7 PM | Governance Index: On the study of States on governance | 30th December 2019

Context: Good governance Index and its findings.

More in news:

  • ‘Good Governance Index’ has been launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day.

Good Governance: 

  • According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), governance means “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented.” 
  • Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance, and local governance. 
  • Since governance is the process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decision.
  • According to UNESCAP, Good governance has 8 major characteristics. These are: 
  • Participatory, 
  • Consensus-oriented, 
  • Accountable, 
  • Transparent, 
  • Responsive, 
  • Effective and efficient, 
  • Equitable and inclusive and 
  • Follows the rule of law. 
  • It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

Good Governance Day:

  • The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • Good Governance Day (GGD) is observed annually on December 25 to create awareness of accountability in government among the Indians. 
  • National Good governance day was established in 2014 to honor Atal Bihari Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the people of accountability in government.
  • In keeping with this principle, the Good Governance Day has been declared to be a working day for the government.
  • Objectives of Good Governance Day:
  • To make people aware of the government’s commitment to providing a transparent and accountable administration in the country.
  • Good Governance Day is celebrated to enhance the welfare and betterment of the people.
  • It is celebrated to standardize the government’s functioning and to make it highly effective and accountable governance for the citizens of the country.
  • To implement policies effectively to achieve good governance in India.
  • To enhance the growth and development in the country through good governance.
  • To bring citizens closer to the government to make them active participants in the good governance process.

Good Governance Index (GGI):

  • The Good Governance index is a uniform tool to assess the status of governance and the impact of various interventions by state governments and Union Territories.
  • The objectives of GGI are:
  • To provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs.
  • To enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance.
  • To shift to result-oriented approaches and administration.
  • Various principles have been kept in mind while selecting the indicators, i.e. 
  • it should be easy to understand & calculate, 
  • citizen-centric & result-driven, 
  • leading to improved results and 
  • applicable to all states and Uts
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors: 
  • Agriculture and Allied Sectors,
  • Commerce & Industries, 
  • Human Resource Development, 
  • Public Health, 
  • Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 
  • Economic Governance, 
  • Social Welfare & Development, 
  • Judicial & Public Security, 
  • Environment 
  • Citizen-Centric Governance. 

These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators. Difference indicators are given different weightage under one Governance Sector to calculate the value. 

Key findings of the report:

  • Top performers among the big states: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The bottom six states are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • In the North-East and Hill States category, Himachal Pradesh ranked first, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim. Jammu and Kashmir is at the sixth place, followed by Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Among the Union Territories, Puducherry emerged as the best-governed, ahead of Chandigarh and Delhi. Lakshwadeep was found to be the worst-performing.
  • Sector-wise ranking:
  • In the agriculture and allied sector, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Daman and Diu are the best performing states in their respective classifications, taking into account the growth rate of agriculture and allied sector, foodgrain production, horticulture produce, milk and meat production, and crop insurance.
  • In the category of commerce and industries, Jharkhand was at the top among big states, Uttarakhand among hill states and Delhi among Union Territories.
  • In the environment sector, the top three states are West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The bottom 3 states are Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Goa.
  • Chhattisgarh has topped the Social Welfare and Development Sector ranking among big states and Meghalaya is on the top in its category.
  • In Economic Governance, Karnataka has emerged at the top among big states and Uttarakhand has topped among North-East and Hill States. 
  • In terms of Public Infrastructure and Utilities, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh have topped their respective categories. 
  • Kerala is on top in terms of Public Health.

Shortcomings in the present Index:

  • Though a feature of agriculture has been acknowledged by the framers of the GGI. But some indicators such as farmers’ income, prevalence of micro-irrigation or water conservation systems and inflow of industrial investment have been left out.
  • The indicator, “ease of doing business”, has been given disproportionate weight (0.9) in the sector of commerce and industries. There is virtual exclusion of growth rate of major and micro, small and medium enterprises with just 0.05 weightage.

Conclusion:

Good Governance Index (GGI), is a welcome exercise to incentivize States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens. There will always be an unending debate over which indicators, process-based or outcome-based should get more importance in the design of such a study. However, it is noteworthy that the Centre has made an attempt to address the problem of the absence of a credible and uniform index for an objective evaluation of the States and Union Territories

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/governance-index-on-study-of-states-on-governance/article30427523.ece

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