Good governance has gained currency in recent years. A very healthy competition is being witnessed among Indian states on the issue of good governance. Good governance is not only closely linked to the growth and development of a state or the region, but it also assures victory in elections. SKOCH State of Governance 2018 report is released in the run-up to the general election. The report springs several surprises and interesting developments. The biggest surprise has come from Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal. The state that was marred by economic stagnation, strikes and labour unrest for decades under the Communist Party rule is now setting examples on good governance practices.
The states that have performed exceedingly well in the SKOCH State of Governance 2018 ranking are also the one helmed by strong leadership. Voters have reposed faith and elected those leaders again and again who have delivered on good governance promises. This is why these leaders have won election after election, irrespective of the party line. Narendra Modi had won back-to-back elections in Gujarat serving as chief minister of the state for 13-years before assuming the charge as the Prime Minister of India. Leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and N Chandrababu Naidu have done exceedingly well in elections after delivering on their promises on good governance. Their governance models and success stories are mentioned in detail in their respective state reports. However, it is pertinent to highlight some of the spectacular performances here.
As mentioned earlier the biggest surprise in the 2018 ranking came from West Bengal. It has topped the SKOCH State of Governance ranking for the first time. This unprecedented surge in West Bengal’s ranking came on the back of sweeping reforms introduced by Banerjee’s government in the areas such as health, labour, public administration, infrastructure, women empowerment, tourism and culture.
The rise in the ranking is indeed spectacular! In 2016, West Bengal was at the 14th position in the SKOCH State of Governance ranking. It improved its ranking to the 9th position in 2017 and has surged to the number one position in 2018.
Rajasthan, which was at number one in 2017, slipped to third position this year, while Telangana retain their second position. Andhra Pradesh also registered remarkable improvement in its ranking, surging to second position in 2018 from 10th position in 2017.
What makes SKOCH Rankings unique?
SKOCH State of Governance ranking is based on study and evaluation of programmes and projects at different levels from top to bottom across the country. The evaluation is focused on outcomes.
There are several other reports and rankings on state of governance. Most of them base their reports and findings on secondary statistics and government reports. SKOCH State of Governance report is unique because it is based on primary data and studies. Outcome-based assessment is done at project level. Ground level impact of the projects is being studied and evaluated.
All States and government agencies are free to participate and offer as many well performing projects and programmes for evaluations as they have. There is no bar on projects to be assessed. Project leaders, champions and architects responsible for the rollout and implementation of the shortlisted projects are called for presentations and further evaluation. Domain experts study and evaluate each project. Extensive field research is also done to evaluate the impact of the projects at the grassroots level.
SKOCH State of Governance ranking and report is based on outcome-based analysis of projects and programmes shortlisted from across the country. This year, around 500 projects from across the country were shortlisted for deeper study and evaluation by a team of jury, comprising of domain experts.
The performance of each project adds to the weight in the ranking of a particular state. The weightage is derived from the outcomes and impact that each project has had on the targeted beneficiaries.
West Bengal topped this year’s ranking because it had the largest number of well performing projects. From West Bengal 44 projects made to the final list of evaluation and deeper study. Based on their impact on society and the overall governance process, these projects were further divided in extra-large, large, medium, small and pilot categories.
There have been impressive good governance initiatives from across the country. While in some states they are extensively being implemented across the government departments and organisations, in others, it is limited to a few departments. SKOCH’s endeavour has been to highlight the best practices from across the country. For a better understanding the states have been classified in three groups.
The states where projects have performed the best in terms of rankings across different parameters have been classified as “STARS”. States that have done commendable work are next in the rankings classified as “PERFORMERS” and the remaining states are classified as “CATCHING-UP”.
West Bengal Tops in 5 Sectoral Rankings
West Bengal has topped in five sectoral rankings in the SKOCH State of Governance report card. The sectors in which West Bengal has topped include Finance and Revenue, Urban Development, Rural Development, Tourism & Culture and Governance. In other sectors such as Irrigation, Water Resources, District Administration and Health, West Bengal is ranked amongst top three nationally.
West Bengal has taken multiple initiatives to ease the procedures and steps related to clearances, inspections and certifications. There is an enforced ban on strikes. Archaic labour laws have been amended. The process of delivery of various services like Grant of License under Factories Act, Licence under the Indian Boilers’ Act, Contract Labour (R&A) Act etc have been re-engineered to suit the order of the day.
