Sustainable Development Index /What SDG means?/What are the main themes in SDGs?

Sustainable Development Index /What SDG means?/What are the main themes in SDGs?

Sustainable Development Goal(SDG):

What is SDG?

The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates progress of states and Union Territories (UTs) on various parameters including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment. First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in India. It has also fostered competition among the states and UTs by ranking them on the global goals.


What is the significance of the SDG India Index?

The index is developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India. It tracks the progress of all states and UTs on 115 indicators aligned with the National Indicator Framework (NIF) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The index is a key tool for focused policy dialogue, formulation and implementation through development actions, in line with the global SDG framework. It helps in identifying crucial gaps related to tracking the SDGs and the need for India to develop its statistical systems.

“It remains a rare data-driven initiative to rank our States and Union Territories by computing a composite index on the SDGs. We are confident that it will remain a matter of aspiration and emulation and help propel monitoring efforts at the international level,” NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said

What are its latest findings?

The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21 — on accounts of improvement in performance in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.


While Kerala retained its rank as the top with a score of 75, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu both took the second spot with a score of 74. Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year’s India index.

Key Highlights:

  • Support States/UTs to benchmark their progress: SDG India Index can help States/UTs to benchmark their progress against the national targets and performance of their peers to understand reasons for differential performance and devise better strategies to achieve the SDGs by 2030.


  • Support States/UTs to identify priority areas: The SDGs undoubtedly present a very bold agenda. It is clear from this analysis, that several States will face major challenges in achieving the SDGs. SDG India Index will act as tool to highlight the key areas on which the respective States/UTs need to invest and improve by enabling States/UTs to measure incremental progress.


  • Highlight data gaps related across SDGs: The preparation of the index has highlighted data gaps related to the SDGs. As highlighted earlier, SDG India Index does not currently cover Goals 12, 13 and 14 largely on account of unavailability of comparable data across States and UTs. Even for basic indicators like Maternal Mortality Ratio, data is not available for States in the North-East and UTs. The stated limitations of this index highlights the need for India to develop its statistical systems at the national and State levels. It highlights the need to increase the capacity and capability of data collection.


Advantage of SDG

When reading SDG India Index scores within each Goal, leading States/UTs can be identified under each Goal:

  • Eliminate Poverty: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Reduce
  • Hunger: Goa and Delhi Good
  • Health: Kerala and Puducherry Quality
  • Education: Kerala and Chandigarh Gender
  • Equality: Kerala, Sikkim and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Clean Water and Sanitation: Gujarat and Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep
  • Affordable and Clean Energy: Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: Goa and Daman and Diu
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Manipur and Delhi and Puducherry
  • Reduce Inequality: Meghalaya, Mizoram, Telangana and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep
  • Sustainable Cities: Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Island
  • Land Ecosystem: Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Manipur, Odisha, Uttarakhand, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry






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