The marginal improvement in the overall score for India has been due to its improvement in the areas of clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and innovation.
The recently published Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Index 2019-20 by the NITI Aayog gives India an overall score of 60—a three-point improvement from 2018. Kerala (70) topped the list, while Bihar (50) was at the bottom. The marginal improvement in the overall score for India has been due to its improvement in the areas of clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and innovation. With regards to SDG 6—clean water and sanitation—India’s overall score is 88. Andhra Pradesh (96) was the best performing state and Tripura (69) the worst.
However, the fact that there has only been marginal improvement is because India is limping with the other SDGs—mainly zero hunger (SDG 2) and gender equality (SDG 5). India’s overall score in SDG 2 is 35, with states’ scores ranging from 22 to 76—Goa has the highest score and Jharkhand the lowest. Given that India is facing high levels of malnutrition and hunger—it ranked 102 on the Global Hunger Index—it should tackle this at the earliest. India’s overall score on SDG 5 is 42 and the states’ scores range from 26 to 52—Himachal Pradesh is at the top and Telangana is at the bottom. Indicators such as low sex ratio (896 per 1,000 males), low political representation, gender wage gap and informality of labour have contributed to this. The worst-performing states must take urgent action and the Centre’s support to these states must also factor in the areas where they lag the others.