With the Prelims approaching fast, I know you feel anxious and nervous about your GS Score .There is always doubt if you have done enough and if you will make the cut-off or not.
Often, the difference between those who clear the Prelims and those who don’t is just a few marks here and there. With only a few days left, can you tilt this narrow margin in your favor?
You can do this while remaining within the bounds of legality and the rules of the examination. That said, the rules of the examination apply only when you are in the Examination hall and not while you are preparing for the same. It is here that you can increase your chances of success.
The purpose of this fact-sheet is to boost your GS Score in the upcoming Prelims, hopefully enough to get you across the cut-off. This does not mean that this Fact-Cheat sheet will be enough. Far from it. However, it means that once you have done all the essential hard work of preparation, it can help you get those few marks which will take you across the GS score cut-off.
Why is this called the Prelims Fact-cheat ?
Because one, anything which gets you an advantage over your competition WITHOUT much laborious effort is called a hack or a cheat code. Every examination has weaknesses and your job is to find out what those are and exploit them to the hilt.
Two, The UPSC exam has certain specific weaknesses which can be used to your advantage if you know what they are. One of them is that the UPSC is bound to ask you questions which are relevant and current- in both Prelims and Mains but more so in Prelims.
This goes beyond just ”Current Affairs”. It means that the UPSC wants to test your overall awareness of not just the events which occur in the world, but the impact of those events.
In fact many times, the questions in Prelims emanate from the indirect impact of a current event instead of asking about the event directly.
We are witnessing a Mega-event as far as human history is concerned in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic is an event of such magnitude that it can hardly be realized at the present moment. it will become clearer as we go ahead in time and look back to realize that one fine day, a virus held humanity helplessly hostage and killed millions while we straggled and locked ourselves in clinging on to dear life.
You can expect the questions about the Covid-19 Mega event not be direct but about the implications it has had across the board. This is the reason that this Prelims cheat-sheet explicitly includes and explains the impact.
Third, the UPSC is bound to ask you questions from official government-recognized sources. This becomes obvious when you consider the fact that the UPSC is a constitutional, government organ which is tasked with recruitment for the executive branch of the Indian Government. From start to finish, all of this is OFFICIAL and recognised. This essentially means that the UPSC can never ask questions in the Prelims or Mains exam from spurious or unauthentic sources.
Once you know this and realize it’s powerful ramifications, you will be able to narrow down your sources of information.
Fourth, information which is visually presented is remembered more efficiently and is therefore, easier to recall.
You will find that this Fact-cheet sheet has taken care of all the above factors to a large extent.
Prelims GS Fact Cheet Sheet explained
I found that specifically, the 17 SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) information furbished on the official of the United Nations is god-send for UPSC aspirants. The issues involved in the SDG are the biggest issues facing all of humanity. By default, these are also the biggest issues facing India.
The list of issues has been very carefully drafted by the United Nations and covers topics from poverty to education. These SDGs are fundamental to the idea of inclusive growth in the world and apply specially to India which is one of the most populous nations in the world consisting of millions of people affected by these goals.
This Fact-Cheat covers the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which makes it highly relevant from the point of view of General studies and the upcoming Prelims exam.
Do not be surprised if you find some direct questions in the Prelims from this fact-cheat sheet.
I am reproducing the facts and images from the UN website here in one page for ease of perusal but you can also go directly to the source from this link.
You can simply save the infographics on your phone or laptop and look at them every time to time, which will serve as good revision for the upcoming Prelims.
Start with this video to get a general idea about the SDG and the Covid-19 impact
History of SDG
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
The SDGs build on decades of work by countries and the UN, including the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- In June 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 178 countries adopted Agenda 21, a comprehensive plan of action to build a global partnership for sustainable development to improve human lives and protect the environment.
- Member States unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Summit led to the elaboration of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.
- The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation, adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002, reaffirmed the global community’s commitments to poverty eradication and the environment, and built on Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration by including more emphasis on multilateral partnerships.
- At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012, Member States adopted the outcome document “The Future We Want” in which they decided, inter alia, to launch a process to develop a set of SDGs to build upon the MDGs and to establish the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The Rio +20 outcome also contained other measures for implementing sustainable development, including mandates for future programmes of work in development financing, small island developing states and more.
- In 2013, the General Assembly set up a 30-member Open Working Group to develop a proposal on the SDGs.
- In January 2015, the General Assembly began the negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda. The process culminated in the subsequent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 SDGs at its core, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
- 2015 was a landmark year for multilateralism and international policy shaping, with the adoption of several major agreements:
- Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (March 2015)
- Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (July 2015)
- Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 SDGs was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015.
- Paris Agreement on Climate Change (December 2015)
- Now, the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development serves as the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the SDGs.
Today, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and Small Island Developing States. DSDG plays a key role in the evaluation of UN systemwide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to the SDGs. In order to make the 2030 Agenda a reality, broad ownership of the SDGs must translate into a strong commitment by all stakeholders to implement the global goals. DSDG aims to help facilitate this engagement.
