The NITI Aayog has released first Delta ranking for 108 aspirational districts to measure their incremental progress across five developmental areas during two month period of April and May 2018. For these rankings, total 49 key performance indicators were mapped across five developmental areas: health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic Infrastructure.
In the first edition of Delta rankings, 108 districts out of total 112 had participated. The districts started entering data from April 1, 2018 in the “Champions of Change” dashboard. Some of the data points for this ranking were sourced from ministries of central government, including those of financial inclusion, skill development and three indicators of basic infrastructure. Most of the data points, however, have been self-reported by the various districts themselves.
Performance of districts
Most improved aspirational districts: Dahod (Gujarat, rank: 1st), West Sikkim district (Sikkim, 2nd). Ramanathapuram district (Tamil Nadu, 3rd) and Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh, 4th) and YSR Kadapa district (Andhra Pradesh, 5th).
Least improved aspirational districts: Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir), Begusarai (Bihar), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Simdega (Jharkhand) and Khagaria( Bihar) were listed as first to fifth aspirational districts, respectively, in least improved states.
Significance of Delta rankings
The purpose of Delta rankings is to spur sense of competition among dynamic teams in aspirational districts. It will also serve as tool to identify sectors and indicator specific challenges so that Team India, which is driving Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme can take immediate corrective measures.
The ranking takes step further and looks into specific aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and analyses how districts have performed across important sectors. This grouping and positioning will aidDistrict Magistrates or Collectors to focus more on these sectors and improve their ranking in future.
Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme
The programme launched in January 2018 aims to quickly and effectively transform some of most underdeveloped districts of the country. The programme envisages rapid development of selected districts on basis of composite index based on five parameters health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion, skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure. It focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in burgeoning economy. It seeks to bring these indicators in selected districts at par with the better performing districts in the country. 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 Mass Movement or Jan Andolan.