• Launched by the Hon’ble PM in January 2018, the Aspirational Districts programme aims to quickly and effectively transform 112 most under-developed districts across the country.
• The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts through monthly delta ranking; all driven by a mass movement.
• With States as the main drivers, this program focuses on the strength of each district, identifying low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement and measuring progress by ranking districts on a monthly basis.
• The ranking is based on the incremental progress made across 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under 5 broad socio-economic themes: –
o Health & Nutrition
o Agriculture &
o Water Resources
o Financial Inclusion & Skill Development and Infrastructure
• The delta-ranking of Aspirational Districts and the performance of all districts is available on the Champions of Change Dashboard.
• The Government is committed to raising the living standards of its citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all – “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas”.
• To enable utilization of their potential, this program closely focuses on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy.
• Districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch up with the best district within their state, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others in the spirit of competitive & cooperative federalism.
• NITI Aayog works closely with the respective line Ministries and various development partners to fast-track progress at the district level.
• Various programmes such as: –
o Saksham Bitiyan Abhiyan
o Anemia Mukt Bharat
o Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum
are some of the flagship initiatives that have been taken up by NITI Aayog in this regard.
• The districts are also encouraged to develop and replicate best practices that drive improvement across the socio-economic themes.
• Another focus of the programme is to further dive into the progress at the block-level within each district.
• The districts are encouraged to monitor the progress of the blocks that lead to the overall improvement of the district.
• The Aspirational Districts Programme essentially is aimed at localizing Sustainable Development Goals, leading to the progress of the nation.
• Tamil Nadu aspires two of its major districts for the Aspirational District Programme, namely:
ASPIRATIONAL DISTRICT 1
ASPIRATIONAL DISTRICT 2
• National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT), an autonomous scientific society of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology Government of India is implementing the project “Skill Development of SC / ST/ EWS youths in Aspirational Districts in area of IECT leading to enhancement in Employability” to conduct Skill Development training program of 21,600 SC / ST / EWS (Women) youths belonging to 60 Aspirational district in the area of IT & Electronics over a period of 3-years. • In Tamil Nadu project will be implemented in the Ramanathapuram & Virudhunagar districts.
• An action plan for Development of e-NAM mandis situated in Aspirational districts has also been drawn.
• The geographical setting of Tamil Nadu makes the state vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones floods and earthquake-induced tsunami.
• About 8% of the state is affected by five to six cyclones every year, of which two to three are severe.
• Cyclonic activities on the east coast are more severe than on the west coast, and occur mainly between April-May and October-November.
• Tamil Nadu is also subjected to annual flooding, including flash floods, cloudburst floods, monsoon floods of single and multiple events, cyclonic floods, and those due to dam bursts or failure.
• Every year, on average thousands of people are affected, a few hundred lives are lost, thousands are rendered homeless and several hectares of crops are damaged.
• Tamil Nadu is also prone to very severe damaging earthquakes.
• Diverse factors, natural and human induced, adverse geo-climatic conditions, topographic features, environmental degradation, population growth, urbanization, industrialization, unscientific development practices etc. play a huge role in accelerating the intensity and frequency of disasters resulting in huge economic losses and human causalities.
• These, coupled with the impact of climate change and climate variability, are accentuating disaster impacts and underscore the criticality of promoting disaster-resilience and risk reduction practices.
• The vulnerability of the coastal community became exceedingly evident when Tsunami struck the southern coast of India.
• Besides Tsunami, the coastal community faces disasters like cyclone and floods periodically. Communities in other hazard prone plains and hilly regions of the State face threats from Landslides, Earthquakes and Floods.
• Urban flooding is also becoming a growing concern in the State.
• There has been a paradigm shift in the focus of Disaster Management, from response-centric covering rescue, relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction to laying greater emphasis on the other elements of disaster management cycle-prevention, mitigation, and preparedness—as a means to avert or soften the impact of future emergencies. The Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Department (RADMMD), is in the process of strengthening disaster management capacity in the State by providing access to essential facilities, creating support systems and building human capacities.
• To cope effectively with crisis and emergency situations, the department coordinates with the other State departments, policy makers and technical institutions to develop well-defined strategies to manage crises and also to mitigate the risks caused by the same. The Commissioner of Revenue Administration undertakes all activities relating to Disaster Management and Mitigation besides managing relief and rehabilitation activities of any disaster in the State. The Principal Secretary/Commissioner of Revenue Administration is also the Relief Commissioner of the State.
• The State relief Commissioner is the Member of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), which has the Honourable Chief Minister as its Chairperson.
• At the district level, the District Collector has the responsibility for the overall management of disasters. He has the authority to mobilize the response machinery and has been given financial powers to draw money under the provisions of the General Financial Rules/Treasury Codes.
• All departments of the State Government including the Police, Fire Services, Public Works, Irrigation etc., work in a coordinated manner under the leadership of the District Collector during disasters, except in Metropolitan areas where the Municipal body plays a major role.
• NGOs have also participated in providing relief, rescue and rehabilitation in recent times.
• According to GSHAP data, the state of Tamil Nadu falls mostly in a region of low seismic hazard with the exception of western border areas that lie in a low to moderate hazard zone.
• Puducherry lies in a low hazard region.
• As per the 2002 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) map, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry fall in Zones II & III.
• Historically, parts of this region have experienced seismic activity in the M5.0 range.