The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the release of the final rankings of the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020. The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 were announced for cities with a population of more than a million, and cities with less than a million people. 111 cities participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020. The analysis categorises them into Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and Less than Million populated cites (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.
Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai. In the Less than Million category, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.
Similar to the EoLI index, the assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population- Million+ (municipalities having over a million population) and Less than Million Population. In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest-ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal. In the Less than Million category, New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar. The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC, and the three Municipal Corporations) across five verticals which comprise 20 sectors and 100 indicators in all totality. The five verticals under MPI are Services, Finance, Policy, Technology, and Governance.
The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development. It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on the quality of life, the economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience. The assessment also incorporates the residents' view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.
The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index. It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology, and governance. It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability. Both the indices represent an attempt to gauge the performance of cities across India on various parameters of urban living. The Ease of Living Index encapsulates the outcome indicators while the Municipal Performance Index captures the enabling input parameters. These indices provide a holistic assessment of cities based on their efforts to cultivate a better quality of life, create infrastructure, and address the challenges of urbanization.
Learnings gathered from these indices can help the government identify gaps, tap into potential opportunities, and increase efficiency in local governance to improve the lives of citizens and fulfill broader development outcomes. The framework for these assessments was prepared by MoHUA with the Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner.
The Ease of Living Index (EoLI)
The EoLI 2020 strengthens its scope by consolidating the framework with the addition of a Citizen Perception Survey in the index, holding a weightage of 30%. It, therefore, examines the outcomes that lead to existing living conditions through pillars of Quality of Life, Economic Ability, Sustainability, spanning across 13 categories of -Education, Health, Housing, and Shelter, WASH and SWM, Mobility, Safety and Security, Recreation, Level of Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Environment, Green Spaces, and Buildings, Energy Consumption, and City Resilience, that account for 70% of the overall outcome.
The Citizen Perception Survey (CPS) was undertaken to help validate citizens' experience of their city in terms of service delivery. The assessment was conducted from 16th January 2020 till 20th March 2020. A total of 32.2 lakh citizens from 111 cities participated in the survey. Bhubaneshwar had the highest CPS score, followed by Silvassa, Davangere, Kakinada, Bilaspur, and Bhagalpur.
The methodology and approach for the revised edition of EoLI and MPI were released by MoHUA in February 2019. Essentially, the EoLI report aims to measure the well-being of Indian citizens in 111 cities, across the pillars of Quality of Life, Economic-ability, and Sustainability, with 49 indicators under 13 categories. The EoLI primarily seeks to accelerate India's urban development outcomes, including the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The findings from the index can help guide evidence-based policymaking. It also promotes healthy competition among cities, encouraging them to learn from their peers and advance their development trajectory.