New Delhi: Despite the latest Sample
Registration System data showing a decline in infant mortality
rate, India is likely to miss the Millennium Development Goal
(MDG) on reducing under-five deaths, experts say.
MDGs are a set of eight targets laid down by the UN to
measure achievements in human and social developments by the
year 2015. Its fourth goal calls for reducing infant mortality
rate (IMR) -- number of infant (below 1 year) deaths per 1000
live births -- to 28 and the Under 5 mortality (U5MR) to 42
per 1,000 live births.
The SRS data, released recently, shows that India has
registered a 3-point decline in IMR -- from 53 in 2008 to 50
in 2009 -- and reduction of five points in U5MR from 69 in
2008 to 64 in 2009.
It also said that Kerala and Tamil Nadu (with IMR 12
and 28 respectively) have achieved the MDG target and four
more states are close to the targets. The IMR in Delhi was 33,
while it was 31 in Maharashtra and 33 in West Bengal.
Similarly, in U5MR, states like Kerala (14), Tamil
Nadu (33), Maharashtra (36), Delhi (37) and West Bengal (40)
have already achieved the MDG target of 42 by 2015, it said.
But according to experts, these states constitute only
22.6 per cent of India`s under-5 population as against the
Empowered Action Group States which constitute 63 per cent of
"We know that some states are doing better than others
in reducing the deaths of children under 5 years. But it
remains that five to six states are keeping India from
achieving the MDGs and it is here that we need to concentrate
our efforts," said Thomas Chandy of international NGO Save the
Dola Mahapatra, Director ChildFund India, said, "Some
states, as the SRS data says, may have made some progress, but
the country as a whole has a long way to go."