Farming, fin inclusion weakest spots in aspirational districts plan: study

(FILE PIC) Farmers use a combined harvester in a wheat field. Photo: PTI
Agriculture and financial inclusion are the two main weaknesses in the much-talked about aspirational districts programme of the Central government, as most of the districts are 40-90 per cent away from their targets, though they have fared much better on health and education, an independent study of the scheme has shown.

The study, conducted by the US-based Social Progress Imperative (SPI) and the Institute for Competitiveness (IFC), India, showed that apart from agriculture and financial inclusion, initiatives on water resources and skill development are two other parameters that need greater attention in the ADP programme going forward.

The aspirational districts programme was launched in January 2018 in 112 most backward districts. It aims to transform domains that have shown relatively less progress in key social areas and emerged as pockets of under-development.

The study found that programme has improved awareness about the government initiatives on different sectors etc. collaboration between government agencies and the use of data to measure impact.

"The Aspirational Districts Programme marks an important shift from pursuing economic growth for its own sake towards achieving meaningful social progress within each of India's regions.

"All the districts included in the programme have been progressing in key development parameters and are performing significantly better today than they were before ADP was initiated," the study said.

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