Good Governance Index

Governance is after all an organised system of a process of interactions with the people through modes of laws, procedures, norms, systems, implementation of developmental projects and schemes etc all done by the Government and it is implied that such an entire structure should be “good” hence good governance and not mere governance is emphasised upon. Agreeably, good governance can be possible and achievable through good performance of the apparatus of the Government which comprise bureaucracy , administrative officers, district level authorities, Departmental Heads and the like. It is again tantamount to taking one step further in the stride of the UT Government in introducing innovative measures, reforms and a digitised working for better and quick results which means cutting on delays and deferments that introducing Good Governance Index (GGI) and the ranking of the 20 districts in Jammu and Kashmir has been decided to be implemented. Such foolproof measures of good governance evenly in devised governance sectors, in short, ultimately mean economic growth and economic benefits, political stability and security and not merely an academic or digital exercise but aiming at an economic transformation. It is, therefore, heartening to note that by introducing this performance index Jammu and Kashmir , as such ,has got the distinction of being the country’s first Union Territory to adopt the system and ranking of performance there-under and the first of such index is scheduled to be released in a function on January 22 in the UT. Since this exercise is conducted for the first time , guidance of Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAPRG) as also from other concerned UT agencies and departments, as a natural corollary , has reportedly been sought . Since the concept is novel in itself and based on reckoning performance ratings vis-a-vis various indicators and data sets spread over 10 major sectors , it is likely that various trials and attempts might have been gone through which now being over, has this Good Governance Index been possible to be built. Initial difficulties in adopting a new system and even some humps and hiccups in its implementation, if any, but not ruled out , are indicative of gradually achieving the requisite knowhow and expertise. What in simple words it means is that all the 20 districts of the UT shall come under the Good Governance Index (GGI) ranking and performance shall be judged in respect of the specific governance sectors. Such sectors, we can term as central to the governance or critical in nature in respect of utilities and facilities for the general public. Commerce and industries, human resources development, public health, public infrastructure and utilities, social welfare and development, environment and citizen centric governance etc are undoubtedly carrying due weight- age and importance and since the objective of GGI being to arrange to provide quantifiable data to know the levels of performance in comparison to the standard benchmarks, any lacunae or areas of weaknesses not only can be known but suitable strategies too devised to correct them. It will also throw enough and pointed light on how much more , less or scantly each officer concerned performed in respect of ten major sectors in one’s district. Not only that , on the positive and rather optimistic note, there can surely be many districts which earning handsomely on given sector-wise points , may come out as best performing districts thus setting a chain of competition among other districts to perform better and that in short, leads to good governance cumulatively and that verily is the aim of the GGI. Why should such best performing districts with better governance not be ”rewarded” with incentives as also the best performing officers in the immediate future and make it as an inalienable constituent of the GGI , is what can be a reality and not merely a possibility. As we, at the outset, pointed out that any new exercise, any new system, any reform in governance, devising new formats and procedures, stress on e-governance and more of digitization etc all should lead to and aim at focussing on result oriented approaches so that such innovative measures and reforms get reflected on the ground and the common citizen really feels the change and the difference.