The study examines overall and region-specific mortality changes and regional mortality variation in India since the 1970s, using data from the Sample Registration System (SRS). An evaluation of the quality of SRS data confirms their reliability for children and adults under age 60. The results suggest the convergence of mortality across the regions of India with important inter-state differences in the pace of health improvements over time. After spectacular progress during the 1970s and the 1980s, many Indian states have witnessed slower mortality improvements in both young and adult age groups. India faces difficulties in making further reductions in infant mortality and in the burden of chronic and man-made diseases at adult ages.