Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, with matching scores, have emerged as the top performing states in Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) index, which evaluates each state’s progress in social, economic and environmental parameters.
According to the ‘SDG India Index Baseline Report 2018’ released on Friday, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are the front runners with an score of 69 out of 100, followed by Tamil Nadu with 66. Uttar Pradesh was worst performing state with a score of 42, followed by Bihar and Assam.
“Kerala’s top rank is attributed to its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education,” noted the SDG India report.
“Himachal Pradesh ranks high on providing clean water and sanitation, in reducing inequalities and preserving mountain ecosystem,” it said.
The index, first of its kind for states in India, took into account 13 out of 17 goals specified by United Nations as SDGs. Four goals were left out because of lack of data at the state level. Under the index, states are monitored on real time basis across 62 of 306 national indicators outlined by the UN. The UN sponsored SDGs have 17 goals, 169 targets and 306 national indicators.
Among the union territories, Chandigarh was at the top due to its exemplary performance in providing clean water and sanitation to citizens. States with a score of 100 were termed Achievers, those with 65-99 were Front Runners; 50-64 were Performers and states with score between 0 and 49 were termed Aspirants.
With regard to poverty reduction, the states which have done well include Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu. On ‘zero hunger’ parameters, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland were the front runners.
“The report highlights the progress being made by states and UTs in moving towards multiple targets of the SDGs, in the true spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism,” Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said.
The world is now in the third year of the era of SDGs, which were adopted by 193 countries at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
The SDGs, which came into effect from January 1, 2016, have 2030 as their deadline for achieving the targets. FE