Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog (File Photo)
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog (File Photo)

3 Jharkhand districts top NITI Aayog’s ‘Aspirational Districts’ list

ANI | Updated: Mar 06, 2019 22:50 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 6 (ANI): Three districts of Jharkhand - Chatra, Sahibganj and Hazaribagh – have topped NITI Aayog’s list of ‘Aspirational Districts’ for December 2018 – January 2019 period.
Linking the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme’ with India’s pursuit of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NITI Aayog organised a conference on implementation of SDGs in Aspirational Districts.
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog addressed the valedictory session of the conference on Wednesday, while other technical sessions included participation of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary Preeti Sudan, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer and representatives of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, State officials, Central Prabhari Officers and District Collectors/Magistrates.
The conference included deliberations on key SDGs and best practices to help achieve it and  featured presentations by State representatives who have done well on the SDG India Index on key themes of health, education and water resources.
Kant also felicitated 18 fast moving ‘Aspirational Districts’, on the basis of delta rankings calculated in November – December 2018 and December 2018 - January 2019 on the basis of the ‘Champions of Change’ dashboard, a statement read.
“These delta rankings reflect overall improvements made across sectors and sector-specific ranks in the domains of Health and Nutrition, Agriculture and Water Resources, Education, Skill Development and Financial Inclusion and Basic Infrastructure,” the statement added.
The Aspirational Districts programme has evolved from the principle of ‘Convergence of Schemes’ to provision of additional financial resources to the Districts to undertake innovative projects that significantly improve the indicators.
Earlier this year, the Department of Public Enterprises notified rules mandating 60 per cent of CSR allocation of CPSEs under health, nutrition and education to be spent on projects in Aspirational Districts.
On Wednesday, additional funding to the tune of about Rs 1,000 crore was announced for two years for projects under challenge method to be rewarded to top performing districts every month as per improvement made in the delta ranking.
“Promoting the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, the districts will be supplied supplementary funding from the Government of India to focus on key projects in their districts. There will also be a team of experts housed in NITI Aayog, who will provide necessary technical assistance for preparing feasibility reports, monitoring and evaluation support to the projects to ensure transparent and targeted expenditure,” the statement read.
It added that the funding allocation has been designed in a manner such that districts having mineral fund accrual annually of more than Rs 30 crore do not receive this additional allocation but are encouraged to continue focusing on bettering governance structures and implementation efficiency.
However, these districts were recognised for their performance by the NITI Aayog through a special commendation during the conference, the statement said.
“To ensure fairness and parity of allocation, districts which receive funding under this scheme, will not be eligible for the same under any category in a calendar year. And in the interest of transparency and effective utilisation of the funds, detailed guidelines will soon be notified,” it added.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2018, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme aims to quickly and effectively transform the most underserved 112 districts across India. The broad contours of the programme are Convergence of central and state schemes, collaboration of central, state level ‘Prabhari’ officers and district collectors, and competition among districts driven by a mass movement at the grassroots which realises the aspirations of a ‘New India’. (ANI)