Niti Aayog’s report on Hunger, poverty and inequality in Indian states revealed a big concern. Amid the slowdown in the economy, India battles to achieve Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger.
SDG Index 2019
The recent report by Niti Aayog on Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019 revealed that every fifth Indian is below the poverty line. Based on a survey of 640 districts, it stated that 25 states and UTs are facing poverty, hunger and income inequality. The sustainable development goals are in line with the ones set by United Nations General Assembly in 2015 with 2030 as the target. The index measured the performance of States and UTs on 100 National Indicators, based on the implementation of Central government schemes. Also, India has improved its score from 57 to 60 in the Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019-20. However, states’ scores reveal a worrisome trend.
While Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra showed no improvement, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim registered growth some points. Besides, the score of the remaining states ranged from 1 to 18, indicating an increase in poverty. Besides, Bihar and Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Assam and West Bengal remained at the bottom of the list. Apart from this, Goa, Tripura and Tamil Nadu became front runners with 76, 72 and 70 points. Further, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had 40% and 37% of the population living below the poverty line.
Positives from Niti Aayog
The country did a commendable job of providing electrification and clean cooking fuel. Also, it outperformed on Goal 9 based on rural road connectivity and increased mobile phone penetration. Besides, the government succeeded in improving on Goal 11 by providing good housing facilities. Further, India stood worse in alleviating poverty, ending hunger, economic growth, preservation of life on land and upholding peace. Also, Niti Aayog added three new indicators of anemic children (6-59 months), gross value added in agriculture per worker and underweight children (0-4 years).
Overall, despite improving marginally, India has slipped in key areas such as food security and standard of living.