India needs to focus on goals like hunger and gender parity, where it still scores low
The Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled on January 31, 2020 underlined pointed out sustainable development goals (SDG) were India lags, like hunger and gender equality. It advocated a ‘nexus’ approach — integrating management and governance across different sectors and scales.
The United Nations-mandated SDGs have a 2030 deadline.
The report, tabled in Parliament, cited examples like ‘Education and Electricity Nexus’ and ‘Health and Energy Nexus’.
It claimed to observe the linkages between net enrolment ratio (NER) and electrification of schools: Both showed a positive trend in states with low as well as high human development index during 2014-2017.
It tried to establish a similar nexus in health services and energy access. Many such services, including paediatric care, newborn emergency services and successful vaccination, rely heavily on the availability of electricity at health centres.
These indicators are significant for achieving SDG goals; the report sought reliable electricity connections for health care centres. The decrease in infant mortality rate in the country was correlated to an increase in electricity consumption.
Such nexus underlined the overlapping of objectives to achieve different SDG targets. To tackle target efficiently, policies must consider and identify these linkages. This will help in zeroing in on potential trade-offs that might limit the physical achievement of the target under a goal, the report said.
The survey also counted a few achievements regarding SDGs, highlighting that India’s composite SDG score improved to 60 in 2019 from 57 in 2018. This was due to performance related to five goals: clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation and infrastructure, life on land as well as peace, justice and social institutions. In these, the country scored between 65 and 99.
However, it scored below 50 on crucial goals such as zero hunger and gender equality, which needed special attention, the report said.
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