J&K ranking on governance nosedives from 15 to 21

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, July 22: Despite registering an improvement in fiscal management, the ranking of Jammu Kashmir State on overall governance front has nose dived from 15th position in 2016 to   21st  place in 2018.
According to the Public Affairs Index 2018,  released today by the think tank Public Affairs Centre, New Delhi, on overall governance front, Jammu Kashmir has plunged six ranks from the position it had secured two years ago.
This year, J&K has secured only 0.414 points on overall governance front,  comprising  of  its ranking on different indexes,  including Essential Infrastructure (0.373), Support to Human Development(0.468), Social Protection (0.500). Women and Children (0.497). Crime,  law and order (0.319), Delivery of Justice (0.446), Environment (0.446),  Transparency & Accountability (0.329), Fiscal Management (0.450) and  Economic Freedom (0.314).
In 2016,  J&K was ranked 15th by securing  0.4883 points on overall governance front.
The State index in respect of Essential infrastructure was 0.537, Health and Education (0.511), Social Protection (0.642),  Women & Children (0.506), Crime, Law & Order (0.654), Delivery of Justice (0.525), Transparency and Public Accountability (0.416), Environment (0.462), Fiscal Management (0.472) and Economic Freedom (0.157).
The only solace for Jammu Kashmir is improvement in its ranking in Fiscal Management from 11 in 2016 to seven in 2018 besides  progress in Economic Freedom.
Taking credit for improvement in the Fiscal Ranking index and ranking, former Finance Minister of J&K, Dr Haseeb Drabu has sought to link his liberal economic policies with  the reason for his sacking from the Ministry of then Mehbooba Mufti-led Coalition  Government.
“At last the reason for my sacking has been made public! J&K improved its ranking from 11 (2016) to 7 (2018) among all the States in Fiscal Management. It was 24 in 2015 when I became FM. The annual Public Affairs Index released today shows this,” he tweeted.
Released annually since 2016, the PAI index examines governance performance in the States through a data-based framework, ranking them on social and economic development they are able to provide.
Kerala has been adjudged as  the best-governed State in the country for the third consecutive year since 2016, followed by Tamil Nadu.  While Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat are ranked third, fourth and fifth among the top five States delivering good governance,  Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar ranked the lowest on the PAI, indicating higher social and economic inequalities in the States.
Among smaller States, with population less than two crore, Himachal Pradesh topped the index list, followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim,  Tripura,  Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh  with good governance.  Jammu Kashmir ranks only above  Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya, which are at the bottom of the index among small States.
A total of 30 focus subjects and 100 indicators were measured to derive the PAI, relying solely upon Government data. Founded in 1994 by renowned Indian economist and scholar late Samuel Paul, the think tank works to mobilise a demand for better governance in the country.
This year’s PAI also included a separate index on the children of India, giving a measure of how child-friendly each of the States is.
Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram topped the index on being the States to provide better living conditions for all children. In this respect, Jammu Kashmir  ranks 23rd among the 30 States, again among the lowest.    This index is based on the indicators of Early Childhood Development, Education, Adolescence, Protection and  Institutional Structure and Governance.