Understanding Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of India


India walks hand in hand with the UN towards achieving a cleaner, more secured and more developed world. The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals proves India's commitment towards the cause. However, it has still been beyond common knowledge for many. Learn more about the goals and the baseline adopted by India for the common mission.

The world today watches and monitors the development in India especially when it ranks among the top developing countries. Moreover, the development and progress in the country set an impact on the global economy. No doubt, India played a major deciding role in the selection of goals by the UN for measuring the overall development of the countries across the globe. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) decided after thorough researches were finally adopted by the UN on 1st January 2016 towards the 2030 Agenda.

SDG in brief

Going as per the mission of the UN, it looks forward to having a cleaner and more developed world in the future. And the decided target time frame for this is kept as the year 2030. But then arose the question – how? Studies, researches and plans and predictions taken together pointed towards the 17 basic goals based on the social, economic and environmental factors of the nations that should be worked upon by the countries. So, the 17 goals adopted by the UN give the policymakers across the globe the areas that they need to focus on for working towards the Agenda 2030. And achieving these goals would mean a more prosperous and more secure world by 2030. These, however, will not be enough. The nations also need to the 169 targets formulated by the UN along with the SDG.

SDG In India

India took up the SDG as a challenge. The adoption was however not before a definite framework was in place with all the states and UT coming together. In India, NITI Aayog had taken up the tough task of formulating and putting all the states in one index. Working along with the goals and the targets as decided by the UN, NITI Aayog finally came up with the Benchmark Index 2018 bringing all the Indian states and Union Territories in one list depicting their positions in the different sectors and areas. The index focused not only on economic growth but also on equality, justice given, peace, environmental protection, and such other factors.

Once in place, the index made it easier for the states and the UTs to watch and analyze their signs of progress in different sectors.

Baseline Report 2018

The baseline Report 2018 released by NITI Aayog is taken up as the benchmark for monitoring the developments. It has been prepared taking 13 of the 17 SDG goals on a set of 62 National indicators. The states in India are ranked and analyzed based on these 13 parameters.

The 13 point Baseline:
  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent work and Economic growth
  • Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Life on land
  • Peace and justice

Role of SDG India Index

SDG is not just to show to the world what we have done. When taken in a customized way, the index can well be taken as a headmaster of the school with all the classes disciplined and maintained by the class teachers. In fact, it serves the purposes of the policymakers in a more sophisticated manner.

What acts as the Key Indicator

Once the parameters are in place, the monitoring of the development and progress of the states is well on track. The policymakers now have the key indicators to decide the progress and status of the different developmental schemes and policies as implemented by them.
  • Progress on table
  • One is now able to see the progress of the states towards achieving Agenda 2030 in a glance.
  • Knowing Shortfalls immediately
  • Monitoring and analyzing the developmental work is now easier. And more importantly, one is able to see the shortfall or the loophole of any scheme once the records are in place.
  • Indicators of priority areas
  • The index can also be used for knowing the priority areas in the given state/UT. The concerned government gets a fair idea of the sectors or areas that need to be worked upon more.
  • Index for all
  • The index helps many, be it the policymakers, businessmen, civil societies or even the general public. The different organizations and sections of societies can make use of it for their purposes. It not only helps the students for their surveys and researches but also acts as a guide for the investors before making their investments in the states.


With the SDG index in place, the developments of the various sectors and areas in the states will be more systematic. And the systematic development of the states resulting in the development of the countries will pave way for a more developed global economy.


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