State of GovernanceState of Governance 2020Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Governance 2020: Districts, Agriculture & Governance Thrive

SKOCH State of Governance 2020 report card shows Tamil Nadu has made solid performance in sectoral ranking. The state moves up from the #5 spot in 2019 to #4 in 2020. Our state-centric research examines how different state governments tackle administrative challenges and implement plans to improve people’s lives. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way everything works, including governance.

Tamil Nadu has ranked in the Top Ten states for 2020. The #1 spot goes to Andhra Pradesh, while Gujarat comes in at #2. West Bengal registers at #3 because of the administration investing in long-term growth. TN follows in at #4 and Madhya Pradesh rounds up the First Five.

Outlining his vision for good governance Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has vowed to make the southern state the best place to live. “I do not treat myself as the Chief Minister, but as a frontline worker. I will gear up for development work, keeping in mind the fact that governance is not a bed of roses but full of thorns,” Stalin wrote in Tamil daily newspaper Murasoli shortly after taking office in May 2021.

Top Gainers

Tamil Nadu has made significant progress this past year, as evidenced by the fact that the state has climbed up to the #1 spot in three categories. Agriculture, District Administration and Governance have done exceptionally well in the Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020 scorecard. Also worth mentioning are the projects under the categories of Ease of Doing Business, Education, Health and Water. These are significant because they’ve achieved a ranking status for 2020 but no projects were evaluated or awarded ranks in these categories in 2019. To go from what is effectively non-participation in a particular niche to becoming a frontrunner is certainly remarkable.

Tamil Nadu has made significant progress this past year, as evidenced by the fact that the state has climbed up to the #1 spot in three categories. Agriculture, District Administration and Governance have done exceptionally well in the Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020 scorecard. Also worth mentioning are the projects under the categories of Ease of Doing Business, Education, Health and Water. These are significant because they’ve achieved a ranking status for 2020 but no projects were evaluated or awarded ranks in these categories in 2019. To go from what is effectively non-participation in a particular niche to becoming a frontrunner is certainly remarkable.

Top Gainers
 20202019
Agriculture15
District Administration16
Governance12

Agriculture Improves in Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020

The Tamil Nadu Horticulture Development Agency, Department Of Horticulture And Plantation Crops, is working to promote the efficient use of water for irrigation. To this end, they launched the Poly House Cultivation Combined With Water Harvesting Structure. The department recognises that horticulture is an integral part of the Agriculture market. And so, investment in the same has the potential to increase productivity and exports, strengthen supply chain management and boost farmers’ earnings. Introducing the poly green house method of cultivation has increased cucumber and capsicum yields as well as flowering crops like carnations, gerberas and roses.

The National Horticulture Mission helps fund 50% of the project to establish Water Harvesting Structures. Using these constructions, farmers and authorities can store as much as 1.20 lakh litres of water every year to be used until the next monsoon. This gives farmers more options for irrigation, which in turn allows them to experiment with a greater variety of crops. This also serves to reduce dependence on ground-water resources and farmers can utilise dry tracts.

District Administration Flourishes in 2020

District Administration as a niche has really developed in 2020. In fact, we noticed the increased number and impact of District Administration projects during our state review. This inspired a sectoral review where we analyse how different segments like District Administration, Police & Safety, Water and Municipalities have done in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like the rest of India, Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020 shows an impressive performance in the District Administration niche.

Thoothukudi Improves Basic Infrastructure with ODF Schemes

District Rural Development Agency, Thoothukudi, is prioritising sanitation under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Thoothukudi authorities have undertaken many activities that have earned the district its ODF status. In order to tackle the problem of open defecation in the region, the programme constructed 2,52,735 Individual Household Latrines. Moreover, SHGs deployed 436 Active Sanitation Motivators to sensitise district residents. Thoothukudi is the first ODF district of Tamil Nadu. This milestone has been achieved due to the wholehearted participation of stakeholders and communities.

The project has taken a nuanced approach to developing basic infrastructure, creating facilities that go beyond the basics. To illustrate, community toilets are equipped with bathing rooms, water heaters and electric incinerators for the proper disposal of personal hygiene products. Dedicated toilets aare constructed for disabled persons. Additionally, the need for baby-friendly restrooms has also been addressed. In situations where individual homes do not have the required space for constructing toilets, project authorities have decided to build row toilets instead.

Tiruppur Fights Covid-19

Tiruppur District Administration is recognised for its excellent Response to COVID. With a population of 9.5 lakhs, the 5th-largest city of TN recorded its first Covid+ve case on 21st March 2020. To curb the spread of the virus, the administration firstly curtailed everyday market and grocery activities. The authorities made note of all the essentials goods providers in the region and instructed them to open phone booking and delivery services so people’s essential needs could be met without public crowds. Apart from daily needs groceries, the delivery services included medicines and healthcare supplies. The authorities also instituted an emergency door pickup ambulance service for people.

