Punjab has significantly improved its position in the annual SKOCH State of Governance Rankings 2020. Good performance in water, education, rural development and municipal governance categories has helped the state in improving the ranking. The overall ranking of Punjab jumped from the 16th position in 2019 to the 12th position in 2020.
Punjab has witnessed huge ups and downs in the SKOCH State of Governance ranking in the recent years. Punjab had secured the seventh position in 2018. It slipped to the 16th position in 2019, but recovered smartly to acquire the 12th position in 2020 rankings.
Punjab registered gains in eight sectoral ranking categories. The state acquired #2 spot in education and water categories. It secured #3 position in rural development category. In municipal governance category Punjab acquired #5 position. In skill development category it secured #7 position. In e-Governance category Punjab improved its standing to the eighth position in 2020 from the 10 position recorded in 2019. In health category also Punjab secured the eighth spot. Punjab gained #11 position in police & safety category.
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The highest number of noteworthy projects in education sector came from Punjab. Five projects were selected from Punjab in education category. Two of them were in the impactful category. Punjab secured the second spot in the education sectoral ranking. Bihar topped the chart due to high weightage of its projects.
Technical Education and Industrial Training Department of Punjab has developed ‘Dual System of Training (DST)’ in synergy with the industry. The new system seeks to:
- Increase the intake capacity without incurring major capital on infrastructure
- Address disconnect between ITI trainee’s learning outcomes and the industry requirements,
- Rope in the Industry in the training process.
- Reap the benefits of demographic dividend through skill development
For effective implementation of the new system the Department of Technical Education & Industrial Training, Punjab has signed 438 MoU with different organisations.
Despite the Corona pandemic the state witnessed an unprecedented increase in admissions for ITI courses. The number of seats for new admissions in Government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) had stagnated at around 23,000 – 24,000 during the last 10 years. In 2020, the number of seats increased to 37,996. This is around 60 per cent increase in intake capacity.
Technical Education and Industrial Training Department, Punjab gave a big boost to digital learning to help students in the time of Covid pandemic. The government as well as the private ITIs of Punjab are using a common digital platform to impart training. The e-Learning materials have been identified from the various sites such as Bharat Skills, National Instructional Media Institute (NIMI), and various YouTube channels.
Department of School Education has launched ePunjabSchool web portal. This is an integrated online service implemented in all schools, irrespective of school management, for managing information related to students, teachers, school infrastructure, attendance, grievances etc. The information is updated every month by the school authorities.
Punjab also recorded impressive performance in water category. It secured the second spot in the sectoral ranking with four shortlisted projects. Gujarat topped the ranking with three projects. The weightage of selected projects from Gujarat was higher than that of Punjab. Three of the projects from Punjab in water category was in impactful category.
Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Government of Punjab, has introduced innovative approach for utilisation of treated water for irrigation from sewerage treatment plant Phagwara. The project is an excellent example of developing alternate irrigation water sources to reduce diversion of potable water to agriculture sector. Treated water use for irrigation is by the far is most practical solution to reduce the ground water extraction especially for a water stressed and agrarian state like Punjab. The project has served as an launch pad for installation of similar projects from other treatment plants
To ensure availability of water in Talwara and Hazipur blocks of Hoshiarpur district Department of Soil and Water Conservation has launched solar powered community lift-micro irrigation project. The project encompasses solar powered lift system from Kandi canal with upto farm water conveyance through underground pipelines and on-farm distribution through micro irrigation systems, controlled by wireless operation. Due to project interventions earlier barren lands are now brimming with agricultural activities.
Department of Water Supply and Sanitation in collaboration with District Administration Amritsar have launched a massive campaign to provide clean drinking water to nearly 12 lakh rural population in the border district of the Punjab. Quality drinking water is supplied at the doorsteps of nearly 2.23 lakh households. To ensure the quality of water arsenic and iron removal plants have been installed.
Another innovative measure in water category in the state is taken by Water Supply & Sanitation Department, District Administartion Moga, under the Swachh Bharat Mission initiative. The SBM (G) has been implemented very successfully in district by ensuring wider community participation. A sustained campaign was launched to ensure collective behavioural change.
Punjab is placed at the third spot in the rural development sectoral ranking. The sectoral ranking is topped by Andhra Pradesh with three shortlisted projects followed by Himachal Pradesh at the second spot. One project was selected from Punjab in this category.
State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj played an instrumental role in fight against Covid in rural Punjab. Every Gram Panchayat has implemented a comprehensive set of measures, calibrated to their capacity and context, to slow down transmission and reduce mortality associated with Covid-19, with the aim of reaching and maintaining a steady state of low-level or no transmission. The vulnerable individuals who might have been infected are isolated, monitored and taken care of in coordination with the concerned departments.
With three shortlisted projects Punjab is placed at the fifth position in municipal governance category. Out of the three shortlisted projects one project was in the highly impactful category. Maharashtra topped the chart in Municipal Governance category with 18 shortlisted projects, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 25 projects.
Municipal Corporation Amritsar has done impressive work in conserving the old historic dilapidated buildings in the city under the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY). Hriday City Anchor (HCA) in collaboration with City Level Advisory and Monitoring Committee has implemented the project. The main objective of the project is to highlight the rich heritage of the City by rejuvenating the old dilapidated buildings which were having great historical importance but not known to general public and tourists.
