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UPSC: India’s Sustainable Development Goals – Shanmugam IAS Academy
India’s Sustainable Development Goals

India’s Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 193 countries, including India, are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that require to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one was left behind.

Just 3 years later, the SDG Index released by the NITI Aayog and the United Nations show that India has a score of 58 (out of 100), a little beyond halfway mark in meeting the target set for 2030.


  • The idea of SDGs arose with the realisation that in the pursuit of developmentextensive damage has been done to the
  • The targets of SDGs (17 Goals and 169 targets)set by the United Nations in 2015 that have to be achieved by 2030. It is called the “2030 Agenda”.
  • Setting of targets to achieve the goals puts a pressure on governmentsto work on them. Citizens should also get involved in achieving it.
  • These goals complete what the Millennium Development Goals (set in 2000 and targeted for the year 2015)could not achieve earlier.
  • The Sustainable Developmentand tackling climate change go parallel.
  • Increasing population, expanding cities, disappearing forests, and shrinking natural habitats has increased the focus on development that is also sustainable in the last few decades. Growth has to be inclusiveand shall focus on maintaining environment


  • The SDG Index aims to promote healthy competition among states and Union Territories (UTs) by evaluating their progress in social, economic and environmental terms which will help India achieve the UN SDG goals by 2030.
  • The Index aims to provide a toolto policy-makers and policy-implementers in the states and UTs so that they get to know their performances for SDG targets.
  • Based on their performances across 13 of the 17 identified SDGs, states and UTs were given scores ranging from 0 to 100. Goals like health-care, gender equality, clean energy, infrastructure, etc are measured.
  • India has become the first countryin the goal to measure the goals at a sub-national level.
  • Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Naduhave emerged as the top performing states in the country with score of 69 on the SDG India Index. Chandigarh has topped the list among the UTs.
  • Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradeshare at the bottom of the SDG Index. Such states need to focus a lot on the goals to improve.
  • To achieve the SDG Index Government of India has launched many programmesfocussed on Gender Equality, climate change and resource mobilisation. But still there are several issues like unequal distribution of resources in several regions, high air pollution in several cities, gender inequality, etc.
  • Efforts are being doneto get cleaner fuel, eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022, explore solar energy under International Solar Alliance, improving health and sanitation, ending open defecation by 2019 through the Swachh Bharat programme in India. All such efforts will help in making progress towards achieving the SDGs.


The SDGs are multi-dimensional and interconnected. It requires deep commitments by countries in achieving them. India is making progress towards achieving the goals and efforts shall be continued by every state and UTs in this regard.


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