What impact has the award of the Fourteenth Finance Commission had on the resources and spending of state governments? Does it necessarily have to lead to a decline in outlays in the social sector? An illustrative and preliminary exercise for Bihar.

There is a core concept of good governance, the combination of authority and responsibility to pursue the common good, that has remained stable over millennia. Building on this concept the paper develops several indices of the quality of governance and applies these indices to rank major states in India. The governance indices have been derived from the three main pillars of the government, i e, the legislature, the judiciary and the executive. Performance on each dimension of governance has been measured using indicators that are all based exclusively on factual data, not perceptions.

Despite an accentuation of consumption inequality in recent years in Kerala, development in the social sector has been more or less equitable across districts. Kerala