Municipal Corporation Bathinda has taken innovative measures for rejuvenation of water bodies. DAV pond and Sanjay Nagar pond in the city got rejuvenated by desilting them which is now being used as basins to collect rain water to prevent the water logging in surrounding localities. The collected rain water is used for watering the plants and for constructions works in the city. Newly prepared embankments are being developed as jogging tracks all around the periphery of these ponds.
Municipal Corporation Bathinda has also done impressive work to promote renewable energy. The Corporation has initiated the work to install 2209 KW solar power plant at various municipal buildings and lands so as to promote green energy and to save a hefty sum which is being paid to the state electricity departments in form of electricity bills. The project is estimated to reduce 3550 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
With one shortlisted project Punjab is placed at the seventh position in skill development category. Uttar Pradesh tops this sectoral ranking with two impactful projects.
Department of Employment Generation, Skill Development & Training, Government of Punjab, introduced innovative approach to provide skill training to people, whose jobs have been impacted by Covid pandemic. The Department has set a target to provide at least one job to each household of Punjab. It has created online database of jobseekers and available vacancies and facilitate the needy people in getting the jobs.
Punjab is placed at the eighth spot in e-Governance sectoral ranking. Four projects were shortlisted from Punjab in this category. Telangana topped the ranking with six shortlisted projects, out of which three were in impactful category.
Punjab State Warehousing Corporation has introduced GPS-based electronic physical verification system. This system ensures physical and timely presence of official, being responsible for conducting physical verification, at proper location.
Department of Governance Reforms and Public Grievances, Punjab, has launched an innovative e-Governance project called ‘Punjab mSewa’. This enables the citizens of Punjab to access various G2C/G2B services provided by government through a single mobile app. The app is available in English and Punjabi languages.
To facilitate effective contact tracing and quarantine enforcement Department of Governance Reforms and Public Grievances developed COVA Punjab mobile application and portal. COVA Punjab platform has been very useful in containment of Covid-19 spread as it covers the entire lifecycle of Covid management. The facets covered include patients management, home quarantine management, travellers management and curfew management.
Punjab secured the eighth position in health sector ranking. Two projects were shortlisted from Punjab in this category.
National Health Mission, Punjab has launched an initiative for screening, detection and management of diabetic retinopathy through Health & Wellness centres in the state. Under this initiative artificial intelligence (AI) platform is being used for early screening and timely referral of diabetic retinopathy patients. The integration of artificial intelligence enabled automated screening for the detection and classification of diabetic retinopathy.
Trans-fat free Diwali campaign run at Health and Wellness Centers helped in creating awareness among the public about the negative health impact of trans fats. The campaign was conceptualised by the National Health Mission, Punjab in collaboration with Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health with an aim to promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.
Police & Safety
With one shortlisted project Punjab is placed at the 11th rank in Police & Safety sectoral ranking. Punjab shares the 11th rank jointly with Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand. Andhra Pradesh tops the chart with 58 selected projects. 16 projects from Andhra Pradesh were in the impactful category. Good show in Police & Safety category was one of the major reasons for Andhra Pradesh to top the overall SKOCH State of Governance ranking 2020.
Police Commissionerate Ludhiana launched innovative measures to effectively manage Covid pandemic. It worked on the strategy ‘anticipate and innovate to mitigate’. A trained team of Covid Commandos was deployed as an emergency response team. They were specially trained in physical fitness, medical SOPs and motivated to deal with Covid-19 emergency
Punjab has suffered huge setback in its ranking in district administration category. The state slipped to the 16th position in 2020 from the fourth position in 2019. The state had acquired the number one spot in district administration sectoral ranking in 2018. Tamil Nadu topped 2020 district administration sectoral ranking with 25 projects.
In the district administration category 22 projects were shortlisted from Punjab. Of these only two were in the impactful category.
District Administration Bathinda has taken innovative measures to support women entrepreneurs. The administration has facilitated 115 Self Help Groups of women from remote areas of Bathinda district in starting new businesses. It includes manufacturing of sanitary pads, making of bamboo tree guards, making of bakery products, interlocking tiles factory, and bee keeping.
With an objective to promote women empowerment District Administration Hoshiarpur has launched a scheme called ‘Saksham Nari Viksit Samaj’. Under this scheme women are provided e-Rickshaw to support livelihood. The district administration has also launched ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ scheme to support the people who lost their livelihood due to Covid pandemic. Noteworthy initiatives were taken by several other district administrations also.
Punjab registered significant gains in a number of sectors. This helped the state improve its standing in the overall ranking. It suffered the setbacks only in the district administration category. However, remained indifferent in a number of sectors. These include Agriculture, Disaster Management, Ease of Doing Business, Finance and Revenue, Food & Civil Supplies, Governance (General Administration), Infrastructure, Irrigation, Labour, Municipal Sanitation, Power & Energy, Social Justice & Social Security, Tourism & Culture, Transport, Urban Development and Women & Child Development. In these categories no noteworthy project was submitted for assessment during the year from Punjab. High ranking states have submitted significant number of projects belonging to these sectors.