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Guwahati: Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, has been ranked as the top district in social progress in India, according to the Social Progress Index (SPI) for States and Districts report released by the Economic Advisory Council-Prime Minister, in conjunction with the Institute for Competitiveness and the Social Progress Imperative.

The report was released today by Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, EAC – PM in the presence of Dr Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman Institute for Competitiveness, Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative and other dignitaries.

The SPI is a tool designed to identify areas that require intervention, using data-driven insights to help state and district officials prioritize investments and devise strategies for inclusive growth. The report evaluates progress across three dimensions: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Well-Being, and Opportunities. Each dimension is composed of four components, and the Index weighs 89 indicators at the state level and 49 at the district level.

The states and union territories (UTs) in India are then divided into six tiers based on their SPI scores: 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).

“With the social progress index (SPI) scores ranging from 64.19 –72.90 for this category, we observe Aizawl (Mizoram) attaining the highest SPI score of 72.90 in the country, with five more districts of Mizoram belonging to this tier, namely Lungei (69.80), Champhai (67.93), Serchhip (67.77), Saiha (65.79) and Mamit (64.84),” the report says.

“Aizawl’s strong performance can be attributed to its achievements in personal safety, inclusiveness, environmental quality, shelter, water and sanitation, and personal rights,” the report states.

At the district level, 30 per cent of Arunachal Pradesh’s districts fall into the high social progress category. It can also be observed that most districts belonging to northeastern states like Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland are also in this category.

At the state level, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand have relatively high scores in terms of Health and Wellness, Personal Freedom and Choice, Inclusiveness, and Personal Rights, The states, however, still have to strengthen components of social progress like nutrition and basic medical care, access to information and communication, and access to advanced education to achieve high social progress. These states have been ranked in the Very Low Social Progress tier.

Mizoram and Sikkim are the only states from the Northeast region that have been included in the Very High Social Progress tier. Sikkim and Mizoram are in the fourth and fifth positions in the Tier one category.

Nagaland is the only state from the Northeast that has been placed in the High Social Progress tier, while Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur are in the Upper Middle Social Progress tier. Meghalaya and Tripura are in the Lower Middle Social Progress tier.

EAC-PM Chairman Bibek Debroy while releasing the report, 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.”

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Dr Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness and Lecturer, Stanford University, explained, ‘The Social Progress Index report is an independent body of work where the focus has been on three pillars of social progress – Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Well-being and Opportunity. There has not been an index that looked at social parameters with such depth and analysis in the Indian context. The next step is to do a longitudinal assessment of these indicators to study the changes over time and the effects of those changes.”

Under the dimension of basic human needs, the performance of states and union territories in terms of access to nutrition and basic medical care, water and sanitation, shelter, and personal safety has been evaluated.

Also Read | Mizoram: BJP Chakma district welcomes Governor’s rule in CADC

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