Assam Third Worst State In Terms Of SPI In India As Centre Releases Data

What is appalling for Assam is that fellow northeastern states have all been ranked higher with better SPI scores. With an SPI score of 65.10, Sikkim is the highest ranked northeastern state, ranked fourth in Tier 1, closely followed by Mizoram on fifth with a score of 64.19.
Assam has been ranked third from the bottom as Centre released data on Social Progress Index
Assam has been ranked third from the bottom as Centre released data on Social Progress Index

Assam was ranked third from the bottom out of all Indian states and union territories in the Social Progress Index (SPI) after the Centre released the data on Tuesday as Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Goa ranked as the best performing states.

The report was compiled by the Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative and was submitted to the Economic Advisory Council- Prime Minister (EAC-PM) which was released yesterday by Dr. Bibek Debroy, EAC-PM Chairman in the presence of Dr. Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman Institute for Competitiveness, Michael Green, CEO Social Progress Imperative and other dignitaries at National Nehru Memorial Museum, Teen Murti House, New Delhi, an official release mentioned.

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. The index uses an extensive framework comprising 89 indicators at the state level and 49 at the district level.

‘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, Access to Information and Communication, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Quality, while ‘Opportunity’ focuses on Personal Rights, Personal Freedom and Choice, Inclusiveness, and Access to Advanced Education.

Moreover, based on the SPI scores obtained by the states and districts are ranked under six tiers which are Tier 1: Very High Social Progress; Tier 2: High Social Progress; Tier 3: Upper Middle Social Progress; Tier 4: Lower Middle Social Progress; Tier 5: Low Social Progress; and Tier 6: Very Low Social Progress.

Based on the SPI scores, Puducherry occupied the first rank in Tier 1 with a score of 65.99, while Jharkhand stood last with an SPI score of 43.95. Sadly, Assam has ranked third from bottom in Tier 6, with an SPI score of 44.92.

The other states and union territories that made up the Tier 1 include Lakshadweep, Goa, Sikkim, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Kerala, in the order of their ranking according to their SPI scores.

What is appalling for Assam is that fellow northeastern states have all been ranked higher with better SPI scores. With an SPI score of 65.10, Sikkim is the highest ranked northeastern state, ranked fourth in Tier 1, closely followed by Mizoram on fifth with a score of 64.19. According to the index, Nagaland is the third best northeastern state in terms of SPI with a score of 59.24. Ranked 14, Nagaland falls into Tier 2.

Meanwhile, with SPI scores of 56.56 and 56.27, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur are the fourth and fifth best states of Northeast respectively, ranked 18th and 20th overall in the index. They have been categorized in Tier 3 according to their ranks. They are followed by Meghalaya and Tripura in Tier 4 with an overall rank of 24 and 27 respectively. Their individual SPI scores of 53.22 and 51.70 make them the sixth and seventh best states in the Northeast, leaving Assam in Tier 6, third from the bottom in overall rankings.

The report further highlighted that Nagaland was alongside Chandigarh to be the best in terms of shelter and personal safety, data showed. Elsewhere, Mizoram was among the best performing states regarding foundations of wellbeing. Furthermore, the top three states in terms of environmental quality were all from the Northeast in Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya. In addition, Sikkim topped the list for inclusiveness.

It may be noted that the report presents a broad picture of the social progress in India by evaluating change in the performance of some key indicators since 2015-16. It also highlights the progress made by the 112 districts in the country, which helps a more robust atmosphere to understand the strengths and work on the weaknesses.

While releasing the report, EAC-PM Chairman Bibek Debroy said, “The report is based extensively on objective data and is primarily a normative/prescriptive exercise. It presents a cross-section of data across states and districts and the focus is on looking at various tiers of development by grouping the states rather than the individual rankings of the selected states and districts.”

Assam has been ranked third from the bottom as Centre released data on Social Progress Index
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