Is The NITI Aayog’s SDG Index Really As “Standardised” As They Claim?

The government’s think tank NITI Aayog released Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019-20 on December 30, 2019. The Sustainable Development goals data are based on 17 broad goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 2015.

India’s SDG Index is based on Qualitative Assessment which considers measuring the progress in all the States and Union Territories of India.

The SDG India Index was made in association with the United Nations of India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Global Green Growth Institute. The UN-SDG Index is a part of the United Nations Resolution to be achieved by 2030.

However, the reports released by NITI Aayog seem to be inefficient and inaccurate as per the UN Index. So it will itself be a question of progress when the report itself inefficient. Let’s see how the report is inefficient and what is lacking behind the scenes.

A chart elaborating the 7 pillars of the NITI Aayog. (Source: PIB/Official Website)

Why India’s SDG Report 2019-20 Is Not So ‘Standardised’ As Per The UN Index

The SDG India Reports do not consider at all the Index as set by the United Nations for Indexing the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations has developed and finalized 232 Indicators for measuring SDGs which comes under the 17 broad goals as set by the UN. All the member nations should use 232 indicators for fair treatment and indexing. However, NITI Aayog only used 100 of these, which are 40% of the indicators in total.

Though the NITI Aayog’s vision has been modified and customised according to their own purposes, the standard monitoring approach should not be ignored especially when are treating and preparing nation wise data. The current report doesn’t seem to in line with the UN Indicators as all factors are not considered in the SDGs.

That’s why India’s SDG Index seems to be unstandardised and inefficient both. The concept and reports both are incomplete because there is reduction in indicators. Therefore, considering only 100 indicators instead of the proposed 232 indicators is inappropriate as well as misleading.

What Could NITI Aayog Have Done To Make The SDGs More Appropriate?

The Centre-driven organisation could have considered the whole indicators which making Sustainable Development Goals Report. This could have given a more specific detailed report on all the parameters.

On the other hand, these reports can be used to measure the country’s state and UT performances on these scales. In this way, the country will become able to take the right steps to achieve the goals as announced by the United Nations in the 2015 General Assembly.

The Current Reports Of India’s SDG Index

According to India’s SDG Index for 2019-20, Kerala stood top among the countries whereas Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh are in the bottom list. While seeing the data, Himachal Pradesh stood at 69 whereas  Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh achieved 67 out of 100 in the recent SDG Index.

Here’s a report:

SDG India
SDGs India Index 2019-20. (Source: Indian Express)


The current reports and analysis may not be counted as an appropriate one as it does not take into consideration the standards as set by the UN. It doesn’t matter if the indicators are worth or not, but ignoring and cutting short them can lead to inefficient reports.

The reports should have been prepared on the basis of total indicators as set up by the UN to maintain uniformity and check the country’s status on all ground indicators.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
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