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Karnataka behind other southern states on public affairs index

By Express News Service

BENGALURU : The Karnataka government may need to do a lot more to boost its economy and sustain growth, which has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Though signs of recovery are visible, the state is still behind other southern states, as per the Public Affairs Index Report released on Friday. 

The Public Affairs Centre’s annual report on governance considers three broad parameters — equity, growth and sustainability —  in two categories: large states (with population of more than two crore) and small states (with population less than two crore).

According to the report, Kerala topped the list in the category of large states with a PAI Index of 1.388, followed by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka was ranked fourth with PAI score of 0.468. 
In the small states category, Goa topped the list with a PAI of 1.745, followed by Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Former ISRO chairman, Dr K Kasturirangan, who is also the PAC chairman, emphasised on the importance of a scientific approach to sustainable development while releasing the report, and said, “Real obstacles stand in the path of a fuller understanding of persistent inter-generational deprivation and loss of opportunity challenges that appear to reproduce themselves, especially in parts of some states.

To begin with, the influence of a ‘one size fits all’ approach on our development outlook has been pervasive; and the overwhelming majority of interventions, including centrally-sponsored schemes, designed and implemented mechanically, sometimes unwittingly perhaps, run counter to the doctrine of objective pluralism.

The evidence that PAI 2020 generates and the insights that it provides must compel us to reflect on the economic and social transition that is under way in India; and what its implications for future development praxis might be.” Aparna Shrinivas, who carried out research for the report, said states were assessed based on the data they share on public domain and what has been submitted to the Central Government.

These areas include health, governance, children, malnutrition, women and child welfare, infrastructure, access to resources, gender equality in political and administrative participation and Niti Ayog report, she added. 

K’taka inches up to 2nd rank in growth

Aparna Shrinivas pointed out that Karnataka ranked fourth overall, like last year, and on the equity parameter, it ranked 12th against last year’s 17th position. In sustainability, it topped last year, but dropped to fifth spot this year. On the growth front, it ranks second, up from last year’s third spot.

It was also found that Karnataka did well on the counts of renewable energy, pollution levels and number of rape cases. But it scored poor in the category of households with bank accounts. Kerala ranked first in growth and sustainability, and second in equity. For the study, 18 large states, 11 small states and seven Union Territories were assessed.

“Since there is no platform for states to evaluate themselves, through this we are showing them the mirror of what they have done and where they have lost out. The government assessment is very subjective and if there are any dif ferences in ground, then it only means that the data put on public domain and handed over the Central Government needs to be rechecked,” Aparna said.

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