Niti Aayog releases second Delta Ranking of Aspirational districts

The government think tank, Niti Ayog has released the second Delta Ranking of the Aspirational Districts Programme. The second delta ranking measures the incremental progress made by 111 Aspirational Districts between June 1, 2018, and October 31, 2018, across six developmental areas of health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure.

Only 111 of the 115 Aspirational Districts participated in the survey. Three Aspirational Districts from West Bengal did not participate, and one district of Kerala could not take part because of floods.

Findings of the Ranking

The important findings of the second Delta Ranking of the Aspirational Districts Programme are:

  • Aspirational districts which have shown most improvements in education are Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Nuapada (Odisha) and Gumla (Jharkhand) while least improved three districts are Pakur (Jharkhand), Yadgir(Karnataka) and Malkangiri (Odisha).
  • Aspirational districts which have shown most improvements in health and nutrition are Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Barwani (Madhya Pradesh) and Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh), while the least improved three districts are Chatra (Jharkhand), Pakur (Jharkhand) and Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).
  • Aspirational districts which have shown most improvements in agriculture and water resources are Sitamarhi (Bihar), Gajapati (Odisha) and Dhalal (Tripura) while the least improved three districts are Giridih (Jharkhand), Hailakandi (Assam) and Begusarai (Bihar).
  • The five districts which have shown most improvements are Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Nuapada (Odisha), Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh), Aurangabad (Bihar) and Koraput, Odisha
  • Under the category of Fast movers which includes districts that have significantly increased the pace of their improvement since the previous delta ranking, Kupwara (Jammu & Kashmir), which ranked at 108 in June moved to 7 in October. Ranchi (Jharkhand) moved from 106 in June to 10 in October, Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) went from 101 to 3, Jamui (Bihar) from 99 to 9. Fatehpur (Uttar Pradesh) moved up to 25 from its previous ranking of 82 have shown great progress.

Delta rankings

The Delta rankings aim to spur a sense of competition among dynamic teams in Aspirational Districts. The rankings provide for a quantitative tool to identify sectors and indicate specific challenges so that Team India, which is driving Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme can take immediate corrective measures.

The Delta Ranking also goes a step further and looks into specific aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and analyses how these districts have performed across important sectors. The findings from this ranking will aid District Magistrates or Collectors to focus more on these sectors and improve their ranking in future.

Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme

The Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme launched in January 2018 aims to quickly and effectively transform the most underdeveloped districts of the country. The programme envisages rapid development of selected districts on basis of a composite index based on six parameters of health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion, skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic the infrastructure. The programme promotes Convergence of Central and State Schemes, Collaboration of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers and District Collectors and Competition among districts driven by Mass Movement or Jan Andolan.

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