Sustainable Development

Introduction

The world has been trying its best to transcend its ways towards a sustainable future through the conservation of resources and change in the attitude of the masses. It is important to make the world a better place for future generations to come after all. The global superpowers have decided to come together to fight for a progressive world, by bringing in the sense of oneness. This can be possible only if the development becomes pervasive and facilities become accessible to all.  Hence the United Nations Organisation came about with an agenda to permeate a sense of cohesive development and existence in a sustainable measure, across the globe. The UN introduced a new scheme of development policies, adopting a pervasive approach to eradicate social and environmental stigmas. They named this provision “ Sustainable Development Goals.”

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure a more secure world by 2030. This has been perceived as a global transformation, benefitting the lives of millions across the world. The International community has adopted 17 sustainable development goals that aim to build a more prosperous and equitable world by 2030 The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Adopted by 193 member countries at the UN General Assembly Summit in September 2015, and which came into effect on January 2016. These goals are the result of the relentless consultative process, which penetrated the thoughts of millions of global citizens and compelled the national governments to negotiate and adopt the global path to sustainable development for the next coming years. The action plan is designed to stimulate the areas of grave social concerns such as poverty, hunger, education, health and well-being, gender equality, etc. The underlying idea of the entire initiative is about the epiphany that the global leaders had when they realized that economic development could not be a true measure of happiness and prosperity. It recognizes that the tasks of peace, justice, environmental protection, and industrial development are not disconnected from each other and part of the same change. It anchors, above all, that global and interconnected challenges can only be fought with global and interconnected solutions. Hence, a unified global endeavour is the need of the hour.

India’s Leading Role

The role of India in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) has been impeccable. India has been able to reflect the country’s national development goals in the SDGs. India is highly intrigued and appreciates the focus on “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in the dynamic world.” While targeting economic development and growth in GDP, the country’s relentless combat against poverty has become fundamentally focused on social inclusion and the empowerment of the poor. The government has also undertaken several policies and formed forums to develop policy and action perspectives on the eradication of poverty, promoting gender neutrality, and addressing climate change. The leadership has an unflinching resolve about its fight, and these social anomalies and the NITI Aayog, with the Prime Minister as its chairperson, is to provide the overall coordination and leadership. The institution has carried out a comprehensive mapping of the 17 Goals and 169 targets to Nodal Central Ministries, Central Sponsored Schemes, and major government initiatives. Several Government programs would directly contribute to the advancement of the SDG agenda like the Pradhan Mantra Jan Dhan Yojana.

NITI Ayog has led the process of the formation of a multidisciplinary Task Force that is constituted to coordinate the review and process documentation of the total 17 Goals of SDGs, with reference to the Indian context. The committee has initially agreed to work upon GOALS 1,2,3,5,14 and 17 of the SDGs and further the advancement of other global goals. Given below is a detailed account of the same.

 Goal 1: End of Poverty in All its Forms Everywhere

It is no secret that India has been crushed in the hands of poverty for ages. Several compelling pieces of evidence have shown that poverty and destitution have fallen across all economic, social, and religious groups nationally and in all the states. Government initiatives in the form of various wage programs have helped to create gainful employment and helped the wages, thereby directly empowering the poor. This, in turn, has also brought the government an increased volume of revenue, enabling it to sustain a high level of social spending and thus doubling the direct effect of growth on poverty. Also, several efforts are underway to universalize basic amnesties of life. From  Pradhan Mantri Ujjjwala Yojana to special programs targeted towards women and children, all these endeavours have been initiated to ensure a sustainable and secure lifestyle for the national population.

Goal 2: End of Hunger and Achieve Food Security

Substantial progress has been made by the government to improve the food and nutrition security of the country. Despite that, the absolute levels of stunted and underweight children remain high. To address this, several schemes have been implemented. Various programs under the government are providing nutritious cooked meals to 100 million children in primary schools. Into the bargain, food governance distribution is being strengthened through the digitization of ration cards and an online grievance redressal cell. A comprehensive plan is also being implemented for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages.

The modern definition of well being has not been restricted to financial gain or economic development. India has made significant strides in improving various health indicators. The infant mortality rate has dropped to a considerable extent. Institutional deliveries for pregnant women have increased many folds in the past decade. The country’s strategy in health and wellness is focused on providing essential services to the entire population, with a speed emphasis on the poor and vulnerable groups. The government is aiming to immunize all unimmunized and partially immunized children against vaccine-preventable diseases by the end of 2020.

Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality 

India has been transcending in the right direction, regarding the female representation of society. Several indicators show that the status of women in various social and economic activities have improved. Numerous measures have been put in place to promote gender equality. Initiatives like Beti Bachao Beti Padao (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child) initiative focuses on a comprehensive package of interventions for the girl child, including those pertaining to education and protection. A myriad of programs is being implemented to enabling greater participation of women in the workforce.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainability of marine resources.

India has been blessed with an abundance of water bodies and marine resources. Hence, a clear agenda has been formulated for promoting the “Blue Revolution.”For tracking the levels of marine pollution, the country has developed the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System. Several policies have been implemented to uplift the livelihoods of fishing communities and also to bring about the ecological integrity of the marine environment.

Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnerships of sustainable development.

India has manifested unprecedented zeal and perseverance to bring about a sustainable way of living across the international community. However, these endeavours are seeming to fall short somewhere. Despite significant efforts for domestic resource mobilization, India is unlikely to gather sufficient revenues for achieving SDGs. Hence, India is highlighting the need for international cooperation for curbing illicit financial flows, defining aid ambiguity, and establishing a holistic system of monitoring commitments made by donor countries.

So, for now, that was all folks! Also wanted to mention that you can be a part of the Government Initiatives too and help your fellow citizen improve their life. And no, you do not have to donate monetarily or give hours and hours at stretch. There are some really simple steps that you can engage in to help with. Check out Mission Prakriti to know more.

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