Junior officials to be leaders of change in NITI Aayog project

The NITI Aayog along with the Maharashtra government, is working on its Aspirational Block Programme (ABP) by assigning junior level officials as leaders of change, bringing them on board to chalk out development strategy and adopting a bottom-to-top approach.

Building on the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), the ABP aims for saturation of essential government services in 500 blocks across the country in multiple domains such as health, nutrition, education, drinking water and sanitation, agriculture, water reso-urces, financial inclusion and basic infrastructure.

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The ABP has been identified in 27 blocks in Maha-rashtra. A team of Niti Aayog held a meeting with state’s planning department last week to discuss about taking forward the program by bringing in inter-sectoral cooperation.

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“It is expected that block level officials leading various sectors of the programme will steer and drive the change in aspirational blocks under the guidance and support of district and state level officials,” said an official from the Niti Aayog. The Block Development Strategy will outline the priorities in each sector of the block and the services that will be offered to the public while making the best possible use of the existing resources at hand.

State Planning department’s Principal Secretary Saurabh Vijay said that Maharashtra has begun working on block development strategy in areas such as Palghar. “The plan is to address issues from bottom to top approach. The state has been working as per the directions from the centre,” he said.

“It is envisaged that the comprehensive Block Development Strategy developed through Chint-an Shivirs with all stakeholders shall act as a driving factor to enable government programmes,” the official from Niti Aayog said, adding that block level officials will be encouraged to come up with plan instead of assigning policies from top.

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