NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today said the government think-tank will come out with a ranking of 115 aspirational districts in the next two days. The Centre has embarked upon a major policy initiative for rapid transformation of 115 districts which are lagging on specific development parameters. “We are going to declare first ranking of (115 aspirational) districts within two days. And we will capture ranks of districts every month as it changes, how districts are going up or districts are coming down. “Our objective is that districts must make change on day to day basis,” Kant said at an event organised by NITI Aayog. He further said that while India has moved up 48 places in Ease of Doing Business rankings, the country’s rank in Human Development Index (HDI) is still low. “We are telling every district that presently where they stand today and how the best performing district in that state doing and and how the best performing district in India is doing,” Kant noted.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked collectors and officers-in-charge of the 115 aspirational districts to come up with pioneering innovations to achieve visible results for development by April 14, the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar. The officials concerned should focus on “low hanging” fruits to show results and create an atmosphere of optimism and positivity, Modi had said, adding that success stories are needed to change the psyche of people.
Calling for a concerted effort to achieve visible results in three months, Modi had said he would like to personally visit one such well-performing district in April, adding those 115 districts could become “the foundation for developing New India”.
Senior government officials of the rank of additional secretary and joint secretary have been designated as officers-in-charge to coordinate the efforts of the Centre and states in addressing the specific developmental needs of these districts. Kant today also signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with Piramal Foundation to work closely with the district collectors and key officers to support the transformation of aspirational districts.