'India most trusted nation in terms of institutions'

'India most trusted nation in terms of institutions'
Faring better than last year, India has emerged as the most trusted nation in terms of its institutions by general population even as there has been a "global implosion of trust" worldwide, says a survey. The Indian government is also the second most trusted after neighbouring China, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer released today ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet here.

This year's barometer showed the largest-ever drop in trust across the institutions of government, business, media and NGOs. The conclusions are based on an online survey of more than 33,000 respondents conducted during October 13 – November 16, 2016. Among the 28 nations, India has emerged as the most trusted nation in terms of institutions with 72 per cent of the respondents from general population feeling so. The country is followed by Indonesia (69 per cent), China (67 per cent), Singapore and UAE (both at 60 per cent).

In 2016, India was the third most trusted after China and UAE. According to public relations major Edelman, trust has declined in 21 out of 28 countries -- "the broadest declines since beginning general population tracking in 2012". Globally, the trust level decreased to 47 per cent this year from 50 per cent in 2016. The barometer "reveals global implosion of trust," Edelman said.

In terms of trust in government, China tops the league with 76 per cent trusting the country's government followed by India with 75 per cent respondents feeling so. The figure is 75 per cent of UAE also and is followed by Indonesia (71 per cent) and Singapore (69 per cent). Out of the 28 countries, there was distrust in government in 75 per cent of the nations.

"Trust in media (43 percent) fell precipitously and is at all-time lows in 17 countries, while trust levels in government (41 percent) dropped in 14 markets and is the least trusted institution in half of the 28 countries surveyed. "The credibility of leaders also is in peril: CEO credibility dropped 12 points globally to an all-time low of 37 per cent, plummeting in every country studied, while government leaders (29 percent) remain least credible," the report said.

As many as 53 per cent of respondents believe that the current overall system has failed them as it is unfair and offers little hope for the future whereas only 15 per cent believe it is working. "Even the elites have a lack of faith in the system, with 48 per cent of the top quartile in income, 49 per cent of the college-educated and a majority of the well-informed (51 per cent) saying the system has failed," the report said.

Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman said the implications of global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging and that it began with the Great Recession of 2008. "...but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalisation and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions. "The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism as the mass population has taken control away from the elites," Edelman noted.

As per the report, the cycle of distrust is magnified by the emergence of a media echo chamber that reinforces personal beliefs while shutting out opposing points of view. "Respondents favour search engines (59 per cent) over human editors (41 per cent) and are nearly four times more likely to ignore information that supports a position they do not believe in," it said.

The participants included 1,150 general population aged 18 years and over, 500 informed public respondents in the US and China. There were 200 informed public respondents in all other countries across 28 markets. According to the report, the informed publics met various criteria such as their age was 25-64 years, college-educated and household income in the top quartile for their age in their country. Besides, these people read or watch business/news media at least several times a week as well as follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week.
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