On June 11, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published an independent appraisal report, wherein it praised the success of local area development in India via the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP). The ADP programme was launched by PM Modi in January 2018 to uplift the quality of life in districts that were lagging behind in Human Development Index (HDI) parameters.
The Aspirational District Programme focuses on development across 5 sectors of Healthcare and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Basic Infrastructure, and Skill Development and Financial Inclusion.
The report says that the programme has served as a catalyst for expediting development among Aspirational districts, and certain sectors such as Healthcare and Nutrition, Education, and to an extent Agriculture and Water Resources have seen some major changes. Other sectors of Basic Infrastructure, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development also achieved improvement in indicators since the inception of the programme and offer scope for further strengthening, the UNDP report states.
The UNDP used two components to calculate the growth achieved by the districts, Net Resilience Index and Difference in Difference Analysis. Findings from the Net Resilience Index indicate that the Aspirational Districts, on average, have been on an upward trajectory since the inception of the programme.
According to the report, the five districts that achieved the highest growth were Ranchi, Chandauli, Simdega, Sonbhadra and Rajgarh. On the other hane, the 5 worst performing districts were Sitamarhi, Gumla, Dantewada, Bijapur and Nawada.
The Indian government has allocated a budget of ₹50,011 crores for 2021-2022 and has kept a target to cover all rural households under the Jal Shakti Mission by 2024. In addition to states’ own resources and ₹26,940 crore grant for water by the 15th Finance Commission, a total of ₹1 lakh crore has been invested in providing a safe drinking water supply. It has helped in boosting the rural economy and generating employment opportunities.
In a tweet on Friday (June 25), Press Information Bureau informed, “Tap water supply increases four-fold from 7% to 31% In 117 Aspirational Districts with 84 lakh households getting tap connections in just 22 months. UNDP lauds India’s Aspirational Districts programme ‘as a very successful model of local area development”
Tap water supply increases four-fold from 7% to 31% In 117 Aspirational Districts with 84 lakh households getting tap connections in just 22 months@UNDP lauds India’s Aspirational Districts programme ‘as a very successful model of local area developmenthttps://t.co/zs5wDS6GSc pic.twitter.com/A18E83AcUV— PIB India (@PIB_India) June 25, 2021
PIB informed that a total of 117 districts, across the country, with a low Human Development Index (HDI), has witnessed fast development under the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP). One of the key factors behind its success has been Jal Jeevan Mission, which came into force on August 15, 2019. At that point in time, only 7% of households (24.58 lac) in these districts had access to tap water. In less than 2 years’ time, tap water connections were provided to more than 84 lac households. As such, about 31.37% of households now have access to tap water supply.
The increase of tap water coverage by 24% in the 117 districts was higher than the 22.72% increase in water supply across India in the past 22 months. Under the vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,’ the Indian government is ensuring that every household in rural areas has access to tap water. In 2019, about 3.23 crore rural households (17%) had access to tap water supply. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, about 4.36 crore additional rural households were provided with tap water supply. This increased the total coverage by 39.58%.
As of 2021, two States namely Goa, Telangana, and two Union Territories of Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 100% rural tap water supply coverage. In all, about 63 districts in 94000 villages have access to tap water connections. Reportedly, all Aspirational districts in the State of Telangana have access to tap water. Similarly, it is predicted that all Aspirational districts in Bihar will be covered by the end of this year. States such as Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Punjab will have 100% access to tap water by 2022.
Moreover, 72% of households in Aspirational Districts in Bihar have access to tap water. A similar phenomenon was observed in Narmada (77% households) in Gujarat and Kadapa (82% households) in Andhra Pradesh. Jal Shakti Mission Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, had written to all Chief Ministers to provide safe, potable drinking water in all schools, ashramshalas, and Anganwadi centres. The Modi government had initially led the campaign in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Gujarat.