India has progressed on the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Economic Survey 2021-22 said on Monday citing an improvement in the overall score of NITI Aayog SDG India Index & Dashboard. The Survey also highlighted the importance of balancing rapid economic growth with conservation, ecological security & environmental sustainability. “India has progressed on the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through improvement in score of NITI Aayog SDG India Index & Dashboard to 66 in 2020-21, from 60 in 2019-20 and 57 in 2018-19,” it said. The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates progress of states and union territories on social, economic and environmental parameters.
States and Union Territories are classified based on their SDG India Index score. Aspirant (scoring 0/49), Performer (50/64), Front-Runner (65/99) and Achiever (100). The Survey noted that the number of ‘Front Runners’ (scoring 65-99) on the NITI Aayog SDG India Index, 2021 has increased to 22 states and UTs in 2020-21 from 10 in 2019-20. As many as 64 districts were ‘Front Runners’ and 39 districts were ‘Performers’ in North East India, it added. The Survey pointed out that India has increased its forest area significantly over the past decade and now ranks third globally in average annual net gain in forest area between 2010 to 2020. It also reiterated the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India would phase-out single use plastic by 2022.
The Survey noted that India had announced its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement in 2015, and in 2021 announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions. It also underlined the need to start the one-word movement ‘LIFE’ which means Lifestyle For Environment urging mindful and deliberate utilization instead of mindless and destructive consumption. The Survey also observed that India has been exercising significant climate leadership at the international stage under the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT Group).