Kerala retains top spot in SDG India Index 2020-21: Niti Aayog

Niti Aaayog

New Delhi: Kerala on Thursday retained the top spot in Niti Aayog's SDG India Index 2020-21. Kerala retained its rank as the top state with a score of 75. Both Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu took the second spot with a score of 74.

Bihar was adjudged as the worst performer, as per a report released on Thursday.

Under the goal of quality education, Kerala and Chandigarh were the top performers among the states and UTs, respectively.

The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates progress of states and union territories on social, economic and environmental parameters.

Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year's India index. Further, Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the union territories (UTs) with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68). Mizoram, Haryana and Uttarakhand were the top gainers in 2020-21 in terms of improvement in score from 2019, with an increase of 12, 10 and 8 points, respectively.

The country's overall SDG score improved by 6 points - from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21.

The third rendition of India's SDG Index was launched by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday.

Our effort of monitoring SDGs through the SDG India Index and Dashboard continues to be widely noticed and applauded around the world. It remains a rare data-driven initiative to rank our states and union territories by computing a composite index on the SDGs, Kumar said.

While in 2019, 10 states/UTs belonged to the category of front-runners (score in the range 65-99, both inclusive), 12 more states/UTs find themselves in this category in 2020-21.

Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Punjab, Haryana, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh graduated to the category of front-runners.

Under the health sector goals, Gujarat and Delhi were the top performers among the states and the UTs, respectively.

Twenty-one states and all UTs bagged a position in the category of front-runners, while no state/UT was in the category of aspirants (with index score less than 50).

Under the goal of no poverty, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were the best performers among the states and UTs, respectively.

Seventeen states and seven UTs bagged a position in the category of front-runners.

Under the goal of reduced inequalities, Meghalaya and Chandigarh (Achiever, with Index score of 100) emerged as the best performers among the states and UTs.

Sustainable Development Goals

First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in the country and has simultaneously fostered competition among the states and union territories by ranking them on the global goals.

The index, developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India, measures the progress at the national and sub-national level in the country's journey towards meeting the global goals and targets and has been successful as an advocacy tool to propagate the messages of sustainability, resilience, and partnerships, as well.

From covering 13 goals, 39 targets, and 62 indicators in the first edition in 2018-19 to 17 goals, 54 targets and 100 indicators in the second; this third edition of the index covers 17 goals, 70 targets, and 115 indicators.

The SDGs, constituted through an unprecedented consultative process, have 17 goals and 169 related targets to be achieved by 2030.

The SDGs are an ambitious commitment by world leaders which set out a universal and an unprecedented agenda which embraces economic, environmental and social aspects of the wellbeing of societies.

(With PTI inputs.)

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