Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the government has identified 142 districts that lag on one or two development parametres and set a new challenge for all governments to collectively work as has been done in case of aspirational districts.
“We have identified 142 districts that are otherwise progressive, developed but lacking in one or two parametres such as malnutrition or education. We now need to work collectively to improve the situation just as we have done for aspirational districts,” Modi said and added, “This is a new challenge for all of us. For the Central government, for the state governments, for the district administration everyone. We have to collectively work to achieve this.”
Modi was virtually addressing several Chief Ministers across India, District Magistrates of hundreds of districts and other officials from various ministries. Also in attendance was NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
The Prime Minister took direct feedback about the progress and present status of implementation of government schemes and programmes in various districts.
“Working in silos during decision making is problematic but working in silos while implementation is worse. Aspirational districts have shown how ending these silos in implementation has increased optimum utilization of resources,” the Prime Minister said and assured, “When silos are ended, 1 + 1 does not equal to 2 but actually, 1 plus 1 becomes 11. This community strength is visible in the aspirational districts.”
“The people in aspirational districts have spent a lot of time of their life in deprivation and had to struggle a lot for every single small thing. They are just eager to get out of this rut and therefore, they are ready to take risks whenever they get an opportunity,” he said.
“We need to understand their strength. The aspiration for progress brings people together.”
The Prime Minister also reiterated his wish of 100 per cent saturation of all services offered by the government in every district in next two years, be it roads, Ayushman Bharat facility, bank account, Ujjwala gas scheme, government insurance or pension or a house, and said, everything should be planned for a time bound competition.
He also appealed to all the attendees of the virtual session to identify traditional skills of the aspirational districts, which are mostly inhabited by tribals, and offer a value chain for them along with achieving the ‘Digital India’ dream for each and every village. Earlier, he also recounted the achievements in various fields achieved by scores of districts and improved targets achieved for a range of government services such as Jan Dhan accounts or construction of toilets etc along with improved health services delivery in rural areas.
Modi lauded the Chief Ministers for deputing excellent officers, giving them stable tenure and lending them all support and said, all CMs are working to bring the aspirational districts on par with rest of the states.
Modi ended the speech with an appeal to all DMs to recall their first day of joining service and asked them to renew their zeal and working with the same approach.