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Kerala stands as the best governed state in the country and Karnataka is in the fourth position, said the Public Affairs Index 2018 released by the think tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC) here. "Kerala has topped the Public Affairs Index (PAI) for 2018 as the best governed state for the third consecutive year since 2016 among large states," said Bengaluru-based PAC at an event in the city on Saturday evening to release its third annual PAI.
Released annually since 2016, the index examines governance performance in the states through a data-based framework, ranking them on social and economic development they are able to provide.
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.
Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat followed Kerala among the top five states delivering good governance, according to the report.
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 list, followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura which figured among the top five states with good governance.
Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya were ranked at the bottom of the index among small states.
As a young country with growing population, India needs to assess and address its developmental challenges, said the Chairman of PAC, K. Kasturirangan, on the occasion. "The PAI 2018 is one example of a data-based framework that provides some basis, even if rudimentary, to assess the performance of states in India," added Kasturirangan, the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The think tank has undertaken the study across all the Indian states considering them across 10 themes such as essential infrastructure, support to human development, social protection, women and children as well as law and order. "The index provides a multi-dimensional and comprehensive matrix that attempts to capture the complexities of governing the plural and diverse people of this sub-continent,"