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Aspirational Districts Programme - UPSC Current Affairs

The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) was launched in 2018 by the Hon'ble PM to transform 112 underdeveloped districts across India. It focuses on convergence, collaboration, and competition among districts using Key Performance Indicators to measure progress and improve living standards. The programme aims to localize Sustainable Development Goals and promote inclusive growth for all citizens.

Jan 29, 2023

2 min read

Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is a government initiative launched by the Honorable Prime Minister in January 2018, to transform 112 underdeveloped districts in India. The main focus of this program is to improve the living standards of citizens and achieve inclusive growth by utilizing the potential of each district. The districts are ranked monthly based on their progress made in 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under 5 socio-economic themes - Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Infrastructure.




The broad contours of the program are Convergence of Central & State Schemes, Collaboration between Central, State level Nodal Officers and District Collectors, and Competition among districts driven by a mass movement. The NITI Aayog works with line Ministries and development partners to fast-track progress at the district level. The performance of the districts is available on the public domain portal "Champions of Change."


One of the objectives of this program is to first encourage districts to catch up with the best district within their state and later aspire to become one of the best in the country through competition and cooperation with others. The government is committed to raising the living standards of its citizens and ensuring inclusive growth. The Aspirational Districts Programme is aimed at localizing Sustainable Development Goals, leading to the progress of the nation.


However, there are challenges associated with this program, such as insufficient budgetary resources, lack of coordination between multiple Ministries, and poor-quality administrative data. To overcome these challenges, a more simplified ranking index is needed, financial autonomy should be provided to local governments, and independent surveys can be used to validate administrative data. Additionally, building the internal capacity of each district to produce reliable and actionable data, and promoting a culture of data use can be a priority for the ADP.


In conclusion, the Aspirational Districts Programme is a significant step towards transforming the socio-economic status of underdeveloped districts in India. By ranking districts based on their progress, this program provides a competitive environment for districts to improve and achieve inclusive growth for all. The government is committed to raising the living standards of its citizens, and this program is a critical step in that direction.

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