Kerala was adjudged the best-governed state in the country while Uttar Pradesh was at the last spot in the large states category, according to findings of the Public Affairs Index-2020 report released on Friday by a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation Public Affairs Centre.

The report which evaluated governance in states and Union Territories on three criteria of sustainable development – equity, growth and sustainability – put Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on the second and third spot among large states. Bihar and Odisha were the two other states to have finished among the last three.

Goa was adjudged the best-governed state in the small states category, and Chandigarh among the Union Territories.

Kerala, which had topped the rankings last year too, improved its Public Affairs Index score from 1.011 last year to 1.389 this year, according to the report. Nine of the 18 large states were given negative scores, with Uttar Pradesh scoring a -1.462.

Meghalaya (0.797) and Himachal Pradesh (0.725) were among the top three with Goa (1.746) among small states, while Manipur (-0.364) and Delhi (-0.364) fared the poorest.

Stressing on the importance of the three criteria of the study, the report said: “From a development perspective, it is axiomatic that there must be synergies between all the three pillars. It is impossible to believe that two of the three pillars are enough, growth and sustainability without equity; growth and equity without sustainability; equity and sustainability without growth.”

Speaking at the release of the report, K Kasturirangan who heads the Public Affairs Centre and is a former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation said, “The evidence that PAI 2020 generates and the insights that it provides must compel us to reflect on the economic and social transition that is underway in India,” reported PTI.