A heartening development in the Indian politics in the recent years is, increasing focus on governance. Elections have been contested and won on the plank of “good governance.” States are trying to outdo each other in implementation of good governance practices. Promise of corruption-free effective governance was amongst the most important factors in Narendra Modi-led alliance landslide victory in 2014 general election. So has been the case with several of the recent state assembly elections.
This has given rise to several models of governance. Some base the governance models on individuals, while others link it to political parties’ ideologies. SKOCH Group has been studying and documenting good governance practices for more than a decade. While it is fashionable to link the governance practices to a few persons or a particular political party, our experience shows that impressive innovative measures are taken across the country to make governance better. This Special Issue focuses on good governance practices. Here, we take good governance as a relative term rather than being absolute. What could be termed as an impressive governance initiative in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar may not be the same, say for Tamil Nadu or Karnataka, as they are traditionally advanced.
Instead of giving a rank to each state, we have put them in categories. Those who have done exceedingly well are in the “Stars” category. “Performers” and then “Catching Up” follow it. We found some projects really fascinating and interesting. Their focus would have been lost had they been clubbed in the state reports. So, we have highlighted few such projects in the form of case studies.
There is a strong correlation between governance, economic growth and development. Better-governed states attract investments and enjoy higher economic expansion. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are ideal examples. In terms of economic growth, these states have been at the top largely due to the impressive initiatives taken by the respective leadership.
At the national level, moods were upbeat when Modiji catapulted to power at the Centre in May 2014. It would be unfair to say that things have not moved since then. Several impressive initiatives have been undertaken and growth seems to be picking up. It would also be unfair to expect any kind of magic-wand whoosh for an enormous nation that we are! Real growth is expected only out of concrete long-term measures rather than quick-fix.
(Sameer Kochhar can be reached at email@example.com)
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