[op-ed snap] Governance Index: On study of States on governance


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Good Governance Index

Mains level : Good Governance - limitations


The nation-wide comparative study of States on governance, the Good Governance Index (GGI) incentivises States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens.


  • 3 groups were formed for the study.
  • The big 18 States, the north-east and hill States and Union Territories are the groups.


  • Different agencies including NITI Aayog are evaluating the States on different parameters.
  • Tamil Nadu has always had the reputation of being a better-run State. It is ranked first in the study.
  • Governance in TN – ability to ensure stable and smooth delivery of services without much ado. 
  • Southern states – 3 of its neighbours are among the top 10 of the big 18 States. Traditionally, the south has been ahead of others in several parameters of development. 
  • “BIMARU” States are catching up with others in development. Of the nine sectors, Rajasthan has finished within the top 10 in five sectors, Madhya Pradesh in four and Uttar Pradesh in three. 
  • In agriculture and allied sectors, almost all the “BIMARU” States are within the top 10 category and in human resources development, U.P. and Bihar figure.
  • Northern states – In the composite ranking, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are ranked fourth and ninth. These northern States can catch up with others in due course of time if the political leadership shows the will to overcome historical obstacles and stays focused on development.


  • Indicators left out — farmers’ income, prevalence of micro irrigation or water conservation systems and inflow of industrial investment — have been left out. 
  • “Ease of doing business” has been given disproportionate weight in the sector of commerce and industries, to the virtual exclusion of growth rate of major and micro, small and medium enterprises. 
  • Debate over indicators — which of the indicators, process-based or outcome-based — should get more importance, is always a debate.


  • It is noteworthy is 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. 
  • GGI requires fine-tuning and improvement. 
  • That does not take away the inherent strength of the work that has been accomplished.
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