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Sustainable Development Goals in India.

Framework that Governance Professionals should know about (Part I)

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development titled "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" was adopted by 193 United Nation Member countries, including India, in the year 2015 and we have now entered into the “Decade of Action” with less than ten years left to achieve the Global Goals. What is important is that it is partnership among various stakeholders - government, academia, civil society, businesses, development partners, international organizations and of the individual actors that pursue certain specific objectives within the contours of the Goals. As governance professional it becomes vital that we understand the current framework in India and also work progressively with Government plans and strategies. These Blogs are a serious endeavor to decode the SDG framework in India.

Part I of the series covers SDG India Index & Dashboard.

· The SDGs are a comprehensive list of global goals integrating social, economic and environmental dimensions of development.

· At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and associated 169 targets. The SDGs seek to address not only the root causes of poverty but also the universal need for development to provide a life of dignity to all.

· NITI Aayog plays a central role in our country’s SDG efforts. It Acts as the nodal institution for SDGs, and under the federal set up, the Indian States and Union Territories (UTs) are the key movers on the SDG action agenda.

· The SDG India Index & Dashboard, designed and developed by NITI Aayog, has become the official and principal tool for SDG monitoring at the national and sub-national levels.

· The Index, helps identify issues and areas needing improvement, point out strategies and interventions that could be a source of solutions, and open up space for peer learning.

· The Index measures the progress achieved at the country and State/UT levels, thereby offering invaluable insights to policymakers on the remaining distance to travel, gaps, and data and statistical challenges.

· The Index Report & Dashboard is now an annual exercise, and is the country’s official and principal tool for SDG monitoring at the national and sub-national levels. From covering 13 Goals, 39 targets, and 62 indicators in its first edition in 2018, to covering all 17 Goals, 70 targets, and 115 indicators in 2020 edition

· The Index estimation is based on data on indicators for the first 16 goals while a qualitative assessment has been made for Goal 17. It is constructed using 115 indicators which cover 70 targets from 16 Goals

· The composite score for each State/UT was computed by aggregating their performance across the goals, by taking the arithmetic mean of individual goal scores. The composite score ranges from 0 to 100 and denotes the overall achievement of the State/UT in achieving the targets under the Goals. A score of 100 implies that the State/UT has achieved the targets set for 2030; a score of 0 implies that the particular State/UT is at the bottom of the table.

· While Index is a useful instrument to judge the progress of the States/UTs in adopting and implementing the SDG agenda, the Index and this report have some limitations. The data sources for the selected indicators have been limited to national survey reports of Union ministries, national data portals of Union ministries, MIS portals of Centrally Sponsored Schemes/Central Sector Schemes, and in some specific cases the index reports prepared by Union ministries.

· Some States have also voiced concerns that in capturing the progress on several schemes, largely Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), mapped to the SDG targets, the schemes which are entirely financed and implemented by State Governments are often overlooked in measuring progress.

· Limitations pertaining to the frequency of data sources continue to exist, largely due to the issues of disaggregation, granularity, and periodicity of data collected by the official statistical systems.

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