Goans have been expressing their concern over the State heading down the path of unsustainable development. While there is no debate over the State success in reducing poverty levels and increasing literacy rates, the issue of unsustainable development is largely associated with public infrastructure projects, real estate and red industries. Interestingly, the recent SDG India Index Baseline Report 2018 reveals the shortfalls in Goa’s growth story and the need for urgent reforms in various sectors. Avinash Tavares takes a close look at the numbers and what they reveal
How sustainable are Goa’s Policies
The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals which set out a universal and an unprecedented agenda which embraces economic, environmental and social aspects of the wellbeing of societies.
The SDGs are a bold universal set of 17 Goals and 169 targets to help organize and streamline development actions for greater achievement of human well-being, while leaving no one behind through poverty eradication, human health and sanitation to urban settlements and to safeguarding the global ecosystems on which humanity depends for its survival by 2030. The SDG India Index Baseline Report 2018 presents the achievements of the States since the two years in achieving the 17 goals.
All India Average Score :54
According to the report, Goa has 5.09% people living below poverty line. But Goa has a very low Proportion of the population (out of total eligible population) receiving social protection benefits under Maternity Benefit of 7.4%. In comparison, Mizoram has 47.5%. of the population receiving maternity benefits. The number of homeless in Goa is 1.62 for every 10000 people. Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest number of homesless people ( 0.23) after Lakshwadeep (0)
All India Average Score: 48
Goa has a very high percentage of Below Poverty Line population covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS). Goa also has the lowest Percentage of children under age 5 years who are stunted among all other states, although, at 20.1%, by Goa’s own standards, this number is could have been reduced. Also, the percentage of pregnant women who are anemic in the State is 26.70%, which is shockingly high for Goa’s standard of living and access to nutrition and healthcare.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
by aiming to end all forms of malnutrition, including stunting and wasting
All India Average Score: 52
Goa has a mere 42 governmental physicians, nurses and midwives per 1,00,000 population. This number is extremely low when compared to states like Mizoram (434.82) , Kerala (762.13) and Daman and Diu(343.82). Goa had not submitted data on Maternity Mortality. Goa scores relatively high on infant mortality rate, the percentage of children immunized and the number of Tuberculosis cases detected.
Goal 4: Quality Education
All India Average Score: 58
The report claims that Goa has one of the lowest dropout rates (11.15%) and also one of the highest Pupil-Teacher Ratio less of less than 30 students ( 90.29). Unfortunately, the learning outcomes of students are very low. 49% of students responded correctly on Learning Outcomes in Language, Mathematics and EVS for Class 5 students while for Class 8, the percentage drops to 42.25. In other words, students attend schools but the quality of learning is poor.
All India Average Score : 36
Except for Kerala and Sikkim, all other States have performed poorly in achieving this goal. Interestingly, Goa had not submitted its data on sex ratio. For a State which is highly educated, the percentage of women using modern methods of family planning is just 23%. Only 5 % of seats of the Assembly election were won by women. The percentage of the number of women in the workforce is low as compared to the percentage of the number of men in the workforce (0.33). The average salary of women in Goa is also lower than the average salary of men (0.82%). In Daman and Diu, the percentage is 1.01% indicating that women are earning more than men.
All India Average Score : 63
The report reveals that Goa has no district that is open defecation free. Only 51.43 of urban areas has sewerage treatment capacity. The positives are that Goa has a very high percentage of population having safe and adequate drinking water in rural areas (99.86%) and a very low percentage of groundwater extraction against net water availability(33%).
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
All India Average Score : 51
The report states that 100% of homes in Goa are electrified whereas 84.1% of homes used clean cooking fuel. On the downside, just 1.56% of power utilized is from renewable sources. Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagal Haveli and Daman and Diu is powered entirely by renewable energy
All India Average Score: 65
The report claims that there are just 120.50 unemployed for every 1000 persons. The actual number is certainly higher. On the positive side, the report states that 100% households have a bank account, Goa has a high GDP and the highest number of ATMs per capita.
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and
All India Average Score : 44
This goal was assessed based on four parameters, Percentage of targeted habitations connected by all-weather roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the number of mobile connections per 100 persons, Number of Internet Subscribers per 100 population and Percentage of Gram Panchayats covered under Bharat Net.
Goa has score 0 because they have not submitted any of this data. There is no doubt, if the data had to be submitted, the score would be higher than average.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
All India Average Score : 71
On the positive side, the Palma Ratio (measure for equality) is very high in Goa for urban and rural household (around 0.8). However, Goa lost points as a result of the very low utilization of Scheduled Caste Sub Plan fund (29.5%) and Tribal Sub Plan fund (30.45%). Goa has not presented information about transgender employment.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
All India Average Score : 39
Surprisingly, the report states that 100% of all wards in Goa have door to door collection. The reality is far lower. The report also states that only 1.8% of the population lives in slums and 62% of waste is processed. The accuracy of both these figures is also questionable since many slum areas across Goa have not been declared as slums and the waste processing activity is largely unorganized and unmonitored.
Only 35.71 % of the total demand for houses has been completed under Pradhan Mantri AwasYojna. Although this number may seem low, this is the highest figure among all States with Jharkhand at a distant second with 16.38%.
Goas’ Rank : 1th (along with 5 other States
All India Average Score : 90
The report claims that the percentage of forests in Goa has increased from 2015 to 2017 by 0.51%. It also states that from 2005 to 2015 there has been a 10.53% increase in the extent of water bodies in forest areas. In Manipur, this figure is 81%. Another positive parameter is that 60.21% of total land area in Goa covered under forest.
Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong
All India Average Score : 71
The report states that 100% of Goa’s population is covered under Aadhar. Goa also has a comparatively low number of reported crimes against children (44.2 per lakh population), number of murders (1.5 per lakh population) and estimated number of courts (36.28 per lakh population).
Goa is also reported to have just 3.96 estimated reported corruption crimes per 1 crore population, which may not reflect the actual number of corruption cases detected but go unreported or unregistered.
Curiously, in the Report the three other Goals namely Sustainable Consumption And Production, Life Below Water, Climate Action have been linked to the other 13 goals. It would have been interesting to assess States on measures such as ambient air quality, plastic waste generation etc.
While the report is far from comprehensive, it has succeeded in quantifying “sustainability”, which till now was a vague term often misused. Goa has the potential to implement reforms very quickly as demonstrated during the implementation of Aadhar card and DDSSY health insurance scheme.
Although Goa has achieved a high score in many of the Goals, the data which was presented is questionable. If the state has to successfully achieve the goals, the government be honest and submit accurate data. The state also has to broaden and refine its data collection. The Village Development Committee has proven that they are an effective platform to reach out every household and gather data.
Finally, As many as 17 States/UTs have prepared their Vision/ Action Plan 2030. They have strategized their Visions to align with their priorities. For example, Assam was the first state to formally adopt 2030 Agenda and lay out its development pathway in “Vision Assam 2030”. Andhra Pradesh soon followed and released “Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Vision 2029” that aims at transforming the State into “A happy and globally competitive society” by 2029. Goa is yet to prepare its vision/action plan which also includes setting up the implementation structure, mapping development programmes, capacity development, and Linking SDGs and Budgets.
As the report states, “The SDGs represent a transformative agenda and will not be achieved through ‘business-as-usual’ approach. In all different policy and action domains discussed above, innovative, efficient, holistic, and disruptive initiatives only can put India on a fast-track to achieve the SDGs.”