Kerala maintained the top spot in the 2019 SDG India Index by Niti Aayog. The report assesses the progress of states and Union territories in terms of social, economic and environmental parameters. Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim have improved as much as possible. However, states like Gujarat have shown no progress compared to the 2018 rankings.
Kerala maintained its position as the top state with 70 points. Chandigarh also held the top of the UTs with 70 points. Himachal Pradesh took second place while Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana shared third place.
Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh are the worst performing countries in this year’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) index. The SDGs, set by the United Nations, have 17 goals and 169 related goals to be achieved by 2030.
Improvement from 2018
According to the 2019 SDG India Index report, India’s composite score improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019, with great success in the areas of water and wastewater, industry and innovation. However, nutrition and gender remain problem areas for India and the government needs to be more targeted.
The report states that three out of five countries in first place with 12 goals score at least as well as the national average, while the other two countries with 11 goals do the same.
Only three states were ranked the leaders in 2018 (with a score between 65 and 99, including both) – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In 2019, five more states joined this league – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Sikkim and Goa, for a total of eight.
Poverty reduction in SDG India Index
States such as Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim have done well in terms of poverty reduction. According to the report, Goa, Mizoram, Kerala, Nagaland and Manipur were the frontrunners in zero hunger parameters.
The SDG India Index, launched last year by Niti Aayog with the support of the United Nations, considered 16 out of 17 targets that the United Nations set as SDGs.
2020 is the fifth anniversary of the adoption of SDGs by 193 countries at the UN General Assembly. The 2019 SDG India Index ranked states based on 54 targets spread across 100 out of 306 indicators set by the United Nations.