While Sikkim emerged as the best-governed state amongst the small states, Kerala was the best-governed state amongst the large states. Amongst the large states, Uttar Pradesh scored the lowest.
Manipur was adjudged the worst governed state in 2021 amongst the small states according to the Public Affairs Centre’s recently released Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2021.
While Sikkim emerged as the best governed state amongst the small states, Kerala was the best governed state amongst the large states. Amongst the large states, Uttar Pradesh scored the lowest. Among the UTs, Puducherry ranked first, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands ranked last.
The index analyses governance performance using the three pillars of equity, growth and sustainability. It also assesses the implementation of five centrally sponsored schemes — Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Health Mission, Integrated Child Development Services, Samagra Siksha Abhiyan, and Midday Meal Scheme. The 2021 index has also taken into account each state’s response to the pandemic.
Reacting to the report, AICC observer for Manipur, MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted “The Bengaluru-based independent think tank, Public Affairs Centre has ranked states in terms of governance. Among large states, Uttar Pradesh is LAST and in small states, Manipur is LAST. This is the result of having BJP at the Centre and State: 0+0=0”.
The report shows that the states which have emerged as the top performers in the COVID-19 Response Index have shown better performance in the pillar of growth under sustainable development goals that deals with health and well-being which justifies their performance under the theme of ‘containment’.
Four of the top five positions in the index are occupied by the southern states. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh occupy the top three spots due to their consistent performance across both pillars, while Karnataka ranks fifth due to its moderately good performance in the theme of preparedness.
PAC chairperson A Ravindra, said “When we reflect on the world that we live in today, it is difficult to miss the fact that widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our times. This is especially true in the backdrop of the severest pandemic that the world has faced in 100 years. While the states have responded in substantive measure, and we ought to be legitimately proud as a society, we remain a work in progress. The true measure of progress of a society is not measured at its apex but at its base. This is precisely what PAI 2021 demonstrates,” he said.
PAC director G Gurucharan, said PAI 2021 provides state-specific rationale for strategic interventions in investing in those sectors and spaces that are most in need of help. “Using data analytics, it argues that the most sensible investment thesis for each state is one that centres on those development deficits taking longer and being more difficult to build,” he added.
The Public Affairs Centre is a not-for-profit research think tank based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It works at improving the quality of governance in India. The institute conducts research activities in two major fields, public policy and participatory governance.