India and SDG- Prelims 2020 centric
The Government of India is strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs, as evidenced by the statements of the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers at national and international meetings. India’s national development goals and its “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” or “development with all, and for all,” policy initiatives for inclusive development converge well with the SDGs, and India will play a leading role in determining the success of the SDGs, globally. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted, “These goals reflect our evolving understanding of the social, economic and environmental linkages that define our lives.”.
National Action on the SDGs in India
NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s premier think tank, has been entrusted with the task of coordinating the SDGs. NITI Aayog has undertaken a mapping of schemes as they relate to the SDGs and their targets, and has identified lead and supporting ministries for each target. They have adopted a government-wide approach to sustainable development, emphasising the interconnected nature of the SDGs across economic, social and environmental pillars. States have been advised to undertake a similar mapping of their schemes, including centrally sponsored schemes.
In addition, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has been leading discussions for developing national indicators for the SDGs. State governments are key to India’s progress on the SDG Agenda and several of them have already initiated action on implementing the SDGs.
State governments are key to India’s progress on the SDG Agenda as they are best placed to ‘put people first’ and to ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’. Many of the Government’s flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India are at the core of the SDGs. State and local governments play a pivotal role in many of these programmes.
The role of local governments is equally important; 15 of the 17 SDGs directly relate to activities undertaken by local governments in the country. State governments are paying keen attention to visioning, planning, budgeting, and developing implementation and monitoring systems for the SDGs.
Advocating the broad-based consultative process that characterizes the new global agenda process, the United Nations in India supported the participation of civil society organizations, think tanks and the Indian media in discussions at intergovernmental negotiations, seminars on financing for development and sustainable development and side sessions at the International Conference on Financing for Development at Addis Ababa and during the General Assembly in New York.
The UN Country Team in India supports NITI Aayog in its efforts to address the interconnectedness of the goals, to ensure that no one is left behind and to advocate for adequate financing to achieve the SDGs. In close collaboration with NITI Aayog and partners, the UN has supported thematic consultations on the SDGs to bring together various state governments, central ministries, civil society organizations and academia to deliberate on specific SDGs.
The UN in India currently supports state governments in localizing the SDGs to address key development challenges at the state level.
India and Goal 1 – Prelims 2020 centric Info
Global reduction in extreme poverty was driven mainly by Asia – notably China and India. Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, the incidence of multidimensional poverty in India was almost halved, climbing down to 27.5 percent from 54.7 percent as per the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index report. Within ten years, the number of poor people in India fell by more than 271 million (from 635 million to 364 million). Traditionally disadvantaged subgroups such as rural dwellers, scheduled castes and tribes, Muslims, and young children are still the poorest in 2015-16. However, the biggest reductions in multidimensional poverty has been witnessed among the poorest and traditionally disadvantaged groups – across states, castes, religions and age-groups. Multidimensional poverty among children under 10 has fallen the fastest. In 2005-06 there were 292 million poor children in India, so the latest figures represent a 47 percent decrease or a 136 million fewer children growing up in multidimensional poverty. The Government of India has many progressive schemes, including the world’s largest employment guarantee scheme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, and the National Social Assistance Programme.
- By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than USD1.25 a day.
- By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
- Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
- By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.
- By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate- related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
- Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.
- Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.
India and Goal 2 – Prelims 2020 centric Info
South Asia still faces one of the greatest hunger burden, with over 15% of the population considered undernourished. How we grow and consume our food has a significant impact on levels of hunger, but it doesn’t end there. If done right, agriculture and forests can become sources of decent incomes for the global population, the engines of rural development, and our vanguard against climate change. The agricultural sector accounts for about 40% of the total employment in India. However, the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors contribute only 15.5% to GDP value added. The Government of India has prioritised strengthening agriculture through measures in irrigation, crop insurance, and improved varieties. The government has also taken critical steps to enhance food security, including through an India-wide targeted public distribution system, a National Nutrition Mission and the National Food Security Act. The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and many national schemes on horticulture, agricultural technology and livestock are leading the way in improving India’s agriculture.
- By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
- By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.
- By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.
- By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
- By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.
- Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.
- Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.
- Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.
India and Goal 3 – Prelims 2020 centric Info
India has made some progress in reducing its under-five mortality rate, which declined from 125 per 1,000 live births in 1990-91 to 50 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16, and its maternal mortality rate, which declined from 212 per 100,000 live births in 2007-09 to 167 in 2013. India has also made significant strides in reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS across different types of high-risk categories, with adult prevalence reducing from 0.45% in 2002 to 0.27% in 2011. However, a quarter of global TB cases occur in India where nearly 2.1 million people live with the disease, and an estimated 423,000 die annually as a result. The Indian government’s National Health Mission prioritises national wellbeing and is leading change in this area, in addition to targeted national programmes against HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.
Targets for Goal 3
- By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
- By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
- By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
- By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
- Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
- By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.
- By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
- Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
- By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
- Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.
- Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.
- Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing states.
- Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.
CONTINUED IN PART 2.