Final index score of NITI Aayog report on States adversely impacted

  1. The NITI Aayog had released the second edition of its State Health Index 2019 in a report titled “Healthy States, Progressive India: Report on Rank of States and UTs”.
  2. The index has used estimated figures in place of reported numbers to calculate certain health indicators.This has adversely impacted the final index score of certain States while boosting that of others.
  3. The index takes into account 23 health indicators such as neonatal mortality rate,under-five mortality rate,proportion of low birth weight among new-borns,proportion of districts with functional Cardiac Care Units,full immunisation coverage among others.
  4. The report had used an estimated number of births and deliveries to calculate two key health outcome indicators namely full immunisation coverage and proportion of institutional deliveries.The use of estimated numbers instead of the reported figures resulted in a misrepresentation.
  5. However,NITI Aayog officials has said that the reported number of births can vary from the actual figures as there are some inherent problems with the Civil Registration System and experts have also expressed reservations about using them.
  6. The report has ranked states and UTs in three categories — larger States, smaller States and Union Territories to ensure comparison among similar entities.
  7. The report has ranked Kerala as the best performing State in the health sector among the 21 large States.Among the large states,Uttar Pradesh was the worst performing state. 
  8. Among the smaller states,Mizoram ranked first in overall performance. Further,Among UTs,Chandigarh ranked first in overall performance while Dadra and Nagar Haveli improved the most.