GS-2, Social Issue, Uncategorized

Sustainable development Goals

Millennium Development Goals

  • To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • To achieve universal primary education
  • To promote gender equality
  • To reduce child mortality
  • To improve maternal health
  • To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • To ensure environmental sustainability
  • To develop a global partnership for development

    According to UNESCAP ,India has met only four of the eight MDGs.

India has managed to

    1. halve poverty rates from the 1990 levels
    2. ensure gender parity in primary school enrolment
    3. reversed incidence of HIV/AIDS, and reduced malaria and TB deaths.

However, India continues to lag behind in checking

    1. maternal mortality and child mortality to expected levels.
    2. prevalence of hunger as well. As per the Census 2011 report, approx. 9 crore children in the age group 0-3 were malnourished, with 3.6 crore of them underweight.
    3. access to sanitation, with half of the country’s households lacking a latrine.
  • Even in areas where India claims to be close to meeting its targets, such as reversing the incidence of malaria and TB, the disease burden continues to be high in terms of absolute numbers. 1000 persons die of TB everyday.

  • Another target was to achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. But, the report says that it is not “statistically discernible” if the target was met. As per the Census 2011, a 37.14 per cent decadal growth was observed in the number of slum households, making it a significant challenge for the country.
  • As for the other two targets of environmental sustainability and partnerships for development with other countries, official reports say India is on track.
  • Experts, however, dispute the government’s claims and flag the absence of quality data as a challenge in monitoring the country’s progress on the targets.

Sustainable Development Goals:




Sustainable Goal
Trick to remember these Goals

Sustainable Development Goals versus Millennium Development Goals

  • Includes elders too in case of health, education and benefits
  • SDG — 2015 to 2030  MDG — 2001 to 2015
  • More inclusive
  • More focus on human rights
  • Focus on affordability, reliability and sustainability
  • Aims to reduce disparity between countries
  • Focus on infrastructure and industrialisation
  • More detailed in various aspects covered under MDG(17 SDG  with 169 SDG targets rather than 8 MDG and 18 MDG targets)
  • Focus on justice and accountability of institutions –> Good governance
  • Focus on international partnerships
  • Based on wide consultations not like MDG which were framed by a small group inside UN Head Quarters
  • Climate change, resource production and consumption included.


  • Some countries feel that an agenda consisting of 17 goals is too unwieldy to implement or sell to the public, and would prefer a narrower brief.Some believe the underlying reason is to get rid of some of the more uncomfortable goals, such as those relating to the environment.
  • Addis Ababa summit had failed to produce new money to fund the goals, or offer ways to transform the international finance system. Calls for a new international tax body fell on deaf ears.
  • Neither does India have adequate data to frame relevant policy, nor the sort of financial resources necessary to meet these global development targets.India is behind 20-25% to achieve finance as well as goals of 25 targets of 12th  5  year plan due to absence of inadequate data, according to NITI Aayog. So how will India achieve SDGs 169 targets.
  • There is no direct mention of technology facilitation mechanism which India supports.
  • India has not fulfilled the MDGs targets of universal primary school enrollment, empowering women through wage employment and political participation, reducing child and infant mortality and improving sanitation to end open defecation as per a UN assessment due to lack of resources while SDGs require much more than MDGs till 2030.
  • It is better to have few goals of immediate concern rather than having large number of goals and not achieving any of them. The goal should be to identify primary goals which have positive externalities on other goals leading to sustainable development.
  • SDGs can only be achieved with the help of state and local governments, industry and civil society. This all-of-government, cross-domain approach has not been undertaken before on such a scale.
  • In particular, the panchayat, which will be crucial to ensuring inclusion at the local level, remains the weakest link. Similarly, the government’s selective approach in working with civil society is another hurdle to the SDGs’ success.
  • NITI Aayog will have to improve monitoring mechanisms of 169 targets and bring more centre-state coordination.

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