'Madhya Pradesh keeping India backwards on social indicators': Full text of Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant's clarification

On Tuesday, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that the states in India's eastern region like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are keeping India backward, especially on social indicators at the first Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Memorial Lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Following the statement, political parties began trading charges. On Wednesday, Kant issued a fresh statement clarifying what he had said on the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP). Here is the full text. 

“It has been brought to my notice that certain reports circulating in the media have misconstrued my statements regarding the state of Madhya Pradesh. In my recent speech on the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), I had stated that India and the certain states, in particular, have done remarkably well on the Ease of Doing Business Index. We need to repeat this on the Human Development Index.

File image of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. PIB

File image of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. PIB

Several districts of India remain backward on human development indicators because of legacy issues. The government’s Aspirational Districts programme aims to correct this by focusing on education, health and nutrition on a real-time basis. We are capturing the incremental progress of 115 districts on 49 indicators. The focus of the programme is to improve India’s rank in the Human Development Index, raising the living standards of the citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all.

The programme is being implemented in the spirit of cooperative federalism in the full partnership with the states. Since Madhya Pradesh has achieved impressive economic growth in recent years in many sectors, it is desirable that this must be accompanied by all-round development as envisaged in the Aspirational Districts programme.

State of Madhya Pradesh is doing exceptionally well in terms of overall economic growth and Per-capita state domestic products. The rate of growth has been steadily above the rate of growth of India in average. It has done outstanding work with respect of agricultural growth, irrigation and its contribution to the state’s economy. The average growth of agricultural and allied sectors has been more than above 6 percent, whereas the national average in these sectors is around 3 percent.

The performance of Madhya Pradesh in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna is above the national average in both rural and urban areas. Out of the Eight Aspirational Districts in Madhya Pradesh, Singroli, Khandwa and Vidisha have been done encouraging results with respect to their human development index and we are confident that all the Aspirational Districts will perform brilliantly on all the 48 parameters.

Every corner of Madhya Pradesh is working to chart their own destiny. The self-motivation campaign of Khandwa Districts is a fine programme which saw 162 Anganwadi centres use software-tracking systems to track and improve the status of nutrition in district.  India’s development story has historically been studied at the national and regional levels. The ADP looks to transform the districts, the very centres of policy intervention and implementation. Many of the erstwhile ‘backward’ states have outperformed their counterparts in recent years. We are now at the early stage of a new narrative on development, one that focuses on district-level challenges and corresponding sector-level interventions.

The context of the Aspirational Districts programme is just as important as its successes. The country cannot grow if a few pockets in some states remain hidden from the development narrative. The ADP seeks to streamline governance, evolve bold interventions to ensure transformative development from the grassroots. NITI Aayog is coordinating the programme at a national level. However, it is the state governments which have to be instrumental in ensuring the success of ADP. Competition, Convergence, Cooperation and Collaboration remain the four simple, yet powerful pillars of the programme wherein the state governments have taken on the mantle of taking bold decisions, effective governance, innovative development policy and motivated officers.”

The full text has been entirely reproduced from the original letter to the state government and has not been edited by Firstpost for style or content.


Updated Date: Apr 25, 2018 18:37 PM

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