India now stands at 51 out of 165 nations and two territories in the Democracy Index 2019 - a list of the most and least democratic countries in the world - said The Economist Intelligence Unit, a news and general affairs publication, in its annual report.
In 2017 and 2018 India received a score of 7.23, down from 7.81 in 2016. The country recorded its highest score - 7.91 - in 2014. As per the list the global average score is 5.44 on 10, which is the lowest ever recorded, reflecting the fact that over a third of the world's population lives under "authoritarian" rule.
"The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country," the Economist said in its report, adding, "The passage by Parliament in December of the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act suggests India's decline will continue in the 2020 index".
In its observations on India the Economist's report referred to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where key opposition politicians, including three former Chief Ministers, continued to be detained more than five months after the centre withdrew Article 370.
Jammu and Kashmir has also been hit by a stringent security lockdown that included deployment of large numbers of soldiers and suspension of mobile and broadband internet for over 100 days.
The list is topped by Norway, with Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland rounding out the top 5 and North Korea in last place. Pakistan is ranked 108 with a score of 4.25 and China received 2.26 for a ranking of 153.