Chandigarh tops UTs in achieving sustainable development goals
Chandigarh has emerged as the top union territory in the third edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index 2020–21.
In the SDG Index released by NITI Aayog in Delhi on Thursday, Kerala with 75 marks out of 100 topped among the states and Chandigarh with 79 marks led among the UTs in terms of sustainable developments goals achieved.
Chandigarh’s overall performance has also improved – from 70% marks in 2019 to 79% in 2020.
Since its launch in 2018, the index has been documenting and ranking the progress made by states and union territories towards achieving the sustainable development goals. These were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
From covering 13 goals with 62 indicators in its first edition in 2018, the third edition comprises 16 Goals on 115 quantitative indicators, with a qualitative assessment on Goal 17.
Tweeting about Chandigarh’s performance, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore said, “Commendable effort by the citizens, officers, counsellors and NGOs who are actively involved in ensuring the overall development of Chandigarh.”
Where UT fared better than the rest
The City Beautiful continues to be on the top in the country in “providing quality education”. It has the lowest dropout rate, highest gross enrolment ratio and best language proficiency in the country. 100% of its schools have access to basic infrastructure, such as electricity and drinking water.
The enrolment rate in elementary education improved from 82.7% to 85.78% between 2019 and 2020. For higher secondary, it was 81.55% and higher education at 50%. Average dropout rate, which was zero in 2019, increased to 4.52%.
Among UTs, Chandigarh was the best in achieving “zero hunger” by meeting the 100% coverage target under the National Food Security Act.
With 99% marks, the city was best in “clean water and sanitation”. It achieved 100% target for individual household toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and all city schools have separate toilets for girl students.
Also performing best in “life on land”, Chandigarh increased its forest cover from 18.91% to 19.32% and tree cover from 8.77% to 22.34% between 2019 and 2020, say the Niti Aayog Report.
With the crime rate against women nearly doubling between 2019 and 2020, Chandigarh was one of the worst performers in achieving the “gender equality” goal. In 2019, there were 59.8 crimes against women per 1,00,000 female population, which increased to 95.20 in 2020. In contrast, Puducherry’s crime rate against women is 12.1.
Murders per 1,00,000 population increased from 1.32 to 2.20 and cases under Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code per 10,00,000 population increased by four times from 1.10 to 4.24.
In industrial development as well, the city was among those on the bottom of the list. Remarkably, it scored zero for ease of doing business. Manufacturing employment nearly halved from 15.15% to 8.47% from the previous year.
The city fared poorly in achieving “climate action” goals. While Lakshadweep had 100% renewable energy out of total installed generating capacity, Chandigarh’s figure was 69%. CO2 saved from LED bulbs per 1,000 population for Chandigarh stands at 48 tonnes, which is even lower than Delhi’s 67.57 tonnes, while Lakshadweep’s is 309.48 tonnes.