India's Framework: MDG Tracking
Highlights of India’s Progress to MDGS
The Human Development Report (HDR)
The Human Development Index (HDI)
HDI in India
Concept of Economic Growth and Development
Common Characteristics of Developing Nations:
Factors in Economic Development
Economic Policy and Role of Government
Growth in Policy Making
Basic Problems of an Economy and the role of Government
NEWS - Involve developing countries in MDG: Speaker to UN chief
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who is on an India trip on Friday met Meira Kumar during which the Lok Sabha speaker asked him to involve developing countries in the consultation process with regard to the millennium development goals (MDG)."The developed countries should try to fulfill commitments towards developing countries, as stipulated under Goal 8 under the MDGs, so as to achieve the goals by 2015," Meira Kumar told Ban.
India committed to achieving Millennium Development Goals, S.M. Krishna (External Affairs. Minister) tells Moon
UN chief discusses Millennium Development Goals with India Inc
In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. In September 2010, the world recommitted itself to accelerate progress towards these goals.
The UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 provides the framework for HDR. The Report lists 8 Millennium Development Goals, endorsed by all members of the United Nations, set out a series of time-bound and quantifiable targets ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals center on:
Eradicating poverty and hunger
Achieving universal primary education
Promoting gender equality
Reducing child mortality
Improving maternal and child health
Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensuring environmental sustainability
Developing a global partnership for development
The first target under this goal is to halve the proportion between 1990 and 2015 of people whose income is less than US$1 per day.
The second target under this goal is to halve between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. The second goal is to achieve universal primary education. The target under this goal is to ensure that by 2015, children everywhere — boys and girls alike — will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
The third goal is to promote gender equality and empowerment. This translates into a fourth target — to eliminate gender disparity in primary and second education, preferably by 2005 and at all levels of education not later than 2005.
The fourth goal in the set of MDG’s is to reduce child mortality. The target is to reduce by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 the under-five mortality rate.
This is followed by Goal (5), to improve maternal health, which translates into a specific target of reducing by three quarters between 1990 and 2015 the maternal mortality rate.
A more ambitious and yet urgent goal (no.6) is to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. This translates into a specific target of halving the spread of AIDS/HIV by 2015. A related target is to halve by 2015 the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
Goal No (7) is to ensure environmental sustainability. This translates into specific targets of halving by 2015 the proportion of those without sustainable access to safe drinking water. Another related target is to have achieved by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
Goal No (8) is the most meaningful and difficult of all the MDG’s — to develop a global partnership for development. It translates into the developing further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system, including a commitment to good governance development and poverty reduction, both nationally and internationally.
Action plans for the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) adopted at the UN Millennium Summit 2000, can only be achieved if all involved stakeholders make an effort to find effective long-term solutions together and then commit themselves to implement them in partnerships. The HDR should serve this purpose in the years to come and should not end as a mere academic exercise. It is through this collective action that hope can be brought about for billions of people around the globe and achieve sustainable development.
Thus the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), made during the UN Millennium Summit on 8 September 2000, stand for solidarity and determination of the world leaders to rid the world of poverty and improve the lot of humanity. The goals inter alia call for reducing by half the proportion of people living below the poverty line; reducing by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015; ensuring that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling; eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005 and at all levels by 2015; reducing by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate; reducing by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio; halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and incidence of malaria and other major diseases by 2015.
It also emphasized on integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reversing loss of environmental resources; reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation; achieving significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020. It also stressed on developing further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory, with a commitment to good governance at both national and international levels, development and poverty reduction – nationally and internationally; dealing comprehensively with developing countries‟ debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term; in cooperation with the developing countries, developing decent and productive work for youth; providing access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies; and making available the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communication technologies in cooperation with the private sector.
Eighteen (18) targets describe these objectives under the 8 goals (MDGs) in the United Nations‟ MDG framework of 2003. In the Indian context, 12 of the 18 targets are relevant. The UN framework had 53 statistical indicators to measure the progress towards the 18 targets. India adopted 35 of the 53 indicators for the 12 targets concerning India. A revised indicator-framework drawn up by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDGs in keeping with the recommendations made by the Secretary-General in his report to the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly for inclusion of four new targets came into being in 2008. India has not endorsed this revised framework. Deeper decomposition of the measures of MDG indicators down below State levels could be more revealing of the micro-dimensions of the outcomes, which could help demonstrating precise locales of the problems when spatially mapped. At the sub-national levels, data in respect of most of the MDG indicators are not available below States. In some cases only national estimates are available. State-level estimates as available for a number of indicators however, provide a broader cross-section of the inequalities in progress in different parts of the country including their rural-urban and male-female dimensions, wherever possible.
