Sustainable Development Goals Current Affairs - 2020

23rd June: United Nations Public Service Day

By adopting resolution 57/277 on 20th December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated 23rd June to be observed as ‘United Nations Public Service Day’ in order to highlight the value and virtue of public service to the community.

The day is also observed so that the value of public service for the development of the society can be understood by the younger generation, further they can be encouraged to pursue careers in the public sector.

Significance for 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions and has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people globally.  At these difficult times when health care organizations are strained, lockdowns have led to a loss of jobs and financial crisis, education system, social life, etc are disrupted, this year’s United Nations Public Service Day is to honour the frontline workers (Healthcare, sanitation, public servants, social welfare groups, transportation, law enforcement etc) who risk their lives to provide the essential services for the society.

Public Service for SDGs

For countries to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is essential that the public institutions in an economy are inclusive, effective, and accountable for all in society. The day is also to remind Governments across the world that the critical and essential role public administration plays towards improving people’s lives.

State of India’s Environment Report

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released the State of India’s Environment, 2020 report. The CSE also publishes the environment magazine called Down to Earth.

Key Findings

According to the report, around 19 major events have claimed 1,357 lives in 2019. More than 50 lakh internal displacements have occurred in India in 2019. This is the highest in the world according to the report. One on five internal displacements caused by disasters in the world were in India.

The floods that occurred due to South West Monsoon caused 26 lakh displacements. Cyclone Fani created 18 lakh displacements. The displacements increased further due to cyclones Vayu and Bulbul.

The draught conditions in the states created 63,000 displacements.

The state wise ranking was also made on water resources management and environment. The National average on governance of environment was 5.16 on 10. Punjab alone had a score greater than that of the national average. Score of Punjab was 5.2.

Observations of the report

The report observed that India’s ranking in terms of Sustainable Development Goals has slipped to 114 in 2019 as compared to 115 in 2018. This was achievable as India took certain measures to end poverty (SDG 1), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).