Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu has been declared as the most improved overall district in the second delta ranking by NITI Aayog’s Aspirational Districts Programme. The Aspirational Districts Programme was launched in January 2018 with the aim of expeditiously improving the socio-economic status of 112 districts through cooperative and competitive federalism. According to NITI Aayog, the initiative is driven primarily by the states, focuses on the strengths of each district and prioritises the attainable outcomes for immediate improvement. The programme tracks 81 data-points across six parameters of quality of life and economic productivity.
Here Are Key Facts About The Aspirational Districts Ranking
- Nuapada in Odisha, Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Aurangabad in Bihar and Koraput in Odisha were ranked from 2nd to 5th respectively on the top performers’ list.
- Pakur in Jharkhand, at 111th position, was one of the backward districts while Giridih and Chatra from the state were also under performers. Additionally, Hailakandi in Assam and Kiphire in Nagaland also remained at the bottom.
- Addressing malnutrition is a priority for the government. Assam has the maximum districts (Baksa, Barpeta, Darrang, Dhubari and Goalpara) which have reduced the incidence of stunting as compared to NFHS-4 (2015-16) estimates. The state is followed by Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
- The six parameters and their weights are- Education- 5%, Health and nutrition – 30%, Financial inclusion – 30%, Agriculture and water resources – 20%, Basic infrastructure – 20%, Skill development – 5%.
- The list of the most improved districts in Education was also topped by Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, Odisha’s Nuapada and Jharkhand’s Gumla, respectively. On the other hand, Pakur in Jharkhand, Karnataka’s Yadgir and Odisha’s Malkangiri were the least improved districts in education.
- In Health and Nutrition, Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot led the chart followed by Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani and Vidisha. The bottom ranks were bagged by Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh, Pakur and Chatra.
- Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district topped the Financial Inclusion list. The least performer was Chandel in Manipur.
- Sitamarhi in Bihar was ranked first in Agriculture and Water Resources and Jharkhand’s district, Giridih was at 111th. Tamil Nadu’s VIrudhunagar also achieved the first position in the Basic Infrastructure theme. Pakur in Jharkhand was the least improved in the chart.
- Raichur in Karnataka stood first in Skill Development and the last spot was occupied by Telangana’s Khammam.
- In the first Aspirational Districts ranking which was released in June, Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir was at the bottom and Dahod in Gujarat topped the list.