A household for reducing under-nutrition in the country. India has also repeatedly emphasized the need for Climate Justice that involves taking concrete action to protect the poor from the impact of climate change and has taken several actions towards this goal. Further, India is also committed to eliminating single-use plastic by 2022.
It has also initiated the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which is expected not only to contribute to India’s ambitious solar energy goals but primarily to promote the adoption of solar energy across the sun-rich developing countries with India’s leadership.
Further, to reduce the marginalization of vulnerable groups, a number of key legislations were passed by Parliament. The country’s overall SDG score improved by six points—from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020–21. The positive stride towards achieving the targets is largely driven by exemplary country-wide performance in Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), where the composite Goal scores are 83 and 92, respectively.
Mizoram, Haryana, and Uttarakhand are the top gainers in 2020–21 in terms of improvement in score from 2019, with an increase of 12, 10, and 8 points, respectively. While in 2019, ten States/UTs belonged to the category of Front-Runners, by 2020-21, 12 more States/UTs found themselves in this category. Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Punjab, Haryana, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh graduated to the category of Front-Runners.
Niti Aayog has the mandate for coordinating the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national levels. The SDG India Index and Dashboard represent Niti Aayog’s efforts in encouraging evidence-based policymaking by supporting states and UTs to benchmark their progress, identify the priority areas and share good practices.
The SDG India Index and Dashboard comprehensively document and rank the progress made by states and Union Territories towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Now in its third year, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in the country and has simultaneously fostered competition among the states and Union Territories.
India has also made bold strides in the use of data for effective policymaking, and monitoring the progress of schemes against targets.
This is an opportune moment for the global development community to note India’s efforts in localizing the SDGs and executing plans toward achieving them. As home to one-sixth of humanity, a significant share of the world’s developmental challenges and opportunities by scale, and some of the world’s largest and most ambitious developmental and social inclusion schemes and programs, India’s lessons can provide a useful lens for the localization of SDGs in other parts of the world. India is the sixth-largest economy and remains a global engine of growth and is projected to be the fastest-growing major economy in 2019-20. 271 million people moved out of poverty, halving the incidence of multidimensional poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
The poorest groups across states, social categories, religions, and ages had the biggest reductions in multidimensional poverty, showing that they have been catching up, though they still experience high rates of poverty. In recognition of these and other challenges and to further improve the policy ecosystem, the Government of India has unfurled the ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’, which is aligned to SDGs and aims to propel India towards a $5-trillion economy by 2024. There is a convergence of India’s national development goals and agenda of, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ or ‘Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth,’ with the SDGs.
In addition, to reduce intra-region disparities, a program‘ Transformation of Aspirational District’, across 112 districts has been rolled out to improve service delivery across the lagging regions and is closely related to the achievement of some of the SDGs. Another noteworthy example of a crosscutting initiative is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) which is the world’s largest financial inclusion program. By leveraging PMJDY, Aadhaar (biometric identity system), and mobile telephony, the Government has disbursed a cumulative amount of $110 billion to over 250 million beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT).
The initiatives taken demonstrate the advances India has made to move ahead on the SDGs and keep the focus on ‘Leave No One Behind’ in development planning.