NITI Aayog launches ranking of ‘aspirational districts’
New Delhi: The NITI Aayog on Wednesday launched the baseline ranking for 101 aspirational districts based on 49 indicators across several sectors including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources.
The other sectors include financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that a few more districts will be added to the list taking the total to around 115.
From May onwards, the districts will be ranked on their incremental progress, hence exemplifying and encouraging the spirit of competitive federalism, he said.
“The aspirational districts programme, through real-time monitoring and proactive course corrections, reinforces the mechanisms of cooperative and competitive federalism between the Centre and the states, down to the districts,” he said.
According to the baseline rankings, the worst performing districts in the country are Mewat (Haryana), Asifabad (Telangana) and Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh).
Kant said the ‘Champions of Change’ dashboard for real-time data collection and monitoring 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.
“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 said that unless these backward districts — which the NITI Aayog has dubbed as aspirational districts — improve, India cannot progress at high growth rates.
“We want to create competition at the state, district and even the block level. Why do some districts lag on crucial indicators of human development while other districts in the same State excel? Bridging this ‘distance to frontier’ is key to ensuring the states’ prosperity and the nation’s progress,” he added.