In the year 2000, 189 member nations of the UN took a pledge to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015. In 2012, Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General released a report on the MDGs target which stated that the three targets of poverty, slums and water had been achieved. Meeting the remaining goals is a challenge and requires the continued commitment of the government.
With just 21 months left for the MDG deadline, India’s progress has been average.
MDG1 – Poverty – It is on track in reducing the number of people below the poverty line but when it comes to reducing the number of people who suffer from hunger India are off track and slow.
MDG2- Universal Education – India is on track to achieve the universal education target and also reducing the gender disparity in primary and secondary education.
MDG4 & 5 – IMR and MMR – The nation’s progress is slow when it comes to reducing by two thirds the child mortality rate and reducing by three quarters the maternal mortality rate.
MDG6 – HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases – India is on track to achieve the HIV AIDS targets but the progress is slow when it comes to Malaria and other diseases.
MDG7 – Environment Sustainability – India’s progress is slow in relation to reducing the number of people having access to sanitation facilities and safe drinking water. India is on track in integrating sustainable development in its development policies and programmes and reversing the loss of environmental resources.
The focus for India needs to be on working on malnutrition, child survival, maternal survival and access to sanitation. It seems India won’t be able to achieve these target in the stipulated time. This doesn’t imply that India becomes complacent, rather it needs to direct more efforts towards achieving the remaining targets. Various researchers have highlighted the importance of countries planning for the post-2015 agenda which should include the targets that will be missed and include new targets that they plan to achieve. Specific to India, work needs to focus on agriculture, natural resource management, development planning and governance, since it has restricted all the work towards the economic upliftment especially manufacturing and service sectors.
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. a research based organization that has been working in the social development sector recommends the government and CSR organizations to focus on building the capacities of the people to achieve their rights and entitlements without being dependent on others. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. believes that the agriculture sector should focus on implementing bio-diversity cropping patterns in place of industrial cultivation. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. works with civil society organizations and corporate entities to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship development which is need of the hour. Working on all these aspects shall help the nation perform better in the social development indicators.