Kerala tops governance ranking while BJP states give their worst performance

Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat followed Kerala among the top five states delivering good governance, as per the report. Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar ranked the lowest on the PAI.

Public Affair index
Bengaluru: Kerala became the best-governed state in the country for the third consecutive year according to the Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2018.
All four southern states topped the ranking in governance among all 30 states.
Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat followed Kerala among the top five states delivering good governance, as per the report.
“Kerala has topped the PAI for 2018, as the best-governed state for the third consecutive year since 2016 among large states,” said PAC at the launch of the report.
Released annually since 2016, the index examines governance performance in the states through a data-based framework, ranking them on social and economic development they are able to provide. Founded in 1994 by renowned Indian economist and scholar late Samuel Paul, the think tank works to mobilise a demand for better governance in the country.
Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar ranked the lowest on the PAI. Among smaller states (with population less than two crore), Himachal Pradesh topped the list, followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura, which figured among the top five states with good governance.
The report was based on the fundamentals of ‘The Four Capitals’ theory which has four important pillars of human, social, natural and economic capitals to measure sustainable development.
“The think tank has undertaken the study across all the Indian states considering them across 10 themes such as essential infrastructure, support to human development, social protection, women and children as well as law and order. The states were divided into two categories — large and small — on the basis of their population. States with more than two crore population were considered large. A total of 30 focus subjects and 100 indicators were measured to derive the PAI, relying solely upon government data. The PAC said it was not keen to access private data sources that may be interpreted as “biased”. This year’s PAI also included a separate index on the children of India, giving a measure of how child-friendly each of the states are,” reported The News Minute.
“The former chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Shantha Sinha, who was present on the occasion, delivered the Samuel Paul Memorial Lecture, drawing attention to children’s rights in the country. “Children growing up in poverty cannot be blamed for their situation and it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that they are provided with opportunities for a better living,” Sinha said,” reported TNM.
The three worst-governed states, according to the PAC, are MP, Jharkhand and Bihar. All three are currently governed by BJP.
Why does Jharkhand always lag behind in governance when it is the richest state because of natural resources?
“According to the World Bank, Jharkhand is home to 33 million people, 13 million of them poor. It has been lagging behind other states in terms of bringing down poverty and consumption inequality, its share of workers with salaried jobs is the lowest in the country, infant mortality, nutrition and sanitation levels remain poor,” reported DailyO.
“Jharkhand has 40 per cent of India’s total mineral reserves, but accounts for 10 per cent of the total mineral production in terms of value. While there is no simple explanation for this, one of the major reasons has been political instability, which allows misgovernance. In its lifespan of 18 years, the state has had 10 changes of chief ministers, with the chair going either to the BJP or the JMM. The only CM to have completed five years in power is the BJP’s Arjun Munda — who managed the feat in parts over three terms,” the report added.
“The instability has meant that the lower rung of governance in a new state never firmly took shape, impacting the implementation of government schemes and benefits meant to help the disempowered. It also prevented the state from formulating a coherent policy to make the best out of its natural resources, and ensure the gains reach the tribal population — a problem that Narendra Modi seemed to understand in 2013, when he promised Jharkhand the help “any 13 year old needs.” Since 2014, Raghubar Das of the BJP has been in power, heading a majority government — yet, the state has languished at the bottom of the PAC reports since 2016, when the rankings were first introduced,” the report observed.
“When Nitish took over, Bihar was reeling under the utter lawlessness and mismanagement that characterised the Lalu Prasad regime. Under his watch, poverty has gone down, law and order and infrastructure have improved. Madhya Pradesh has seen dramatic improvement in agriculture under Chouhan. But the low rank on the PAC indicates that they have performed so poorly on some indices that it has pulled down their overall score. Madhya Pradesh, for example, is among the worst performers in the category of human development, while Bihar secured the last rank in “economic freedom,” the report said. 
“Thus, the report indicates unequal access to opportunity and high levels of social and economic inequality. This is borne out by other data — according to the latest available NCRB figures, Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of rapes, and atrocities against Scheduled Tribes. Bihar had the second highest number of crimes against Scheduled Castes,” it said.

With inputs from IANS



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