Will be back next year to review success of Aspirational Blocks Programme: PM Modi


India, All India

These aspirational districts have now become "inspirational districts", he said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the launch of a week-long programme for Aspirational Blocks titled ‘Sankalp Saptaah’, at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Aspirational Districts Programme that brought change in 112 districts will form the basis of a programme to uplift aspirational blocks, adding that he will be back next year to review its success.

Addressing a programme here to launch the 'Sankalp Saptaah', linked to the implementation of the Aspirational Blocks Programme, the prime minister said the Aspirational Districts Programme has changed the lives of more than 25 crore people in 112 districts.

These aspirational districts have now become "inspirational districts", he said.

"Similarly, in the next one year, out of the 500 aspirational blocks, at least 100 will become inspirational blocks," the prime minister said as he urged officials of several ministries to pick 100 blocks that are lagging behind in their respective departments and bring them above the national average on various parameters.

"I am sure, in 2024, we will meet again in October-November ... and evaluate the success (of the programme). I will talk to you again next year in October-November," he told the audience, which included government officials, besides people's representatives from approximately 3,000 panchayats and blocks, and functionaries from all corners of the country.

Around two lakh individuals, including block- and panchayat-level functionaries, farmers and local people are said to have virtually joined the event.

The prime minister also said that the Aspirational Districts Programme will "figure in golden letters in any list of the top 10 programmes of independent India".

During the event at the Bharat Mandapam, Modi said the venue that hosted top world leaders and witnessed discussions on global matters a month ago is now hosting a programme to discuss issues of the grassroots level, with the participation of people from far-flung places in the country.

The newly built international convention and exhibition centre at Pragati Maidan hosted the G20 Summit on September 9-10 during India's presidency of the influential bloc.

Modi also stressed the importance of the optimum utilisation of resources, convergence and public participation for development at the grassroots level.

"Very few people get the chance to run a government for as long as I have. And I say from experience that it is not only that the budget brings change, if we ensure optimum utilisation of resources and convergence, then work can be done without any fresh funds coming in for the blocks," he said.

The prime minister laid emphasis on equal distribution of resources and called for driving people's participation in meeting the goal.

He interacted with block-level officers from three aspirational districts -- Baheri (Uttar Pradesh), Mankote (Jammu and Kashmir) and Resubelpara (Meghalaya).

The prime minister launched the nationwide Aspirational Blocks Programme on January 7. The programme aims to improve governance and public services delivery at the block level to enhance the quality of life of citizens. It is being implemented in 500 blocks of 329 districts across the country.

Each day of the 'Sankalp Saptaah', from October 3 to October 9, is dedicated to a specific development theme on which all aspirational blocks will work.

The themes for the first six days are 'Sampoorna Swasthya', 'Suposhit Pariwaar', 'Swachhta', 'Krishi', 'Shiksha' and 'Samridhi Diwas', according to an official statement.

The last day -- October 9 -- will be a celebration of the work conducted during the entire week as 'Sankalp Saptaah Samavesh Samaroh'.

Modi also launched the Aspirational Blocks Programme portal and inaugurated the exhibition showcased on the occasion.