Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Projections reveal that over 60 crore people i.e. 40% of total population are expected to live in urban areas by 2030. This number will increase to over 85 crore i.e. more  tŃan 30% of our population will be residing in urban India by 2050.

This swift urban expansion has put the development  of urban spaces at  the forefront of our policies and programs. Recognising the need to meet these challenges and convert them into opportunities, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, launched a series of initiatives such as Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM), Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban (PMAY-U), Smart Cities Mission (SCM)  Schemes/Projects  for  Urban  Transport.   These   transformational Programmes/ Schemes seek to address poverty alleviation, affordable housing, sanitation, infrastructural challenges, and harnessing technology to drive urban development.

Ministry developed Ease of Living Index to help assess urban areas’ development and provide  insights  on  how cities  perform  across sectors.  In its second edition, Ease of Living Index, 2020, incorporates learning from  the   previous edition, expanding and refining the scope of the  assessment.    The Index examines citizens’ quality of life in 111  cities  across four  pillars,  13 categories, and 49 indicators. The pillars  comprise of  Quality of   Life,  Economic    Ability,      Sustainability    and    Citizens Perception Survey.  These  pillars  expand  across 13 categories: Education, Health,            Housing Shelter, WASH  &  SWM,  Mobility, Safety & Security, Recreation,              Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Environment, Green spaces & Building, Energy Consumption and City Resilience. The framework includes a Citizens’ Perception Survey, which examines service delivery satisfaction of the people.  It allows residents of a city to evaluate  their local governance  and  administration based  on their public service delivery performance.

The learnings from this Index will enable cities to build practices that improve ease of living of their citizens  and  offer  economic  growth  and  sustainability  in  the  long  run.  It  will help  Indian  cities  to  achieve  Sustainable  Development  Goals’  outcomes  by identifying local development goals and track theirprogress.

I want to commend the team Smart City Mission, India  Smart Cities  Fellows,  Institute for Competitiveness, Karvy Data Management Services,  and  their supporting partners for their effort and hard work  in  developing  the  framework  for this Index and providing comprehensive insights that guide urban management practices.

I  hope  this Index will  motivate  cities  to focus  their  efforts to improve liveability and enhance ease of living to the citizens through concerted efforts.

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