From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much.
Mains level : Paper 2-Pandemic and SDGs
- As lockdown eases, return to business as usual is unimaginable in Asia and Pacific which was already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Efforts to respond to the pandemic have revealed how many people in our societies live precariously close to poverty and hunger.
Progress towards SDGs in pandemic
- The SDGs can serve as a beacon in these turbulent times.
- SDGs are a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, globally, by 2030.
- The pandemic has exposed fragility and systemic gaps in many key systems.
- Countries have used workable strategies during pandemic to accelerate progress related to development goals and strengthen resilience.
- Countries have taken steps to extend universal health care systems and strengthen social protection systems.
- Accurate and regular data have been key to such efforts.
- Innovating to help the most disadvantaged access financing and small and medium-sized enterprise credits have also been vital.
- Several countries have taken comprehensive approaches to various forms of discrimination, particularly related to gender and gender-based violence.
- Partnerships with the private sector and financing institutions, have played a critical role in fostering creative solutions.
Focus on green recovery in Asia-Pacific countries
- Countries in Asia and the Pacific are developing ambitious new strategies for green recovery and inclusive approaches to development.
- South Korea recently announced a New Deal based on two central pillars: digitisation and decarbonisation.
- Many countries in the Pacific are focusing on “blue recovery,” which promote more sustainable approaches to fisheries management.
- India recently announced operating the largest solar power plant in the region.
- China is creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector than in fossil fuel industries.
Suggestions for policymaking
- We need a revolution in policy mindset and practice- following are part of the transformations needed.
- 1) Inclusive and accountable governance systems.
- 2) Adaptive institutions with resilience to future shocks.
- 3) Universal social protection and health insurance.
- 4) Stronger digital infrastructure.
Consider the question “Pandemic has highlighted the fragility of our systems. But it also emphasised the need to strive to achieve the SDGs. Comment.”
With the onslaught of pandemic disrupting us, we should base our recovery and progress trajectory firmly towards achieving SDGs.
Sustainable Development Goals and India
- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
- The 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.
- The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
- The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations.
- They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large.
The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. “Poverty eradication is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, and so is the commitment to leave no-one behind,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said. “The Agenda offers a unique opportunity to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development path. In many ways, it reflects what UNDP was created for.”
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : UNESCAP
Mains level : Attainment of SDGs
Ambitions Beyond Growth Report
- It is a annual report published by UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
- A comprehensive assessment of the investment needed to reach the SDGs in the region by 2030 estimates an additional $1.5 trillion per year.
- These “ambitions beyond growth” are largely affordable for most countries in the region, given available public and private resources.
- Strong development partnerships and regional cooperation are essential to ensure that all countries complete this important journey.
- Closing this investment gap is within reach for many countries, but the gap is widest in countries which can least afford to narrow it
- The report says that significant savings could be achieved through greater emphasis on education quality and outcomes.
- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region.
- It is established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Parent Organisation: UN ECOSOC
- India is a founding member of UNESCAP
Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: SDG India Index
Mains level: India’s strategy and outcomes towards attaining SDGs
- The NITI Aayog has released the Baseline Report of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India’s States and UTs towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets.
SDG India Index
- The Index was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Global Green Growth Institute and United Nations in India and was launched by NITI Aayog.
- NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the implementation of SDGs in the country, and also promote Competitive and Cooperative Federalism among States and UTs.
- The SDG India Index acts as a bridge between these mandates, aligning the SDGs with the PM’s clarion call of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.
- It embodies the five Ps of the global SDG movement – people, planet, prosperity, partnership and peace.
Utility of the Index
- The SDG India Index tracks progress of all States and UTs on 62 Priority Indicators selected by NITI Aayog, which in turn is guided by MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework comprising 306 indicators.
- The Index spans 13 out of 17 SDGs.
- Progress on SDGs 12, 13 & 14 could not be measured as relevant State/UT level data were not available and SDG 17 was left out as it focuses on international partnerships.
