India has achieved significant economic growth over the past decades, but the progress in health has not been commensurate. Despite notable gains in improving life expectancy, reducing fertility, maternal and child mortality, and addressing other health priorities, the rates of improvement have been insufficient, falling short on several national and global targets.
Furthermore, there are wide variations across States in their health outcomes and systems performance. In order to bring about transformational change in population health through a spirit of co-operative and competitive federalism, NITI Aayog has spearheaded the Health Index initiative, to measure the annual performance of States and Union Territories (UTs), and rank States on the basis of incremental change, while also providing an overall status of States’ performance and helping identify specific areas of improvement. It is envisaged that
this tool will propel States towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions that will bring about the much-desired optimal population health outcomes.