Niti Aayog to Release Backward District Index

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The NITI Aayog will on Thursday release the second delta ranking of the most backward districts of the country — which it has dubbed as “aspirational districts” — reflecting the incremental progress made by them between June and October.

The government think-tank said the districts have been ranked on parameters including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure.

“The rankings, for the first time, will also factor in inputs from household survey conducted by NITI Aayog’s knowledge partners — Tata Trusts and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” a NITI Aayog statement said.

In its first such ranking released in June, Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara came at the bottom while Gujarat’s Dahod topped the chart in terms of improvement made by them.

The 20 bottom-ranked districts included nine districts from Bihar, five from Jharkhand and three from Odisha.

The government has maintained that its Aspirational District Programme aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and have emerged as pockets of under-development, thereby posing a challenge to ensure balanced regional development.

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