Highlights of India’s progress to MDGs
Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger- While India has been moderately successful in reducing poverty, the same cannot be said for combating hunger. Poverty Headcount Ratio projected to reach 18.6% by 2015 is likely to miss out target by about 3.5 percentage points. Proportion of population with dietary energy consumption below 2100/2400 kcal has risen from 64% in 1987-88 to 76% in 2004-05. Proportion of underweight children below 3 years declined only marginally during 1998-99 to 2005-06, from about 43% to about 40%.
Achieving universal primary education - India is on-track or even ahead of targets on nearly all indicators related to universalisation of primary education.
Promoting gender equality and empowering women India missed the 2005 deadline of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education. With respect to 2015, existing trend suggests that India is moderately or almost nearly on track.
Reducing child mortality – Under 5 mortality Rate (U5MR) reduced from 125 per thousand live births in 1990 to 74.6 per thousand live births in 2005-06 and is expected to reach a level of 70 by 2015 as against a target of 42 per thousand live births by 2015. Accelerating reduction in the incidence of neo-natal deaths (66% of IMR in 2007) alone can contribute substantially towards achieving U5MR and IMR targets.
Improving maternal health – India is slow or off-track on this indicator. In 2006 on an average 254 women died giving birth to a child for every 100,000 live births down from 327 in 1990. At this rate we are likely to reach MMR of 135 per 100,000 live births by 2015, falling short of the target by 26 points.
Some Other Indicators:
Tele-density remarkably increased from 0.67 per 100 population in 1991 to 36.98 per 100 population in March 2009
While prevalence of HIV/AIDS is decelerating, focused attention is needed to combat other diseases.
Overall India’s forest cover has increased.
Lack of adequate household sanitation and consequent health implications are serious
In this context it is important to understand the idea of Human Development and the concept of Human development Index.
"The promotion of human development and the fulfillment of human rights reflect a fundamental commitment to promoting the freedom, well-being and dignity of individuals in all societies"- Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
The idea of human development has a long history, but as elaborated more recently in the work of Amartya Sen it is about enlarging the choices people have to lead useful lives, what is called the "capabilities approach" i.e. the ability to live a healthy and productive life. Hence, the importance given to health and education in the UNDP discussions on human development and to their inclusion in the Human Development Index HDI. Human development is also about people's participation, both as an instrument for enlarging people's choices and as an end in itself.
Human development is the process of enlarging people's choices _ not just choices among different detergents, television channels or car models but the choices that are created by expanding human capabilities and functioning’s _ what people do and can do in their lives. In investigating the priorities of poor people, one discovers that what matters most to them often differs from what outsiders assume. More income is only one of the things poor people desire. Adequate nutrition, safe water at hand, better medical services, more and better schooling for their children, cheap transport, adequate shelter, continuing employment and secure livelihoods and productive, remunerating, satisfying jobs. These are often more highly valued than income, both in their own right and as a means to satisfying and productive work. According to Prof.Sen “no policy-maker can guarantee the achievement of all, or even the majority, of these aspirations, but policies can create the opportunities for their fulfillment''. Without such improvements, freedom from illness and illiteracy - two of the most important ways that poor people can escape poverty - will remain elusive to many. The 2004 World Development Report finds that such services often fail poor people. But it also describes when and where services are working for poor people, showing how governments and citizens can do better. The key: poor people’s participation in determining the quality and quantity of the services they receive. This way of looking at development, often forgotten in the immediate concern with accumulating commodities and financial wealth, is not new. Philosophers, economists and political leaders have long emphasized human well-being as the purpose, the end, of development.
To quote UNDP “Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realizing their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value. Since 1990, annual Human Development Reports have explored challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity and climate change”. Unquote.
The Human Development Report (HDR) was first launched in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy. The goal was both massive and simple, with far-ranging implications — going beyond income to assess the level of people’s long-term well-being. Bringing about development of the people, by the people, and for the people, and emphasizing that the goals of development are choices and freedoms.
Human Development Index (HDI)
The report ranks countries according to the Human Development Index (HDI), a summary measure of well-being based on life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and GDP per capita published annually by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Since the first Report, four new composite indices for human development have been developed — the Human Development Index, the Gender-related Development Index, the Gender Empowerment Measure, and the Human Poverty Index. The Report is translated into more than a dozen languages and launched in more than 100 countries annually.