The state has done a remarkable job in strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and making implementation of rural development schemes more efficient and transparent. Geographical Information System (GIS) based integrated planning and monitoring system has been put in place for the PRIs under the Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat (ISGP) programme. A uniform ‘single-window’ system has been developed for the monitoring of PRIs across the state.
West Bengal has introduced an innovative scheme for poverty alleviation called “Today’s Wage for Tomorrow’s Livelihood’’. The scheme is aimed at creating substantial assets especially through the use of MGNREGA funds. This is focused on plantation and vegetation-based livelihood. Under the scheme beneficiaries get 100 days of work for maintaining plants and ensuring survival above 75 per cent and healthy growth upto five years.
A number of steps have been taken to make cities clean and green and create livelihood opportunities in order to ensure sustainable urban development in the state. The government of West Bengal has launched the Green City Mission under which the focus is on eco-friendly and planned development of urban areas.
The West Bengal government has rolled out more than 2,500 schemes under the Green Cities Mission covering all Urban Local Bodies, areas under development authorities, i.e., all urban areas under West Bengal through green space development, LED lights, high mast illumination lights, conservation and beautification of water bodies, development of road median, landscaping, beautification of hospitals, tree plantation and CCTV cameras since 2016-17.
Telangana Tops in Agriculture, Municipal Governance
India’s ‘youngest state’ Telangana has taken a number of steps to digitalise the government service delivery system from top to bottom. Technology is being used extensively to aid farmers and ensure effective and transparent delivery of social welfare benefits to the marginalised. This has helped Telangana emerge as the “STAR” performer in the SKOCH State of Governance Report 2018.
Telangana emerged as the top performer in municipal governance dislodging Maharashtra, while in agriculture it beat Haryana to claim the top position. In the overall ranking Telangana has maintained its position in the top five states for the third consecutive year. The state is ranked at the second position this year.
Telangana has taken several pathbreaking initiatives aimed at making governance far more efficient and transparent. The focus is on strengthening the system at the bottom. Telangana is set to become the first state to provide broadband connection to every household by the end of this year. No other state is close to this.
To address the farmers’ distress, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Raoled government has launched a unique investment support scheme called “Rythu Bandhu”. Under the scheme a financial support of RS4,000 per acre per farmer per season is provided. The scheme is aimed to ensure that the farmers do not fall into the debt trap. Telangana is predominantly a rainfed state and it had one of the highest rates of farmer indebtedness in the country. The government scheme has helped lakhs of farmers come out of the debt rap.
With a view to bring transparency and accountability in the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Department of Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Telangana, has put in place an end-toend Fair Price Shop (FPS) automation solution in a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) mode.
The man who is responsible spearheading the digitalisation and smart governance initiatives in the state is K T Rama Rao, Minister of IT and Industries. The young visionary minister is promoting Telangana as a preferred ICT destination. KTR, as he is popularly known as, is pushing forward the mantra of 3D – Decentralise, Digitalise and Democratise.
In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of governance, the state has been pushing for decentralisation of administration. As part of digitalisation there is extensive use of information and communication technology in service delivery and the third D is related to democratic style of functioning and decision-making.
Municipalities in the state have taken several remarkable steps in the areas of waste management, sanitation and livelihood. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has floated Municipal Bond for raising money for implementation and execution of its Strategic Roads Development Project.
Andhra Pradesh Leads in Irrigation, Skill Development
Andhra Pradesh coming second in overall SKOCH State of Governance ranking has led the sectoral rankings in irrigation and skill development. Eleven projects from irrigation sector in Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh has made to the final shortlist.
Andhra Pradesh has introduced an initiative to ensure real time monitoring of ground water levels. This is the first of its kind initiative in the country. By measuring groundwater levels from 1,254 piezometers on a real time basis across all 13 districts of the state and correlating the information with all 15 lakh agricultural bore-wells in Andhra Pradesh, which were geo-tagged. This information published on the Chief Minister’s core dashboard makes it easy for administrators and the common man to know the status of ground water levels. Andhra Pradesh has recorded the maximum rise in ground water level in spite of below normal rainfall.
Another commendable initiative is the lift irrigation scheme. It acts as a lifeline for small and marginal farmers in upland areas, particularly in the Rayalaseema region.
States that Slipped in Ranking
While there are spectacular gains for the states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, some states such as Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra have faced sharp drop in their rankings. Madhya Pradesh that topped in SKOCH State of Governance 2015 ranking, slipped to the 10th position in 2018 report. The drop in Madhya Pradesh ranking has been consistent. It fell to fourth position in 2016 and further to the seventh position in 2017.
Haryana has also witnessed a sharp drop. The state slipped from the fourth spot in 2017 ranking to the 14th place in the 2018 report. With this drop Haryana slipped out of the STAR category. The state is now in PERFORMER category.
Maharashtra slipped from the third spot in 2017 to the eighth position in 2018. Maharashtra had been a consistent top performer. It was at the third position in 2016. State of Governance ranking report. However, the sharp drop in Maharashtra’s ranking 2018 is worrisome.
A close analysis of the last three year’s report reveal that the states like Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have slipped in the ranking largely due to their lack of innovation in e-Governance space. Madhya Pradesh and Haryana had impressive e-Governance initiatives in 2015 and 2016. In fact, Madhya Pradesh topped the SKOCH State of Governance ranking in 2015 on the back of e-Governance initiatives. However, nothing noteworthy was reported in 2018.
Maharashtra seems to have slipped in the ranking due to comparatively high standards set already in different segments of the government. While the states like West Bengal gained as a number of medium and long-term projects started to deliver, Maharashtra stagnated in several segments.
The states that have also performed poorly this year in their ranking include Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Telangana retain its second spot in 2018. Telangana was the top performer in 2016 report. Tamil Nadu dropped from the 6th position in 2017 to the 17th position in 2018. Punjab dropped from the 5th position in 2017 to the 7th position in 2018.
SKOCH State of Governance is the most comprehensive study of governance in the country. Apart from the state rankings, it comprehensively analyses sector-wise performance.
The sectoral classification includes Municipal Governance, Sanitation, District Administration, Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Resources, Finance & Revenue, Education, Health, ICT (e-Governance), Transport, Tourism & Culture, Policy and Safety, Women & Child Development, Urban Development, Rural Development, Governance, Skill Development, Food and Civil Supplies & Energy and Power.
Municipal Governance sees Largest Number of Best Practices
Among the sectors the largest number of best practices identified were from the Municipal Governance category. Ninety-one projects from across the country were shortlisted for final evaluation and study from Municipal Governance category. The largest number of projects studied were from Telangana and Maharashtra. Twenty projects each made to the final from both these states. However, based on the impact analysis Telangana topped as higher number of its projects were in “extralarge” and “large” categories.
With six projects, Gujarat came third in the Municipal Governance category, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which were at fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth position respectively.
Municipalities across the country face severe fund crunch. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has come out with an innovative measure to raise funds for its development projects. The Corporation floated the first tranche of RS200 crore in the Bond Market for raising money for implementation and execution of its Strategic Roads Development Project. The Corporation proposes to further raise RS1,000 crore from the Bond Market.
Pune Municipal Corporation has also embarked on the innovative financing model. It has pioneered the development of the Municipal Bond Market in India. Pune Municipal Corporation raised bonds amounting to RS200 crore during the first tranche of its 5-year bond programme (RS2,264 crore).
In order to ensure dignified housing to shelter-less poor people, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has launched a two-bedroom housing programme. Unlike other prevalent weaker section housing programmes, this programme intends to provide a dignified dwelling unit to the beneficiaries with a plinth area of about 560 sft with provision for two bedrooms, one hall, one kitchen and two toilets. The design, extent and pattern of dwelling units are utility oriented to meet the urban family requirements. Along with this, it gives a long-term solution as it can accommodate increase in the family members due to marriage in the family.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is being used increasingly to make governance more efficient and effective. The account. The documents can be e-signed. This ensures safety. By integrating advanced information technology, the project has boosted operational efficiency in administration and service delivery. Along with this, re-engineering of this process has also implemented a transparent module, which enables complete accountability to citizens as well as government departments and other stakeholders.
A large number of commendable efforts have been made at Municipal Corporation, District Administration and state level to improve sanitation. The sanitation drive got a fillip across the country after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in 2014. The third highest number of sectoral projects studied was in the sanitation category.
Among the states, Chhattisgarh topped the sectoral ranking in sanitation. As many as 30-projects from the tribal dominated state made to the final shortlisting in this category. Madhya Pradesh came second with nine projects. Telangana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh followed it.
