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To assess the progress being made in the cities, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had launched two assessment frameworks in 2019 – Ease of Living Index (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI).

Both these indices were designed to assess quality of life of the citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other cities having population less than 10 lakh.

The Ease of Living Index ranking is based on the assessment of four parameters – Quality of Life, Economic Ability, Sustainability and Citizen Perception.

  •  Among Indian cities with a population of over a million, the ease of living is the highest in Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad while it is the lowest in Bareilly, Dhanbad and Srinagar, according to the Ease of Living Index 2020.

  •  In cities with population less than a million, Shimla was ranked the highest while Muzaffarpur in Bihar was had the lowest score.

The ministry also drafted a report on the “Municipal Performance Index 2020” in a bid to determine elements that prevent efficient local governance in service delivery mechanisms, planning, financial systems, and governance practice.

  •  The MPI was assessed on five parameters – services, finance, technology, planning and governance.

  •  In the million-plus category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal while Guwahati, Kota and Srinagar ranked lowest. Among municipalities catering to a population of a less than a million, New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar while Shillong, Imphal and Kohima municipalities were ranked lowest.


The index was born out of the need to measure the outcomes of programmes and “verify whether these interventions were effective in ushering progress in urban India”. The index is also based on metrics that “align with sustainable development goals”.

India’s steady economic growth is reflected in the rapid expansion of her cities. India, today is one of the fastest-growing large economies in the world. With the current urbanisation rate, India is expected to have 50 percent of the country’s population residing in cities within the next 30 years. Rising urbanisation promises innovation and growth, it also puts “tremendous pressure on available resources”.

The 2020 report noted that the index was born out of the need to measure the outcomes of programmes and “verify whether these interventions were effective in ushering progress in urban India”.

Shimla District Performance in Ease of Living Index

Shimla is most liveable among the cities having less than 10-lakh population across the country.

  •  The Queen of Hills has been bestowed this distinction in the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) survey by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  •  Out of the 114 competing cities in this category, Shimla has been placed at the top.

  •  Shimla was ranked 92nd in the Ease of Living Index in 2018.

  •  The city jumped 92 places to top the table this year.
  • Out of 100 marks, Shimla logged a total of 60.90 to top the EoLI rankings.

  •  In Municipal Performance Index, Shimla has been placed 24, with a total of 43.71.

  •  The No. 1 ranking is the reflection of the development that has taken place in recent years in the state. Unprecedented development in the field of education, health, public works, and decline in the crime rate has added to the liveability of Shimla City.

While the achievement is indeed remarkable, the authorities as well as citizens can’t lose sight of the teething problems the city continues to face, the most notable being traffic and parking issues. Once these problems are sorted, it will add immensely to the liveability index of the city.

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.

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