Kerala trumps high-profile peers to top Public Affairs Index 2018

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: PAI

Mains level: Measures of Human Development in India.


Public affairs Index 2018

  1. The index provides a multi-dimensional and comprehensive matrix that attempts to capture the complexities of governing the plural and diverse people of this sub-continent.
  2. It is conducted by the Public Affairs Centre, a Bengaluru-based think tank.
  3. The think tank has undertaken the study across all the Indian states considering them across 10 themes such as essential infrastructure, support to human development, social protection, women and children as well as law and order.
  4. The states were divided into two categories — large and small — on the basis of their population. States with more than two crore population were considered large.
  5. PAI 2018 comprises 10 broad themes, 30 focus subjects and 100 indicators as well as a special chapter on the children of India relying solely upon government data and no private data sources that may be interpreted as “biased”.

Performance of the States

  1. Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat followed Kerala among the top five states delivering good governance, according to the report.
  2. Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar ranked the lowest on the PAI, indicating higher social and economic inequalities in the states.
  3. Among smaller states (with a population less than two crores), Himachal Pradesh topped the list, followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura which figured among the top five states with good governance.
  4. Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya were ranked at the bottom of the index among small states.

Kerala leads

  1. Kerala, according to the think tank, has emerged first overall among 30 States in the country, with a top ranking in four of the 10 parameters for big States.
  2. These include essential infrastructure, support to human development, women and child development and a child-friendly approach.
  3. While the theme on essential infrastructure includes power, water, roads and communication and housing, that on support to human development covers education and health.

Other Indices

  1. This year’s PAI also included a separate index on the children of India, giving a measure of how child-friendly each of the states is.
  2. Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram topped the index on being the states to provide better living conditions for all children.
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