Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Pune tops Ease of Living index; Patna ranked lowest of 111 cities

The News

  • Three cities in Maharashtra — Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai — top the first Ease of Living Index brought out by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Other ranks

  • The national capital, New Delhi, is ranked 65 among 111 cities, while Chennai is in 14th place. Kolkata did not participate in the survey.
  • The other cities in the top ten include Tirupati, Chandigarh, Thane, Raipur, Indore, Vijayawada and Bhopal.
  • The three cities at the bottom of the rankings are Rampur, Kohima and Patna.

 

Who calculated the Ease of living index, 2018?

  • The Ease of Living Index, 2018, was implemented by a consortium consisting of market researcher Ipsos, policy research and development analytics firm, Athena Infonomics, and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

How was the Ease of living Index calculated?

  • The liveability index, the first compiled by the government, ranked the cities with a total population of 134 million.
  • Each city was given a score between 0 and 100.
  • The Urban local bodies of various cities had been required to respond to 553 questions in 15 different categories under the four parameters i.e. institutions or governance, social indicators, economic indicators and physical infrastructure.
  • Based on the data collected, the Index was made.
  • A city’s ranking reflects its ability to provide data, as well as its actual performance on the above four
  • Thus, the ranking reflects ability to provide data as much as actual performance.

Importance of such initiatives

  • The ease of living assessment covers several metrics critical to track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in an urban environment.
  • The analysis of data will also in turn encourage authorities concerned to know where to focus in the coming months.

Shortcomings of the Ease of living Index

  • Data deficiency
    • It was a challenge to collect some of this information from data-starved urban local bodies.
    • For example, New Delhi has a score of “zero” on indicators regarding inclusive housing and mixed land use and compactness, and a score of just 0.12 on economy and employment.
    • The zero in any category probably means that no data was given for any indicator under that category
    • Cities which were unable or unwilling to provide data received low scores.
  • Complex administration
    • Particular complications were seen in indicators such as health, where local governments did not have access to data from private hospitals.

 

Note- It is important to get their data ecosystem aligned in order to plan and use their resources well.

 

Performance of Indian cities in global liveability indexes

  • Indian cities, however, fare poorly in global liveability indexes.
  • For instance, none of the Indian cities made it to the 2017 Global Liveability report of the Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • In the 2017 Mercers Quality of Living Survey, Mumbai got the highest ranking in India— 141 among 231 cities that were surveyed. Pune was ranked 151.

Conclusion

  • These kind of indices are dependent on quality of data, the methodology used and how and who verified the data. Unless the process to measure a city’s performance is robust, the result will not have credibility.
  • Thus, while measuring ease of urban liveability, efforts should be made towards building urban data culture. Without a robust data culture, measuring ease of liveability will have limited meaning.

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