Fourteen districts from Northeast have been identified for "Aspirational Development". These will be out of a total 106 districts from across the country which are being taken up in the "Transformation of Aspirational Districts" programme under the aegis of NITI Aayog, under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This was disclosed here today by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, after a meeting convened by him with the senior officials and Nodal Officers appointed for the purpose. Two senior Union Ministers from Northeast, MoS for Home, Shri Kiren Rijiju and MoS for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain, were also present at the meeting.
Briefing about the objectives and aims of this programme, Dr Jitendra Singh said, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indai is on the way to a high growth rate. However, he said, considering the heterogeneity of different factors in different regions of the country, there are significant variations at inter-State level as well as inter-district level. In order to seek an equitable growth of different districts, this initiative has been undertaken with the target of transforming the districts identified as "Aspirational Districts".
Particularly in the Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the challenges of topography, geographical factors, climate, etc. are not only enormous but also extremely variable. Considering this, he disclosed that the Ministry of Northeast (DoNER) had recently flagged off an exclusive initiative called "Northeast Hill Area Development Programme" and the pilot project of the same was decided to be undertaken in the State of Manipur to seek equitable development of different districts which may have their own challenges even if these are located adjacent to each other.
The 14 districts identified for inclusion in the All-India based "Transformation of Aspirational Districts" programme are Dhobri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Darrang, Baksa, Udalguri and Hailakandi in Assam, Dhalai in Tripura, Ribhoi in Meghalaya, Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh, Chandel in Manipur, Mamit in Mizoram, Kiphire in Nagaland and West Sikkim district in Sikkim. The entire concept of the programme was based on the understanding that if the overall growth of the country contributing to the All-India GDP can increase only when all the regions, all the districts and all the States also grow at a reasonable growth rate. Otherwise, even a very high growth rate in one part of the country or in some districts, tends to get compromised by poor growth rate in other districts.
A detailed road-map has been prepared to undertake this project, said Dr Jitendra Singh and added that the main factors determining the status of a given district will be based on sectors like health, nutrition, education and agriculture. A baseline survey is already under process and the endeavor would be to use condensed wisdom for achieving the objectives of this project, he added.At the meeting today, a broad outline was discussed in the first phase, in which a baseline survey will be undertaken in each of these districts. For each district, a four-tier supervisory mechanism has been put in place with a Central Nodal Officer from the Union Government, a State Nodal Officer from concerned State Govt,a District Nodal Officer / District Collector and a Union Minister-in-charge.
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