Punjab and West Bengal led the good governance initiatives at the District Administration level. Thirteen projects from Punjab made to the final shortlist in the District Administration category. This was followed by West Bengal with 10 projects. Gujarat came third with five projects followed by Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
District Administration Bathinda, Punjab, has introduced an initiative called “Bathinda Education Network - Each One Reach One Teach One”. It is an innovative step to improve the level and quality of both primary and secondary education in the district. The Network has brought together the Education Department; BEd and other educational institutions and NGOs involved in the areas of education. Short-term objective of the project is to conduct remedial classes for Board going students of Class X and XII. Longterm objective of the project is to conduct bridge class programmes, summer camps and evening classes for mainstreaming children who have dropped out of school.
District Administration Junagadh, Gujarat, has introduced workflowbased system for decentralised district planning programme called “iOjN 4 Planning”. The project has helped enhance the quality of service rendered to community and bring transparency. All the procedures under the scheme are made online. iOjN 4 Planning system also helps in file tracking system. The project was first introduced in Junagadh district on pilot basis and after successful implementation in the district it has been rolled out in entire state of Gujarat.
In West Bengal Dakshin Dinajpur District Administration has introduced a commendable scheme on women empowerment. The Administration has set up ALO Mahila Co-operative Credit Society that works for income generation, capacity building and leadership development among the women of this remote border district of Dakshin Dinajpur.
Agriculture sector has been stagnating and suffering due to lack of reforms. Although all states and the central government talk about farmer welfare and support to agriculture, not much is done. This is why agriculture did not fare well. Only eight projects made to the final shortlist from across the country. The states from where the good governance initiatives came in agriculture sector include Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
To help farmers Telangana government has introduced an investment support scheme called Rythu Bandhu”, as mentioned arlier.
Punjab’s Agriculture Department has introduced innovative paddy straw management system in Pathankot district. A huge amount of straw left in the field usually compels farmers to burn the rice residue for the timely sowing of wheat. The department has launched a special drive to motivate farmers not to burn the paddy straw. Awareness camps are being organised in all major rice growing villages. Farmers have been motivated to sell their paddy straw to Dairy farmers, who buy paddy straw for RS1,000-2,000 per acre for combine harvested paddy and for basmati and Sharbati they gave upto RS4,000 per acre. The initiative helps farmers in earning extra income by selling paddy straw.
Some commendable initiatives have been seen in healthcare. Delhi led the sectoral performance in health followed by Punjab, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh at second, third and fourth position, respectively. Some good initiatives were also observed in the states like Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. A total 23 projects from health sector made to the shortlist for assessment and evaluation.
The Government of NCT Delhi has set up Aam Admi Mohalla Clinic conceptualised with the objective to provide good quality healthcare services free at the doorstep. The successes of Aam Admi Mohalla Clinic, has made the Delhi Government to emerge as the top performer in Health sector. A clinic is setup for 10,000-population within a community and is owned up by the community. Such clinics have been made accessible within one km across the NCT Delhi. It has helped decrease the out-of-pocket expenses of patients to zero as everything from consultation to medicine, laboratory and diagnostics services are provided free. Aam Aadmi Mohalla clinic project is paperless. Doctors involved with the project are given tablets and they are required to make all the entries online. Given the success of the initiative, 1,000 such clinics are proposed to be opened.
Arunachal Pradesh has become the only state in the country to achieve 100 per cent measles rubella vaccination coverage. This is despite the fact that the state has very difficult terrains. In some areas officials were required to go trekking for upto seven days to administer the vaccination.
West Bengal Government has introduced Fair Price Diagnostic Center Monitoring System for effective implementation of the diagnostic services provided under PPP mode. Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, has also put in place an effective grievance redressal system.
Odisha leads the good governance initiatives in education sector. Four projects from Odisha made to the shortlist for final assessment. Odisha was followed by Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal at second, 3rd, 4th and 5th position respectively. There were some commendable projects from Madhya Pradesh and Telangana also. Total 18 projects from education sector were shortlisted for final assessment.
Odisha Madhyamika Shiksha Mission (RMSA) has introduced e-Vidyalaya Project under ICT@School Scheme. The scheme is being implemented in both government and government-aided secondary and higher secondary schools. The integrated computer-cumprojections system based solution comes with a host of value added services like interactive multimedia content, virtual experiments, educational videos and teacher training adding up to become a comprehensive learning solution for a wide spectrum of audiences ranging from children in schools and informal setting, to teachers, adults and corporate.
