Karnataka improves ranking in NITI Aayog’s SDG Index

Karnataka ranked third in NITI Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) India Index for 2020-21, as per a report released on Thursday.

Karnataka improved its score from 66 in 2019-20 to 72 in 2020-21 and improved its ranking from fourth place to third. The State has shown progress in nine of 16 goals.

Along with Karnataka, three other States — Andhra Pradesh, Goa, and Uttarakand — too scored 72 and ranked third. Kerala (with a score of 75) has been adjudged top performer, while Bihar (50) was the worst-performing State in this year’s India index. Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu shared the second spot with a score of 74. The Index for SDGs evaluates the progress of States and Union Territories on social, economic, and environmental parameters.

Karnataka improved its scores on indicators related to reducing poverty; good health and well-being; gender equality; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communication; responsible consumption and production; and peace, justice and strong institutions.

Its scores declined in areas such as quality education; clean water and sanitation; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequality; climate action; and life on land indicators. Sources said the State was yet to make progress in the monitoring and reporting of districts and taluks and linking SDGs to the Budget.

Health concerns

With regard to health, the State’s score improved in issues related to diseases and mortality rates. However, the score related to number of physicians, nurses, and midwives per 10,000 people reduced from 72 in 2019-20 to 70 in 2020-21, which according to an expert is a matter of concern, particularly when the State is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on SDGs in the country and has simultaneously fostered competition among the States and UTs by ranking them on global goals.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa released the State government’s SDGs Vision 2030 last December and said an estimated ₹10 lakh crore was needed to meet the SDGs target in the next 10 years.

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