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NITI Aayog reveals most backward district in India, releases ranking mechanism for 101 districts

NEW DELHI: The NITI Aayog on Wednesday launched a baseline ranking mechanism under which 101 most underdeveloped districts of the country which have been termed as ‘aspirational’ would be competing with each other in terms of performance.

As per the baseline ranking, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh is ranked highest with score of 48.13 per cent while Mewat in Haryana tails at the end with 26.02 per cent. Among others, Asifabad (Telangana), Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh), Kiphire (Nagaland), Shrawasti, Siddarthnagar and Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh), Namsai (Arunachal Pradesh), Sukma (Chattisgarh) are ranked at bottom of the list.

While on top of the list among others include Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), Osmanabad (Maharashtra), Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh), Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu), Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand), Mahasamund (Chhattisgarh), Khammam (Telangana), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

From April 1, these 101 districts will start entering data and the real-time data collection and monitoring will be open for public viewing. From May onwards, they will be ranked based on progress made (delta ranking) on a real-time basis. NITI Aayog and the Andhra Pradesh government have created a dashboard for monitoring the real-time progress of the districts.

The 49 indicators on 81 data points will cover five development areas – health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure.

While announcing the launch of ranking for the “Aspirational Districts’, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said: “India cannot grow at a high rate on a long run until these districts catch up, whatever high are the GDP number, it has no meaning until the benefit of growth percolates down to very basic level.”

The ranking of districts comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ in January with an aim to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts in the country.

This will converge the central and state schemes, collaborate central, state and district collectors to strengthen these districts by identifying the low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress and then rank the district by getting the data on a real-time basis.

All the states — except West Bengal and Kerala — are on board in this ranking initiative; however, these states are expected to join soon, Kant said.

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