Aspirational District Programme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 23, 2022, 7:19

The Aspirational District Programme is an Indian government initiative to improve living standards in the districts chosen for the purpose.

The programme is managed and controlled by NITI Aayog, the erstwhile Planning Commission of India, while state governments and district administrations oversee the implementation part.

What is the Aspirational District Programme?

The Aspirational District Programme is an initiative of the central government in India to transform the living standards of 117 highly under-developed districts in 28 states in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisioned the programme in January 2018. The primary objectives of the programme are:

  • To efficiently converge Central and State schemes
  • To facilitate collaboration between Central Officers, Prabhari (State-level) Officers, and District Collectors for seamless project execution
  • To foster competition among districts through Delta Rankings (monthly)

To ensure optimal performance by all stakeholders in the selected districts, each district is evaluated on 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPIs are divided into 5 socioeconomic themes - Agriculture Water Resources, Financial Inclusion, Health Nutrition, Education, and Skill Development and Infrastructure.

The 'Champions of Change' dashboard allows the stakeholders and general public to see the performance of districts in the Delta Rankings.

What Makes the Aspirational District Programme Special?

The Aspirational District Programme is designed to help the government fulfil its motto 'Sabkaa Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas' through inclusive growth and capacity building. The programme's key objective is to encourage people's active participation in the ever-growing Indian economy.

Initially, the districts under the programme are encouraged to become like the best district in the respective state before aspiring to become the best in India. The spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism is at the root of the Aspirational District Programme.

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Of the 117 (115 initially) districts chosen for the Aspirational District Programme, 30 districts are managed by NITI Aayog, while various ministries oversee the initiative in 50 districts.

Central Prabhari Officers (Joint or Additional Secretary level officers) are appointed for each district. Moreover, states also appoint nodal and Prabhari officers to coordinate the programme. At the top, the CEO of NITI Aayog ensures streamlining the programme execution through an Empowered Committee.

Which Districts Are Selected for the Aspirational District Programme?

Here is the list of the 117 districts in 28 states chosen for the Aspirational District Programme:

  • Jammu Kashmir - Kupwara, Baramula
  • Himachal Pradesh - Chamba
  • Punjab - Moga, Firozpur
  • Uttarakhand - Udham Singh Nagar, Hardwar
  • Haryana - Mewat
  • Rajasthan - Dhaulpur, Karauli, Jaisalmer, Sirohi, Baran
  • Uttar Pradesh - Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Bahraich, Shrawast, Balrampur, Siddharthnagar, Chandauli, Sonbhadra
  • Bihar - Sitamarhi, Araria, Purnia, Katihar, Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Banka, Sheikhpura, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui
  • Sikkim - West District
  • Nagaland - Kiphire
  • Manipur - Chandel
  • Mizoram - Mamit
  • Tripura - Dhalai
  • Meghalaya - Ribhoi
  • Assam - Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Hailakandi, Baksa, Darrang, Udalguri
  • West Bengal - Dakshin Dinajpur, Maldah, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia
  • Jharkhand - Garhwa, Chatra, Giridih, Godda, Sahibganj, Pakur, Bokaro, Lohardaga, Purbi Singhbhum, Palamu, Latehar, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Dumka, Ranchi hunti, Gurnla, Simdega, Pashchimi Singhbhum
  • Odisha - Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Balangir, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Nabrangpur
  • Chhattisgarh - Korba, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund, Kanker, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bastar, Kondagaon, Sukma, Bijapur
  • Madhya Pradesh - Chhatarpur, Damoh, Barwani, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Guna, Singrauli, Khandwa (East Nimar)
  • Gujarat - Dohad, Narmada
  • Maharashtra - Nandurbar, Washim, Gadchiroli, Osmanabad
  • Andhra Pradesh - Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Y.S.R.
  • Karnataka - Raichur, Yadgir
  • Kerala - Wayanad
  • Tamil Nadu - Virudhunagar, Ramanathapurãm
  • Arunachal Pradesh - Namsai
  • Telangana - Kumuram Bheem, Jayashankar Bhupalapalle, Khammam

The Aspirational District Programme aims to transform India's under-developed districts to make them at par with the best districts in the country. Since the NITI Aayog is directly responsible for its implementation, we can expect fast progress in the districts chosen for the programme.

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FAQ on Aspirational District Programme

Q.1) What is the Aspirational District Programme?

The Aspirational District Programme is an initiative of the central government in India to transform the living standards of 117 highly under-developed districts in 28 states in India.

Q.2) Who is the Nodal Authority for the Aspirational District Programme?

NITI Aayog serves as nodal authority for coordinating with line ministries and development partners to expedite development in districts under the Aspirational District Programme.

Q.3) How many districts are selected for the Aspirational District Programme?

117 districts in 28 states are selected for the Aspirational District Programme.

Q.4) What is the main objective of the Aspirational District Programme?

The Aspirational District Programme is designed to help the government fulfil its motto 'Sabkaa Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas' through inclusive growth and capacity building.