Gujarat Council of Elementary Education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, has introduced a digital learning programme called “Gyankunj”. It is a school digitisation programme aimed to enhance classroom interactivity and teaching-learning process with the help of technology tools such as Projector, Interactive Infrared Camera, Laptop, Speaker, Whiteboard, Wi-Fi and Router. The objective of the programme is to make ease of understanding for each unit of curriculum in classroom itself by using technology as a medium.
Rajasthan Council of Secondary Education has introduced Rajasthan Online School MIS “ShaalaDarpan”. It is an integrated bilingual system to capture and update regularly schools, teachers and students information of all Secondary Setup Government Schools in the state.
A total of 32-projects from Urban Development sector made to the shortlist for final assessment. The largest number of projects came from Chhattisgarh. 12 projects from Chhattisgarh was shortlisted for final assessment under the Urban Development category. However, West Bengal came at number one based on the impact of the project. Seven projects from West Bengal made to the final shortlist. Other states from where the commendable projects were assessed in Urban Development category include Delhi, Telangana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
Miryalaguda Municipality has implemented commendable reforms in Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. The AMRUT scheme has made evident transformation in municipality in governance and many areas of service delivery. Miryalaguda Municipality has successfully implemented of e-Governance under AMRUT reforms.
State Urban Development Agency of Chhattisgarh has introduced Cluster Based City Bus Project. The project is developed under JnNURM scheme for Intra City Bus Service for urban and sub-urban citizens. Cluster-based approach, viable project proposals demand based projection and state-ofthe- art centralised intelligent transport systems are pillars of this project. A total of 451 buses are to be procured to ease the citizen in commuting in the state.
West Bengal topped the rural development segment with six projects making to the shortlist. Andhra Pradesh came second with two, followed by Punjab and Maharashtra. Total 15-projects made to the final shortlist for assessment under the rural development.
Government of West Bengal has introduced GIS-based Integrated Planning and Monitoring System for the PRIs. The state has also introduced GPS Enabled e-Attendance System for Field Staff (Mentors) of P&RD Department under ISGP Programme- II.
Power and Energy
From power and energy sector 12 projects made to the shortlist. Gujarat topped with five projects, followed by Rajasthan (2), Telangana (2), Odisha (1), Uttar Pradesh (1) and West Bengal (1).
Rajasthan Power Distribution Company has introduced Mukhya Mantri Vidyut Sudhar Abhiyan—initiated at a crisis moment when the sector was plagued with commercial losses and burgeoning subsidy burden. Investment in the sector was not commensurate with the growing demand for electricity. The power sector reforms were started in way back with the inception of enactment of Electricity Act in 2003.
Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited has introduced At & C Losses System. The new system ensures prompt monitoring of aggregate technical and commercial losses using web-based application and savings in man hours. The software takes the sold out units directly from the computerised billing system.
Andhra Pradesh topped in skill development initiatives followed by Karnataka, Punjab and Odisha at the second, third and fourth spot.
Andhra Pradesh government has introduced “AP Innovation Valley - Transforming the traditional agrieconomy towards knowledge economy”. The state has formulated innovation and start-up policy (GO MS 17) through which capacity building initiatives have been implemented in the domain of innovation and entrepreneurship. Physical infrastructure in the form of incubation centres has been developed to nurture the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs. Academia has been supported to set-up entrepreneurship development cells across all the 13 districts of the state.
Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited has launched Shilp Gurukul scheme. It is a two-year residential certificate course in sandalwood carving and stone sculptures. It has helped bridge skill gaps in the sector.
Uttar Pradesh led in transport sector with nine projects making in the shortlist, followed by Karnataka with four projects and West Bengal two projects. One project each was shortlisted from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. Total 22 projects made to the shortlist from transport sector.
Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has introduced Smart Card Variants - Cashless Initiatives - under Digital India Programme. UPSRTC is a pioneer state transport corporation using a variety of cards (NFC) to suit different passenger requirements with different benefits and discounts.
West Bengal Transport Corporation has introduced GATIDHARA with an objective to boost employment in the transport sector. Under the scheme financial assistance is provided to unemployed youths for purchase of commercial vehicles and getting selfemployed as micro entrepreneur in transport sector. Successful implementation of the scheme in last two and half years has created scope of employment for more than 24,000 beneficiaries in the state.
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