India saw significant improvement in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to clean energy, urban development and health in 2020, according to the NITI Aayog’s 2020 SDG Index.
- The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21 — on accounts of improvement in performance in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.
- Kerala retained its position at the top of the rankings in the third edition of the index, with a score of 75, followed by Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, both scoring 72. At the other end of the scale, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing States.
- However, there has been a major decline in the areas of industry, innovation and infrastructure as well as decent work and economic growth.
About SDG India Index:
- The index is developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India.
- It tracks the progress of all states and UTs on 115 indicators aligned with the National Indicator Framework (NIF) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- The index is a key tool for focused policy dialogue, formulation and implementation through development actions, in line with the global SDG framework.
- The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates progress of states and Union Territories (UTs) on various parameters including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment.
- First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in India. It has also fostered competition among the states and UTs by ranking them on the global goals.
- The SDG India Index scores range between 0–100, higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to target achieved.
- States and UTs are classified in four categories based on their SDG India Index score — aspirant: 0–49; performer: 50–64; front-runner: 65–99, achiever: 100.
- Currently, there are no states in the aspirant and achiever category; 15 states/UTs are in the performer category and 22 states/UTs in the front runner category
- Economic measures used in last Index have been omitted from the indicators used for this SDG in the 2020 edition of the NITI Aayog’s Index. Instead, it gives greater weightage to social equality indicators such as the percentage of women and SC/ST representatives in State legislatures and the panchayati raj institutions, and the levels of crime against SC/ST communities. The only economic indicator this year is the percentage of population in the lowest two wealth quintiles.
- The SDGs that do deal directly with wages and industrial growth better reflect the fact that India’s economy has taken a beating over the last year. The country’s score on the SDG related to industry and infrastructure dropped 10 points to 55, while the scores on decent work dropped three points to 61.
- The Clean Water and Sanitation SDG also saw a five-point drop.