75 Years Of Indian Independence, Only 9 More For SDGs 2030

by GoNews Desk 5 months ago Views 3349

India’s Human Development Index is 131, and Social Progress Index rank is 163 out of 177. This shows that India still has a long way to go before all citizens can access a decent standard of living and opportunities.

SDG India Independence 75
India celebrated its 75th Independence Day on August 15th, 2021. During this time as an independent nation, India has risen to among the top 5 economies of the world, and is currently the 7th in terms of GDP.

It must also be noted that there are only 9 more years for the world to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations for 2030 and accepted by all member states.


India’s Human Development Index is 131, and Social Progress Index rank is 163 out of 177. This shows that India still has a long way to go before all citizens can access a decent standard of living and opportunities.

Freedom from disadvantages caused by lack of basic and higher needs of the people is the true meaning of Independence.

As a founding U.N. member, an emerging economy and market, and the second most populated country in the world, India’s progress in important human development parameters impacts that of the whole world. Let us examine where India stands on four key parameters.

Health (SDG 3)

Health (SDG 3) is a crucial parameter for judging a country’s human development. The recent COVID-19 pandemic waves exposed the fragility and exploitative nature of the healthcare system in India.

  • India’s Universal Health Coverage Index: 55 (China 79, UK 87, USA 84)
  • Domestic expenditure on health is 3.4% (China 8.9%, UK 19.2%, USA 22.5%)
  • Only 58% rural and 62% urban children fully immunized (8 vaccines)
  • Only 11% eligible population fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Rural CHC’s have 38% shortfall, PHC’s have 29% shortfall of doctors
  • Less than 300 public medical colleges nationwide (247)
Civil Liberties, Freedoms, Institutional Independence (SDG 16)

This subheading is perhaps the most relevant to the idea of “political freedom” that India attained in 1947. Over the last 7 years there has been a major backsliding in the democratic traditions and practices in India.

  • World Press Freedom Index: India ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in 2021 and 2020. This rank was 133 in 2016.
  • Democracy Index 2020: 53rd rank out of 167 countries, scored 6.61 in 2020 as against 27th rank. India’s score was 7.92 in 2014.
  • USCIRF: India recommended among “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) in 2020 and 2021 in U.S. bipartisan advisory body’s report on religious freedom internationally.
Zero Poverty and Hunger (SDGs 1 and 2)

India has the highest share of number of poor people in any country in the world (23.8%), and is the second most unequal country globally. India has not released official figures for poverty since 2011.

  • 20% Indians were poor in 2012 (World Bank)
  • Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report, 2016: India 2nd most unequal country in the world, 1% population holds 58% of the total wealth.
  • 50.1% Indians use wood as their primary cooking fuel
  • Covid-19 lockdowns increased poverty by 23 crore people. Rural and urban poverty increased by 15% and 20% (Azim Premji University)
  • Number of poor increased from 6 crore to 13.4 crore in the first pandemic wave, (Pew Research Centre).
  • India added 6.2 crore food insecure people between 2014 to 2019 as reported by State of Food Security and Nutrition in The World (SOFI)
  • 2021: More than 9.2 lakh children severely acute malnourished in India (government)
Education (SDG 4)

Education is essential for individual and community wellbeing in all aspects. It is key to development, innovation, and cultural enrichment. It is also a vital tool for empowerment. India’s education landscape is beset with inadequacy, low quality, and lack of inclusivity.

  • India’s literacy rate has improved from last Census. It went from 74.04% to 77.7% overall, but the gender gap in literacy has narrowed by only 2.28%
  • UNICEF, 2021: 1.5 million schools closed, 24.7 crore children affected in India due to the pandemic and lockdowns
  • In 2017, Only 5.7% of rural Indians were graduates and above, compared to 21.7% urban Indians (NSO 2017-18)
  • Women’s representation falls with rise in qualification level. For those who have enrolled, 31.9% rural and 26.7% urban women left education for domestic work.
    • 12.4% rural and 15% urban women drop education for marriage
  • Digital disparity: 23% and 4% of urban and rural households have computers. Computer and internet skills are lower in rural India and for women.
A glance at these figures highlights the gaps in India’s progress over 75 years. India’s development and the world’s progress must converge at the realisation of these goals. With only 9 years to go, India must fast-track work on all fronts to achieve sustainable growth with justice.

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