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Aspirational District Programme

Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Why in News?

The Prime Minister has expressed happiness after the success of Aspirational Districts program on parameters such as health, nutrition, education and exports. 

About Aspirational Districts Programme

  • It was launched in 2018 which aims to transform districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
  • Aspirational Districts are those districts in India, that are affected by poor socio-economic indicators.
  • These are aspirational in the context, that improvement in these districts can lead to the overall improvement in human development in India.
  • At the Government of India level, the programme is anchored by NITI Aayog.
  • In addition, individual Ministries have assumed responsibility to drive the progress of districts.
  • Aspirational Districts’ programme (ADP) is based on 49 indicators from the 5 identified thematic areas:
    • Health & Nutrition
    • Education
    • Agriculture & Water Resources
    • Financial Inclusion & Skill Development
    • Basic Infrastructure.


  • The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts.
  • With States as the main drivers, ADP seeks to focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
  • In the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch up with the best district in their state, and then aim to become one of the finest in the country, by competing with and learning from others.
  • “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas” is the government’s commitment to improve people’ living conditions and promoting inclusive growth for all.
  • The ADP’s main goal is to localise the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, resulting in national progress.

Challenges Associated with ADP

  • The issue of insufficient fiscal resources has an impact on ADP.
  • Multiple ministries are responsible for implementing ADP, resulting in a lack of cooperation.
  • Data Improving programme execution and planning at the local level requires high-quality administrative data.
  • The Delta ranking is primarily concerned with quantity (i.e., access coverage) rather than quality.
  • In addition, as the ASER report points out, the quality of education in India is in a dismal condition.

December 2023