DoNER ministry to identify ten underdeveloped Northeast districts
The Union DoNER ministry will identify 10 underdeveloped districts in the Northeast within a week with the aim of improving the living conditions in these districts by ensuring smooth delivery of goods and services.
These districts, lagging behind in most governance and development parameters, will be over and above the 14 aspirational districts shortlisted earlier, based on 49 key socio-economic indicators.
Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) minister Jitendra Singh disclosed this after a high-level meeting with the ministry and the North Eastern Council (NEC) officials on Wednesday.
The exercise, he said, was aimed at accelerating the “Ease of living” in these ten districts from eight states in the region through “smooth” delivery of goods and services and bringing these at par with the developed districts in the country.
Of the 741 districts in the country, 121 are in the northeast states, including Sikkim.
Singh said the concept of aspirational districts, conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, was a major shift in governance at the grassroots after seven decades of Independence in India.
The concept was also a shift to a more scientific and objective assessment of developmental activities, besides bringing about a sea change in work culture at all levels of governance, he said.
The aspirational district development programme is aimed at helping the overall improvement in the human development index in the districts having very poor socio-economic parameters.
There are 117 aspirational districts in the country identified by Niti Aayog, which also monitors the development in these districts.
The DoNER minister has also directed officials to prepare a comprehensive database of developmental projects in each of the eight northeastern states in the past seven years and showcase the marked improvement in all the sectors in comparison to the previous 63 years.
He said, the Prime Minister’s flagship projects and all the foundation laying ceremonies of Narendra Modi in all the eight states must be reflected in the Developmental Database.
The BJP-led government under Modi came to power in 2014. Development of the region has been one of the key thrust areas of the present dispensation, frequently showcasing it as the growth engine of the country.
The DoNER minister reiterated at the meeting that that Isro (Indian Space Research Organisation) will assist the region by offering optimum utilisation of satellite imaging and other space technology applications for better accomplishment of infrastructural projects in all the eight states.
The projects included the mapping of forest gap areas, expansion of land area for horticulture development, identification and rejuvenation of wetlands and diversion of floodwater, assessment of bamboo resources for livelihood and border disputes management.