India’s digitizing states: leaders and laggards
Digital governance holds out the exciting possibility that even India's smallest and least-developed states can see huge gains in their governance capabilities
The third quarter of 2017 started with the landmark goods and services tax reform coming into effect nationwide. For the Bharatiya Janata Party, a political shake-up in Bihar resulted in the party expanding its control in yet another state assembly—and this is important. There’s an increasingly widespread understanding that states are best positioned to drive its ongoing experiments in economic development and good governance, a position Prime Minister Narendra Modi supports. Just like US states, Indian states can serve as laboratories of democracy—and their experiments are getting more and more cutting edge. Every week, the Wadhwani Chair collects a weekly update of developments in India’s states. Our regular quarterly review shows that in the third quarter of 2017, states made digital governance a focus of their reforms across a wide variety of sectors. Their efforts showed that states recognize the importance of citizen involvement as a link to political support.