Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have emerged as the front-runners in the race to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDG) like the removal of poverty and inequality, while Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the laggards in a ranking of states released by federal policy think tank NITI Aayog and the UN.
According to the SDG India Index, the nation as a whole has a score of 58, showing the country has reached a little beyond the halfway mark in meeting the sustainable development goals adopted by India and 192 other nations in 2015. The index covers 13 of the 17 sustainable development goals, including healthcare, gender equality, clean energy, infrastructure, education, peace and building strong, accountable institutions.
Four goals, including climate action and sustainable use of marine resources, were left out because of lack of data at the state level.
Kerala’s overall top rank (69) is attributed to its strong performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education. The rank shows the distance each state has to cover to reach 100—the point at which it fully meets the sustainable development goal.
Tamil Nadu topped the states in poverty reduction, while Kerala topped in providing quality education, closely followed by Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu also topped in facilitating good health and well-being. Gender equality, however, is an area all states and the nation as a whole need to improve upon. The toppers in gender equality, Sikkim and Union territories Andaman and Nicobar islands and Chandigarh have crossed the halfway mark in reaching the goals.
Jharkhand, Odisha and Nagaland are also among the states that have a lot more ground to cover in the overall rankings.