About the programme
- Launched in January 2018, the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is one of the largest experiments on outcomes-focused governance in the world.
- The ADP is NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative to uplift those backward 115 districts that are lagging behind in specific development parameters of health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure.
- The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a spirit of mass Movement.
- With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
Selection of districts
- 115 districts were identified using a composite index of key data sets that included deprivation enumerated under the Socio-Economic Caste Census, key health and education sector performance and state of basic infrastructure.
- NITI Aayog anchors the programme with support from Central Ministries and the State Governments.
- While NITI Aayog is steering the initiative in 30 districts, various central ministries oversee 50 districts besides the Ministry of Home Affairs, which focuses on 35 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts.
- Officers at the level of Joint Secretary / Additional Secretary have been nominated to become the ‘Central Prabhari Officers’ of each district.
- States have appointed state-nodal and Prabhari officers.
- An Empowered Committee under the Convenorship of the CEO, NITI Aayog will help in the convergence of various government schemes and streamlining of efforts.
- To enable optimum utilization of their potential, this program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the vibrant economy.
- Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure are this programme’s core areas of focus.
- The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts based on 49 indicators (81 data-points) from the 5 identified thematic areas.
- Districts are aspiring to first catch-up with the best district within their State, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others in the spirit of competitive & cooperative federalism.
Why in News?
- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has lauded the Aspirational Districts Programme as a very successful model of local area development. It said, this programme should serve as a best practice for several other countries where regional disparities in development status persist for many reasons. It was stated in an independent appraisal report released today.
- UNDP’s analysis found that the programme has acted as a catalyst for expediting development in these districts.
- The United Nations Development Programme is the global development network of the United Nations.
- UNDP’s mandate is to end poverty, build democratic governance, rule of law, and inclusive institutions.
- It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations and advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves.