PRESS NOTE – 3/2006
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs) - INDIA COUNTRY REPORT-2005 RELEASED
Shri G. K. Vasan, Minister of State (independent charge), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released the first Millennium Development Goals - India Country Report for the year 2005 on 13th February 2006 in a simple function at Delhi. The Millennium Declaration adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2000 reaffirmed its commitment to the right to development, peace, security and gender equality, to the eradication of many dimensions of poverty and to overall sustainable development. These are intended for the Member Countries to take efforts in the fight against poverty, illiteracy, hunger, lack of education, gender inequality, infant and maternal mortality, disease and environmental degradation. The Millennium Declaration adopted 8 development goals, 18 time-bound targets and 48 indicators.
2. The Millennium Development Goals are:
MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education;
MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women;
MDG 4: Reduce child mortality;
MDG 5: Improve maternal health;
MDG 6: Combat HIV/ AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability; and
MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
3. This First Country Report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) captures India’s achievements, challenges and policies with reference to the goals and targets and reveals that there have been substantial improvements in the lives of people of the countries over the years. This has been possible due to the planned implementation of programmes despite the enormous and complex problems and diversities of our nation. The Central and State Governments have set up goals more ambitious than the MDGs. With the well thought out planning, comprehensive development strategies devised in the national policy, and matching implementation process, it is hoped that India will be able to meet the challenges and achieve all the MDG targets much earlier than the targeted dates.
4. India’s position with reference to the various Goals is given below:
(i) To achieve the Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, India must reduce by 2015 the proportion of people below poverty line from nearly 37.5 percent in 1990 to about 18.75 percent. As on 1999-2000, the poverty headcount ratio is 26.1 percent with poverty gap ratio of 5.2 percent, share of poorest quintile in national consumption is 10.1 percent for rural sector and 7.9 percent for urban sector and prevalence of underweight children is of the order of 47 percent. National Rural Employment Act is a positive step to reduce the poverty ratio further.
(ii)To achieve universal primary education under Goal-2, India should increase the primary school enrolment rate to 100 percent and wipe out the drop-outs by 2015 against 41.96 percent in 1991-92. The drop-out rate for primary education during 2002-03 is 34.89 percent. The gross enrolment ratio in primary education has tended to remain near 100 percent for boys and recorded an increase of nearly 20 percentage points in the ten years period from 1992-93 to 2002-03 for girls (93 percent). The literacy rate (7 years and above) has also increased from 52.2 percent in 1992-93 to 65.4 percent in 2000-01.
(iii)To ensure gender parity in education levels in Goal-3, India will have to promote female participation at all levels to reach a female male proportion of equal level by 2015. The female male proportion in respect of primary education was 71:100 in 1990-91 which has increased to 78:100 in 2000-01. During the same period, the proportion has increased from 49:100 to 63:100 in case of secondary education.
(iv)Goal 4 aims at reducing under five mortality rate (U5MR) from 125 deaths per thousand live births in 1988-92 to 42 in 2015. The U5MR has decreased during the period 1998-2002 to 98 per thousand live births. The infant mortality rate (IMR) has also come down from 80 per thousand live births in 1990 to 60 per thousand in 2003 and the proportion of 1 year old children immunised against measles has increased from 42.2 percent in 1992-93 to 58.5 percent in 2002-03.
(v)To achieve Goal-5, India should reduce maternal mortality (MMR) from 437 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 109 by 2015. The value of MMR for 1998 is 407. The proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel has been continuously increasing, (from 25.5 percent in 1992-93 to 39.8 percent in 2002-03) thereby reducing the chances of occurrence of maternal deaths.
(vi)In so far as Goal-6 is concerned, though India has a low prevalence of HIV among pregnant women as compared to other developing countries, yet the prevalence rate has increased from 0.74 per thousand pregnant women in 2002 to 0.86 in 2003. This increasing trend needs to be reversed to achieve MDG 6. The prevalence and death rates associated with malaria are consistently coming down. The death rate associated with TB has come down from 67 deaths per 100.000 population in 1990 to 33 per 100,000 population in 2003. The proportion of TB patients successfully treated has also risen from 81% in 1996 to 86% in 2003.
(vii)Goal-7 aims at ensuring environmental sustainability. As per assessment made in 2003, total land area covered under different forests has been 20.64% due to Government’s persistent efforts to preserve the natural resources. The reserved and protected forests together account for 19% of the total land area to maintain biological diversity. The energy use has declined consistently from about 36 kilogram oil equivalent in 1991-92 to about 32 kilogram oil equivalent in 2003-04 to produce GDP worth Rs. 1000. The proportion of population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation is to be halved by 2015 and India is on track to achieve this target.
(viii)Goal-8 is regarding the developing global partnership for development. It is basically meant for the Developed Countries to provide development assistance to developing countries.. The Government of India holds the following views regarding the role of the developed countries in achieving this goal:
(a) The financial support needed to achieve the targets under this Goal had been estimated for the least developed land locked and small countries by a high-level panel on ‘Financing for Development at an additional amount of US $ 50 billion which would be required for this purpose every year till 2015.
(b) However, a huge gap still exists for those countries between the development assistance required to meet the MDGs and what has been pledged by the developed countries so far.
(c) Recent months have seen new commitments toward reaching the internationally accepted 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) target. We have reminded that these potential increases still leave development assistance donor countries as a group well short of 0.7 percent.
(d) It is also a matter of satisfaction that actual disbursements of ODA, in recent years, have shown a welcome reversal of the declining trend that lasted for almost a decade since the early 1990s. In this regard, it is important to realize that unless aid commitments translate into actual delivery, securing MDGs will remain elusive goals. We do hope that all the developed countries would scale up the ODA to realize the goals reaffirmed at the Monterrey Consensus.
(e) It has also been our consistent position that additional resources for implementing the development agenda should be channelized through the existing multilateral agencies. Moreover, allocations must be based on pre-defined and transparent criteria. Our own development experience clearly indicates that, ultimately, it is the availability of untied additional resources for use in accordance with national development strategies, which is most beneficial for recipient countries.
(f) To deal with the problems of debt, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative was launched by the World Bank and IMF and endorsed by 180 governments. In regard to the HIPC Initiative, India is of the view that the Initiative should be met by additional funding from the developed countries and the flow of concessional assistance to other countries should not be reduced. India also opposes the concept of “equitable burden sharing” since some of the non-Paris Club creditor countries are themselves poor countries.
(g) We have supported the G8 initiative on irrevocable debt cancellation for the HIPC countries which has now been adopted by IMF and the World Bank as the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). We have always been supportive of all efforts being extended to the low-income countries (LICs), including those in Africa, where debt burdens are serious threats to attainment of the MDGs.
(ix) With regard to one of the targets of the Goal 8, i.e. in cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications, India has made substantial progress in recent years. The overall tele-density has remarkably increased from 0.67 percent in 1991 to 9.4 percent in June 2005. Use of Personal Computers has also increased from 5.4 million PCs in 2001 to 14.5 million in 2005 and there are 5.3 million internet subscribers as on March 2005 (2.3 internet users per 100 population and 0.5 per 100 internet subscribers).
5. The National Employment Guarantee Act, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Total Literacy Campaign of the National Literacy Mission, 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments providing reservation for women, commitment for women empowerment in the NCMP, National Health Mission, Total Sanitation Campaign and Bharat Nirman are some of the important steps taken by the Government which will help in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.