Good Governance Index (GGI) - Editorial

Good Governance Index (GGI) - Background Context

The Good Governance Index (GGI) was launched by the Minister of State for Personnel. December 25, which is considered to be the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was announced to be observed as Good Governance Day by PM Modi in the year 2014.

The new Good Governance Index (GGI) has been “Scientifically Revamped” to accommodate various variables/frameworks of governance.

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Good Governance Index (GGI)

GGI is a uniform and scientifically designed tool developed to identify the status of governance and the influence of obtruding (required interventions) carried out by the government throughout all states and Union Territories (UTs).

A wide variety of parameters and factors have been considered while selecting the required indicators, i.e. Should be easy to understand & easy to calculate, include or anticipate every citizen at its core & importantly be result-driven, traveling to improved results and scalable i.e. applicable and implementable to all states and Union Territories (UTs).

Numerous consulting meetings were undertaken with participating stakeholders, Subject Matter Expertise (SME), concerned ministers & delegates, and states and union territories (UTs).

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Purpose of Good Governance Index (GGI)

  • To put forward the quantifiable data (measurable data) to collate (note the similarity or dissimilarity between) the state of governance of all Indian states and union territories (UTs).
  • To enhance the quality of states and union territories (UTs) by enabling them to the device and implement a suitable framework or strategies for improving governance.
  • To shift from the conventional & traditional administrative structure to a result-oriented administrative approach.
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Taking into consideration the analysis of Grievances being collected from various sources and as a constructive approach toward Good Governance, the Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare (DoP&PW) has created a timeline (2019-2024) to implement certain initiatives including

  • Review and Rationalization of Pension Rule 1972
  • Promotion of Digital Life Certificate
  • e-PPO and its integration with Digi Locker
  • Real-Time Monitoring of Family Pension of CARF Martyrs

Good Governance index (GGI) Calculation Method

GGI has listed 10 sectors to be considered to implement Good Governance practices, these 10 sectors are as follows.

  • Agriculture and allied sectors
  • Commerce and industries
  • Human resource development
  • Public health
  • Public Infrastructure and utilities
  • Economic governance
  • Social welfare & development
  • Judicial and public security
  • Environment and citizen-centric governance

These 10 sectors are diversely measured using a total of 50 indicators. Each of these indicators has a different weightage and is grouped under one governance sector to collect and calculate the needed values. Moreover, the state and union territories (UTs) are broadly classified into three categories firstly big states, secondly north-east & hill states, and lastly union territories (UTs).

The paradox in the findings of the Good Governance Index (GGI)

Varied central agencies including NITI Aayog, which serves as THINK-TANK for government policies beforehand are accessing the states on various parameters.

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  • The findings of the GGI’s inaugural edition are significant in many respects. Although Tamil Nadu has always had the reputation of being a better-run State, it is only now that it is ranked first in any study of this kind.
  • The initial finding of GGI is very remarkable in varied respect. To date, the state of Tamil Nadu is considered and had the stature of being a “better-run-state". But after the finding, it is ranked first considering any combination of given parameters.
  • The key strength of Tamil Nadu is its caliber to ensure seamless delivery of desired services without much intervention.
  • Considering the parameters, Tamil Nadu is not the only state in southern India to stand strong and have impressive performance.
  • The neighboring three states of Tamil Nadu, are among the top 10, in the list of 18 big states (one of the three groups formed).
  • Considering the data of the GGI, traditionally southern India has always been ahead in the race, taking into several parameters of development.
  • The loosely titled “BIMARU” states are trying hard to catch up or get ahead of others in overall development.
  • The recent winners (States) to catch up in the top 10 are Rajasthan (topped 5 out of the 10 sectors). Madhya Pradesh (topped 4 out of the 10 sectors) and Uttar Pradesh (topped 3 out of the 10 sectors).
  • The “Agriculture and allied sector” has helped almost every “BIMARU” State to climb the success ladder and ranked within the top 10 categories. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar topped Human resource development. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh ranked ninth and fourth respectively in the composite ranking.
  • The key message here is that, if northern India wants to catch up with other developed states in due course of time then they have to make implement the following changes
  • Show promising leadership at the state level
  • Overcome and solve historical disputes and obstacles
  • Be development centric in all aspect

Progressive changes are needed in the next version

  • The specific performance indicator “ease of doing business” under the sector of commerce and industries, has been allotted the disproportionate weightage. It also eliminated or failed to consider the growth rate of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as well as Major and Microenterprise.
  • The debate on indicators either “Process-Based” or “Outcome Based” has to be settled on a concrete decision and make the process more objective than subjective and get more importance in the architecting of such study.
  • In spite of these shortcomings and imperfections, it is remarkable to see Centre has made a series of attempts to locate and address or fill the gap of “a deficiency of reliable and consistent or uniform index for objective assessment” of states and union territories (UTs).
  • Over time, GGI definitely required more fine-tuning and adequate refinement or improvement than just a quick fix.
  • GGI made a remarkable contribution to the inherent strength of the work, being achieved so far, considering India’s size and complexity.
  • Any Index of this size and complexity is bound to have flaws and shortcomings in its initial release, the Index makes have noticed it very well, thus certain indicators, have been left out, such as the income of farmers, water irrigation, and conservation system, the inflow of industrial investments.

Conclusion

The relative study of State of Governance, across the nation, conducted by the Indian Govt., as the Good Governance Index (GGI), is an appreciable initiative and considered an effective practice to reward States for rightfully delivery on public services to the Indian citizens.

Good Governance can be referred to as an effective and adequate procedure for decision making, taking into account the process by which decisions are deployed (or not deployed) and practiced, keeping the betterment and improvement of citizens as the topmost priority.

Creation of institution, setting up protocols & operating procedures and resource allocation, etc., are an integral part of achieving the “Good Governance” goal.