SDG India Index 2020-21: NITI Aayog


  • 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.


  • This edition of the index report focuses on the significance of partnerships as its theme.
  • India’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points—from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020–21.
  • According to the 2020 SDG Index, India saw significant improvement in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to clean energy, urban development, and health in 2020.
    • All the States showed some improvement from last year’s scores.
    • Mizoram and Haryana saw the biggest gains.
  • The SDGs on eradication of poverty and hunger both saw significant improvement.
  • The SDGs that deal directly with wages and industrial growth reflect the fact that India’s economy has taken a beating over the last year.
  • There has been a major decline in the areas of industry, innovation, and infrastructure as well as decent work and economic growth.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation SDG also saw a drop.
  • Kerala retained its position at the top of the rankings, with a score of 75, followed by Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, both scoring 72.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam were the worst performing States.


  • The NITI Aayog launched its index in 2018.
  • This Index aims to monitor the country’s progress on the goals through data-driven assessment and foster a competitive spirit among the States and Union Territories in achieving them.
  • 100 being the highest score, it implies that the State/UT has achieved the targets set for 2030. ‘0’ score implies that the state is at the bottom of the table.
  • NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the adoption and monitoring of the SDGs in the country and promote competitive and cooperative federalism among States and UTs.
  • The index represents the articulation of the comprehensive nature of the Global Goals under the 2030 Agenda while being attuned to the national priorities.
  • In 2015, the UNs General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The 17 SDGs are a bold commitment to finish what the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) started, and tackle some of the more pressing challenges.
  • The SDG India Index 2020–21 is also live on an online dashboard, which has cross-sectoral relevance across policy, civil society, business, and academia.
  • The SDG India Index 2020–21 is more robust than the previous editions on account of wider coverage of targets and indicators with greater alignment with the National Indicator Framework (NIF).
  • The 115 indicators incorporate 16 out of 17 SDGs, with a qualitative assessment on Goal 17, and cover 70 SDG targets.

States and Union Territories are classified as below based on their SDG India Index score:

  • Aspirant: 0–49
  • Performer: 50–64
  • Front-Runner: 65–99
  • Achiever: 100
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