What is the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) index? - letsdiskuss
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Arjun S

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What is the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) index?


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The concept of sustainable development goals( SDG) was first proposed by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The main objective of it was to set out a list of goals that meet the urgent economic, social and environmental issues facing the world. This list of 17 goals was adopted by all the members of the United Nations in 2015. These goals were to be adopted and implemented by all the countries by the year 2030. Many countries showed tremendous progress and worked in the direction of making their country sustainable.

But how does one keep a track or check as to what amount of progress has been made by the countries about achieving the sustainable goals? For this purpose, the sustainable development goals index was used as a parameter to assess the country’s progress and its ranking with achieving sustainable development goals. It is also helpful for the governments and the civil society to understand the gaps that are configured in attaining the goals, track the progress, the challenges underlying in achieving the goals, understanding the priorities for taking immediate action so that the country can attain the sustainable development goals by the year 2030.

The SDG index report also provides the ranking of the countries by the aggregate SDG Index of overall performance. The Niti Aayog released the baseline report of the sustainable development goals India index, which will help in understanding the progress of the Indian states and union territories in achieving the sustainable development goals. The SDG Indian index tracks the progress of the states based on 62 national parameters which provide the overall view of the environmental, social and economic status of the country. This index can be used not only by the governments but also by the industries, businesses and companies to guide them on how to evaluate their performance of these parameters and what all gaps they need to fill in order to achieve the goals of sustainability.

As per the reports of SDG India index 2018, the states of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh were among the top to have achieved the goals of sustainable development 2030. The report also gives a detailed account of the SDG India index scores of the states which have been able to achieve these goals. The latest reports for the year 2019-20 have revealed that the states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have topped the index.

Talking of the 193 member countries of the UN, the SDG index has provided an up to date accurate data on the performance of the countries in respect of achieving the sustainable development goals. The 2020 SDG index report reviewed the performance of the 193 member states out of which 166 countries were ranked under the SDG index. Out of which, Sweden, Denmark and Finland topped the list and have most effectively been able to achieve and implement the SDG goals. India ranked at 117th position in the list.

The 2020 SDG index report focused on the goals which have had a positive and negative impact in achieving them amid the COVID 19 condition. The negatively affected SDGs is no hunger, no poverty, good health and well-being, and reduced inequalities. The SDGs which have had a positive impact were sustainable consumption and production, climate change, life below water and life on land.


It is important that countries follow and implement the SDG goals to make the environment sustainable and worth living for future generations. The SDG index will help in knowing the correct position of the country to the government and policymakers as to where they stand in the implementation of the goals and what all measures and steps have to be taken further to achieve the SDG goals by 2030.