Sustainable Development Goals and India

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Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and its 17 SDGs with their 169 associated targets. Addressing the press delegates the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the agreement of 193 countries to set necessary sustainable development goals (SDGs). The United National Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark said, “This agreement marks an important milestone in putting our world on an inclusive and sustainable course. If we all work together, we have a chance of meeting citizens’ aspirations for peace, prosperity, and well-being, and to preserve our planet.

Rapid urbanization, industrialization and problems associated with them necessitated the development of goals which can help in the sustainable development around the globe without hampering the environment and retaining well being of the humankind.  These SDGs depict a sustainable plan of action to balance “economic, social, and environmental”, the three dimensions of sustainable development by the year 2030. SDGs or the Global Goals are meant to end universal poverty, earth protection ensuring peace and prosperity of the humankind.

India committed for SDGs at the United Nations Summit for Adoption of Post-2015 Development Agenda. India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said, “Today much of India’s development agenda is mirrored in the SDGs.” He welcomed the SDGs by saying, “We welcome the prominence given to environmental goals, especially climate change and sustainable consumption. The distinct goal on ocean ecosystem reflects the unique character of its challenges and opportunities. Equally important, it focuses our attention on the future of the island states.” 

Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India launched “India and Sustainable Development Goals: The Way Forward”, a special paper series on each of the 17 SDGs and two on cross cutting themes – technology and finance. Thematic papers addressed key issues for achievements, targets, gaps, philosophy, concept of respective SDG and implementation framework to be adopted. While addressing India and Sustainable Development Goals: The Way Forward, Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, RIS mentioned SDGs are comprehensive and focus on five Ps – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. PM Shri Narendra Modi at the G-20 Summit on July 7, 2017 focused on India's initiatives for SDGs through consistent roadmap implementation and the National Review as per United Nations guidelines including the Skill India, Digital India, and financial inclusion measures. PM   added,…. “We represent a culture that calls our planet Mother Earth” and our ancient text say: “Keep pure! For the Earth is our mother! And we are her children!”


Sustainability concept roots can be traced back to ancient times.  The ancient civilization like Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Roman have faced many environmental problems such as farming, logging,  mining, deforestation, salinization, loss of fertile soil, etc. which are now  considered as sustainability problems. The Harappan Civilization was found to be incredibly well planned with digging water wells and water drainage systems in a square grid, etc. which might be the result of the sustainable development of the civilization.

India being a country rich of its tradition and culture is committed to a sustainable path to prosperity which is rooted determinedly in the commitment to the future.

Author: Shikha Dahiya, CSIR-Senior Research Fellow, Bioengineering and Environmental Science Lab, EEFF Department, CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad.

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