Municipal Governance: SKOCH State of Governance Report 2022

Municipal Governance: SKOCH State of Governance 2022

Municipalities are one of the primary units of ‘local governance’ in India and the first pulse point for testing the state of governance in the country.

23 March, 2023 State of Governance
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  • Tiruppur city of Tamil Nadu emerged as a top performer from no rank in 2021 to #1 nationally in the Municipal Governance category in the SKOCH state of Governance Report 2022.
  • Kolkata in West Bengal and Pune in Maharashtra achieved 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively, and entered Star Cities Club.
  • Tamil Nadu surged to the top position in the Municipal Governance sectoral ranking in the SKOCH State of Governance Report 2022.
  • Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh took #2 & #3 positions respectively.
  • Total of 72 well-performing projects from municipalities all over India qualified for SKOCH Order-of-Merit, of which 13 were impactful projects.
  • Municipalities performed very well in 14 categories.
    1. The sectors that have been in enhanced focus at the Municipal level are Sanitation, e-Governance & Environment and Sustainability.
    2. Focus is dropped in Water, Education & Response to COVID categories.
    3. Some categories are back in focus for municipalities after COVID years. These are Women empowerment, Infrastructure, Transport, Tourism, Social Welfare, Skill Development, and Power & Energy.
    • Municipalities submitted a large number of projects for evaluation in Sanitation, Infrastructure, and e-Governance categories. Out of these, several well-performing projects were qualified as highly impactful and impactful projects.
    • Key achievements
      1. Municipalities bagged 72 SKOCH Orders-of-Merit in the SKOCH State of Governance Awards 2022.
      2. Almost half of these are in e-Governance, Infrastructure, and Sanitation.Nine SKOCH Orders-of-Merit were awarded in Environment and Sustainability.
      3. Nine SKOCH Orders-of-Merit were awarded in Environment and Sustainability.
      4. Municipalities won 13 awards –one in GOLD and twelve in the SILVER category.

    Municipal Ranking

    The Top 3 spots for Municipal Governance are classified as STARS. The next three ranks are recognised as PERFORMERS. The following three ranks are recognised as CATCHING UP.


    MunicipalityRank 2022
    Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu1
    Kolkata, West Bengal2
    Pune, Maharashtra3

    The Top 3 high-performing municipalities are categorised as Stars in the SKOCH State of Governance rankings. For 2022, the Star municipalities are Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu, Kolkata in West Bengal, and Pune in Maharashtra.

    Tiruppur municipality in Tamil Nadu got the top spot. The #2 rank is Kolkata, while the #3 spot for the Star municipalities goes to Pune.

    Tiruppur municipality has marked an impressive improvement from being unranked/ not-participating in 2021 to Top ranked municipality in 2022. Kolkata and Pune both ranked #8 in 2021.


    MunicipalityRank 2022
    Dehradun, Uttarakhand4
    Tumakuru, Karnataka4
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu5
    Barbil, Odisha6
    Erandol, Maharashtra6
    Pachora, Maharashtra6
    Rajkot, Gujarat6
    Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh6
    Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh6

    The next three spots after the Star municipalities are categorised as Performers. For 2022, the top spot in the Performers segment goes to Dehradun in Uttarakhand, followed by Tumakuru in Karnataka. In terms of national ranking for Municipal Governance, both are ranked at #4.

    The next tier of the Performers category goes to Chennai, from Tamil Nadu. Chennai is ranked #5 overall in the Municipal Governance sector.

    The final listing in the Performers category is a tie for the national municipal rank of #6 between several cities. The first three are Barbil in Odisha, Erandol in Maharashtra, and Pachora in Maharashtra. The next three municipalities in the Performers segment are Rajkot in Gujarat, Vijayawada and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh.


    The next three ranking slots are categorised as Catching Up. For Municipal Governance in 2022, several contenders have been marked as catching up.

    The first three in this segment are Bhavnagar in Gujarat, Greater Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. These three municipalities have tied for the #7 spot in the Municipal Governance national rankings.

    Four municipalities tied for the #8 national rank in the 2022 Municipal Governance review. These are Bhimavaram, Eluru, Tirupati and Rajamahendravaram all are in Andhra Pradesh.

    28 municipalities tied for the #9 national rank in the 2022.

    Out of these 15 are from Andhra Pradesh itself namely: Adoni, Amadalavalasa, Bobbili, Chittoor, Dachepalli, Guntur, Kakinada, Kurnool, Machrela, Madenapalle, Nagari, Nandyal, Narsipatnam, Ramachandrapuram and Tuni.

    2 each from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh & Kerala namely: Aurangabad and Lonawala in Maharashtra, Khandwa and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Kozhikode & Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

    1 each from Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Tripura and Karnataka, these are: Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Keonjhargarh in Odisha, Pahalgam, in Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Silvasa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Mohanpur in Tripura and Devanahalli, Karnataka respectively.

    Aurangabad and Chittoor were ranked #8 in 2021. Kakinada experienced a decline, falling from #5 in 2021 to #8 in 2022. Out of these, Kozhikode and Kurnool were ranked #8 in 2021. Silvassa and Thiruvananthapuram were ranked #8 in 2021.


    All other municipalities are listed as Others. It is worth noting that important work is being done across other municipalities as well, and the SKOCH State of Governance research welcomes participants from all over the country. Municipalities that have not been able to make the cut for the Stars, Performers and Catching Up segments are classified as Others.

