time low of six in 2015 including UAE, India, China and Netherlands, the number of “distruster” countries has grown significantly to 13 including Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Italy.
Brazil, Malaysia, France and the US are among the 8 “neutral” nations as per the trust index, the survey said.
According to the report, an “alarming evaporation of trust” has happened across all institutions, reaching the lows of the Great Recession in 2009.
Trust in government, business, media and NGOs in the general population is below 50 percent in two-thirds of countries, including the US, UK and Germany, it said.
From fifth most trusted in 2014, India has now become the second-most trusted in 2015 with a score of 79 percent in the barometer. The study has put Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image on the first page.
The list is topped by UAE with 84 percent trust. Indonesia (78 percent), China (75 percent), Singapore (65 percent) and Netherlands (64 percent) are the others that have recorded highest levels of trust.
Globally, the overall trust index was down a percentage point from the previous year at 55 percent. Trust levels in major developed economies, such as the United States, Germany and France, hovered around 50 percent.
The barometer shows waning trust in non-governmental organizations, media and business. Trust in government recovered somewhat but politicians remain the most distrusted group assessed at 48 percent. Interestingly, trust in politicians in India has grown to 82 percent in 2015 from 53 percent a year ago.
Government was the only institution to gain trust in 2015, driven by improvements in 16 countries, including India.
In terms of NGOs in India, trust was almost flat at 74 percent from 75 percent. Also, while trust in media has fallen in more than half of the countries, India appears to have scored well on that front too with 76 percent in 2015 vis-a-vis 71 percent in 2014.