Another outstanding contribution of the Tiruppur administration is that the authorities have installed health and hygiene products like masks vending machines, sanitisers and automated handwash systems all over the district. Moreover, Trippur DA launched a community kitchen that supplied approximately 500 plates of food to people in need everyday. The district authorities also established a Migrant Help Desk to help the labour force.

Governance Matures in the State

The Post Tsunami Sustainable Livelihoods Programme has done some important work in the Governance category in response to Covid. The programme serves the TN coastal region, encompassing 13 coastal districts, 608 fishing villages and 10.48 lakh marine fishers. Because of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown protocols, most fishers in the region were badly impacted. Small-scale fishermen were unable to go out in their small boats together, which caused them to lose out on a lot of trade and incomes. In the same line, many fishermen were unable to undertake scheduled boat repairs and maintenance which also caused asset loss. Moreover, many of them were unable to earn and pay back loans they had taken out prior to the pandemic.

In order to address all these concerns the PTSLP authorities started a covid-relief fund to help people meet their household and business expenses and keep SHGs running. PTSLP introduced the Vulnerability Reduction Fund to furnish loans to members during crises. Under this fund, 4193 households received Rs.301.58 lakh in aid. In order to counter the loss of incomes, PTSLP helped set up micro-industries and alternative Income Generation Activities in the region. As many as 2064 households were given Rs.330.95 lakhs in aid to help them become self-employed.

Medium Performers

The following table looks at the categories in which the Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020 review shows minor fluctuations. In other words, the state continues to perform reasonably in these categories, maintaining its position in the Top 10 for each sectoral ranking. Even in the case of the Transport segment, though there is a drop from the #6 rank to #7, Tamil Nadu continues to register as an active presence in the category with useful programs helping make lives better.

Medium Performers
 20202019
Police & Safety33
Transport76
Women & Child Development22

Police & Safety Take Centre Stage in Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020

Tamil Nadu State Police launched the Friends Of Police programme to tackle the challenges thrown up by Covid-19. The programme sees volunteers working with police personnel to tackle the massive responsibilities during this difficult time. To begin with, the FoP force set about making sure everyone’s essential needs were taken care of. This involved the distribution of food packages and grocery kits to orphanages and needy homes. Coupled with deliveries to Chennai outskirts, FoP tried to make sure everyone was served. More than 27,000 food packets and grocery bundles were distributed. FoP also made sure to assist pet guardians and community feeders so that stray animals did not go uncared for in this time. Despite the magnitude of risks posed by the virus, the volunteers and police worked throughout to help everyone in distress.

Women & Child Development

The Integrated Child Development Services, Government of Tamil Nadu, launched the ‘Virtual Learning Interventions Pertaining to Early Childhood Care and Education’ scheme. Under this programme, Anganwadi workers design stimulation activities to engage young children from 2-5yrs staying at home. The project members create interactive activities which they then share through parent WhatsApp groups. Parents use these video modules and the virtual learning model and then revert to the Anganwadi workers about their experiences. The play-way learning methodology used here is a creative and nurturing approach to early childhood development, not to mention well-suited to pandemic lockdown and distancing protocols. It is also worth noting that this is a low-cost strategy that also imbibes PM Modi’s Digital India dream of a connected nation.

Indifferent

Even though Tamil Nadu has done really well across several segments, there are others that have not followed suit. For instance, the categories of e-Governance, Finance & Revenue and Infrastructure need greater intervention. At the same time, Municipal Governance, Municipal Sanitation and Power & Energy are also labelled ‘Indifferent’ for 2020. Finally, the sectors of Rural Development, Skill Development and Urban Development have also failed to make much of an impression in the Tamil Nadu State of Governance 2020 review.

It is important to note that states might actually be introducing and implementing programmes in these categories but because they are not submitted for review, they go unranked. For a truly accurate representation of the state of governance in our country, administrations must proactively participate in ranking and reviewal exercises. It is also worth remembering that not every policy or project from a state makes its way into these research projects and so, we might be seeing only the tip of the iceberg in many cases. As such, blips on the radar may not do justice to the reality on the ground. Submitting to expert juries and peer reviews has considerably helped programme authorities meet goals through implementing feedback.

We encourage stakeholders at all levels to participate. Even as we mark some segments as ‘Indifferent’ and recommend greater grassroots interventions in these niches, the state of Tamil Nadu in 2020 has done exceedingly well on balance.

Team Inclusion

INCLUSION is the first and only journal in the country that champions the cause of social, financial and digital inclusion. With a discernable and ever- increasing readership, the quarterly relentlessly pursues the three inclusions through its rich content comprising analysis, reportage, features, interviews, grassroots case studies and columns by domain experts. The magazine caters to top decision makers, academia, civil society, policy makers and industry captains across banking, financial services and insurance.
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