Sustainable Development Goals Report


    In News

    • Recently “Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2022” was released.
      • The report provides a global overview of progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Key Findings

    • Meeting the deadline:
      • The report states that urgent action is needed to achieve the 2030 deadline of  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • Global issues affecting SGDs:
      • According to the report, all 17 SDGs, set at the UN General Assembly in 2015, are in jeopardy due to the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in the number of conflicts across the world.
      • The pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have already led to lowering of global economic growth projections by 0.9 percentage point. 
        • It is harming in more ways than one:
          • Raising food and fuel prices
          • Hampering global supplies and trade
          • Roiling financial markets
    • Impacted areas:
      • The “cascading and intersecting” issues impact the environment, food and nutrition, health, peace and security as well as education, according to a UN statement on the report.
      • Environment:
        • Greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise 14 percent over a decade, antithetical to the Paris Agreement plan — a 2025 peak followed by a 43 percent decline by 2030 and Net 2050. 
        • Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions shot up 6 percent, taking down gains due to COVID-19.
      • Economic shocks and poverty:
        • Economic shocks due to the worldwide health emergency pushed 93 million into poverty in 2020 alone, undoing “more than four years” work at alleviating poverty. 
      • Education and healthcare:
        • It also affected the education and healthcare services for millions. 
        • Immunisation, for example, has dropped for the first time in a decade even as deaths from malaria and TB have risen.
      • Cascading effect:
        • The report also flagged threats to food security and aids, rising unemployment (especially among women) and increases in child labour as well as child marriages
        • The burden was greater on least developed countries and vulnerable population groups.  
    • Undoing progress:
      • The report details the reversal of years of progress in eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health and education, providing basic services, and much more.


    What is sustainable development?

    • The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. 
    • It includes “harmonising” three elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

    Sustainable Development Goals

    • The United Nations Document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
      • This agenda contains 17 goals and 169 targets. 
    • The agenda is built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted in 2000 and were to be achieved by 2015.
    • SDGs provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.  
    • They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

    India’s ranking in SDGs

    • India’s SDG rank is 120 (out of 192 UN Nations) on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda.
    • India’s recent overall Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) score was 66 out of 100.
    • Comparing with South Asian Nations: 
      • With the latest rankings, India is now behind all south Asian nations except Pakistan. 
      • The south Asian countries ahead of India are Bhutan ranked 75, Sri Lanka at 87, Nepal at 96 and Bangladesh at 109.

    India’s Indices on SDGs:

    • SDG India Index:
      • The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates the progress of states and Union Territories (UTs) on various parameters including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment.
      • The index is developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India.
      • The index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in India. 
      • It has also fostered competition among the states and UTs by ranking them on the global goals.
      • The SDG India Index scores range between 0–100, higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to the target achieved.
      • India’s performance:
        • The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21 — on accounts of improvement in performance in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.
        • While Kerala retained its rank at the top with a score of 75, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu both took the second spot with a score of 74. Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year’s India index.
        • Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68).
    • SDG Urban Index:
      • NITI Aayog under the Indo-German Cooperation released the inaugural SDG Urban Index in 2021–22.
      • It ranks 56 urban areas on 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework.
      • It will further strengthen SDG localization and institute robust SDG monitoring at the city level.
      • Performance of the urban areas in India:
        • Shimla tops the Index followed by Coimbatore and Chandigarh.

    Way Ahead

    • India’s progress towards achieving SDGs is both encouraging and challenging. 
    • The country has made a sincere effort to prioritize and act on sustainable development with the development of indices and the involvement of the federal machinery in achieving SDGs. 
      • NITI Aayog has also made this mainstream on the national agenda.
    • The pandemic and overall global situation have forced India along with other countries to regress on several developmental indicators.
    • India should continue its efforts toward achieving SDGs with the given resources and involving civil societies and people.

    Source: TH