Indian passport ranks as low as 75 in global power index. Here's why

The Indian passport has fared poorly at the 75th position in a global ranking, which saw an Asian country, Singapore, ranking at first position for the first time. 

The Passport Index' Global Passport Power Rank 2017 ranks India, according to its passport's total visa-free score, below countries like Mali, Madagascar, Gabon, and Comoros, which all had a visa-free score of 52. India, according to the index, has a visa-free score of 51.  

But, how does the index, developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, work and why does India fare so poorly? The ranking is based on an analysis of the access various passports have to countries around the world, with a passport's "visa-free score" representing the number of countries its holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

In India's case, 24 countries allow its passport holders visa-free entry and 27 provide visa on arrival. This comparitively low number has led to the Indian passport's low ranking.

The bottom five nations on the list are Afghanistan, which ranked 94th with a visa-free score of 22; Pakistan and Iraq both at 93 with a score of 26; Syria at 92 with a score of 29; and Somalia 91 with a score of 34. 

In our immediate neighbourhood, India fared better than Bangladesh (ranked at 90 with a score of 35), Nepal and Sri Lanka (both ranked at 89 with a score of 36), Bhutan (ranked at 76 with a score of 50), Myanmar (ranked at 84 with a score of 41), and, as mentioned above, Pakistan. 

Our northern neighbour China came in at rank 67 with a visa-free score of 60. 

Singapore's passport has been announced as the most powerful in the world as it secured the top spot in the index' most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159.

This is the first time an Asian country has been announced as having the most powerful passport, according to the Passport Index.

The index says that Singapore passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 173 countries.

The ranking has come after Paraguay eased its visa requirement for Singaporean passport holders.

Germany and Sweden ranked second and third, with a score of 158 and 157, respectively.

The passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories were considered.

Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world tend to be European, with Germany in the lead for the past two years, according to a press release issued on October 25.

Since early 2017, the top position was shared with Singapore, which was steadily moving up the ranks.

Other Asian passports in the top 20 include those of South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

On the other hand, the United States passport has fallen in the ranking since President Donald Trump took office, according to the index.

Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders, recently.

Singapore was also fourth this year in the Visa Restrictions Index, another ranking of travel freedom, which uses a different method of calculating how "powerful" a passport is.

The list is as follows:

1. Singapore (159)

2. Germany (158)

3. Sweden, South Korea (157)

4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom (156)

5. Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal (155)

6. Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America (154)

7. Australia, Greece, New Zealand (153)

8. Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland (152)

9. Hungary (150)

10. Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia (149)

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