NABARD - Status of Microfinance in India 2016-17 - page 49

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The world has progressed well during
the last seven decades. But several problems like hunger, malnutrition, and poverty have not been wiped off
to the desired extent. India, for instance, ranks 80th among 117 countries in terms of Global Hunger index,
2015 (IFPRI, 2016)
. Its hunger status, with an index value of 29, is classified as ‘serious’, notwithstanding
the reduction in index value compared to the year 2000. The Hunger Index has three dimensions - inadequate
food supply measured through undernourishment, child under-nutrition measured through wasting and
stunting of under-five children, and child mortality measured through under-five children mortality. The
data shows that 15 per cent of the population is undernourished and the under-five mortality is 5.3 per cent.
While prevalence of wasting is 15 per cent for the under-five children, stunting is as high as 38.8 per cent.
Thus, nutrition security especially for under-five children, the future citizens, assumes importance and much
effort is needed to ensure it. Similarly, other problems like persisting poverty, less decent and often non-
paid/underpaid employment for especially women, violence against women, and poor health and hygiene
continue to pose formidable challenge.
MDGs pursued till 2015 by all the countries helped the world reduce hunger and poverty considerably,
though not completely. They tried to address gender and sustainability issues too, of course, with limited
. Progress of MDGs is given in pictorial format in Chart 1, where from, it is very clear that
India’s progress is on track in respect of poverty reduction, eliminating gender disparity in education,
halting/reversing spread of HIV and developing partnerships. However, on account of halving hunger,
improving maternal health by three quarters, halting and reversing malaria and other diseases and halving
proportion of people not having sustainable access to safe drinking water, the progress is slow. In respect
of other indicators, the progress is moderate. That is, the developmental agenda is still incomplete and
further efforts are needed. Hence, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been formulated with 169
indicators in place of 8 MDG with 18 quantifiable time bound targets.
Pursuing the SDG, the post-2015 development agenda, over the next 15 years needs huge investment and it
is a challenge for the national governments to raise finances. India, housing nearly 300 million poor people,
has even larger challenges given its vast rural population, lower levels of financial inclusion, geographies
and multi-dimensional exclusion of vast numbers, low levels of technology, resource crunch, and so on.
SDGs, 17 in number, have emerged out of 8 MDGs. Sustainable development
and interconnections between environmental, social and economic problems has been accorded major
emphasis as evident from the fact that MDG 7 i.e., Ensure environmental sustainability can be mapped to
9 SDGs from SDG 6 to 15. Poverty and hunger related goals are split into SDG 1 and SDG 2 out of MDG
1. SDG 1, 2, 6, 12, and 15 are directly related to agriculture and rural development. SDGs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and
10 impinge on gender, health and inequalities. While a few SDGs are directly linked to the welfare of rural
people - their lives and livelihoods, all the SDGs can influence rural lives in some form or the other (Chart 2).
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