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Shimla tops NITI’s 1st SDG Urban Index

The SDG Urban Index ranks 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework. The idea is to strengthen localisation of the SDG framework and ensure close monitoring of progress at the city level. (File Photo)Premium
The SDG Urban Index ranks 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework. The idea is to strengthen localisation of the SDG framework and ensure close monitoring of progress at the city level. (File Photo)

  • Seventeen SDG goals adopted in 2015 by UN member nations form a blueprint of prosperity for people and the planet. It recognises that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth

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Shimla is at the top of a list of 56 urban areas that ranks cities on sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as eliminating poverty and ensuring quality education, and gender equality, federal policy think tank NITI Aayog said on Tuesday.

Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Panaji, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Ahmedabad and Nagpur, in that order, follow Shimla, in having achieved these goals, according to an SDG urban index developed jointly by NITI Aayog and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development known as BMZ and German development agency GIZ.

These ten urban areas have scored between 75.5 and 69.79 of 100 to be ranked as front runners.

The laggards are Dhanbad, Meerut, Itanagar, Guwahati, Patna, Jodhpur, Kohima, Agra, Kolkatta and Faridabad with Dhanbad being the lowest performer. These areas have scored between 52.43 (Dhanbad) and 58.57 (Faridabad) and are termed as ‘performers’. There are none in the ‘aspirant’ category with scores below 49.

Mint had reported on 19 November that NITI Aayog will rank Indian cities based their SDG performance to fuel competition on welfare goals.

The SDG Urban Index ranks 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework. The idea is to strengthen localisation of the SDG framework and ensure close monitoring of progress at the city level.

Cities are fast becoming engines of growth and the SDG urban index and dashboard will go a long way in setting up a robust SDG monitoring system in our cities and is a milestone in our SDG localisation journey, a statement from NITI Aayog said quoting Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

Seventeen SDG goals adopted in 2015 by UN member nations form a blueprint of prosperity for people and the planet. It recognises that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth, while tackling climate change. 

At the national level, India has covered two thirds of the distance to achieving the goals and needs to bridge the gap by 2030. India’s SDG composite index 2021 is at 66 compared to 60 in the previous report.

NITI Aayog seeks to empower local administrations to adopt a measurement-based approach to decision making, the statement said quoting SDG nodal officer Sanyukta Samaddar. “Only if the SDG agenda is adopted by the last mile stakeholders can we hope to achieve the global 2030 Agenda. The SDG urban index is one more step towards localising the SDGs further," said Samaddar.

The index is significant, given it puts the spotlight on urban areas in ensuring welfare goals at a time the pandemic has exposed their inadequacies in managing the needs of the migrant population during the pandemic.

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