NITI Aayog releases inaugural SDG Urban Index and Dashboard 2021–22

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NITI Aayog releases inaugural SDG Urban Index and Dashboard 2021–22

  • NITI Aayog under the Indo-German Cooperation has released the inaugural SDG Urban Index and Dashboard 2021–22.
  • The index aims to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and institute robust SDG progress monitoring systems at the national, State/UT, and local levels
  • The index and dashboard are a result of the NITI Aayog-GIZ and BMZ collaboration focused on driving SDG localization in our cities, under the umbrella of Indo-German Development Cooperation.

About SDG Urban Index and Dashboard

  • The index ranks 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework.
  • The data on these indicators have been sourced from official data sources such as NFHS, NCRB, U-DISE, data portals of various ministries, and other government data sources.
  • The index and dashboard will further strengthen SDG localization and institute robust SDG monitoring at the city level.
  • It highlights the strengths and gaps of ULB-level data, monitoring, and reporting systems.
  • Tools such as this index and dashboard will contribute to the creation of an ecosystem in which all stakeholders will be equipped to adopt and implement data-driven decision making.
  • This transformative change is quite essential, given the increasing prominence of our cities and urban areas in charting the future of development in India.
  • Shimla, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi have topped the Index while Dhanbad, Meerut, Itanagar, Guwahati and Patna are the worst performers.


  • The statistical methodology for the SDG Urban Index is drawn from the globally accepted methodology developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
  • The methodology, used for the SDG India Index and North Eastern Region District SDG Index as well, was finalised in close collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  • A comprehensive list of 77 indicators, covering 46 global SDG targets across 15 SDGs, are used in the index.
  • SDG 14 (life below water) has not been included as it is relevant for only coastal areas, which are only a few of the selected cities, and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) has been excluded as the progress of its targets are monitored at the national level.
  • The indicators are aligned with MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework.

Coverage of Index

  • Out of 56 urban areas ranked in the index, 44 are with population of above one million.
  • 12 are State capitals with population of less than a million.
  • While for some indicators, “urban area” implies ULBs, in other cases, it refers to all urban areas within a district collectively.
  • This is owing to the usage of different data sets which have collated urban data at different administrative units.
  • However, for any given indicator, the same definition has been used for all urban areas.

Scoring and Interpretation

  • For each SDG, the urban areas are ranked on a scale of 0-100.
  • A score of 100 implies that the urban area has achieved the targets set for 2030 while a score of 0 implies that it is the farthest from achieving the targets among the selected urban areas.
  • Overall or composite urban area scores are then generated from the Goal-wise scores to measure aggregate performance of the urban area.
  • Urban areas have been classified as below based on their composite score:
  1. Aspirant: 0–49
  2. Performer: 50–64
  3. Front-Runner: 65–99
  4. Achiever: 100