For the second year in a row, Kerala retained its first rank among states and Bihar came last in the Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index for 2019. The index, which evaluates progress of states and union territories on defined social, economic and environmental parameters, was launched in 2018. Kerala retained the top slot with a score of 70 (out of 100) in 2019 — last year, the southern state had shared the top position with Himachal Pradesh — while Chandigarh maintained its rank as the top UT on the index, with a similar score of 70. Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh were the worst performing states in the index in 2019.
 
 
What
  1. Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim have shown maximum improvement while Gujarat’s ranking has dropped from 4th in 2018 to 9th in 2019, as its score stagnated at 64.
  2. The composite score for India improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019. Five goals drove the positive pushclean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; life on land; and peace, justice, and strong institutions.
  3. While in 2018, three states belonged to the lowest category of aspirants with a score of less than 50, none of the states found themselves in this category in 2019.
  4. Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh graduated to the category of performers (scores between 50 and 64). Bihar retained its 28th rank, the lowest among the states.
  5. The percentage of children under 5 years of age who are stunted is the highest in Bihar at 42% while the state also saw the highest percentage (39.73%) of drop-outs at the secondary level, followed by Jharkhand at 36.64%, according to the report.
  6. On the SDG’s first goal of removing poverty, Tamil Nadu was the top performer. On the third goal of good health and well-being, Kerala and Puducherry topped the ranking.
  7. The year 2020 will be the fifth anniversary of the adoption of SDGs by 193 countries at the UN General Assembly. The SDGs targets are to be achieved by 2030. India, with the world’s 17% of the population, holds the key to global SDG achievement.
  8. The report, unveiled on 30 December 2019, noted that the indicator set for SDG India Index 2019-20 is large (100 indicators) as compared to SDG India Index 2018 ( 62 indicators) and thereby two indices are strictly not comparable.
  9. There has been variation in improvement levels among states. Uttar Pradesh, for example, has improved its overall score from 42 in 2018 to 55 in 2019, and is the highest gainer. 
  10. The biggest improvement has been on the front of affordable and clean energy, where the jump has been by 40 points. Scores in clean water and sanitation and on industry, innovation, and infrastructure, have climbed by 39 and 34 points, respectively, for the state.
  11. Odisha stands second in overall improvement, with an increase of 7 points, from 51 to 58. The goal relating to industry, innovation, and infrastructure has contributed highest to the rise with a jump of 40 points.
  12. Sikkim is the third best state in overall improvement: from a score of 58 to 65, indicating an increase by 7 points. 
  13. In goal of affordable and clean energy, the state recorded an increase by 55 points. In goal of industry, innovation and infra, Sikkim has made a jump of 26 points. 
  14. Performance in goal relating to sustainable cities and communities, has been by 18 points, which is the third biggest contributor to Sikkim’s improvement. The improvement in clean water and sanitation is driven by the success of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in eliminating open defecation, the report said.
Flashback
  1. The SDG India Index, launched last year by NITI Aayog with the help of United Nations took into account 16 out of 17 goals specified by the United Nations as SDGs .
  2. The Index has been developed by NITI Aayog in coordination with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, United Nations in India and Global Green Growth Institute.
  3. UN Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien said the world is entering final decade for achieving the SDGs — the Decade for Action. 
  4. The SDG India Index 2.0 and the dashboard enables India to both track and encourage accelerated progress to meet the SDGs across all its states and UTs.

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