Kiphire district in Nagaland Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Kiphire in Nagaland was once again ranked among the least improved ‘aspirational districts’ of the country, as per the ‘second delta’ ranking released by NITI Aayong chairman Amitabh Kant on Thursday.

The ranking measured the incremental progress made by districts between June 1 and October 31 this year across six developmental areas including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure.

The latest ranking included validated data from household surveys conducted by NITI Aayog’s knowledge partners TATA Trusts and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (IDInsight) for the first time. The surveys were carried out in all ‘aspirational districts covering over 1,00,000 households.

Releasing the ranking, Kant said: “We have constantly endeavoured to ensure transparent, real-time measurement of qualitative development in aspirational districts through the use of third-party validated data. This will strengthen the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism on the foundations of evidence-based policy making.”

In the ranking, Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu topped the most improved districts followed by Nuapada (Odisha), Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh), Aurangabad (Bihar) and Koraput (Odisha), while the least improved districts included Kiphire (Nagaland), Giridih (Jharkhand), Chatra (Jharkhand), Hailakandi (Assam) and Pakur (Jharkhand).

The districts which have shown great initiative and displayed a qualitative jump in their scores between June and October 2018, have been dubbed as ‘fast movers’.

The delta ranking of the ‘aspirational districts’ combines the innovative use of data science with pragmatic administration, keeping the district at the locus of inclusive development. This positioning is expected to aid the district magistrates/collectors to focus more on these sectors and improve their ranking in the future.

The ‘aspirational district’ programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 5 this year. It 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.

The first delta ranking for the aspirational districts was released in June this year. In that ranking too, Kiphire was at the bottom of the list.

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