Delhi to miss few MDG's, 'on track' to achieve others

Most of the Millennium Development Goals have 'either been attained or likely to be achieved shortly', says Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia

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NEW DELHI, September 22: In spite of significant reduction in 'extreme poverty', infant and maternal mortality, and near universal enrollment in primary education, Delhi has failed to meet few parameters set by the Millennium Development Goals, although it is "on track" to achieve them shortly. The facts were put forth in a report released by the Delhi government today ahead of the high-level Sustainable Development Summit in New York on September 25, where 17 new goals, to replace the eight MDGs, are to be adopted by world leaders. The report said that the proportion of people below the poverty line in Delhi estimated for 2011-12 was 9.9 percent in comparison to 15.7 percent during 1993-94, the base year of MDG. Releasing the report, 'Millennium Development Goals Delhi State Report 2014' prepared by the Institute of Human Development (IHD) in collaboration with Delhi Planning Department, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that most of the goals have "either been attained or likely to be achieved shortly." Sisodia said that with the current 0.3 percent rate of reduction in poverty, the target of halving the poverty between 1990 and 2015 as per MDG will be achieved by 2017. Terming malnourishment of children as a significant indicator of food security, the report said that the percentage of underweight children (under 3 years) in Delhi decreased from 36.2 percent in 1992-93 to 24.9 percent in 2005-06. To halve the 1990 proportion, the required reduction for the next ten years is only 0.7 percent, which can be achieved easily, Sisodia said. The most notable achievement has expectedly been in the field of teledensity, i.e. telephone per 100 population, which jumped from 41.8 in 2004 to 218.9 in 2011. "There are 29.1 percent of households which have personal computers comprising 17.6 percent households having internet facility," the report said. On the primary education front, Sisodia said the net enrollment ratio in primary education was 97.6 per cent during 2012-13 and proportion of pupils completing it was 99.7 per cent in 2010-11, "near to universal" as envisaged in MDG. "The youth literacy rate (15-24 years old) was 96.46 percent during 2011-12. So, Delhi is near to achieve 100 percent Youth Literacy Rate by 2015," it said. Sisodia claimed that Delhi has already attained the target of eliminating gender disparity in primary education and was very close to attain the same in secondary and tertiary education. "Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector was 17.1 in 2011-12. Proportion of seats held by women in State Assembly was 4.3 percent in 2013 which increased to 8.6 percent in 2015," it report added. The under-5 child mortality rate during 1992 was 83.1 in Delhi which fell to 28 in 2012, while infant mortality rate was recorded at 25 in 2012 in comparison to 36 in 1998. "Both of these targets of reducing child mortality rate are likely to be achieved by 2015," the report said. However, the city will miss the 100 percent target rate set for the proportion of 1-year olds to be immunised against measles. "...likely achievement by the year 2015 will be 89.05 percent," it said. In the field of maternal health, which is the fifth MDG, the report says that the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel in Delhi during 2012 was 84.7 percent, out of which 81.4 percent were institutional births, which is expected to go up to 86.4 percent by 2015. It claimed success in combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases in recent years. Tuberculosis prevalence rate has been reduced to 67.7 per one lakh population in 2010 as opposed to 284.5 in 2004. In ensuring environmental sustainability, it said that Delhi has appreciably widened the forest and tree cover in the city from 1.5 percent to 20 percent in 2011. "Percentage of households with sustainable access to an improved water source in Delhi as per 2011 census is 81.3 percent, which was 75.3 percent in 2001. 89.6 percent households had the sanitation facility in 2011 in comparison to 78 percent in 2001. The percentage of slum households in 2001 was 16.3 which comes to 11.3 in 2011 census," it said.