Puducherry tops Social Progress Index, Lakshadweep, TN and Kerala among top 10

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana fared poorly and were positioned in tier four, categorised as 'lower middle social progress'.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Dec 22, 2022 | 1:21 PM Updated Dec 22, 2022 | 1:22 PM

The Social Progress Index (SPI Index) of India 2022.

Two Union Territories (UTs) and as many states in South India figured among the top 10 states with “very high social progress”, according to the Social Progress Index (SPI) submitted to the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).

Puducherry topped the list scoring 65.99 out of 100, followed by Lakshadweep with a score of 65.89. Among the states, Tamil Nadu scored 63.33 to grab the sixth rank, while Kerala came ninth, scoring 62.05.

The SPI, compiled by the Institute of Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative, is a comprehensive tool to draw the attention of state and district-level officials to areas requiring intervention, formulate strategies for inclusive growth and prioritise public investments.

SPI parameters

The SPI assessed the country’s social progress across three parameters: Basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity.

While basic human needs comprised basic medical care, water and sanitation, shelter and personal safety, the foundations of well-being included access to basic knowledge, access to information and communication, health and wellness, and environmental quality.

Opportunity captured the importance of inclusiveness, personal freedom and choice highlighting the importance of ensuring the personal safety of all citizens.

All 28 states and eight UTs were categorised into six tiers — from “very high social progress” to “very low social progress”.

Puducherry and Lakshadweep were included in tier one, in which the SPI scores ranged from 62.05 to 65.99.

Also read: More than 25 percent of government schools lack basic toilet facilities

Karnataka, AP and Telangana trail

Karnataka was placed in tier three, the “upper middle social progress”, behind Uttarakhand but ahead of Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Manipur. The south Indian state was ranked 17 with a score of 56.77.

Among the south Indian states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana fared poorly and were positioned in tier four, categorised as “lower middle social progress”, along with nine other states. With scores of 53.60 and 52.11, the two Telugu states were ranked 23 and 26, respectively.

The report said that the tier-four states had not progressed much in terms of ensuring nutrition and primary medical care, access to information and communication, and access to advanced education.

Tamil Nadu leads the south

The SPI report slotted more than 34 percent of districts in Tamil Nadu in the tier-2 category with Erode achieving the highest score of 64.05. Kanchipuram (63.92) and Coimbatore (63.87) followed Erode.

Among tier-3 districts, Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga scored 60 to win the second slot behind the Wokha district in Nagaland (score of 60.02).

Meanwhile, Dindigul district (56.32) secured the second position among tier-4 districts behind Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham (56.36).