India News

India’s aspirational district plan a best practice for other nations: UNDP

New Delhi, June 11

An independent appraisal by UNDP has shown significant improvements in India’s 112 aspirational districts across health, education, and financial inclusion sectors as compared to the rest of the districts.

The report handed over on Friday by UNDP India Resident Representative Shoko Noda to NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant lauds the plan as a very successful model of local area development, and one “that should serve as a best practice for several other countries where regional disparities in development status persist.”

The report says that the ADP has significantly improved previously neglected districts, including those affected by Left Wing Extremism and thee areas “have experienced more growth and development in the last three years than ever before”.

The plan has been in operation since 2018.

UNDP’s analysis across the five key sectors of the ADP—health and nutrition; education; agriculture and water resources; basic infrastructure; and skill development and financial inclusion—found that the programme had acted as a catalyst for expediting development in these districts.

The review concluded that the best performing five ADs in India are Ranchi, Chandauli, Simdega, Sonbhadra, and Rajgarh and the least performing five are Sitamarhi, Gumla, Dantewada, Bijapur, and Nawada.

From the region, Kupwara and Baramulla in Jammu & Kashmir, Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, Moga and Ferozepur in Punjab, and Mewat in Haryana are among 112 aspirational districts.

A comparison between the Aspirational Districts and their counterparts found that ADs have outperformed non-Ads with 9.6 per cent more home deliveries attended by a skilled birth attendant there; 5.8 per cent more pregnant women with severe anemia treated; 4.8 per cent more children diagnosed with diarrhoea treated; 4.5 per cent more pregnant registered for antenatal care within their first trimester.

UNDP has recommended ‘Malaria Mukt Bastar Abhiyaan’ in Bijapur and Dantewada as a best practice. It reduced malaria incidences in these districts by 71 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively.