Aspirational districts development

Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India & explain the nature of convergence, collaboration & Competition for its success. (2018)

The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme aims to expeditiously improve the socio-economic status of 117 districts from across 28 states.The programme focusses on 5 main themes – Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure, which have direct bearing on the quality of life and economic productivity of citizens.

Core Strategies of the programme are:

States as main drivers

▪️Work on the strength of each district.

▪️Make development as a mass movement in these districts.

▪️Identify low hanging fruits and the strength of each district, to act as a catalyst for development.

▪️Measure progress and rank districts to spur a sense of competition.

▪️Districts shall aspire to become State’s best to Nation’s best.

▪️The three core principles of the programme i.e. Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (among citizens and functionaries of Central & State Governments including district teams), and Competition among districts have been envisaged for the success of the programme.

Nature of Convergence, Collaboration and Competition

▪️The Aspirational Districts Programme is a product of collective and collaborative effort in which States are the main drivers which are being anchored by NITI Aayog.

▪️In addition, individual Ministries as well as administration of respective district have assumed responsibility to drive progress of districts. For each district, a central Prabhari offcer of the rank of Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary has been nominated.

▪️States have been requested to form a committee under Chief Secretary to implement the programme. States have also nominated nodal offcers and also State level Prabhari offcers.

▪️An Empowered Committee under the convenership of CEO, NITI Aayog has been notified to ensure convergence in schemes and address speciffic issues brought out by Prabhari offcers.

▪️NITI Aayog in partnering releases delta ranking for the districts. The purpose of this ranking is to spur a sense of competition among dynamic teams in districts.

As per UNDP’s 2018 Human Development Index wherein India is ranked 130 out of 189 countries, there are significant inter-state and inter-district disparity. By uplifting the districts which have shown relatively lesser progress in achieving key social outcome, India can move ahead in the Human Development Index which will promote inclusive development through transformative governance.

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