    State Rankings in Municipal Governance


    Tamil Nadu16
    Andhra Pradesh38
    West Bengal43

    The top five best-performing states are classified as Star states within the Municipal Governance sector. Many well-known heavy hitters have secured the coveted top 5 ranking in the Municipal Governance sector.

    The #1 spot in Municipal Governance goes to Tamil Nadu, and the state has jumped five spots, from #6 in 2021 to #1 in 2022.

    The 2nd spot is taken by Maharashtra, which slipped from being the top-ranked state for the past three years.  

    Andhra Pradesh is ranked #3, climbing up five spots from #8 in 2021.

    West Bengal is ranked #4 in 2022, dropping one spot from #5 in 2020.

    And finally, closing out the Top 5 is a tie between Gujarat & Karnataka. Gujarat fell from being ranked #4 for the sector in 2021 to #5 in 2022. Karnataka has climbed two positions and ranked #5 in 2022 from #7 in 2021.


    Madhya Pradesh89
    Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu1011
    Jammu & Kashmir (UT)1011

    After the Star states, the next five well-performing states in the Municipal Governance sector have been catalogued as Performers. 8 states share the ranks between #6 and #10 in the sector for 2022.

    Uttarakhand ranked #6 in Municipal Governance in 2022. Uttarakhand was not ranked for Municipal Governance in 2021 and showed significant improvement by making the Top 10 in 2022.

    Odisha has placed #7 overall in the Municipal Governance sector. The state was marked #5 for the same in 2021 and has dropped two positions in the rankings.

    Madhya Pradesh is ranked #8, climbing one spot from #9 in 2021.

    Kerala fell three spots from #6 in 2021 to #9 in 2022.

    The #10 spot is a tie between Jharkhand, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir (UT), and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

    Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu all lose one spot in 2022. They ranked #11 in 2021 and #10 in 2022. 

    Shift in Priorities at Municipal Level

    Sectors with Enhanced Focus

    The sectors that have grown at the Municipal level in 2022 include Sanitation, e-Governance & Environment and Sustainability.

    Environment and Sustainability: The last few years have seen a paradigm shift across industries, governance sectors, administration, and socioeconomic priorities: the focus on Environment and Sustainability has become a driving principle behind many political, socioeconomic, industrial, and personal endeavours. Environment and Sustainability projects made up 5.7% of the Municipal Governance projects for 2020 and 10.2% of the projects for 2021 and further increased to 12.50% in 2022.

    Sanitation: Projects in the sanitation category increased to 27.78% in 2022 from 18.6% in 2021. In 2020, Sanitation projects made up 29.3% of Municipal Governance projects.

    E-Governance: The good governance initiatives related to e-Governance in municipalities rises to 18.06 % in 2022 from 6.8% in 2021. e-Governance projects made up 9.8% of Municipal Governance projects in 2020.

    Less Focused Sectors

    Some sub-sectors are defined by a decline in ranked projects over the years. These trends can indicate a change in priorities, either in terms of an absolute fall in focus or a relative shift in focus vis-à-vis other niches that have taken center stage in a given year. As such, these trends help evaluate governance imperatives and prerogatives against immediate contexts and long-term interests.

    The sub-sectors with decreased focus at the Municipal level include Education, Health, Water, Response to COVID, and Technology.

    Response to COVID: Even though Response to COVID continues to account for a big chunk of the projects shortlisted in Municipal Governance in 2021, the overall focus has decreased a fair bit and understandably so. In 2020, the lion’s share of all governance efforts was completely focused on grappling with an unpredictable, unknowable enemy. As the world adapts to the virus, so do governance initiatives. Even though the pandemic continues to impact every aspect of life, it is fair to say that it perhaps no longer dominates. As such, it is no surprise that the Response to COVID municipal projects fell from 23.6% in 2020 to 16.9% in 2021 to further only 1.39% in 2022.

    Water: Municipal water category projects fall to 5.56% in 2022 from 10.2% in 2021.

    Education: Projects in the education category fall to 2.78% in 2022 from 3.4% in 2021. In 2020, education projects made up 0.8% of Municipal Governance projects.

    Sectors Back in Focus

    Specific categories have come back in focus after COVID years.  For 2022, the categories we see back in focus of municipalities are Women empowerment, Infrastructure, Transport, Tourism, Social Welfare, Skill Development, and Power & Energy.

    Shift in Priorities of Smart Cities

    Sectors with Enhanced Focus

    The areas that registered an increase in governance priorities at the municipal level in Smart Cities are Water, Environment & e-Governance.

    Water: In Water, Smart City projects have grown from 3.1% in 2020 to 4.35% in 2022.

    Environment: There has been a continuous focus on the Environment category in Smart City projects. They increased from 6.3% in 2020 to 7.1% in 2021 and 13.04% in 2022.

    E-Governance: e-Governance projects accounted for 14.3% of the total ranked Municipal Governance Smart City projects in 2021 and rose to 26.09% in 2022. In 2020, they were 12.5%.

    Sectors back in Focus

    Specific categories have come back in focus after COVID years.  For 2022, the categories we see back in focus of smart cities are Social Welfare, Skill Development, Power & Energy, Infrastructure, and Transport.

    SKOCH State of Governance – Research Methodology

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