The NITI Aayog on March 28, 2018 launched the baseline ranking for 101 aspirational districts based on 49 indicators across several sectors including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure.
The ranking was released by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who stated that a few more districts will be added to the list taking the total to around 115. Speaking on the same, Amitabh Kant said that the initiative is aimed at creating competition at the state, district and even the block level.
"People will know which districts are performing well and which are lagging behind. So there will be pressure from district-level officials to the MLAs, MPs and the Chief Minister to improve the performance of those districts creating a healthy competition among them," he added.
Kant further said that unless these backward districts, chosen as aspirational districts improve, India cannot progress at high growth rates.
• The chosen districts for the Aspirational Districts programme will be ranked on their incremental progress, exemplifying and encouraging the spirit of competitive federalism.
• The programme, through real-time monitoring and proactive course corrections, will reinforce the mechanisms of cooperative and competitive federalism between the Centre and the states, down to the districts.
• The districts would be able to learn from each other's experiences using the ‘best practices’ document that NITI Aayog has prepared and circulated to the district collectors.
• According to the baseline rankings, the worst performing districts in the country are Mewat in Haryana, Asifabad in Telangana and Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh.
Champions of Change
• The ‘Champions of Change’ dashboard was created by NITI Aayog in partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh for monitoring the real-time progress of the districts.
• The dashboard will be open for public viewing from April 1.
• The dashboard will facilitate district collectors of all the aspirational districts to input the latest available data of their respective districts.
• A workshop was organized on March 23 to train representatives of the districts to familiarise them with the dashboard and its functioning, including data input, verification and presentation.
• The districts will start entering the data from April 1, 2018 and beginning May 2018, the districts will be ranked based on progress made on a real-time basis.
About ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme
• The programme was launched Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2018.
• It aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.
• The broad outline of the programme includes convergence, collaboration and competition among districts driven by mass movement.
• The program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the growing economy.
• With states as the main drivers, the program will focus on the strength of each district, identify the low points that seek immediate improvement, measure the progress and rank districts.
• The main areas of focus would include health & nutrition, education, agriculture & water resources, financial inclusion & skill development and basic infrastructure.
• 49 key performance indicators have been chosen to measure the progress of the districts.
Who: NITI Aayog