PAI 2021: State bags overall rank of 7

Karnataka dropped to the seventh rank in the Public Affairs Index 2021 with a score of 0.121. It was in the fourth position last year.

The sixth edition of PAI was released on Friday. Apart from looking at governance performance in the context of sustainable development defined by equity, growth and sustainability pillars, PAI 2021 also features analysis of five Centre-sponsored schemes that aid in key development parameters of health, education and livelihoods (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Health Mission, Integrated Child Development Services, Samagra Siksha Abhiyan, and Midday Meal Scheme).

The report also includes ranking of the states on the basis of their performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, apart from a Delta Analysis measuring year-on-year performance and Cluster Analysis of states.

As per the PAI 2021, Karnataka slipped four places and is at 16 in the pillar of equity. This, despite a positively moderate performance in the pillars of growth and sustainability. Karnataka is sixth in growth and fourth in sustainability.

Samridhi Pandey, programme officer, Public Affairs Centre (PAC), who presented the study and analysis, said that due to relative ranking, other States have outperformed Karnataka, which performed very well in health by being more focussed in allocating resources for tackling the pandemic.

The report shows that the States which have emerged as the top performers in the COVID-19 Response Index have shown better performance in the pillar of growth under sustainability development goals that deals with health and well-being which justifies their performance under the theme of ‘containment’.


Four of the top five positions in the index are occupied by the southern States. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh occupy the top three spots due to their consistent performance across both pillars, while Karnataka ranks fifth due to its moderately good performance in the theme of preparedness.

A. Ravindra, chairperson, PAC, announced that Kerala had emerged as the best-performing in the ‘large States’ category, Sikkim among ‘small States’, and Puducherry in ‘Union Territory’. “When we reflect on the world that we live in today, it is difficult to miss the fact that widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our times. This is especially true in the backdrop of the severest pandemic that the world has faced in 100 years. While the States have responded in substantive measure, and we ought to be legitimately proud as a society, we remain a work in progress. The true measure of progress of a society is not measured at its apex but at its base. This is precisely what PAI 2021 demonstrates,” he said.

G. Gurucharan, Director, PAC, said PAI 2021 provides State-specific rationale for strategic interventions in investing in those sectors and spaces that are most in need of help. “Using data analytics, it argues that the most sensible investment thesis for each State is one that centres on those development deficits taking longer and being more difficult to build,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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