Based as it is on three distinct components _ indicators of longevity, education and income per head _ HDI is not exclusively focused on economic opulence (as GNP is). As Mahbub up Haq, the Pakistani economist who was the driving force behind the publication of the HDR, once famously wrote, "any measure that values a gun several hundred times more than a bottle of milk is bound to raise serious questions about its relevance for human progress" The HDI, was the first serious attempt to assess development differently.
HDI has increased by 21% between 1999-2000 and 2007-8 from 0.387 to 0.467
The HDI is a composite index, consisting of three indicators – consumption expenditure (as a proxy for income), education and health. India Human Development Report 2011:Towards Social Inclusion (HDR 2011) estimates the HDI for the beginning of the decade, and for the latest year for which data permits. The top five ranks in both years go to the states of Kerala, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab. States that perform better on health and education outcomes are also the states with higher HDI and thus higher per capita income.
At the other end of the spectrum are mostly the northern and eastern states – Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Assam – that have an HDI below the national average.
The seven north eastern states (excluding Assam)1 have done remarkably well in human development outcomes to climb up three rungs from 1999-2000 and 2007-8.
HDI ranges from 0.79 in Kerala to 0.36 in Chhattisgarh.
Over the eight year period, HDI has risen by 21 per cent compared to a rise of 18 per cent in India’s HDI over 2000-2010 as reported by the global HDR 2010
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.
UNDP is present in 177 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results.
World leaders have pledged to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015. UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach these Goals. Our focus is helping countries build and share solutions to the challenges of:
Crisis Prevention & Recovery
Environment & Energy
UNDP helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, they encourage the protection of human rights, capacity development and the empowerment of women.
As discussed earlier, the annual Human Development Report, commissioned by UNDP, focuses the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals. The global Report's analytical framework and inclusive approach carry over into regional, national and local Human Development Reports, also supported by UNDP.
In each country office, the UNDP Resident Representative normally also serves as the Resident Coordinator of development activities for the United Nations system as a whole. Through such coordination, UNDP seeks to ensure the most effective use of UN and international aid resources.
Since 1966, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been partnering with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of live for everyone. UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; environment and sustainable development.
UNDP by the numbers
128 countries receiving UNDP support for democratic governance
60 countries receiving election assistance from UNDP
60% of municipalities in Jordan are now using a UNDP-created property tax collection system
1.2 million people benefited from UNDP temporary job programmes in Haiti
250,000 people in Armenia benefited water, sanitation, microfinance and other UNDP
150,000 people in Liberia received counseling and treatment for HIV & AIDS with UNDP help
$550 million in interest savings for Jamaica after UNDP helped negotiate with creditors
6 million square metres of land cleared in Cambodia with UNDP support
95% of UNDP's partners consider the organization to be a "critical partner" in contributing to the MDGs
103 countries receiving support from UNDP for anti-corruption efforts
It is important to note that the idea of human development in an nation is closely linked with the idea of Economic development and both are complementary to each other.
Thus it is important to understand the concept of Economic growth and economic development.
Concept of Economic Growth and Development
The study of economic development has become one of the most fascinating and challenging branches of economics and political economy. Though Adam Smith is known to be the first development economists with his Wealth of Nations (1776) being the first treatise on economic development, it was only after the Second World War that the economists undertook a systematic study of the problems and processes of economic development in the context of developing countries. Development economics is a rapidly growing area evolving its own theory and methodology. It has a wider scope than either traditional economics or political economy. A part from being concerned with efficient allocation of scare resources and sustained growth in their availabilities, development economic, is also concerned with the economic, social and institutional mechanisms- both private and public requirement to uplift the levels of living of the poor masses at a rapid and significant rate. Development economics lays due emphasis on the role of the government and development planning.
It may be pointed out here that economic development is not the same things as economic growth. Economic development involves something more than economic growth. While economic growth involves expansion of an economy through a simple widening process, economic development incorporates growth as well as essential qualitative dimensions appearing in the form of improved performance of the factors of production and improved techniques of production. Another qualitative change may appear in the form of development of institutions and changes in values and attitudes. Thus, while economic growth refers to sustained increase in per capita product, economic development refers to growth plus progressive changes in the socio-economic structure of a nation.
The structural diversity with regard to the developing nations arises due to the following components:
The size of the country in terms of geography, population and income.
Endowments of physical and human resources.
The role of public and private sectors.
The relative importance of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
The external dependences in terms of economic, social and political factors.
The institutional and political structure existing in the country.
The extent of poverty and the degree of existing inequalities.
