Kerala tops, Bihar last in public affairs index

Two South Indian States - Kerala and Tamil Nadu - secured first and second rankings for the second year in a row while poll-bound Gujarat gained two positions rising from five in 2016 to three in 2017 in public affairs index (PAI) in governance in States.

Karnataka slipped from third position in 2016 to fourth in 2017 while Maharashtra stood fifth (4th in 2016) in governance indicators.

There was no change in the last four positions among large States. Like in the previous year, Bihar (18th), Jharkhand (17th), Odisha (16th) and Assam (15th) are at the bottom of the table in PAI, a latest survey of think-tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bengaluru, has revealed.

10 themes

The survey was based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82 indicators. Among 12 small States (population less than two crore), Himachal has wrested the first rank, followed by Goa and Mizoram. Delhi slipped from third position in 2016 to 9th position in 2017. Meghalaya (12th), Arunachal Pradesh (11th) and Jammu Kashmir (10th) are at the bottom of the table.

Punjab is the best performer among all States in the category of essential infrastructure. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat secured second, third and fourth positions, respectively.

In human development, Kerala, Maharshtra, and Punjab are top of the table while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam are the worst performers, the report said.

Kerala, Assam and Madhya Pradesh secured top three ranks in implementation of social protection policies, while Telangana, Haryana and Punjab are lagging in execution of various State and Central government schemes.

The PAI said that women and children continued to be the most vulnerable section of the society. In the category of women and children, Kerala topped the list followed by Odisha and Karnataka while Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra are poor performers.

Tamil Nadu secured first rank in maintaining law and order, delivery of justice and environment categories and secured last rank in transparency and accountability in the administration.

Fiscal management

Telangana is the best performer in fiscal management while its neighbour Andhra Pradesh is the poor performer and secured last rank.

In the category of economic freedom, BJP-ruled Gujarat secured top rank while Nitish Kumar-ruled Bihar secured the last rank.

Former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah released the report in the presence of former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, PAC Director G. Gurucharan and former Chief Secretary of Rajasthan C.K. Mathew.

The report was based on a wide range of themes such as essential infrastructure, support to human development, social protection, women and children, crime, law and order, delivery of justice, environment, transparency and accountability, fiscal management and economic freedom.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 5:22:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kerala-tops-bihar-last-in-public-affairs-index/article18437981.ece