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Sikkim, Tripura districts top NE Sustainable Development Goal index, Nagaland, Arunachal come last

Niti Aayog releases first edition of North Eastern Region District SDG Index report that measures performance of the 8 NE states on key aspects of universal well being.

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New Delhi: East Sikkim has been ranked among the top 103 districts of the Northeast followed by Gomati and North Tripura in the first edition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index, which measures the performance of the eight states on the SDGs that addresses key aspects of universal well being.

These goals include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, and reduced inequality.

The first edition of the North Eastern Region District SDG Index report 2021-22, released Thursday by the government’s think-tank Niti Aayog, has two districts of Sikkim (East Sikkim and South Sikkim), seven districts of Tripura (Gomati, North Tripura, South Tripura, West Tripura, Unakoti, Dhalai and Sepahijala) and three districts of Mizoram (Serchhip, Lunglei and Kolasib) in the top 10 list. (Gomati and North Tripura share the second rank while Dhalai and Sepahijala share the eighth rank.)

Meanwhile, none of the districts of Assam, the gateway to the Northeast, find mention in the top ten list.

Kiphire in Nagaland was adjudged the worst performing district followed by Zunheboto (Nagaland) and Kra Daadi (Arunachal Pradesh). In fact, six districts of Nagaland find mention among the bottom 10 districts. North Garo Hills in Meghalaya and Kamle, East Kamang and Shi Yomi — all districts of Arunachal Pradesh — make up the bottom 10.

The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index, the official tool used by India for monitoring progress on the SDGs at the national and state/union territory levels. The index offers insights into the social, economic and environmental status of a region and its districts in their march towards achieving these goals.

Releasing the report, Dr Rajiv Kumar, NITI Aayog vice chairman, said, “The North Eastern Region District SDG Index is an important milestone in our SDG journey aimed at leaving no one behind and will strengthen SDG localisation, by putting the districts, especially in our eight Northeastern states, at the forefront of SDG adoption, implementation, and monitoring.”

Of the 103 districts considered for ranking, 64 districts belonged to the front runner category (scored between 65-99) while 39 districts were in the performer category (50-64) in the composite score and ranking of districts.

While the scale ranged from 0-100, the scores for the 103 districts ranged from 53.00 in Kiphire (Nagaland) to 75.87 in East Sikkim (Sikkim)

All districts in Sikkim and Tripura fell in the front runner category, while there were no districts in the aspirant (0-49) or achiever(100) categories.

Also read: Modi govt wants all Northeast capitals connected by rail. Here’s how many are linked now

Region scores high on sanitation, low on industry

According to the report, the Northeast as a region has shown remarkable performance in meeting SDG 15 (Life on Land), which includes indicators such as forest cover, wasteland, and wildlife cases. Twelve districts of the region find mention in the achievers category and 86 districts in the category of front runners.

The region has also fared well in Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) where more than 75 per cent of the districts are in the front runner category across indicators on sanitation and drinking water services.

The entire Northeast region, though, is lagging behind in Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) with 28 districts in the aspirant category. This goal encompasses areas such as roads, broadband and mobile connectivity.

Similarly, the report noted that focused interventions are required to improve the region’s performance in meeting Goal 4 (Quality Education), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Goal 13 (Climate Action).

Also read: Districts in Arunachal, Mizoram see highest new cancer cases in India, govt report shows

Top performers

The districts of East Sikkim (Sikkim), Serchhip (Mizoram), South Sikkim (Sikkim), Kamrup Metropolitan (Assam) and Champhai (Mizoram) fared the best in eradicating poverty.

Phek (Nagaland), Bishnupur (Manipur), Peren (Nagaland), Champhai (Mizoram), Imphal West (Manipur) and Kohima (Nagaland) met zero hunger goals.

In good health and well-being, Champhai (Mizoram), East Sikkim (Sikkim), North Sikkim (Sikkim), Upper Siang (Arunachal Pradesh), East Siang (Arunachal Pradesh) and Saiha (Mizoram) fared well.

Under the quality education parameter, Aizawl (Mizoram), Kolasib (Mizoram), East Sikkim (Sikkim), Champhai (Mizoram), Serchhip (Mizoram) and West Sikkim (Sikkim) fared well.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Also read: Why Mizoram vs Assam is a BJP project to ‘integrate’ northeast gone wrong


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