NITI Aayog Praises J&K Govt For Raising SDG Score By 7 Points

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

Srinagar- In a significant achievement for the Jammu & Kashmir government, Indian think tank, NITI Aayog has praised the Union territory administration for its vigilant participation and valuable feedback that has helped India's progression in achieving 2030 agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

These details were among the facts emerging from sections of NITI Aayog's and United Nations joint report on the Indian model of SDG localisation. An analysis of the report reveals that in an attempt to attain 2030 SDG goal, J&K has created an institutional ownership in which the administration has constituted a high level committee, headed by the Chief Secretary of the UT, comprising the administrative secretaries of related departments to provide guidance and oversight.

“The Department of Planning Development & Monitoring (PD & MD) is the nodal department for monitoring SDGs in the UT. The SDG unit of the Department of PD & MD coordinates with line departments regarding implementation of the SDG framework,” the report reads.

Besides this, the report has also noted that among other states and UT's, J&K had also established a robust review and monitoring system, which is pillar two of SDG.

“Jammu and Kashmir has prepared a State Indicator Framework as well as District Indicator Framework. Metadata has been prepared and shared with all the departments and districts to ensure uniformity. SDG Progress Report 2020 with baseline data and progress up to the year 2018 has been released,” the report observed.

Pertinently, as per SDG India Index 2020-21 which ranks states and UTs on its performances, J&K's SDG score had increased by 7 points in 2021 taking the total score to 66 and pushing J&K into the front-runner category.

The NITI Aayog further mentioned that under the“DEVELOPING CAPACITIES FOR INTEGRATING THE SDGs IN PLANNING AND MONITORING”, In Jammu and Kashmir, a two-day state level workshop was organized to sensitize government officials on SDGs.“Additionally, back-to-village programmes have been organized wherein officials spend two days in villages to assess the status on the ground,” the report noted.

Notably, NITI Aayog said that SDG goal 2030 cannot occur without the states and UTs strengthening their adoption, implementation, and monitoring structures pertaining to the 2030 Agenda.

As per report, under the communication, awareness generation and advocacy on the SDGs, the UT realizes that capacity development is required at every level and sensitisation is very vital to integrate SDGs in all governance processes. In order to facilitate formulation of a localized indicator framework and capacity development at all levels, the UT government has partnered NITI Aayog and UNDP for conducting training programmes to help build capacity
on various aspects of monitoring the SDGs including methodology, identifying data sources, preparing metadata sheets etc.

“For sensitisation of officials, workshops are also organized by the UT government. Back to village programmes were organized by the government as a part of which the officers of the J&K Government at the highest levels visited villages and spent two-days in assessing the ground level development,” the report observed.

Also, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES) has been designated as the nodal agency for compilation, coordination and formulation of SDGs Action Plan.

“A Nodal Officer has also been nominated in the Secretariat for coordination on SDGs. Administrative Departments and District Development Commissioners have been directed to device strategies/action plans for implementation, monitoring & achievement of SDGs at their respective level,” the report said.

As per Niti Aayog, The government is planning to establish a Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Center (SDGCC) to fast track the progress on achieving the SDGs in the UT. Aligning plans with the SDGs: A separate chapter on SDGs, linking department priorities to various Goals and targets, is included in the Plan Document from 2018-19. SDG monitoring: Jammu and Kashmir has shortlisted 206 monitoring indicators covering 81 targets for UT level monitoring. This includes 23 UT-specific localized indicators.

The UT has also prepared the District Indicator Framework (DIF) for further localisation of the SDGs, the report noted.

The UT government is planning to develop an SDG dashboard, SDG Index for the UT and its districts for monitoring the implementation. Detailed metadata sheets are being prepared to get a clear picture of the various indicators.
SDG based budgeting: The budget has been aligned with SDGs since 2016-17.

Pertinently, J&K's in place mechanism for attaining 2030 SDG goal is among the systems developed by top states in India to achieve the laid down agenda.

All the targets set in the SDGs are being addressed through annual budget and annual plans. The report has also noted that all the departments/sectoral heads at the UT and district levels prepare the annual budget and annual plans which are targeted to achieve the desired objective under that particular sector.

“Strategies for Leaving No One Behind: Studies have been planned under Strengthening Statistical Systems (SSS) programme for upgrading the UT data and statistical system for a more robust SDG monitoring system, which will offer insights into the situation of at-risk and groups in situations of vulnerability,” the report noted.

Highlighting the success of the Indian model of localisation of Sustainable Development Goals, NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Suman Bery has said that nations must identify models that have produced results as“we do not have the luxury of time.”

“In this Decade of Action, we must identify models which have produced results. We do not have the luxury of time to develop solutions from scratch and perhaps the Indian model of SDG localisation is relevant. The path of attaining SDGs is long and challenging, but exciting and engaging,” Bery said.

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