Arunachal among worst performing states in 2019 SDG index

NEW DELHI, Dec 30: Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal are the worst performing states in the NITI Aayog’s index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) this year.
Kerala retained the top rank, while Bihar was adjudged the worst performer in the SDG India Index 2019, which evaluates the progress of states and union territories on social, economic and environmental parameters, as per a report released on Monday.
According to the SDG India Index 2019, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim have shown maximum improvement, but states like Gujarat have not shown any progress vis-à-vis the 2018 rankings.
“Kerala retained its rank as the top state with a score of 70. Chandigarh, too, maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 70. Himachal Pradesh took the second spot, while Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana shared the third spot,” the report said.
“The United Nations’ SDG target of 2030 can never be met without India… We are fully committed to achieving the UN’s SDG target,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said at the launch of the report.
Speaking at the event, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said the southern states have done well in health.
“West Bengal (rank 14) has also done well in the NITI Aayog’s SDG Index 2019, but given the education level (in the state), West Bengal should be in top three performing states,” Kumar added.
The NITI Aayog vice-chairman also said the Modi government “will not leave any stone unturned to make sure India achieves SDG Agenda 2030.”
According to the report, India’s composite score improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019, with major success in water and sanitation, industry, and innovation.
However, nutrition and gender continue to be problem areas for India, requiring more focussed approach from the government.
The report said while three out of five states in the top spots perform equal to or better than the country average on 12 goals, the other two states do the same on 11 goals.
“Only three states were placed in the category of frontrunners (with a score in the range 65-99, including both) in 2018 – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
“In 2019, five more states joined this league – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Sikkim and Goa, taking the total tally to eight,” it noted.
With regard to poverty reduction, states which have done well include Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Sikkim.
On ‘zero hunger’ parameters, Goa, Mizoram, Kerala, Nagaland and Manipur were the frontrunners, according to the report.
The SDG India Index, launched last year by the NITI Aayog with the help of the United Nations, took into account 16 out of 17 goals specified by the UN as SDGs.
The index this year ranked states based on 54 targets spread over 100 indicators out of 306 outlined by the UN.
The first report, which was launched in 2018, had 13 goals and 39 indicators.
The year 2020 will be the fifth anniversary of the adoption of SDGs by 193 countries at the UN General Assembly.
The SDGs, constituted through an unprecedented consultative process, have 17 goals and 169 related targets to be achieved by 2030.
The SDGs are an ambitious commitment by world leaders which set out a universal and an unprecedented agenda which embraces economic, environmental and social aspects of the wellbeing of societies. (PTI)