New Delhi: A high-level steering committee will be set up to periodically review and refine the national indicator framework (NIF) for monitoring how India is implementing the UN sustainable development goals . This was one of the measures approved by the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, in line with the idea of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

Internationally-agreed SDGs integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, and intend to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity in the country. There are 17 of these goals, with 169 targets.

The committee will be chaired by the chief statistician of India and secretary, ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI). It will also comprise secretaries of data source ministries and members of the NITI Aayog, besides secretaries of other related ministries as special invitees. The committee will review the NIF on a regular basis. Statistical indicators will be the backbone of monitoring the SDGs at the national and state levels, and will scientifically measure the outcomes of policies to achieve the targets. Based on statistical indicators, the MoSPI will bring out reports on the implementation of SDGs nationally. The report will assess the progress, identify challenges and give recommendations for follow up action. Advanced IT tools will be used for close and effective monitoring.

SDGs are intended for promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

“SDGs are expected to bring change in the lives of people and the monitoring of progress of implementation of SDGs will benefit the entire nation," the government said in a statement.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs also approved an increase in supervisory visit charges for accredited social health activists (ASHA) facilitators from 250 per visit to 300 per visit for 2018-19 to 2019-20, starting October 2018. Each ASHA facilitator will undertake 20 supervisory visits per month. With the proposed increase, an ASHA will receive 6,000 per month compared to 5,000 earlier. The Union cabinet approved the post of director for the new AIIMS in Rae Bareli and Gorakhpur (both Uttar Pradesh), Bathinda (Punjab), Guwahati (Assam), Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) and Deoghar (Jharkhand). It approved the plan for setting up Indian Institute of Skills through the public private partnership model at select locations, based on demand and available infrastructure.

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