The southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have again claimed the top spots for sustainability in the latest Public Affairs Index (PAI 2021). They were also the top performers when it came to government schemes like National Health Mission, MNREGS and Samagra Shikha Abhiyan.
PAI is a scientifically rigorous, data-based framework released by the Public Affairs Centre that measures the quality of governance at the sub-national level and ranks the States and Union Territories on a Composite Index.
Public Affairs Centre (PAC) engages in action research focussing on the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of India. PAC is a not for profit think tank established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India. Over the years, its scope of work has expanded to include the whole gamut of research-advocacy-action to lead evidence-based research on governance across sectors, geographies and populations in India.
For States ad UTs to attain holistic development, they need to ensure ease of living through keeping the pollution levels in check while ensuring cleanliness through solid waste management. In this pursuit, the States positioned first and second are Kerala and Tamil Nadu as was the case last year. Following them is Chhattisgarh, improving one place since last year.
The bottom performers are West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand are included in the Small States category. In this category, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa respectively are the toppers. Mizoram has improved three places while Arunachal Pradesh has improved remarkably by seven places as compared to their performance in PAI 2020. Goa has slipped two places compared to last year. Manipur has fallen by one place, Uttarakhand improved by one, while Delhi drastically fell from fifth to eleventh place this year.
This year’s Sustainability Pillar’s topper in the Union Territory (UT) category is Puducherry, followed by a surprising addition of Jammu and Kashmir in second and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in third position who slipped two ranks after topping this Pillar last year. The bottom performer is Lakshadweep.
State-wise performance on govt schemes
To rank them on the performance of government schemes, the States are classified based on the funding pattern between the Central and the State governments into 90:10 division states and 60:40 division states (Central share: State share). The 60:40 division States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The 90:10 division States are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
1. National Health Mission (NHM)
In the 60:40 division States, the top three performers are Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu and, the bottom three performers are Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Among the top three performers, Kerala shows consistent top performance in themes of Access, Coverage, Availability and Utilisation. Goa, on the other hand consistently stood second in Access, Coverage and Availability; however, ranked 14 out of the total 19 in Utilisation.
In the case of Tamil Nadu, consistent good performance is seen in terms of Access, Coverage and Utilisation, but the State showed poor performance in the theme of Availability.
In the 90:10 division States, the top three performers were Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Mizoram; and, the bottom three performers are Manipur, Assam and Meghalaya.
The top three States simultaneously performed well in the theme of Access; Himachal Pradesh came second, Sikkim stood fifth and Mizoram stood third.
The bottom three performers in the overall Index showed simultaneous poor performance in the theme of Access, thereby influencing the overall rank.
The analysis of the performance of Manipur in the various themes showed consistent poor performance in Access, Coverage and Utilisation despite decent performance in Availability.
2. Samagra Shiksha Scheme (SmSA)
West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu were the top three States amongst the 60:40 division States; while Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan appeared as the bottom three performers. In the case of 90:10 division States, Mizoram, Assam and Tripura were the top three performers and Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand featured as the bottom three
Correlation analysis shows that Utilisation is the highest contributor to the overall Index. This could be because education inherently requires expenditure on material and immaterial goods like school books, school infrastructure and salary of staff.
Among the 60:40 division States, the top three performers are Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and the bottom three performers are Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Goa. All States in 60:40 division States except Kerala that came in the top six under the theme of Utilisation fall in the bottom 50 percentile in the overall performance in MGNREGS.
Despite good performance in the theme of Utilisation, States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand show poor performance in terms of Access, Coverage and Availability.
Evidently, the top three States in the overall rank – Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa – showed good performance in the theme of Access as well.
In the 90:10 division States, the top three performers are Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland and the bottom three performers are Manipur and Assam. Themes of Access and Availability showed maximum impact to the overall index.
Nagaland ranked third overall and was a consistent member of the top three performers in the themes of Access, Coverage and Availability.
4. Mid-Day Meal Scheme
Among the 60:40 division States, Goa, West Bengal and Delhi appear as the top three performers and Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar appear as the bottom three performers. Out of the top three performers, Delhi and Goa exhibits low dropout rates; 3.6% and 2.3% respectively.
Among the poor performers, Bihar, with dropout rate of 26.9% appears in the bottom three performers; third to Haryana (77.8%) and Jharkhand (28.3%) Telangana’s worst performance in the Access, despite average performance in Coverage, Availability and Utilisation, pushed its overall rank to 18 out of the 19 States in the category.
Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, has shown consistent poor performance in Access, Coverage and Utilisation, with the exceptional better performance in Availability.
Among the 90:10 division States, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura were the top three performers and Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh were the bottom three performers.
Out of the top three performers, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura also showed low dropout rates; 1.3% and 7.8% respectively.
Among the poor performers, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh also had high dropout rates; 35.5% and 34.9% respectively.