BANGALORE: Are Bangaloreans better citizens? Do we know what our rights are? Many such questions that reflect the quality of citizenship in Urban India will soon be answered. Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy has joined hands with Brown University (Rhodes Island, USA) to develop and publish the ‘Janaagraha-Brown Citizenship Index’.
The Citizenship Index will be based on the Citizenship Theory and will be on the lines of the Human Development Index (HDI). “We are looking at three components - voting, civicness and extent of exclusion. With the Citizenship Index, we will be able to compare Bangalore with cities like Delhi,” said Ramesh Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha.
Janaagraha and Brown University are currently working on a comprehensive questionnaire, which is likely to be completed by June. “The first pilot will be done in Bangalore, and we are looking at covering all 198 wards in the city. By the end of the year, we will be out with the scores,” said Prof Ashutosh Varshney, director, Brown-India Initiative.
With an estimated minimum sample size of 25,000, the study aims at answering key questions, such as the relationship between governance and citizenship in the urban landscape. “Is there a relationship between better provision of public services and higher levels of citizenship and engagement? We will be able to answer such queries,” said Ramesh.
Brown University will have close to 15 people involved in this study, while Janaagraha will take care of surveying and ensuring the accuracy of the data that is coming in.
“We have been thinking about this for 3 years now, and the estimated cost of this would be Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore,” said Ramesh. “Statements like ‘Bangalore has better civic sense than Delhi’ will now be backed by numbers and indexes,” added Swati Ramanathan, co-founder , Janaagraha.