Economic and Social Development in India: Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals and India

In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. In September 2010, the world recommitted itself to accelerate progress towards these goals.

The MDGs consists of eight goals, and these eight goals address myriad development issues. The eight (8) Goals are as under:

Eighteen (18) targets were set as quantitative benchmarks for attaining the goals. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in 2003 provided a framework of 53 indicators (48 basic + 5 alternative) which are categorized according to targets, for measuring the progress towards individual targets.

A revised indicator-framework drawn up by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDGs came into effect in 2008. This framework had 8 Goals, 21 targets and 60 indicators. India has not endorsed this revised framework.

MDG and India Progress

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Target: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day.

India’s Progress:

  • The all India Poverty Head Count Ratio (PHCR) estimate was 47.8% in 1990. In order to meet the target, the PHCR level has to be 23.9% by 2015. In 2011-12, the PHCR at all India level is 21.9%, which shows that, India has already achieved the target well ahead of time.
  • During 2004-05 to 2011-12, the Poverty Gap Ratio reduced both in rural and urban areas. While the rural PGR declined from 9.64 in 2004-05 to 5.05 in 2011-12 in the urban areas it declined from 6.08 to 2.70 during the same period.

Target: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

India’s Progress:

  • It is estimated that in 1990, the proportion of underweight children below 3 years as 52%. In order to meet the target, the proportion of under-weight children should decrease to 26% by 2015.
  • The National Family Health Survey shows that, the proportion of under-weight children below 3 years declined from 43% in 1998-99 to 40% in 2005-06. At this rate of decline the proportion of underweight children below 3 years is expected to reduce to 33% by 2015, which indicates India is falling short of the target.

MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Target: Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary education.

India’s Progress:

  • The Net Enrolment Rate (NER) in primary education (age 6-10 years) was estimated at 84.5 per cent in 2005-06 (U-DISE) and the NER has increased to 88.08 per cent in 2013-14 (U-DISE), and is unlikely to meet the target of universal achievement.
  • The youth (15-24 years) literacy rate has increased from 61.9% to 86.14 per cent during the period 1991-2011 and the trend shows India is likely to reach 93.38% which is very near to the target of 100% youth literacy by 2015. At national level, the male and female youth literacy rate is likely to be at 94.81% and 92.47%.

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary, secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education, no later than 2015.

India’s Progress:

  • At present, in primary education the enrolment is favourable to females as Gender Parity Index (GPI) of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is 1.03 in 2013-14.
  • In Secondary education also gender parity has achieved GPI of GER is 1 in 2013-14 and in tertiary level of education, the GPI of GER is 0.89 in 2012-13. 9
  • As per Census 2011, the ratio of female youth literacy rate to male youth literacy rate is 0.91 at all India level and is likely to reach the level of 1 by 2015.
  • As in January 2015, India, the world’s largest democracy, has only 65 women representatives out of 542 members in Lok Sabha, while there are 31 female representatives in the 242-member Rajya Sabha and hence presently the proportion of seats in National Parliament held by women is only 12.24% against the target of 50%.

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Target: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five Mortality Rate.

India’s Progress:

  • Under Five Mortality Ratio (U5MR) was estimated at 125 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990. In order to achieve the target, the U5MR is to be reduced to 42 deaths per 1000 live births by 2015. As per Sample Registration System 2013, the U5MR is at 49 deaths per 1000 live births and as per the historical trend, it is likely to reach 48 deaths per 1000 live births, missing the target narrowly. However, an overall reduction of nearly 60% happened during 1990 to 2013, registering a faster decline in the recent past, and if this rate of reduction is sustained, the achievement by 2015 is likely to be very close to the target by 2015.
  • In India, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was estimated at 80 per 1,000 live births in 1990. As per SRS 2013, the IMR is at 40 and as per the historical trend; it is likely to reach 39 by 2015, against the target of 27 infant deaths per 1000 live births by 2015. However, with the sharp decline in the recent years, the gap between the likely achievement and the target is expected to be narrowed.
  • The Coverage Evaluation Survey estimates the proportion of one year old children immunised against measles at 74% in 2009. Although, there is substantial improvement in the coverage which was 42% in 1992-93, yet at this rate of improvement, India is likely to achieve about 89% coverage by 2015 and thus India is likely to fall short of universal coverage.

MDG 5: Improved Mental Health

Target: Reduce by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, the Maternal Morality Ratio.

