SDGs Explained and Understanding India’s SDG Score in 2023

As a leading fundraising platform in India, here at Let it Count, we are always looking forward to the SDG report that’s released at the end of every year. From poverty to climate change, the report essentially tracks every issue under the sun.

The report serves as a reality check on the current state of affairs when it comes to the various issues plaguing our world. You get a good idea of just how close or far you are from ushering in an era of peace and prosperity for all in the world.

At the recent 2023 SDG Summit, it was stated that only 15% of the 169 SDG targets were on pace to be accomplished by 2030. If you dig deeper into the report, India’s situation looks even grimmer. Naturally, we were intrigued and concerned.

So we want to take this opportunity to shed light on the annual SDG report, explain what the intention behind it is, and how India is faring compared to other countries when it comes to the overall SDG score.

What SDGs Entail?

Established in 2015, the sustainable development goals are a set of 17 interconnected global objectives dictated by the United Nations. The objective of these SDGs is to establish a world that guarantees peace and prosperity for all by the year 2030.

The SDGs together can be characterized as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and achieve world peace. The 17 objectives at the heart of SDGs entail some of the most pressing issues that humanity faces today.

Each of these goals comes with specific targets (169 in total) that are designed to aid organizations, governments, and individuals in their pursuit of sustainable development on an international scale.

To dive deeper into the specifics, let’s touch on each of the 17 SDGs and their intended social impact.

  1. Zero Poverty: Eliminating poverty everywhere in all forms.
  2. Zero Hunger: Ensuring food security and improved nutrition so no one goes hungry ever again.
  3. Good Health and Well-being: Ensure people of all ages can live a healthy life.
  4. Quality Education: Ensuring quality education for all and increased learning opportunities that are inclusive.
  5. Gender Equality: Making sure women and girls all over the world are empowered.
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure access to clean drinking water and sustainable management of sanitation for all.
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure everybody has access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote inclusive economic growth and productive employment for all.
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Build strong infrastructure, foster innovation, and promote sustainable industrialization.
  10. Reduced Inequality: Eliminate inequality within and among countries
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities: Make human settlements like cities and towns more safe, inclusive, and sustainable.
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure consumption and production patterns are sustainable.
  13. Climate Action: Take immediate action to mitigate the impact of climate change.
  14. Life Below Water: Use oceans, seas, and marine resources conservatively.
  15. Life on Land: Promote, nurture, and restore terrestrial ecosystems and forests. Stop the loss of biodiversity and prevent land degradation.
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote a society that’s peaceful and inclusive. Ensure access to justice for all and establish accountable institutions at all levels.
  17. Partnerships for the Goals: Ensure collaborative partnership between UN members for competent implementation of sustainable development goals.

Looking at the goals, you can now understand why we at Let It Count wait for this report with bated breath every year. We are constantly supporting NGO initiatives trying to nip certain social issues in the bud.

As India is a signatory to the SDGs, we get a good idea of our country’s prospects when it comes to alleviating issues like poverty, and hunger, or ensuring gender equality through this report. As we checked the report this year, there were things that ignited hope within us and things that had us worried.

India’s Standing in the SDG Report over the Years

India, like many other developing countries today, has made significant strides in various areas. We do not want to deny that. The country has shown impressive progress in poverty reduction and economic growth. However, we still lag in clean water, gender equality, climate action, and sanitation.

From 2020 to 2022, India was consistently slipping in the SDG rankings. We went from a rank of 117 in 2020 to 120 in 2021 before falling even further in 2022 with a rank of 121. Fortunately, 2023 had us occupying the 112th rank with an SDG score of 63.45.

It is important to note that this number is still very low. It is worth mentioning here that countries with lower GDPs like Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Maldives rank higher than India.

Bangladesh, in particular, has made remarkable progress in the areas of gender equality, poverty eradication, and access to clean water. Despite its lower economic standing, Bangladesh is performing better than India in some key indicators.

Out of 125 countries, India ranked 111th on the Global Hunger Index. The country ranked 120 on the water quality index. Moreover, India ranked 127 out of 146 countries on the gender parity scale.

Despite the introduction of several progressive government policies and the best efforts of NGOs and corporations, something is amiss.

India’s Path Forward

As an organization that’s dedicated itself to uplifting the downtrodden, the SDG report has been alarming to us. As a nation, we’ve been trying to understand what can be done to ensure India is on the right track to improving its global rankings by the year 2030.

While significant strides have been made about poverty and education in India, it is clear that a concerted effort is essential to address several other pressing issues.  

We’ve had initiatives in recent years like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, National Clean Energy Mission, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and more that at the very least demonstrate India’s commitment to tackling the challenges outlined in the SDGs.

However, more needs to be done. Here are a few things that we can think of to achieve sustainable development:

  • Individuals and government need to hold companies accountable and compel them to follow SDG guidelines.
  • Businesses must be compelled to invest in green technologies and sustainable practices.
  • Prioritized investment in healthcare, education, and sustainable technologies is the need of the hour.
  • A collaborative effort between civil society, the private sector, academia, government, NGOs, and international communities is essential.


As a fundraising platform hosting numerous social initiatives, here at Let It Count, we understand the challenges that lie ahead for India. While the picture today might look grim, there is still a chance for us to turn the tables and strive towards prosperity for all in the country.

Everybody has a part to play in India’s journey toward sustainable development. Let It Count is doing its part by casting a spotlight on various initiatives that aim to address a diverse range of social issues.

From women empowerment to jail reforms and improving access to education, we are hosting initiatives on our platform that can transform lives and thus improve India’s SDG standing.

Visit the “Our Projects” page to explore initiatives that could thrive with your support.