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Fewer, effective development goals will help India much more

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Bjron Lomborg dicusses the smartest post-2015 development targets for a prosperous India

Over the last 15 years, India has experienced large strides in its development, not the least urged by the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015. Impressively, India has reached the target of halving the proportion of people in poverty in 2011-12, well ahead of this year’s deadline. From almost half of all Indians below $1.25 per day in 1994, more than three in four are now above the poverty line.

India has also achieved near-complete primary education, up from about 70% in 1999. In 1990, 3.3 million Indian children died each year before their fifth birthday. This year, it is likely that less than 1.3 million children will die. With the MDGs, India had promised to cut child mortality rates by two-thirds or down to 1 million child deaths, so it will fail this promise. But it is important to keep a perspective: With a strong political effort along with better technology and nutrition over the past 25 years, India now saves two million children from dying each year.

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