The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched “Ease of Living Index” rankings on September 24, 2018. It was launched by Union Miniser of Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri. Shri Puri urged all States and cities to share their inputs on ‘City GDP Framework’ so as to devise a robust GDP framework for cities.
- Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among States, which was followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
- The three States were awarded best performing States at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018 in New Delhi.
About Ease of Living Index
- The Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative of the Ministry to help the cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks.
- As per the Union Minister, the Ease of Living Index will encourage all cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management and promote healthy competition among cities.
- The ‘Ease of Living’ Index seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- It was decided in June 2017 to rank 116 cities (all smart cities and million plus cities) based on the liveability parameters.
- The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January 2018.
- The MoHUA had released the first ever ‘Ease of Living Index’ covering 111 Indian cities on 13 August, 2018, which serves as a litmus test to help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives.
- All cities were evaluated out of 100. The ‘physical’ pillar (infrastructure) was given the highest weightage of 45, while institutional (governance) and social were weighted 25 each. Economy was weighted 5.
- Ease of Living framework comprised four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 78 indicators across 15 categories (governance, identity and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment).
SDG and Ease of Living
- Another highlight of the Ease of Living assessment standards is its close linkage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11.
- SDG 11 is aimed at making our cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and is measured through a set of 30 indicators. He said, “the ease of living index provides a strong impetus to India’s effort for systematically tracking the progress of SDGs in the urban areas.”