PAC-Southern States lead in better Governance

Quality of governance and better leadership has led to southern states surging ahead of their northern counterparts, widening the gap in terms of per capita income and poverty between the south and north, says a study.

Per capita incomes in the south (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala) have risen fast and poverty has declined in recent years and the reason is quality of governance, better leadership and political stability, according to study conducted by the Public Affairs Centre.

Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India.

According to the PAC study, quality of governance and leadership was somewhat better in south as is clear from the longer tenure of chief ministers (political stability) and better law and order (lesser number of police firings, proportion of civil police, ratio of pending cases in court).

The south was also ahead in terms of technical education, tele-density, power and urbanization. More than half of all engineering colleges in the country are in the south. Better governance facilitated these factors and enabled the state to more efficiently utilise its scarce resources.

But what happened in the south was not just a “supply side miracle” says Samuel Paul of the PAC. Social movements in the south made people more aware of the need to demand better and more equitable governance from the authorities.

Source: Excerpts from DH.

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