CURRENT AFFAIRS 18 April 2018 Aspirational District Programme (ADP)
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NITI Aayog has recently launched the baseline ranking for 115 aspirational districts. This is in line with the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) announced earlier by the Prime Minister. What is ADP?
It aims to quickly and effectively transform some of India’s most underdeveloped districts. It will identify areas of immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts. The broad ideas of the programme include – convergence of central and state schemes collaboration of central, state level ‘Prabhari’ (in-charge) officers and district collectors competition among districts The states are the main drivers in the programme. Deliberately, the districts have been described as aspirational rather than backward. The motive is to view them as areas of opportunity and hope rather than of distress and hopelessness.
The ADP brings together all levels of government, from central and state officers driving operations, to the district collectors implementing innovative measures on the ground. It also tracks progress through real-time data collection. A critical aspect of the programme’s approach is its focus on district-specific strengths and the identification of low-hanging fruit. What are the areas that will yield immediate improvement in each district? In addition to tailoring interventions to districts, the programme is novel in four important ways: shifting the focus to socio-economic outcomes, placing data at the core of policymaking, emphasising collaboration across various levels of government, and partnering with civil society.
The programme shifts the focus away from output and draws attention to socio-economic outcomes. To provide an initial benchmark for the programme, the government has collected statistics on 49 indicators across five core dimensions: health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion, agriculture and water resources, skill development and basic infrastructure. Not all dimensions are considered equal in the construction of the composite index for each district, acknowledging the specific nature of India’s development challenges. For example, health and nutrition and education are each given a 30% weightage in the index. These two areas account for 21 of the 49 indicators.