Gujarat plunges in policy effectiveness

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Good showing by Sikkim, Mizoram, Goa, Punjab and Delhi

India’s smallest States — Sikkim, Mizoram, Goa, Punjab and Delhi — rank best in policy effectiveness, while Gujarat has slipped over the decades to the 16th place and Kerala comes in at 21st slot, says a new report.

The India Public Policy Report 2014, brought out by researchers from the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy at the Sonepat-based O.P. Jindal Global University, in association with the Oxford University Press, was released here on Tuesday.

The report creates a new multidimensional measure, the Policy Effectiveness Index (PEI). The PEI is composed of four sub-indicators which measure livelihood opportunities, social opportunities (including education, health and income), rule of law (including police adequacy, rate of crime and rate of judicial disposal) and physical infrastructure development (including access to toilets, electricity, water, road and pucca houses). The PEI is a weighted geometric mean of the various sub-indicators.

Many surprises
The measure throws up several surprises. For one, Kerala’s performance is worse than the national average in livelihood, rule of law and physical infrastructure, and the State is bolstered only by its strong showing on social opportunity indicators. Gujarat slid from the seventh rank in 1981 to the 13th in 1991, 11th in 2001 and 16th in 2011, the authors of the report, Rajeev Malhotra, Partha Saha and Geetika Rahee, have found. Between 2001 and 2011, Gujarat’s livelihood and social indicators improved slightly, but its rule of law indicators and livelihood indicators worsened.

Among the big States, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu do better than Gujarat. West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha bring up the bottom.

At the all-India level, there has been only a marginal improvement in the PEI over time, the report finds. “It is being compromised by a near stagnancy in expansion of livelihood opportunities and deterioration in law and order and justice dispensation environment in the country. While there is a significant improvement since 2001 in physical infrastructure development and social opportunities… there is a long way to go.”

India’s poverty is getting increasingly concentrated in a few geographical areas (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha), and among specific social groups (STs and SCs in both rural and urban areas, Muslims in urban areas and Christians in rural areas), asset-less labour and women.

This is the first such report and it will be brought out regularly in the future, C. Raj Kumar, founding Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University said.

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