- A composite score was computed between the range of 0-100 for each State and UT based on their aggregate performance towards achieving 13 SDGs
- If a State/UT achieves a score of 100, it signifies that it has achieved the 2030 national targets. The higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to target achieved.
Classification Criteria based on Score:
- Aspirant: 0-49
- Performer: 50-64
- Front Runner: 65-99
- Achiever: 100
Performance of states
|OVERALL||Aspirant||Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh|
|Performer||Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur,
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi and Lakshadweep
|Front Runner||Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh and Puducherry|
|SDG India Index Score Range||42-69||57-68|
|Top Performer/s||Himachal Pradesh & Kerala||Chandigarh|
|Aspirant||Uttar Pradesh||Dadra & Nagar Haveli|
- Himachal Pradesh ranks high on providing clean water & sanitation, in reducing inequalities & preserving mountain ecosystem
- Kerala’s top rank is attributed to its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality & providing quality education
- Chandigarh leads because of its exemplary performance in providing clean water & sanitation, affordable & clean energy, generating decent work & economic growth, & providing quality education
The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley participated in the meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Peru on October 8, 2015.
Why did this topic come? Uncertainty surrounding recovery of the global economy but SDGs need to be achieved, no!
Fair Point, what has India done? 5 main points:
- Unique identity linked financial inclusion programme resulted in opening of 180 million new bank accounts enabling direct transfer of benefits.
- Mudra Bank to provide loans to micro and small enterprises.
- India has stepped up public investments, particularly in infrastructure sector which offset slowdown in private investments.
- India has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 gigawatts of power generation by 2022 through a mix of renewable energy sources.
- Also, did we forget the international tax co-operation? Particularly the automatic exchange of tax information.
2016 will see transition from MDGs, which had 8 global development goals and 18 associated targets to SDGs with 17 global development goals and its 169 associated targets.
- But India do not have adequate data to frame relevant policy as well as financial resources to meet these targets.
- However, India has committed to provide health, nutrition and education for all by 2022, on occasion of 75 years of Independence, which will be midway to the 2030 SDGs deadline.
- An UN assessment points that India has failed to fulfill the MDGs targets under various heads, such as primary education, women empowerment, child mortality and open defecation.
- The need to augment financial resources can be achieved by improving its tax to GDP ratio and plugging the tax erosion.
- Fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG-4) aimed to reduce mortality, between 1990 and 2015, among children under five by two-thirds.
- India has the highest number of child deaths in the world, with an estimated 1.2 million deaths in 2015, 20% of the 5.9 million global deaths.
- In India, more than half of the child deaths occur in the first month of life.
- The major clinical causes being complications of premature delivery and infectious diseases.
193 Countries Agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Why?
After 3 years of negotiations and debate, 193 countries agreed to a set of 17 development goals more bold and ambitious than anything that has come before them.
But what are Sustainable Development Goals? Where have they evolved from?
These 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – part of a wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
There were 8 MDGs and they are going to expire by the end of this year (2015).
But why didn’t we just renew them? Why was there a need to re-evaluate and re-program the development goals?
- The MDGs as you can see were very focus, concrete, target oriented which was a good thing to begin with, right?
- Wrong – The structures and 8 categorisation metrics ended up being so rigid that we left out other more important areas.
A 2015 UN assessment of the MDGs found they fell short for many people:
“The assessment of progress towards the MDGs has repeatedly shown that the poorest and those disadvantaged because of gender, age, disability or ethnicity are often bypassed.”
Okay, fair point. So what do these SDGs look like? What went into the process of coming up with these 17 blocks of SDGs?
In response to the accusation that the MDGs were too narrow in focus, the SDGs set out to tackle a whole range of issues, from gender inequality to climate change.
The unifying thread throughout the 17 goals and their 169 targets is the commitment to ending poverty.
Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
The consultation process to arrive at these 17 SDGs was one of the most transparent exercise ever to be undertaken in the UN history.
Very quickly then, listing down the goals:
1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
3) Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
10) Reduce inequality within and among countries
11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
Published with inputs from Sumer