Millennium Development Goals-India Country Report 2011
The last one decade since the Millennium Declaration of the United Nation in the year 2000 has been a decade of successes and failures, speed and sluggishness in combating the major maladies of human poverty. Major successes in combating extreme poverty, improving school enrolment and child health and controlling spread of killer deceases like AIDS, Malaria and TB in almost all developing countries- even in the poorest countries – demonstrate that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are achievable.
The 2009 India Country Report brought out by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation in the form of a mid-term statistical appraisal of the progress towards the MDGs in India, and the 2010 States of India Report on MDGs by the Ministry have similarly demonstrated that India is on track for some of the MDGs while the progress is not so encouraging for the other MDGs. In the Indian context, the rates of changes in statistical terms are quite reflective of the reality on ground.
As a result, the new sets of statistics for the MDG indicators are showing up changes happening on the ground in respect of different aspects of human development. In view of this the Ministry has combined the latest data on the MDG indicator with the analysis of the programmes which the government has introduced to deal with some of the social and economic problems standing in the way of achieving the MDG goals.
This report has been compiled within a short time after the States of India Report on MDGs brought out as a special edition in October, 2011; but this report has succeeded to capture for a few important goals, the latest changes in data which are going to affect the level of achievement in the year 2015 at the national level. At the same time, the analysis presented here may help identifying the shortcomings of the government programmes for specific target issues.
However these analyses, under the existing limitations of data, do not aim to provide cross-cutting features as would be necessary for policy makers to get a better view of the outcomes. In order that relationship between the interventions and outcomes could be explained meaningfully, disaggregated statistics at sub-state levels are most essential.
The global economic crisis during 2008-2009 has also impacted the social development initiatives of governments of the developing world. Despite the resilience shown by the Indian economy during this period, the impact on the development processes have been there confounded with the effect of food crisis during the drought and fuel crisis. The survey of consumer expenditure and the new poverty estimates bear the testimony of this fact. For the statistical community the new set of poverty estimates introduced by the Planning Commission of India throws up new challenges for meaningful analysis of poverty situation over a long time span, which was necessary in the current context of MDG-reporting.
This report is a systematically compiled account of the statistical measures of MDG-outcomes presented with the programmatic instruments of the government that are directly or indirectly linked with achieving the targets of the MDGs. While the statistical details of the report would enable one to appreciate the situation wherever the progress is slow or off-track or, have serious risk of reversal, the specific programme aspects would be helpful for relating their merits and demerits to addressing
the focal issues. The new data elements used in this report when compared with previous reports are likely to add value to the usefulness of the report. However, the findings are only indicative of the situation that exists at a particular time or is likely to arise at a future time if the prevailing rates of changes hold good. As the national or sub-national series of data used are based on official statistics produced by concerned Central Ministries/Departments and are either from administrative reports or produced through periodic operations like the Census of India, National Sample Survey, National Family Health Survey, District Level Household and Facility Survey, etc the statistical evidences are unrelated with the programme implementation in most of the cases. Even then, advances are most evident where targeted interventions have been initiated, and where increased funding and improved institutional mechanism have stimulated better delivery of services and tools directly to those in need. In this sense, this report in quick succession after the States of India Report 2010 on MDGs is a significant document and hopefully provides a road-map for the path ahead.