How Effective Is India’s Government, Compared with Those in Other Emerging Markets?
Thursday, May 9, 2019
By Bhaskar Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi
India is in the midst of a closely-watched election. The incumbent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is seeking a second term and there are 900 million people eligible to vote, making this — potentially — the largest exercise in democracy anywhere in the world.
Both voters and policymakers in India face a crush of information as they consider their choices in the election and the priorities that lie beyond; there are numerous report cards on the Modi administration circulating on both mainstream and social media, including those prepared by the administration itself. Unfortunately, they also face a crush of misinformation and confusion on social media. In our view, another critical missing element — especially for a country like India with big, global aspirations — is an objective evaluation of the government’s performance in policy areas such as citizen welfare, economic growth, and functioning public institutions.
To address this gap, we developed a performance evaluation framework with three attributes: data-driven measures of progress across a broad spectrum of policy goals; progress against a comparable peer group of emerging markets; and, given the Indian government’s emphasis on technology as a policy driver, benchmarks against global technology standards set by the world’s most digitally advanced governments.
Photo courtesy of Satish Krishnamurthy.