HP, Kerala, TN top Niti Aayog index on development goals

T V Jayan New Delhi | Updated on December 21, 2018 Published on December 21, 2018

Himachal surges to the top based on its success in providing clean water and sanitation, reducing inequalities

Government think tank NITI Aayog on Friday came out with a baseline index of Indian states’ performance on various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which found the states of Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territories of Chandigarh and Pondicherry, are among the front-runners.

SDGs, adopted by 193 countries at the UN General Assembly Summit in September 2015, are a set of 17 goals across social, economic and environmental spheres that would transform the world into a better place by 2030. This agenda for sustainable development based on SDGs, came into effect in January 2016.


While Kerala’s top rank is attributed to its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education, Himachal Pradesh has surged to the top backed by its success in providing clean water and sanitation, in reducing inequalities and preserving the mountain ecosystem. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, did well in reducing poverty and providing affordable and clean energy to people.

“It is widely acknowledged that the world cannot achieve the SDGs without India achieving them. The Government’s flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Ujjwala, Gram Jyoti Yojana and others are directed towards addressing these key national priorities, which are inextricably aligned with SDG targets,” said NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

According to him, the think tank will track the performance of the states, using 62 parameters associated with SDGs. The states would be ranked on the basis of their performance on each of these SDGs, barring four goals such as Climate Action, for which the state-wise break-up of data is not currently available. Some of the prominent SDGs are No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Good Health and Well-being.

The baseline index was created by computing a composite score for each state and UT based on their aggregate performance across 13 of the 17 SDGs. The score indicates the average performance of the state/ UT in achieving the 13 SDGs and their respective targets. The score ranges between 0 and 100. If a state achieves a score of 100, it signifies that the state has achieved the national target set for 2030.

The SDG Index Score for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 ranges between 42 and 69 for states and between 57 and and 68 for UTs.

“The idea is to create competition among different states so that they work towards improving their performance on each of these scores and bettering their standing,” Kumar said.

Addressing the meeting, NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant, said the SDG index has been created using officially available data and after intense discussions with the states. The index can provide a holistic view on the social, economic and environmental status of the country. It will go a long way in helping analyse and identify best practices and priority areas, giving direction to developmental policies. “The index would strive to capture these changes as and when they happen on a real-time basis,” Kant said.

Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said India could be one of the first countries in the world to create one such bench-marking index, and it was commendable. “Over the last decade, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty in India through targeted schemes across sectors. India has also emerged as a global leader on the international climate action agenda and an enabler of sustainable development for developing countries around the world, Afanasiev said.

The states currently at the bottom of the ladder, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, have a lot of ground to cover in many spheres, before they catch up with the others in ranking.

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Published on December 21, 2018
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