Does topper TN have an unfair advantage on good governance index?

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The top performers among the big states are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat | Representative Photo: iStock

Tamil Nadu has bagged the top position on the Good Governance Index (GGI), as per data provided by the Union Ministry of Personnel.

Union minister of state Jitendra Singh launched the ‘Good Governance Index’ (GGI) at an event organised by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions on Good Governance Day, December 25. The Good Governance Day was first observed in 2014.

The GGI has been designed as a data tool to quantitatively assess the status of governance and the impact of various interventions taken up by the state government and UTs.

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The objective of any such index is to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs. This would, in turn, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement strategies to improve governance and shift to a data-driven policy approach.

The GGI takes into consideration 10 sectors, namely, agriculture and allied areas; commerce and industries; human resource development; public health; public infrastructure and utilities; economic governance; social welfare and development; judicial and public security; environment; and citizen-centric governance.

These 10 governance sectors are further broken down and measured on a total of 50 indicators. These indicators are given different weightage to calculate the final value.

Here are the key points of the report:

The bottom five states on the governance index are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

The top performers among the big states are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Among the North-East & hill states, the top three are Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Tripura. The bottom three are Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Puducherry leads among the UTs, followed closely by Chandigarh in second place, followed by Delhi in the third. Lakshadweep is at the bottom.

Sector-wise ranking

  • In the environment sector, the top three states are West Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. The bottom three states are Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
  • In the judicial and public security ranking, Tamil Nadu tops the chart and West Bengal is at the base.
  • In economic governance, Karnataka is at the top whereas Kerala tops in the public health sector.

Also read | Industrial production growth slips to 2 pc in June

Problems with new index

Any new index is bound to attract criticism, especially with regard to the methodology used. The biggest issue being flagged about the new index is that factors like farmers’ income, micro-irrigation, water conservation, and actual capital inflows towards industrial investment have been ignored.

Hopefully, this would be looked into when the redesign of the index happens.

Also, states like TN have benefited on the economic governance parameters such as state’s own tax revenues (due to the state government’s monopoly over alcohol business).

The ‘ease of doing business’ indicator has been given disproportionate weightage in the commerce and industries sector (90%). Also, it has relegated the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a weightage of 0.05. Hence, this might not give a true overall picture of a state’s performance in industry and commerce.

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