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India's progress towards Sustainable Development

Evaluating India's performance on 17 development goals and identifying areas for improvement

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11 May '24
4 min read


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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all. Adopted by the United Nations in 2015, the 17 SDGs aim to address various global challenges by 2030. India, with its large population and diverse economy, plays a crucial role in achieving these goals. 

SDG 1: No Poverty

  • - India has made significant progress in reducing poverty, with the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line declining from 35.7% in 2005 to 22.5% in 2011.
  • - However, India still has a long way to go, with many citizens lacking access to basic necessities like healthcare and education.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

  • - India has made progress in increasing food production and reducing hunger, with the percentage of undernourished population declining from 24.5% in 2004-2006 to 14.5% in 2016-2018.
  • - However, malnutrition remains a significant challenge, particularly among children and women.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • - India has achieved significant improvements in healthcare, with life expectancy increasing from 65.8 years in 2011 to 70.5 years in 2019.
  • - Despite this, India still faces challenges in providing access to quality healthcare, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 4: Quality Education

  • - India has made progress in increasing access to education, with the gross enrollment ratio in primary education increasing from 115.5% in 2011 to 130.5% in 2019.
  • - However, the quality of education remains a concern, with many schools lacking basic infrastructure and trained teachers.

SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • - India has taken steps to promote gender equality, including the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative to empower girls and women.
  • - Despite this, gender-based discrimination and violence remain significant challenges, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • - India has made progress in increasing access to clean water, with the percentage of population using improved drinking water sources increasing from 77.2% in 2005 to 93.4% in 2019.
  • - However, access to sanitation remains a challenge, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

  • - India has made significant progress in increasing access to electricity, with the percentage of population having access to electricity increasing from 71.6% in 2011 to 93.3% in 2019.
  • - However, India still relies heavily on fossil fuels, and renewable energy sources need to be promoted.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • - India has achieved significant economic growth, with GDP growth rates averaging around 7% per annum.
  • - However, job creation and access to decent work remain challenges, particularly for young people and women.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

  • - India has made progress in developing its infrastructure, including roads, railways, and airports.
  • - However, innovation and industrial development need to be promoted, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

  • - India has taken steps to reduce inequalities, including the implementation of affirmative action policies.
  • - However, social and economic inequalities remain significant challenges, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • - India has made progress in developing its cities, with initiatives like the Smart Cities Mission.
  • - However, urban planning and management need to be improved, particularly in terms of waste management and public transportation.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

  • - India has taken steps to promote sustainable consumption and production, including the implementation of the National Green Tribunal.
  • - However, waste management and pollution remain significant challenges, particularly in urban areas.

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • - India has taken steps to address climate change, including the implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • - However, India's carbon emissions need to be reduced, particularly in the energy and industry sectors.

SDG 14: Life Below Water

  • - India has made progress in protecting its marine resources, including the establishment of marine protected areas.
  • - However, marine pollution and overfishing remain significant challenges.

SDG 15: Life On Land

  • - India has made progress in protecting its forests and wildlife, including the establishment of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • - However, deforestation and land degradation remain significant challenges, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

  • - India has made progress in strengthening its institutions, including the judiciary and the election commission.
  • - However, corruption and violence remain significant challenges, particularly in rural areas.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

- India has made progress in partnering with international organizations and other. 

Way Forward 

  1. Increase public awareness and education on the SDGs and their importance.
  2. Strengthen institutions and governance to support SDG achievement.
  3. Mobilize resources and financing to support SDG implementation.
  4. Promote partnerships and collaborations between government, private sector, and civil society.
  5. Encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  6. Support research and development to drive innovation and technology for SDG achievement.
  7. Develop a comprehensive national plan for SDG achievement.
Category : Education


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Written by Tushar Tembhurne

An aspirant making effort to project various dimensions of society through 📝