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SDGs: Significant Progress Made, but Challenges Persist, Reports MoSPI
India

SDGs: Significant Progress Made, but Challenges Persist, Reports MoSPI

India has made significant progress on various SDG indicators, as per the National Indicator framework 2023 launched on Monday. The report also highlights challenges in specific areas that need to be addressed in order to move forward.

India has made substantial progress on maternal and child health (MMH), education, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation since 2015-16. The National Indicator Framework (NIF) monitored 284 indicators across the 17 SDGs.

One notable achievement is the decline in the maternal mortality ratio, which stands at 97 per lakh live births during 2018-20, compared to 130 in 2014-16. This reduction reflects improved healthcare services and interventions focused on maternal well-being. Additionally, the gross enrollment ratio for higher secondary education has increased by nearly ten percentage points, reaching 57.6 in 2021-22, compared to 48.32 in 2015-16, indicating improved access to education.

However, the report also highlights areas that require attention. The gender wage gap for casual laborers has widened since 2017-18. In 2021-22 (July-June), the average wage gap between male and female casual laborers reached Rs 134.5, compared to Rs 102.25 in 2017-18. This disparity necessitates targeted efforts to ensure equal pay and opportunities for all.

Furthermore, institutional assistance to seniors has declined over the past two years, indicating the need for strengthened support mechanisms for the elderly. The report also highlights a decrease in the proportion of government spending on essential services like education, health, and social protection during the post-pandemic period, suggesting the necessity for sustained investment in these critical areas.

To address these challenges, the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) has taken several initiatives. The ministry has launched new surveys to collect data on specific SDG indicators and aligned existing surveys with the requirements of SDG reporting.

In addition, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been established between NITI Aayog, the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO), and MoSPI to further enhance data collection and reporting processes.

The National Indicator Framework 2023 was launched on the 17th Statistics Day, which carried the theme of “Alignment of State Indicator Framework with National Indicator Framework for Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.”

The efforts made by the ministry to align state and national indicator frameworks were praised by Rao Inderjeet Singh, the Minister of State for MoSPI, who emphasized the importance of this alignment in realizing the SDGs.

GP Samanta, the Chief Statistician of India and Secretary of MoSPI, called for further alignment between the State Indicator Framework (SIF) and the National Indicator Framework (NIF). He emphasized the need for collaboration and knowledge-sharing between states and central authorities to optimize SDG monitoring and implementation.

The ministry initially launched guidelines for the sub-national indicator framework in 2019, and these guidelines were revised in 2022 to enhance the reporting process. However, RL Karandikar, the National Statistical Chairman, highlighted the need to improve the frequency of data collection to ensure accurate and timely monitoring of SDG progress.

In conclusion, while India has made significant strides in various SDG indicators, there are still challenges to overcome. By addressing these challenges and further aligning state and national frameworks, India can continue its journey toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.

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