In a significant step towards realisation of the Prime Minister’s vision for creation of a New India by 2022, Government has identified 115 backward districts for rapid transformation by 2022. For each of the Districts, a senior official in the rank of Additional secretary and Joint secretary has been nominated as Prabhari officer. The First meeting of the Prabhari Officers was held today under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Shri P.K. Sinha at CSOI, Chanakyapuri. The meeting was attended by Secretaries of the important central Ministries.
In his key note address, Cabinet Secretary, Shri P.K. Sinha expressed confidence that Prabhari officers would take it up as a challenge and succeed in their mission by making a difference in the lives of millions of citizens in these districts. He advised the Prabhari officers to immediately form a team with State representatives and bring convergence in their effort. Cabinet Secretary mentioned that funds are not a constraint in this program since large funds are available under different Schemes. He advised the officers to also explore the availability of funds in District Mineral funds, wherever available for this purpose. In addition, he advised them to use flexi-fund which are significant in amount and are available under different Schemes of the Government. He told that their contribution and efforts would go a long way in meeting the goal of a New India by 2022.
Speaking on this occasion, the CEO, Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant emphasised that for dramatic improvement in Human Development Index, transformation of these backward districts is urgently required. He stated that the Govt of India is committed to make all efforts to achieve these objectives in partnership with States. He advised the Prabhari officers to assist the District administration in sharing the vision for 2022, to ensure the convergence of the efforts of central and state government and to set up a robust mechanism to monitor the improvements in key outcomes in the district. He mentioned that Niti Aayog has entered into a MoU with Government of Andhra Pradesh which has taken some major initiatives in creating a real time monitoring system in the State. This would facilitate replication of such mechanism in other districts.
Presentations were made by team of Andhra Pradesh officials that proposed a plan for rolling out such monitoring mechanism. It was also emphasised that third party validation of key performance indicators in the field of education, health and nutrition, basic infrastructure including roads, electricity, household toilets, agriculture and irrigation is necessary for fine-tuning the strategy at district level. CEO, Niti Aayog told that Niti Aayog is working with agencies in getting such surveys done so that the program focuses on key outcomes.
Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Gauba stated that if these districts are transformed, there would be tremendous improvement in the internal security environment of the country. He emphasised that while 35 Districts have been selected on the basis of reported violence by Left Wing Extremism, 55 districts out of 115 are affected by Left Wing extremism and another 15, including districts in J&K and North East are affected by terrorism. Advising the Prabhari officers to bring convergence in the development efforts of different Ministries and state Governments and the schemes specially launched by Home Ministry in these districts, he felt that it is a great opportunity to ensure rapid development in the country.
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