Millennium Development and Sustainable Development Goals

Development and Environment: Millennium Development and Sustainable Development Goals

Similar to other topics based on the latest UGC NET EXAM Syllabus…we have covered the people and environment topics in 7 parts as below along with the last 14 Years’ solved Question paper at the end of the tutorial.

You are advised to go through them in sequence and attempt the MCQ Question only after completion of the topic.

Unit-IX People, Development and Environment

  1. Development and environment: Millennium development and Sustainable development goals.[This post]
  2. Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impacts on the environment.
  3. Environmental issues: Local, Regional and Global; Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Noise pollution, Waste (solid, liquid, biomedical, hazardous, electronic), Climate change and its Socio-Economic and Political Dimensions.
  4. Impacts of pollutants on human health.
  5. Natural and energy resources: Solar, Wind, Soil, Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass, Nuclear and Forests.
  6. Natural hazards and disasters: Mitigation strategies.
  7. Environmental Protection Act (1986), National Action Plan on Climate Change, International agreements/efforts -Montreal Protocol, Rio Summit, Convention on Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance.
  8. MCQ Based on People, Development and Environment(Check MCQ Section)

To understand this topic we must first understand what Sustainable Development is? Sustainable Development is the development which meets the needs of the present without disturbing the future generations to meet their own needs. It is based on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social sustainability.

In the year 2000 at the UN Headquarters in New York, Millennium Summit was held where eight development goals known as “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) were taken upon till the year 2015. The targets were mainly achieved across the countries and it was required to start an afresh plan in the world beyond 2015.

For the next 15 years, the UN General Assembly in its 70th session adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 17 goals and 169 targets. It came into force on 1st January 2016, having 2030 as the deadline to achieve the target. Though it was not legally binding it gave prospects to the countries to reorient their domestic spending during the next fifteen years. The countries are expected to own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes. They would be responsible for implementing the goals and targets and review at the national level which require quality, availability and timely data.

The 17 Goals are as follows:

*Source: SDG India Index, Baseline Report 2018

  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and well being
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduced inequality
  11. Sustainable cities and communities
  12. Sustainable consumption and production
  13. Climate action
  14. Life below water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnerships for the goals


In India, Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi with his High-Level Steering Committee periodically reviews and refines the National Indicator Framework (NIF) to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The targets of the team are:

  • To check the ongoing national policies, programmes and plans and work on the developmental challenges.
  • To monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national and state levels and how they scientifically measure the outcomes of the policies.
  • The committee also reviews the National Indicator Framework for its enhancement.
  • For effective monitoring, sophisticated IT tools are used.


The sustainable development goal (SDGs) aim is to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity in a changing world with the motto of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikash”.


SDGs with 17 Goals and 169 Targets intend for the promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

The flagship programme of the Government like Swachh Bharat Mission, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, and Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojna highlights the Government’s commitment to the development that it reaches to all its citizens.


Not only these, from connecting villages with roads and expansion of digital connectivity, to providing universal health coverage, sanitation and housing for all are also focused.

Various programmes and enactments focused on the empowerment of girl’s rights, women and persons with disabilities. It shows how the Government ensures growth for all.

United Nations has praised the progress that India makes on Sustainable Development Goals, its extraordinary economic growth, commitment to sustainability and social and technological innovations.

The SDG’s aims are to promote equitable economic growth, create opportunities for all, reduce inequalities, raise basic standards of living, encourage social development, to promote integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

SDG India Index scores within each Goal, leading States/UTs can be identified under each goal-

  1. No poverty – Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
  2. Zero hunger – Goa and Delhi
  3. Good health and well-being – Kerala and Puducherry
  4. Quality education – Kerala
  5. Gender equality – Kerala, Sikkim and Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  6. Clean water and sanitation – Gujarat, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep
  7. Affordable and clean energy – Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh
  8. Decent work and economic growth – Goa and Daman & Diu
  9. Industry innovation and infrastructure – Manipur, Delhi and Puducherry
  10. Reduced inequality – Meghalaya, Mizoram, Telangana, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep
  11. Sustainable cities and communities – Goa and Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  12. Life on land – Assam, Chattisgarh, Goa, Manipur, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep
  13. Peace, justice and strong institutions – Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry


*Source: SDG India Index, Baseline Report 2018


The National Indicator Framework (NIF), helps to monitor and report on the progress of SDGs on the national level.

In the 2018 Sustainable Development Goals Report, the highlights were the progress for dignity, peace and prosperity of the nation in the present scenario and in the future.

The report also highlighted that in sub-Saharan Africa the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 35 per cent. In South Asia, girls’ risk of marrying in childhood has also dropped by over 40 per cent. A good indication, in the least developed countries, access to electricity has more than doubled. Some areas showed a decrease in the unemployment rate and an increase in labour productivity. More than 100 countries have adopted sustainable consumption and production policies and initiatives.

Where we read about all the good and progressive things happening, the report also showed us the lack of progress amongst the disadvantaged and marginalized groups.

Youths are unemployed, and children not able to meet the minimum standards of reading. Lack of proper sanitation service, and electricity problems in rural areas are seen. HIV among women of reproductive age is higher than the global average. Women’s discrimination, and gender inequality against basic rights and opportunities are some of the areas.

The report also showed additional challenges like conflict, climate change and growing inequalities, undernourished people due to drought and disasters linked to climate change.

The sustainable development goals report not only mentioned the statistics of work done or the areas which are yet to develop but it also highlighted the challenges faced, processing, analysis, etc. and calls for better evidence-based policymaking.

With technological development, it is possible to collate the data easily but needs political leadership; resources are also required to work more effectively.

To achieve the deadline of 2030, the United Nations has introduced many initiatives so that it could be more effective, organized and accountable.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) main aims are to bring change in the lives of people and to monitor the progress of implementation which in the end will benefit the whole nation.

  • The commitment of the Government of India to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    can be realised only if actions at the national level are complemented by initiatives of the State Governments and the Union Territories (UTs).
  • It is necessitated by the federal governance structure of the country, where most of the functions that have a bearing on SDGs are in the State or Concurrent List of the VII Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • Therefore, the State governments have the prime responsibility for achieving SDGs and are essential stakeholders in implementing the Agenda 2030.


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