Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in the Development Cooperation Report of 2016 termed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the unprecedented articulation of the public interest at a global scale for all the people of the world. Ambitious SDGs were set in 2015 for 2030. Since then, countries have been reviewing progress made, identifying bottlenecks; taking action to overcome impediments and ensuring a holistic improvement of living conditions. Six years have already passed and we have now nine years to perform and reach the goal. The SDG India Index & Dashboard developed by NITI Aayog has become an important tool for SDG monitoring by the governments, both at the central and state levels.
The document displays the performance of various states on sustainable solutions to some of the biggest challenges - ranging from poverty and gender inequality to climate change. It is a guiding framework to steer development action. It puts the states in four categories – "Achiever” with score of 100; “Front Runner” with score between 65-99; “Performer” with a score between 50-64 and “Aspirant” with a score between 0-49. Odisha has emerged as Achiever in one area — Life Below Water SDG 14; Front Runner in Eight sectors; Performer in One and Aspirant in Six areas. Areas where Odisha has been found to be weakest in intervention are SDG1- Goal for “No Poverty” with score 41; SDG2—Goal for “Zero Hunger” with score 42; SDG4- Goal for “Quality Education” with score 45; SDG5—Goal for “Gender Equality” with score 46; SDG8-Goal for “Decent Work and Economic Growth” with score 48 and SDG9-Goal for “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure with score 46. Another area of great concern is in respect of SDG16—Goal for “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
A brief discussion on these areas would indicate where Odisha stands now and the distance it needs to cover to reach the 2030 Goal in those areas.
Goal 16 focuses on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking, corruption and bribery, and on the development of accountable and transparent institutions. It is a matter of concern that the state reports 3.1 murders per lakh population as against 1.8 for Uttarakhand and 1.9 in Puduchchery—two top performers. The 2030 goal is to reduce it to one. Cognizable crimes against children per lakh population stood at an alarming high at 49.9 against 31.5 for Uttarakhand and 10.8 for Puducherry. The goal for 2030 is to reduce it to zero. Number of missing children per lakh child population was 22.4 against 14 for Uttarakhand and 10.21 for Puducherry with the 2030 goal at zero. Presently 20.03 persons per ten lakh population fall victim to human trafficking in Odisha as against only 3.22 for Uttarakhand and zero in Puducherry. The 2030 goal is set at zero. With SDG 16 Index score at 59, Odisha, though in category of “Performer”, stands at the 36th position among 37 states and UTs, above Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
As regards “No Poverty” goal, the areas of concern are the high percentage of people below poverty line and the high percentage of kutcha houses. Odisha has 32.5% people below national poverty line and 14.2% of houses are kutcha houses—the second largest (below Arunachal Pradesh). In this Index Tamilnadu with score of 80 is at the top, with percentage of people below poverty line at 11.28% and only 2.4% kutcha houses. The goal for 2030 in these critical areas is 10.96% and zero % respectively.
Odisha’s Productivity of Rice continues to be low—2003.84 kg per hectare. The goal for2030 is 5322.08 kg/ha. 29.2% of children under 5 years of age are underweight as against Kerala’s 18.7% children. 2030 goal is to reduce it to 1.9%. 47.6% of pregnant women in the age group 15-49 in Odisha are anaemic as against Kerala’s 22.6% with the 2030 goal at 25.2%. These critical components of SDG Index 2 dealing with “Zero Hunger” goal, contribute to assigning Odisha a modest overall score of 42. Kerala is at the top with a score of 88.
The state has a large number of schools without access to basic infrastructure like electricity and drinking water. While states like Kerala, Sikkim, Punjab, Gujarat, Goa have ensured full coverage of schools with such infrastructure, 31.29% of Odisha’s school remain deficient. The 2030 goal is to ensure 100% coverage. 27.5% of people of Odisha of 15 years and above are illiterate. Odisha’s overall score in this SDG Index 4 on “Quality Education” is 45 while Kerala with a score of 80 is at the top.
The issue of Gender Equality has been analysed in SGD 5. Females have been losing in the area of wage parity. Ratio of female to male wage in Odisha is 0.66 while 2030 Goal is to bring in parity. Females have been victims of crime in large number of cases. Rate of crime against women per one lakh female population is 103.5-- one of the highest in the country while India’s overall position is 62.4. The 2030 Goal is to ensure zero rate. As against the 2030 Goal of women having 50% seats in Assembly, the highest representation is in Chhattisgarh with 14.44% while Odisha has only 8.9%. As regards percentage of females operated operational holdings, it is only 4.06% while the Country’s figure is 13.96. The Goal of 2030 is to have the share increased to 50 %.
In the area of decent work and economic growth SGD 8 accords the top place to Himachal Pradesh with a score of 78. Labour force participation in the age group of 15-59 is 55.2% in respect of Odisha while it is 72.1% for Himachal Pradesh. The Goal for 2030 is 66.3. Present unemployment rate in the 15-59 age group in Odisha is 7.6 %. The 2030 Goal is to bring it down to 3%. While the 2030 Goal is to ensure that no wage/salaried employee in non-agriculture sector would be without social security benefit, at present 54.3% of such employee are without social security benefit in Odisha. It is indeed a matter of great concern that in the area of ease of doing business Odisha‘s score is zero. This area needs special attention.
SDG 9 deals with Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. In this area Odisha’s score is 46 while Gujarat at top has a score of 72. At present out of every 100 people employed in Odisha, 8.15 are engaged in manufacturing. The 2030 Goal is to enhance it to 20. The state is having a modest innovation score at 18.94 as against the country’s 35.59, while the 2030 Goal is to reach 100. Number of internet subscribers per 100 population in Odisha is 44.87 as against country’s 55.41. Goal of 2030 is 100. The same Goal is also for mobile phones. The present level in the state is 76 mobile phones for 100 population.
These areas where the progress of Odisha requires much greater political, social and governance focus are too critical to be trivialised by political cacophony. There is immediate need for an appropriate ambience that makes state’s children and women secure against crimes which are at present in an unacceptable degree of virulence. Productivity of Rice has to be enhanced by 150% to reach the 2030 goal. High level of malnutrition among pregnant women and children needs special package.
(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. The author can be reached at email@example.com)
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