Government to transform 115 backward districts by 2022 – UPSC GS3

What is the Plan?
  • The Union Government has selected 115 backward districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to create a “New India” over the next five years.
  • These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism.
  • The government’s focus under this programme is to work with states to bring transformative change in these selected backward areas through rapid government-anchored programmes and interventions by 2022 i.e. till 75th year of India’s independence.
What is the significance of this move?
If these districts are successfully transformed, it will bring tremendous improvement in internal security environment of country. It will also help to bring convergence in development efforts of different Ministries and state Governments and schemes specially launched by Home Ministry in these districts. It serve as great opportunity to ensure rapid development all regions of the country.
How these districts are selected?
  • These 115 districts were selected on parameters like health & nutrition (institutional delivery, stunting of children and wasting in children), deprivation (extent of landless households), education (elementary dropout rate and adverse pupil-teacher ratio) and infrastructure (un-electrified homes, lack of toilets, villages not connected by road and lack of drinking water).
  • At least one district has been included from each state under backward district programme.
Why is it needed?
In 2016, India was ranked 131 among 188 nations in United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) human development index (HDI) with major inter-state and inter-district variations. Nearly 40% of children born in India are stunted or are underweight while almost 50% of women are anemic. On nutrition, India even lags behind neighbours such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and China.
How it will be done? (Only important for understanding and interview)
Prabhari Officers
For each of these backward districts, government has nominated senior official in rank of Additional secretary and Joint secretary as Prabhari officer. The First meeting of the Prabhari Officers was recently held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary. It was attended by Secretaries of the important central Ministries.
Role of Prabhari officers
Prabhari officers will form team with state representatives and bring convergence in their effort. They will take it up as challenge and succeed in their mission by making difference in the lives of millions of citizens in these backward districts.
Prabhari officers will assist District administration in sharing GOI’s vision for 2022 by ensuring convergence of efforts of central and state government and set up robust mechanism to monitor improvements in key outcomes in these backward districts.
Third party validation
The third party validation of key performance indicators in field of health and nutrition, education, basic infrastructure including roads, household toilets, electricity, agriculture and irrigation will be undertaken to make this program successful.

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