Home >Economy >India covered two-third of distance towards welfare goals: NITI Aayog

New Delhi: India needs to cover the remaining one-third of the distance to its welfare goals, such as zero poverty, quality education and gender equality, by 2030, NITI Aayog’s sustainable development goals (SDG) index 2020-21 released on Thursday said.

These goals adopted by India in 2015 remains in sharp focus as the authorities battle with the impact of coronavirus pandemic on lives, livelihood, incomes and quality of life.

While India has covered most of its distance in ensuring affordable and clean energy and clean water and sanitation, a lot of ground needs to be covered in ensuring zero hunger and gender equality, the report showed. The report tracked progress achieved by states and union territories across 17 thematic goals, 70 specific targets and 115 social and economic indicators, compared to the status captured in the previous report in 2019.

The report highlighted the areas where sustained efforts are needed. For example, to meet the poverty reduction goal, India needs to uplift at least half of the 22% of the population currently living below poverty line. In the case of achieving zero hunger, one indicator shows that about half of the pregnant women in the age group of 14-49 years are anaemic. Also, one in three children under five years of age is malnourished.

In the case of gender equality, one indicator shows the share of land holding by women is only around 14% compared to the 50% target to be achieved. Also, the share of women elected to state legislative assemblies is only 8.46% compared to the target of 50%.

The report showed that different regions are at different stages of progress. While Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Maharashtra are closer to achieving the target and are ranked as performing states, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh have a lot of distance to cover.

While 15 states and seven other administrative units, including Delhi and Chandigarh, are above the national average ranking of 66 (meeting the target is taken as 100), 13 states and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are below that.

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, the report said. While Kerala and Chandigarh are top performers in zero hunger and quality education, Uttarakhand and Puducherry are top performers in peace, justice and strong institutions.

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