The ‘Ease of Living’ Index launched by the Ministry serves as a litmus test to help assess the progress made in urban environments through these various initiatives and empower cities to use evidence to plan, implement and monitor their performance. In the first round of the assessment, the exercise covers 111 Indian cities, which includes selected smart cities, capital cities and a few more cities with a population of over 1 million. With more than 134 million people residing in these 111 cities, this initiative is the first of its kind globally, in terms of scale
The framework developed to measure ‘Ease of Living’ is very comprehensive and covers all the critical pillars of urban development (Physical, Institutional, Social and Economic) and uses 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). The indicators used have been designed by adapting global best practices through extensive consultations with state and city governments, and sector experts and citizen feedback using the MyGov portal
In addition to enabling systematic evaluation of cities’ progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the ‘Ease of Living’ Index seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They can leverage this knowledge to formulate plans and prioritise investments.