Decade Of Action: Taking SDGs From Global To Local”

NITI Aayog presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020 on July 13, 2020.

  • The HLPF is the foremost international platform for follow-up and review of progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The India VNR 2020 report titled Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local was released by NITI Aayog at the virtual meeting of the HLPF.
  • The HLPF meets annually in July for eight days under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN.
  • The VNRs presented by Member States at the HLPF are a critical component of the review of progress and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
  • The reviews are voluntary and state-led and are aimed at facilitating the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned.
  • The process of preparation of a country’s VNR provides a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of various relevant stakeholders. NITI Aayog prepared and presented India’s first VNR in 2017.

India VNR 2020

  • India presented its VNR along with other second time presenters like Bangladesh, Georgia, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria and Uganda.
  • The presentation also included a short film which encapsulated the processual aspects of the second VNR and captured some of India’s major progress areas on the SDGs.

Decade Of Action: Taking SDGs From Global to Local

  • The report is a comprehensive account of the adoption and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in India.
  • Apart from presenting a review of progress on the 17 SDGs, the report discusses at length the policy and enabling environment, India’s approach to localising SDGs, and strengthening means of implementation.
  • The report also includes a chapter which draws from the rich body of data, knowledge and analysis that emanated from the CSO led community-centric consultations, which took place across the length and breadth of the country.
  • The chapter presents a summary of the key concerns and the recommendations voiced by the stakeholders from civil society, non-governmental and community organisations.
  • Similarly, the segment on business integration highlights the important role which businesses and the private sector are envisaged to have in the decade of action.
  • Leveraging science, technology and innovation for SDGs, and costing and financing of SDGs are the two levers of strengthening means of implementation which have been introduced this year.

Remember This: NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level. The India VNR 2020 represents NITI Aayog’s efforts in embodying the whole-of-society approach and its commitment towards localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Highlights Of The Report

Sashakt Bharat Sabal Bharat: Empowered and Resilient India

In its war against poverty, India with its focus on economic growth and social inclusion, has halved the incidence of multidimensional poverty by lifting 271 million from the most vulnerable sections of society out of poverty, while reducing extreme income poverty from 21.2 per cent in 2011 to 13.4 per cent in 2015.

Deprivations have significantly reduced across nutrition, child mortality, education, sanitation and drinking water, electricity and housing, and other basic services.

Swachh Bharat Swastha Bharat: Clean and Healthy India
  • For a country with 1.3 billion people, improving access, affordability and quality of sanitation, nutrition and health services has been a ceaseless endeavour.
  • With a nationwide nudge provided by the Clean India Campaign and the National Nutrition Mission, India achieved universal sanitation
  • in all 603,175 villages in 2019, recording a quantum leap from the 2014 figure of 38 per cent villages with sanitation.
  • Similarly, child and maternal mortality and stunting levels have also sharply reduced.
  • Moving toward universal health coverage, accessible, affordable and quality health care has been institutionalised under Ayushman Bharat, which is the world’s largest health protection scheme providing an annual cover of INR 500,000 (USD 6,666.7) to 100 million families (approximately 500 million Indians) from economically weaker sections.
  • To check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the expedited development of a contact and tracing application called ‘Aarogya Setu’, is one such outcome of India’s efforts to exponentially increase capacity through the use of digital platforms.
  • Within a few weeks of its roll out, more than 100 million Indians have downloaded this application, demonstrating the speed with which digital platforms are being adopted by Indian citizens to access healthcare solutions.
Samagra Bharat Saksham Bharat: Social and Financial Inclusion
  • The most compelling vision of the 2030 Agenda, ‘leave no one behind’ resonates deeply in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and is also enshrined in our constitution.
  • Social inclusion is the cornerstone of the national development agenda which entails both legislative and executive action to create a level playing field, to universalize access to basic services and to address the challenges faced by communities in vulnerable situations in all spheres of life such as nutrition, health, education, skilling and livelihoods, employment and social security.
  • While legislations and interventions focus on protecting and main-streaming the vulnerable, intersectionality and its impact on accentuating the existing vulnerabilities is addressed by developing multi-sectoral and convergent programmes and greater implementation efficiency is achieved through collaboration with civil society and the private sector.
  • Financial inclusion, the path to promoting social inclusion, was greatly aided by the Jan DhanAadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity, which provides near-universal access to bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana, bio-metric identity for about 90 per cent of people, and access to mobile phones and internet services to over 665 million people.
  • This has propelled the unbanked, especially over 200 million women, into the mainstream financial system, accelerating
  • their economic empowerment through new avenues of credit, insurance and Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT).
Satat Bharat Sanatan Bharat: Sustainable India
  • Taking forward its nationally determined contributions under the UNFCCC, India’s climate action strategies emphasise clean and efficient energy systems, resilient urban infrastructure and planned eco-restoration among others.
  • With all its 6,03,175 villages electrified; clean cooking fuel reaching 80 million additional households since 2015; renewable energy installed capacity growing by 75 per cent since 2014, to, 132 GW; energy-saving appliances reducing CO2 emission annually by 38 million tonnes, India is well-placed on fulfilling its climate action agenda.
  • Globally, India stands third in renewable power, fourth in wind power and fifth in solar power.
  • India launched the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and the International Solar Alliance to leverage global partnerships for climate action and disaster resilience.
  • On the other hand, India has implemented a systematic disaster resilience strategy based on the Sendai Framework to
  • manage its high vulnerability to climate-induced natural disasters and their impact on the poor.
Sampanna Bharat Samriddha Bharat: Prosperous and Vibrant India
  • India is one of the fastest growing emerging market economies.
  • With a GDP of USD 2.72 trillion in the year 2018-19, India strives to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 following an
  • inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory.
  • India is pursuing aggressive reforms to stimulate manufacturing, build infrastructure, spur investments, foster technological innovation and boost entrepreneurship.
  • Major reforms include a single Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, FDI liberalisation, Insolvency and Bankruptcy
  • legislation, Ease of Doing Business Reforms and flagship programmes like Make in India, Startup India and Skill India. As a result, FDI grew to USD 284 billion between 2014-19.
  • These policies, together with a young population and burgeoning innovation and business ecosystem, make for a robust engine of economic progress.
  • India’s performance on several global indices testifies to its steady progress.

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