Jagjit Singh

India is moving at a snail’s pace toward SDG 2030 goals

 As we approach the halfway mark between the initial and finish lines of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it looks like the government needs a wake-up call to accelerate its work toward the possible goals. It is clear that so far, India has made only a little progress toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. If the government continues to move at this pace, it will be next to impossible for India to be successful in achieving its SDG goals by 2030.

According to a report in March 2022, India has slipped three spots from 117 to 120 rank on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 agenda by 192 United Nations member states in 2015. With the latest rankings, India is now behind all south Asian nations except Pakistan, which stands at 129. It has been found that the cause of India’s fall in rank is because of major challenges in areas like zero hunger, good health and well-being, gender equality, and sustainable cities and communities. Not to forget, India has shown poor performance in dealing with quality education and life on land aspects, the report stated.

The drop in the rank signifies that while initially, India kicked off with a great start, somewhere along the way, the efforts and the deliverance took a back seat. One can say that the Covid pandemic is the major reason why India is lagging, but the government and the management also shares equal responsibility for this derailment. Recession, loss of employment, and physical distancing largely affected the way people produce and consume. Nothing remained the same as people’s needs and wants are changing drastically. While the country has schemes and policies at national and state levels to achieve SDG 20, the lack of effective implementation and enforcement of the said policies has failed to bring out the desired impact. 

Suffice to say, India needs a strong and efficient hand to accelerate its efforts toward achieving the SDG goals by 2030. Strong and effective institutions are essential for the implementation of the SDGs. India needs to strengthen its governance structures at all levels, including national, state, and local levels, to ensure that policies and programs are implemented efficiently and effectively. Further, India needs to invest more in social sectors such as education, healthcare, and social protection. This will help to reduce poverty, improve access to essential services, and promote inclusive growth. Also, environmental challenges such as air and water pollution, deforestation, and climate change are major obstacles to achieving the SDGs. India needs to take bold action to address these challenges, including adopting cleaner energy sources, promoting sustainable agriculture, and conserving natural resources. Finally, achieving the SDGs requires partnerships and collaboration between governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations. India needs to strengthen partnerships with all stakeholders to leverage resources, expertise, and knowledge to accelerate progress toward the SDGs.

To bring drastic improvements in public welfare and help people out of poverty, governments, corporate India, and civil society organizations need to work together and increase the level of trust between them. This collaboration must be done quickly yet sustainably to achieve greater results faster. India still stands out as one of the largest economies at the global level. The country already has a strong foundation of innovative minds, diverse cultures, plentiful resources, and access to global markets, making it well-positioned to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. With the right strategies in place, India can unlock its full potential and become an influential leader both regionally and globally. We still have plenty of room to make progress and India is more than capable of meeting the sustainable development goals by 2030.

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