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PM Launches Aspirational Block Programme Aimed at Spurring Development Parameters

Prime Minister has launched the government’s Aspirational Block Programme (ABP), which is aimed at improving the performance of blocks lagging on various development parameters. The Aspirational Blocks Programme is on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme that was launched in 2018 and covers 112 districts across the country.

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About Aspirational Block Programme (ABP):

  • The Centre had announced its intention to launch this initiative in the Union Budget 2022-23.
  • The programme will cover 500 districts across 31 states and Union Territories initially.
  • Over half of these blocks are in 6 states—Uttar Pradesh (68 blocks), Bihar (61), Madhya Pradesh (42), Jharkhand (34), Odisha (29) and West Bengal (29).
  • However, states can add more blocks to the programme later.

Ranking of these Blocks:

NITI Aayog in partnership with the states will release a quarterly ranking of these blocks based on their performance on development indicators covering sectors such as health, education and nutrition among others.

About Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP):

  • Launched in January 2018, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ initiative aims to remove this heterogeneity through a mass movement to quickly and effectively transform these districts.
  • The broad contours of the program are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a spirit of mass Movement.
  • With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.

Features of the ADP:

  • It has transformed into a Jan Andolan.
  • The ADP is different in trying to monitor the improvement of these districts through real-time data tracking.
  • The programme seeks to develop convergence between selected existing central and state government programmes.
  • District performance in the public domain and experience building of the district bureaucracy is another notable feature.
  • The programme is targeted, not towards any single group of beneficiaries, but rather towards the population of the district as a whole.

Selection of districts:

  • A total of 117 Aspirational districts have been identified by NITI Aayog based upon composite indicators.
  • The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts based on 49 indicators (81 data points) from the 5 identified thematic areas.

Weightage has been accorded to these districts as below:

  • Health & Nutrition (30%)
  • Education (30%)
  • Agriculture & Water Resources (20%)
  • Financial Inclusion & Skill Development (10%)
  • Basic Infrastructure (10%)

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