Kerala retains top spot in SDG Index, Bihar ranks last: NITI Aayog

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 31, 2019, 04.30 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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India holds the global key to the achievement of SDGs that are intended to be achieved by 2030, due to its vast population that incorporates 17 per cent of the world’s population.

By Mallika Singh 

NITI Aayog on Monday released its latest SDG India Index 2019, assessing each state and Union Territory’s progress on the sustainable development goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. 
 
Kerala retained its rank as the top-performing state in the country by being a front runner with a score of 70, while Chandigarh also retained its top spot among the Union Territories with the same net score. 
 
Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa and Sikkim were the other states that achieved above 65 points, taking the total tally to eight with Sikkim showing the highest improvement among them by jumping from 58 to 65 points. 
 
Bihar performed the lowest on the report with a score of 50 even after graduating as a performer, followed by Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh with a score of 53. While Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir shared the bottom spot at the list for Union Territories with 59 points each. 
 
Uttar Pradesh marked as the highest gainer for increasing its overall score from 42 in 2018 to 55 in 2019 while observing the biggest improvement in Goal 7 of attaining affordable and clean energy by jumping by 40 points. 
 
Odisha took the second spot in overall improvement, with an increase of 7 points, from 51 to 58 and Sikkim came in third with an improvement from a score of 58 to 65.
 
India’s overall score improved from 57 to 60 this year, indicating the country’s progress in achieving the goals. However, the report urged special attention to the goals of attaining zero hunger and gender equality, where most states fall short, with India scoring 35 and 42 points in these goals respectively. 
 
The report attributed the significant improvement in Goal 6 to the successful implementation of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan which is aimed at eliminating open defecation, and that of Goal 7 to extensive coverage of LPG for households and saturation of electricity connections. 
 
“Two goals – 2 (zero hunger) and 5 (gender equality) demand special attention, as the overall country score is below 50,” the report said. 
 
SDGs signify global aspirations and efforts to push the frontiers of development. They represent the agenda for governments to achieve social, economic and environmental progress 
 
“It is now universally acknowledged that the SDGs represent an elaborate agenda for governments, that necessitates achieving progress simultaneously across social, economic and environmental pillars,” said the report. 
 
India holds the global key to the achievement of SDGs that are intended to be achieved by 2030, due to its vast population that incorporates 17 per cent of the world’s population. According to the report, it is conducive for the country to come up with innovative solutions to solve the problems it presently faces, says the report. 
 
“Today, the country faces multiple challenges in several sectors of development, be it health, nutrition, education, sanitation and infrastructure. However, these challenges also make India conducive for developing innovative solutions to address them and also provide a useful lens for solving similar problems in other parts of the world,” said the report. 
 
To evaluate the overall progress of India in the mentioned frontiers, the federal structure of the country makes it imperative for the report to assess the individual advancement made by all States and Union Territories as they are best placed to put people first and are essential stakeholders in the realisation of the goals.