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Millennium Development Goals: India's achievement is a mixed bag

February 05, 2015 18:03 IST

The country achieves target of reducing poverty by half, manages to control spread of deadly diseases but lags behind on few other targets.

Image: India must work harder to reduce poverty, say experts. Photograph: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reaching their December 2015 deadline, a new report from the United Nations tracks India's progress in achieving the MDGs.

According to the report, while India has made remarkable progress in achieving the MDGs, achievement across various indicators has been mixed.

On poverty, with 21.9 per cent of the population below the poverty line, India has already achieved the target of reducing poverty by half.

On education indicators, the county has already achieved gender parity in primary school enrollment and according to the report it is likely to reach parity in secondary and tertiary education by 2015.

India is also set to achieve the goal of reducing hunger by half and reduce maternal mortality by three quarters.

The country has successfully managed to control the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

It has also creased the forest cover and has halved the proportion of population without access to clean drinking water. But on other indicators, the performance has been far from satisfactory.

India lags behind on targets for empowering women through wage employment and political participation, reducing child and infant mortality and improving access to adequate sanitation to eliminate open defecation.

The report points out that progress on achieving MDGs is mixed across states, with faster growing states performing better on achieving MDGs.

High income states such as Tamil Nadu and Gujarat fare better on the MDG performance index. Rapid growth by provide greater resources for governments through taxation to spend on public welfare can have a favorable impact on achieving MDGs in many ways.

As the MDGs reach their December deadline, a new set of transformative and universal sustainable development goals will be adopted by world leaders in September 2015.

Ishan Bakshi