In September 2000, the member States in the United Nations unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration in the meeting of the General Assembly. The Millennium Development Goals commit the international community to an expanded vision of development, one that vigorously promotes human development as the key to sustaining social and economic progress in all countries, and recognizes the importance of creating a global partnership for development. The goals have been commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress. Following consultations among international agencies, including the World Bank, and the specialized agencies of the United Nations, the General Assembly recognized the Millennium Development Goals as part of the road-map for implementing the Millennium Declaration. Following are the eight millennium development goals, which are to be achieved by 2015 -
Goal 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2 – Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality
Goal 5 – Improve maternal health
Goal 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Goal 7 – Ensure environment sustainability
Goal 8 – Develop a global partnership for development
These are goals pledged by 189 Heads of States to adopt measures in the fight against poverty, hunger, illiteracy, gender inequality, disease and environmental degradation. The eight goals are divided into 18 targets comprising 48 indicators. The achievements with regard to various goals for India as per press note of Press Information Bureau Government of India which was released on December 6, 2007 are given below
Goal 1: As per Planning Commission estimates, the poverty ratio declined from 36 per cent in 1993-94 to 27.5 per cent in 2004-05. Regarding hunger, according to Report of the NSSO entitled, “Perceived Adequacy of Food Consumption in Indian Households 2004-05”, in the rural areas, the percentage of households where all the members reported enough food everyday throughout the year rose from 94.5 per cent in 1993-94 to 97.4 per cent in 2004-05. For urban areas the percentage of households who reported enough food everyday throughout the year increased from 98.1 per cent in 1993-94 to 99.4 per cent in 2004-05.
Goal 2: The number of out of school children declined from 32 million in 2001-02 to 7.1 million in 2005-06. The literacy rate increased from 52.2 per cent in 1991 to 64.9 per cent in 2001. The gross enrolment ratio in primary education crossed 100 per cent mark for both boys and girls.
Goal 3: Female-male proportion in primary education improved from 71:100 in 1990-91 to 88:100 in 2004-05. Similar proportion in secondary education improved from 50:100 to 71:100 during the same period. The gross enrollment ratio of girls increased by nearly 20 percentage points in the period, 2000-01 to 2004-05.
Goal 4: Under five mortality rate (U5MR) declined from 125 deaths per thousand live births in 1988-92 to 98 in 1998-2002. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) declined from 80 per thousand live births in 1990 to 58 in 2005.
Goal 5: The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) declined from 407 per 100,000 live births in 1998 to 301 during 2001-03. The proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel increased from 33 per cent in 1992-93 (National Family Health Survey – I (NFHS-1) to 48.3 per cent in 2005-06 (NFHS-III)
Goal 6: The prevalence of HIV among pregnant women declined from 0.74 per thousand pregnant women in 2002 to 0.68 in 2006. The death rate associated with TB declined from 42 deaths per 100,000 population in 1990 to 29 in 2004. The prevalence of Malaria declined. The proportion of TB patients successfully treated increased from 81 per cent in 1996 to 86 per cent in 2005.
Goal 7: As per assessment made in 2003, the total land area under forests is 20.64 per cent. The reserved and protected forests constitute 19 per cent of the total land area. The percentage of households having access to safe drinking water (water supplied from a tap, hand-pump/tube-well) increased from 62.3 per cent in 1991 to 78 per cent in 2001. The proportion of households having toilet/bathroom facilities within the house increased from 23.7 per cent in 1991 to 36.1 per cent in 2001.
Goal 8: The overall tele-density increased from 2.86 per cent in 2000 to 18.31 per cent in March 2007. Use of personal computers increased from 5.4 million in 2001 to 19.6 million in 2006 and there are 3.5 internet users per 100 population in March 2006.
The Government has not drawn any separate programme to meet the Millennium Development Goals. However, the Millennium Development Goals are quite similar to the objectives and targets laid down in the Five Year Plans. In fact, some of the targets as specified in the Approach Paper to the Eleventh Five Year Plan relating to poverty alleviation, infant mortality, maternal mortality, school enrolment, etc. are more ambitious than the ones specified in the Millennium Development Goals.