India’s Progress:

  • In 1990, the estimated MMR was 437 per 1,00,000 live births. In order to meet the MDG target, the MMR should be reduced to 109 per 1,00,000 live births by 2015. As per the latest estimates, the MMR status at all India level is at 167 in 2011-13. As per the historical trend, MMR is likely to reach the level of 140 maternal deaths by 2015, however, assuming the recent sharper decline is sustained, India is likely to be slightly nearer to the MDG target.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases.

Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

India’s Progress:

  • The prevalence of HIV among Pregnant women aged 15-24 years is showing a declining trend 8 from 0.89 % in 2005 to 0.32% in 2012-13.
  • According to NFHS –III in 2005-06, Condom use rate of the contraceptive prevalence rate (Condom use to overall contraceptive use among currently married women, 15-49 years, was only 5.2 % at all India level.
  • According to Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BSS), the national estimate for proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct Knowledge of HIV/AIDS (%) in 2006 was 32.9% reporting betterment from 2001 (22.2%).

Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of Malaria and other major diseases.

India’s Progress:

  • The Annual Parasite Incidence (API) rate – Malaria has consistently come down from 2.12 per thousand in 2001 to 0.72 per thousand in 2013, but slightly increased to 0.88 in 2014 (P) but confirmed deaths due to malaria in 2013 was 440 and in 2014 (P), 578 malaria deaths have been registered.
  • In India, Tuberculosis prevalence per lakh population has reduced from 465 in year 1990 to 211 in 2013. TB Incidence per lakh population has reduced from 216 in year 1990 to 171 in 2013. Tuberculosis mortality per lakh population has reduced from 38 in year 1990 to 19 in 2013.

MDG 7: Ensure Environment Sustainability.

Target: Integrate the principle of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.

India’s Progress:

  • As per assessment in 2013, the total forest cover of the country is 697898 which is 21.23% of the geographic area of the country.
  • During 2011-2013, there is an increase of 5871 sq. km in forest cover.
  • The network of Protected Areas comprising 89 National Parks and 489 Sanctuaries giving a combined coverage of 155475.63 km2 in 2000, has grown steadily over the years. As of 2014, there are 692 Protected Areas (103 National Parks, 525 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 4 Community Reserves and 60 Conservation reserves, covering 158645.05 km2 or 5.07% of the country’s geographical area.
  • Per-capita Energy Consumption (PEC) (the ratio of the estimate of total energy consumption during the year to the estimated mid-year population of that year) increased from 6205.25 KWh in 2011-12 to 6748.61 KWh in 2012-13, thus, the percentage annual increase of 8.76%.
  • In 2010, consumption of CFC is estimated at 290.733 ODP tonnes (ODP –Ozone Depletion Potential), down from 5614 ODP tones in 2000. From the year 2000, the CFC consumption decreased steadily till 2008, but showed minor increase in 2010.
  • As per Census 2011, 67.3% households are using solid fuels (fire wood / crop residue/cow dung cake/ coke, etc) for cooking against 74.3% in 2001. Census 2011, further reveals that, in Rural areas 86.5% households and in Urban areas 26.1% households are using solid fuels for cooking.

TARGET: Halve, by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

India’s Progress:

  • During 2012, at all India level, 87.8% households had access to improved source of drinking water while 86.9% households in rural and 90.1% households in urban area had access to improved source of drinking water.
  • The target of halving the proportion of households without access to safe drinking water sources from its 1990 level to be reached by 2015, has already been achieved in rural areas and is likely to be achieved in urban areas. At all India level also, the target for access to improved source of drinking water has already been achieved.

TARGET: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

India’s Progress:

  • Census 2011 reported that 17.2% of urban households are located in slums.
  • The percentage of slum households to urban households (slum reported towns) is 22.17%. Census recorded a 37.14% decadal growth in the number of slum households.
  • Census further reveals that in 2011, 17.37% of the urban population lives in slums. The Percentage of population in slum households to urban households (slum reported towns) is 22.44%.

MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Target: In co-operation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communication.

India’s Progress

  • The overall tele-density in the country has shown tremendous progress and is at 76% as on 31st July 2014.
  • The internet subscribers per 100 population accessing internet through wireline and wireless connections has increased from 16.15 in June 2013 to 20.83 in June 2014.

India’s Progress in a Nutshell

Himanshu Arora
Doctoral Scholar in Economics & Senior Research Fellow, CDS, Jawaharlal Nehru University
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By B2B

Revisiting the Basics

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5 years ago

Very helpful for a beginner like me


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