This paper provides empirical evidence, from the study of sixteen major Indian states for the period 1980-2001, that under the economic reform process, the better institutional mechanism could actually help economies to grow faster with higher level of economic well-being. We estimate economic well-being index (by aggregating fifteen socio-economic variables, viz, education, infrastructure, technological progress, income, etc.) and also index of good governance (by aggregating thirteen variables indicating rule of law, government functioning, public services, press freedom, etc) by multivariate statistical measures. Panel regression showed that governance measures, and economic policy variables are crucial to explain differential level of development performance across states in India during the last two decades.