Though, developing countries exhibit structural diversity, most of them share a common set of economic and social problems. The common characteristics of developing nations are discussed below.
Low levels of living.
Low levels of Productivity.
Excessive dependence on Agriculture.
Rapid growth of population.
High levels of unemployment and underemployment.
Foreign Trade orientation.
The pace of economic development is determined by various factors. These factors can be classified into two broad categories of economic factors and non economic factors. The economic factors which determine the rate of economic development include the trends in natural resources, human resources and their quality ,capital, enterprise, technology. The non economic factors which influence the process of development include the basic institutional framework of society such as social customs and traditions ,cultural characteristics and attitudes ,moral values, political conditions etc
In view of diversity of factors influencing economic development ,the task of initiating and promoting economic development becomes quite complex. Two major problems have to be resolved in order to perform this task effectively. The first problems relates to the identification of the key factors determining economic development and the specification of their relationship with the rate of economic growth. The other relates to the specific mechanism through which the development effort is to be made or executed in the economy.
So far as the problem is concerned it is interesting to observe that many economists have emphasized capital accumulation or investment as the key factor governing the rate of economic growth. This is evident from the above discussion of the recent concepts and theories of development such as take off, big push, critical minimum effort and doctrines investment and unbalanced growth. In fact it is generally contended that investment or capital formation is a necessary condition for economic development through itself it may not constitute the sufficient condition. It is customary therefore to regard investment as the crucial factor in economic development. Consequently a number of growth models have been develop to examine the relationship between the rate of investment and the rate of economic growth
The second problem mentioned above focuses essentially on the choice of an economic system or mechanism that will mobilize and execute the required development effort most effectively over a specified period of time. It raises the fundamental issue of the centralized economic planning versus price mechanism and free enterprise. It is generally contended that in under developed countries there is need for an appropriate kind of economic planning to perform the task of launching and accelerating economic development. Here again it is interesting to observe that the proponents of both balanced as well as un balanced growth strategies have advocated economic planning as a more effective means of implementing the stated strategy of economic development.
It follows that in order to understand the process of economic development, to appreciate the major development problems and to recognize some of their policy implications, it is necessary to examine the basic principles of economic planning and policy by the government for economic development.
From the above discussion it is clear that the government or the public policy making body plays a crucial role in designing and delivering appropriate development initiatives or programmes to its citizen and society at large. Thus it is important to understand the role of government and economic policy making.
Growth in policy making
Economists often evaluate the possible effects of policy options. In addition, they are often asked for recommendations about whether or not to undertake a given policy. To evaluate economic policy in this way means you are going beyond just describing possible outcomes and now are making judgments. To do so, some criteria by which policy options can be evaluated are needed. The criteria most frequently applied to economic policy options are:
Basic Problems of an Economy and the role of Government
Whatever the nature of the economic system, all types of economies have been faced with certain common basic problems. The major economic problems faced by an economy may be classified into two broad groups: (i) micro-economic problems called basic problems, which are related to the working of the constituents of the economic system; and (ii) macro-economic problems related to the growth, stability, and management of the economy as a whole.
The way the basic problems of an economy are solved depends on the nature of the economy. While in a socialist economy they are solved by the government agencies, like central planning authority, in a free enterprise or mixed capitalist economy this task is performed by the Price Mechanism or Market Mechanism. Though free enterprise system is capable of bringing economic growth, it does not ensure a stable, sustained, and balanced growth. It becomes therefore inevitable for the government to intervene fair competition, and help the economy in achieving its goals – efficiency, stability, growth and economic justice.
Now, the question arises as to what should be the appropriate role of the government in economic management of the country or what should be the form, nature and extent of government’s interference with market mechanism.
Apart from controlling and managing the public sector industries the government controls and regulates the private sector through its industrial, monetary and fiscal policies. If necessary, direct controls are also imposed.
In this context the statement “India committed to achieving Millennium Development Goals, by Mr. Krishna to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon assumes significance.
To quote Mr. Krishna "As a democracy with a firm commitment to human welfare and socio-economic development, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals we appreciate your efforts to build bridges between developing and developed countries and give voice to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people,".Mr.Krishna further reiterated New Delhi's commitment towards working closely on global issues of peace and development. He also added that "As a mark of our firm commitment to multilateralism, India places great importance on working closely with you on the various global issues of peace and development".
Central Statistics Office Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Government of India
Planning commission, Govt of India
UNITED NATIONS (UN)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Prof.M.Guruprasad, AICAR BUSINESS SCHOOL