The goals of sustainable development are progressive to create a society in which people and the planet live in peace and prosperity for present and future needs. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals in New York. Their goals were primarily aimed at eliminating poverty and hunger of the needy.
It is a collection of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that recognise that actions in one area will have an impact on outcomes in others and that development must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Countries have agreed to prioritise progress for those who are the most disadvantaged in any way. The SDGs aim to eliminate poverty, hunger, AIDS, and inequalities between men and women. In recent years, India has made great efforts to achieve the 13th SDG particularly.
The 17 SDGs include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well–being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitization, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, sustainable consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace and justice strong institutions, and partnerships for the goals.
India has been relentlessly working towards the SDGs and has made substantial progress towards their achievement. Here are some examples of the progress made by India towards certain SDGs:
- No Poverty, Goal 1 as per SDGs: In recent years, India has successfully brought millions of people out of dire poverty. The country has established several poverty-reduction programmes, including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which provides opportunities for employment to rural communities.
- Quality Education, Goal 4 as per SDGs: India has achieved great progress towards universal primary education, with nearly all children currently enrolled in primary school. However, there is still a need to improve education quality and promote equal access to education for all, particularly in marginalised areas.
- Gender Equality, Goal 5 as per SDGs: India has taken significant measures towards gender equality, including the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child) campaign and the movement of anti-gender-based violence legislation. However, more work remains to be done to rid the world of gender inequities in education, employment, and political representation.
- Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 6 as per SDGs: India has made developments in providing its people with access to safe drinking water and sanitation. However, there is still a need for improvement in terms of water quality and sanitary facilities, specifically for rural areas.
- Access to Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 7 as per SDGs: India has achieved considerable progress in broadening access to electricity, with over 99% of households currently having availability. The country has also set substantial objectives for increasing the overall share of renewable energy in its energy mix.
A few policies and programmes put forward by the government of India to achieve SDG goals are the following:
- The National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) is a policy that had been articulated by combining two Centrally-sponsored schemes of Computerization of Land Records (CLR) and Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA&ULR). The NLRMP was approved by the Cabinet on the 21st of August, 2008. The NLRMP’s primary purpose is to build a modern, complete, and transparent land records management system in the country to implement a conclusive land-titling system with title certainty.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a National Mission for Financial Inclusion that aims to provide easy access to financial services including basic savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension. Those who do not have any other accounts can open a basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet under the scheme.
The benefits are (i) One basic savings bank account is opened for those who have no bank account. (ii) There is no need to maintain any least balance in PMJDY accounts. (ii) Interest rate is earned on the deposit. (iii) Rupay Debit card is given to PMJDY account holders. (iv) Rs 1 lakh is covered as insurance etc.
- Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) offers continuous and sustainable work to a large section of outdated and potentially skilled workers and rural and urban unwaged youth in the country, to stop the migration of rural youth to urban areas.
- National Food Security Act (NFSA) was passed on July 5th, 2013. The primary idea behind NFSA is to offer basic food and make it accessible to everyone to help them live healthy lives. Though there is no specific clause in the Indian Constitution that includes the right to food, the fundamental right to life established in Article 21 of the Constitution may be read to include the right to live with humanity, which could include the right to food and other basic requirements.
Acquiring all the SDGs in a developing India to be erased to zero percentage is a hard task and a step-by-step process. Overall, while India has made tremendous progress towards reaching the SDGs, a great deal of work remains to be done to guarantee that every individual in the country will have a sustainable and successful future.
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