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Gujarat tops in composite Good Governance Index 2021

Context:

Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation released the Good Governance Index 2021 prepared by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) on Good Governance Day celebrated annually on 25th December to mark the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Government Policies and Initiatives, Accountability and Transparency in Governance)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Good Governance
  2. About the Good Governance Index by DARPG
  3. Highlights of the Good Governance Index 2021
  4. Strategies for good governance
  5. Steps taken to promote Good Governance in India

Understanding Good Governance

Governance’ by itself is a neutral term while `Good Governance’ implies positive attributes and values associated with the quality of governance. Good governance is a dynamic concept and there is much subjectivity involved in defining the aspects of good governance.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognizes eight core characteristics of good governance:

1Participation:  Participation of all section of society is cornerstone of good governance. Participatory governance provides opportunities for citizens to take part in decision making, implementation and monitoring of government activities. 
2Consensus oriented Good governance requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus on o what is in the best interest of the whole community and o how this can be achieved. It also requires a broad and long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development. 
3Rule of Law Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities and vulnerable sections of the society. 
4Transparent Transparency means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available in easily understandable forms and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement. It also means that enough information is provided and that it is provided in easily understandable forms and media. For example, in India the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a powerful instrument in the hands of people to ensure transparency in the decision-making process of executive. 
5Accountable Accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies. The components of accountability are answerability, sanction, redress and system improvement. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law. 
6Responsive Good governance requires that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. Redressal of citizen grievance, citizen orientation, citizen friendliness and timely delivery of services are key component of responsive governance. 
7Effective and Efficient Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results into the optimum use of resources at their disposal. Thus, it also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment. 
8Equitable and Inclusive A society’s wellbeing depends on ensuring that all its members feel they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being. 

About the Good Governance Index by DARPG

  • The Good Governance Index is prepared by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions envisaged as a biannual exercise.
  • It is a comprehensive and implementable framework to assess the State of Governance across the States and UTs which enables ranking of States/Districts.
  • The Index provides a comparative picture among the States while developing a competitive spirit for improvement.
  • The objective of GGI is to create a tool that can be used uniformly across the States to assess the impact of various interventions taken up by the Central and State Governments including UTs.
  • The Good Governance Index 2021 is based on 58 indicators in 10 Sectors which are:
    1. Agriculture and Allied Sectors
    2. Commerce & Industries
    3. Human Resource Development
    4. Public Health
    5. Public Infrastructure & Utilities
    6. Economic Governance
    7. Social Welfare & Development
    8. Judicial & Public Security
    9. Environment
    10. Citizen-Centric Governance.

Highlights of the Good Governance Index 2021

  • The Index categorises States and UTs into four categories:
  • In Group A – Gujarat has topped the composite ranking in the Good Governance Index 2021 covering 10 sectors, followed by Maharashtra and Goa.
  • In Group B – Madhya Pradesh tops the list followed by Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
  • In North-East and Hill States – Himachal Pradesh topped the list followed by Mizoram and Uttarakhand.
  • Amongst Union Territories – Delhi tops the composite rank registering a 14% increase over the GGI 2019 indicators.
  • Gujarat has topped the composite ranking in the Good Governance Index 2021 covering 10 sectors, followed by Maharashtra and Goa.
  • Gujarat registered more than a 12% increase in scores, performing strongly on 5 of the 10 sectors including economic governance, human resource development, public infrastructure and utilities, social welfare and development, judiciary and public safety.
  • Uttar Pradesh showed an 8.9 per cent incremental growth in the period 2019 to 2021 while the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir registered an improvement of 3.7 per cent in the same period.

Strategies for good governance

  1. Reorienting priorities of the state through appropriate investment in human needs
  2. Provision of social safety nets for the poor and marginalized
  3. Strengthening state institutions
  4. Introducing appropriate reforms in the functioning of Parliament and increasing its effectiveness
  5. Enhancing Civil Services capacity through appropriate reform measures
  6. Forging new alliances with civil society
  7. Evolving a new framework for government-business cooperation

Steps taken to promote Good Governance in India

  1. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), India is under an international obligation to effectively guarantee citizens the Right to Information as per Article 19 of the ICCPR. RTI Act, 2005 marks a significant shift in Indian democracy. It gives greater access of the citizen to the information which in turn improves the responsiveness of the government to community needs.
  2. Various steps taken towards e-Governance such as Digital India Initiative, MyGov, PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation), Common Services Centres 2.0 (CSC 2.0), e-Courts etc., effectively delivers better programming and services in the era of newly emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs), which herald new opportunities for rapid social and economic transformation worldwide.
  3. The think tank called the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) was established replacing the Centralised Planning Commission to  promote “cooperative federalism”.
  4. The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) was launched in January 2018 to transform the lives of people in the under-developed areas of the county in a time bound manner.
  5. Government has launched the ‘Make in India’ initiative and took various steps to improve business conditions including legislation meant to improve the country’s business environment and policy ecosystems (such as the Bankruptcy Code, the Goods and Services Tax or GST, and the anti-money-laundering law).

-Source: PIB

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