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SDG India Index 2020-21: NITI Aayog

SDG India Index 2020-21: NITI Aayog

Why in news?

  • Recently, the third edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index and Dashboard 2020–21 was released by NITI Aayog.
  • The SDG India Index 2020–21 is developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India.

SDG India Index

  • The index measures the progress at the national and sub-national level in the country’s journey towards meeting the Global Goals and targets.
  • It has been successful as an advocacy tool to propagate the messages of sustainability, resilience, and partnerships, as well.
  • From covering 13 Goals, 39 targets, and 62 indicators in the first edition in 2018-19 to 17 Goals, 54 targets and 100 indicators in the second; this third edition of the index covers 17 Goals, 70 targets, and 115 indicators.

Findings of the report

  • The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21.
  • Kerala has retained the top rank
  • Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu both took the second spot with a score of 74.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states.
  • Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68).
  • Mizoram, Haryana, and Uttarakhand are the top gainers in terms of improvement in their rankings from 2019.
  • In 2019, 10 states/UTs belonged to the front-runners category.
  • In 2020-21, 12 more states/UTs graduated to this category.
  • These are Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Punjab, Haryana, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, A&N Islands, J&K, and Ladakh.
  • 15 states/UTs are in the performer category.
  • Currently, there are no states in the aspirant and achiever category.


  • The SDG India Index computes goal-wise scores on the 16 SDGs for each State and Union Territory.
  • These scores range between 0–100, and if a State/UT achieves a score of 100, it signifies it has achieved the 2030 targets.
  • The higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to target achieved.
  • States and Union Territories are classified in four categories based on their SDG India Index score: Aspirant (0–49), Performer (50–64), Front-Runner (65–99), Achiever (100).

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
  • The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet.
  • The SDGs came into effect

Key Concern

  • There were stark differences between the southern and western States on the one hand and the north-central and eastern States on the other.
  • This points to the persisting socio-economic and governance disparities.
  • These, if left unaddressed, will exacerbate federal challenges and outcomes.
  • It is already visible in public health challenges during the second wave of COVID-19 across some of the worse-off States.              SDG India Index 2020-21: NITI Aayog
  • The Index has also made some methodological changes.


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