The report, titled ‘Social Progress Index: States and Districts of India‘, was recently released by Economic Advisory Council-Prime Minister (EAC-PM) chairman Bibek Debroy. Puducherry, followed by Lakshadweep and Goa, has bagged the top slots for its remarkable performance across the components like personal freedom and choice, shelter, and water and sanitation.

 

Highlights of the index

  • The report also dwells on India’s performance based on the global SPI that is brought out by Social Progress Imperative since 2013.
  • In the latest (2022) report, India has been ranked 110th (out of 169 nations) on the index and India’s aggregate SPI score of 60.2 in 2022 is slightly lower than the world average of 65.2.
  • The report also highlights that Aizawl (Mizoram), Solan (Himachal Pradesh) and Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) have emerged as the top three best-performing districts.
  • The index also highlights that 27 out of 112 districts under the Aspirational District Programme (ADP) have scored above the national average on the SPI.
  • It highlights that over 40% of J&K districts belong to the “high social progress category”. Shopian has the highest SPI score of 63.1, attributable to the district’s achievements across water and sanitation, environmental quality, and inclusiveness.

 

About the index

  • Formulated by the Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative, SPI is a comprehensive tool that can serve as a holistic measure of a country’s social progress at the national and sub-national levels.
  • The index assesses states and districts based on 12 components across three critical dimensions of social progress – Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity.
      • Basic Human Needs assess the performance of states and districts in terms of Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, Water and Sanitation, Personal Safety and Shelter.
      • Foundations of Wellbeing evaluates the progress made by the country across the components of Access to Basic Knowledge, Information and Communication, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Quality.
      • Opportunity focuses on Personal Rights, Personal Freedom and Choice, Inclusiveness, and Access to Advanced Education.
  • Based on the SPI scores, states and districts have been ranked under six tiers of social progress, with the Tier 1 indicating Very High Social Progress, while the Tier 6 indicating Very Low Social Progress.

 

Significance

  • By evaluating change in the performance of some key indicators since 2015-16, the report presents a broad picture of the social progress in India.
  • In addition, the report highlights progress made by the 112 aspirational districts in the country.
  • GDP is an incomplete measure of progress and endeavours such as the SPI, that weave in sociological factors into economic progress provides more robust and reliable analysis.
  • The findings in the report will pave the way for policymakers to make informed decisions.