ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Sustainable Development Goals

India’s offi cial publications have focused on interstate comparisons, but insuffi cient attention has been paid to the national progress in the Sustainable Development Goals. The available data suggest, however, that India is falling behind many global and East Asia averages and may not achieve several of the SDGs. Regular stocktaking of India’s SDG progress is therefore essential.

In the domestic discussions of India’s economy and development, the issue of India’s progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are to be achieved by 2030, has not figured prominently. For instance, the Economic Surveys, the annual flagship publications of the government on the state of the economy have covered, since 2016 after the SDGs were adopted, only certain aspects of development contained in the SDGs but not the SDGs specifically.1 Therefore, the attention provided to the SDGs in the Economic Survey (Finance Ministry 2022) with a whole chapter devoted to the topic under “Sustainable Deve­lop­ment and Climate Change” naturally raised expectations that there would henceforth be more focus on them.

The SDGs were adopted by India along with all countries in the world at a United Nations (UN) summit on sustainable development in 2015 in order to address the core development issues facing the planet, and to embrace priorities in social, economic, and environmental areas (United Nations 2015).2 These core global development priorities were identified through widespread consultations leading to a glo­bal consensus. The lack of discussion on India’s progress towards the SDGs keeps domestic stakeholders ignorant of where their country is heading in these vital development areas. The SDGs should not suffer the same fate as befell the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that ended in 2015, remaining largely unknown and ignored in domestic development discourses. The lack of sufficient discussion and feedback may have contributed to their mixed outcomes for India. Assessments conducted on India’s performance on the MDGs (Chatterjee et al 2017) show that its performance on the MDGs left much to be desired.

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Updated On : 30th Apr, 2022
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