“We are fine tuning indicators (based on which Niti Aayog ranks 112 most backward districts)…some indicators need to be dropped,” Kant said.
The ADP was launched in January 2018 in 112 most backward districts. It aims to transform districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and emerged as pockets of under-development.
The Aayog ranks 112 most backward districts on 49 key performance indicators across six developmental areas – Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure.
Successful implementation of programmes like Aspirational Districts Programme is key to India achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Kant said.
“We cannot achieve high economic growth without the availability of quality health, education & basic infrastructure facilities across these districts,” he emphasised.
The CEO pointed out that the ADP has thrown up some very innovative best practices, as the programme encourages healthy competition.
Also speaking at the event, MIT Sloan School professor David Sarnoff said the great thing about the ADP is that it is not top-down but extremely stakeholder-driven.
“The emphasis of Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) on inclusive growth and social progress makes it a model that can be scaled in other comparative regions, globally,” he said.