For the second year running, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have maintained their positions as the states with the best governance in the country, according to the 2017 Public Affairs Index (PAI).
Followed by Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, these states were at the top of the governance spectrum as seen from a wide range of important themes such as Essential Infrastructure, Support to Human Development, Social Protection, Women and Children, Crime, Law & Order, Delivery of Justice, Environment, Transparency & Accountability, Fiscal Management and Economic Freedom, as per the report.
The PAI aims to rank the states of India objectively in the field of governance based on various focus subjects and indicators and is an initiative of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
The PAC is a not-for-profit think-tank focussed on good governance, which was established in 1994.
Karnataka which was at the third position last year fell two places in this year's report while Andhra Pradesh maintained its rank at 14 and Bihar stayed at the bottom.
Former Judge of the Supreme Court Santosh Hegde was the chief guest and launched the 2017 edition of the PAI, along with Chairman of PAC, former Chief Justice MN Venkatachaliah.
Speaking at the book launch, MN Venkatachaliah said, “Having gone through this report, I am sure that the Public Affairs Index will be a game-changer in governance. It creates a competitive environment among governments to secure the top spots that will without a doubt result in a direct benefit to the common man. ”
While the 2016 edition of PAI included 25 focus subjects, under ten themes and 68 indicators, the 2017 PAI expands this scope to include 26 subjects and 82 indicators and also includes a new theme of ‘Inequality’.
A total of 30 states were ranked, with the state of Telangana making its debut in the report, as data for the state was not available for the previous year.
The PAI report uses statistics from sources available in the public domain and standardizes the data using the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) or population as the denominator, while assigning the values of 1.0 and 0.0 to the highest and lowest performers respectively, and placing the other states in between these two end points.
Author of PAI, Dr C K Mathew, Senior Fellow at PAC and former Chief Secretary, Govt of Rajasthan, said, “Public Affairs Index is our attempt to produce a credible report on the quality of governance in India. The attention that it received through its first edition in 2016 was heartening and inspired us to come out with the 2017 edition which we hope will aid future governments in providing better public services to the citizens of India.”
The full report can be accessed here.