Aspirational district programme shining example of cooperative federalism: Jitendra Singh
New Delhi, May 7 (PTI) The aspirational district programme (ADP) has emerged as a shining example of competitive and cooperative federalism, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2018, the ADP is aimed at localising sustainable development goals, leading to the progress of the nation, said Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel.
In a statement issued on Saturday by the ministry here, Singh said the aspirational district concept is based on objective parameters and the programme is scientifically designed with evaluation based on certain essential indices.
Accordingly, 112 districts were identified across the country for special focus to bring about transformation, said Singh, while reviewing the progress of work being carried out in Sitamarhi district of Bihar on Friday evening under the ADP.
Sitamarhi is one of the 13 aspirational districts in Bihar.
Singh said ADP has emerged as a shining example of competitive and cooperative federalism, where districts are prodded and encouraged 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, the statement said.
He said that 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 through monthly delta ranking; all driven by a mass movement.
Regarding the work done in Sitamarhi under ADP, Singh noted with satisfaction that it has made considerable improvement across various socio-economic indicators and the district is one of the top performers from the state under the education scheme.
In education, the district has strived to improve the pupil-teacher ratio in elementary schools' from 16 per cent to 35 per cent in the last four years, indicating improvement in governance and capacity building, the statement said.
Sitamarhi is also nearing saturation in indicators related to school infrastructure and has also initiated innovative best practices such as initiation of modern libraries, initiating a mass movement to have wholehearted participation from students, teachers and parents, which can be replicated in other districts, it said.
Singh was given a detailed presentation by District Magistrate Sunil Kumar Yadav and apprised him of the progress made in key indicators related to pregnant women health and child nutrition that address issues like Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
The district has shown good improvement in indicators such as percentage of institutional deliveries', percentage of children fully immunised, and percentage of underweight children under 6 years', the statement said.
The minister directed the concerned officers to work with utmost dedication in order to be amongst the top in the ranks of the programme.
The district magistrate informed that based on good work done in Agriculture and Water Resources' on ADP indicators, Sitamarhi has been rewarded with five projects with estimated cost Rs 302.69 lakh on 22nd March 2022 that include establishment of mushroom spawn production unit and establishment of custom hiring centre of farm machinery for purpose of agriculture mechanisation in Sitamarhi, it said.
Referring to the prime minister's special focus on financial inclusion, Singh directed the officials to work hard and strive for saturation in financial inclusion that is number of Jan Dhan accounts opened' and in health that is percentage of children fully immunised (9-11 months).
The district also needs to improve the administrative reported data quality, the minister added.
The Centre has directed Union ministers to visit different aspirational districts for official appraisal of the ground level assessment of the initiative.
The broad outline of the programme includes convergence, collaboration and competition among districts through monthly delta ranking, all driven by a mass movement.
With states as the main drivers, this programme focuses on the strength of each district, identifying low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement and measuring progress by ranking districts on a monthly basis.
The ranking is based on the incremental progress made across 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under five broad socio-economic themes -- health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and infrastructure.
The delta ranking of aspirational districts and the performance of all districts is available on the champions of change dashboard, the statement said.