Nagaland: low on governance and development, high on ‘social protection’

Nagaland: low on governance and development, high on ‘social protection’
A screenshot of the official website of the Nagaland Government


PAI ranks Nagaland 23 out of 30 states in India on governance barometers


Morung Express News
Dimapur | July 29


Nagaland State has ranked 23rd in the Public Affairs Index (PAI), a data driven platform to rank the 30 States of India from the lens of governance. The State has a low rate of crime and a high rank in ‘social protection’ and could lay waste to notions of development if the rankings are anything to go by. Except that in overall governance, Nagaland finds itself at the bottom of the pot.


Among the 12 ‘small states’ of India, Nagaland stood at 10 in terms of overall governance, a list in which Himachal Pradesh grabbed the top slot with Meghalaya at the bottom, on 12. Among the 18 ‘large states,’ Kerala stood at number one with Bihar at 18.


While it is a complex task to rank the Indian states which are economically, culturally and socially so diverse, Public Affairs Centre (PAC), a Bengaluru-based think tank, has developed PAI as a unique statistical tool to evaluate the performance of governance in the States. PAI is largely based on secondary data and has been extracted from Union Government Ministries and Departments.


PAI 2018 comprises of 10 broad themes, 30 focus subjects and a gamut of 100 indicators.


Focused ranking
Nagaland State is at the top of its game in terms of ‘crime, law and order’ indicators for which, as used by the PAI, are violent crimes, atrocity and policing. It gains the topmost ranking here while Haryana remains at the bottom, on 30, in this particular ranking. Among small states, Nagaland is also at number one with Tripura at number 12.


It is difficult to point out what contributes to its high performance in ‘crime, law and order’—strong social order, good policing, presence of Army—especially due its poor ranking in other sectors like ‘delivery of justice.’


Nagaland State ranks 9th among 12 small states in ‘delivery of justice,’ with Mizoram on top of that list and Meghalaya at the bottom. The ‘delivery of justice’ theme includes indicators like pendency of cases, vacancies of presiding officers and undertrials. Among the 18 large states, Madhya Pradesh is at the top of its game in delivering justice while Bihar is at the bottom.


In terms of safety of ‘women and children,’ Nagaland is at the 5th position in its overall ranking with Mizoram in first position and Uttar Pradesh at the last, 30th position. Among the 12 small states, Nagaland stands at number 4 with Mizoram at 1 and Delhi at 12.


Phenomenally, Nagaland lands an overall rank of 4 in terms of ‘social protection’ which includes PDS, social justice & empowerment, minority welfare and employment. At the top of this list is Odisha and at its bottom, at number 30, is Goa.


Out of 30 states in the Indian Union, Nagaland does not do so well in ‘essential infrastructure’ like power, water, roads and communication and housing. With an overall (all India) rank of 20, Nagaland stands at 7 in the small states ranking with Goa having the best essential infrastructure and Manipur the worst.


Nagaland State’s support to ‘human development’ in the form of education and health is in the doldrums with Nagaland ranking 24th out of the 30 states. Among the 12 small states, Nagaland finds itself at the 12th spot in the ‘human development’ theme in which Sikkim tops the list. Among the 18 large states of India, Kerala ranks 1 and Bihar 18.


This may be explained by two of the major themes that could indicate the state of governance in Nagaland.


In terms of ‘transparency and public accountability,’ Nagaland stands an abysmal ranking of 25 where Karnataka tops the list and Delhi completely fails it featuring on the 30th position. Small states ranking wise, Nagaland is on 9, with Sikkim at number 1 and Delhi at 12.


Nagaland State’s ‘fiscal management’ seems to be even worse. It finds itself on the 29th overall position, with only Manipur racing it to the bottom. Telangana, the newest state of the Indian Union, has the best fiscal management in the country. Among the small states, Arunachal Pradesh tops while Nagaland and Manipur feature at the bottom.


With such governance indicators, it is no wonder that there is little ‘economic freedom’ in Nagaland. Among the 30 states in the country, Nagaland finishes on 28th spot in ‘economic freedom’ with Gujarat acing the list and Manipur at the end of it.


On the ‘environment’ front, Nagaland stands 6th among the 12 small states with Arunachal Pradesh topping the list and Delhi featuring at its bottom. This theme includes indicators like forest cover, renewable energy, waste management, sustainable agriculture, water resource management, institutional framework. Among the 18 large states, Karnataka stands first and Uttar Pradesh last.


According to the PAC, which conducted this exercise, its expectation is that the PAI series would promote Good Governance, through fair competition and best practice sharing amongst the States of the country.
Will Nagaland be moved to better its score?