06th Feb 2019

New Delhi, February 06, 2019: Plan India and NITI Aayog today signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with the objective and vision to bolster the health and nutrition indicators across seven Aspirational Districts: Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Hazaribagh, West Singhbhum, and Khunti in Jharkhand, Karauli in Rajasthan and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.

The SoI was signed between Mr. Rakesh Ranjan, Deputy Director General (Evaluation), NITI Aayog, Government of India and Ms Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Ms. Rathi Vinay Jha, Chairperson, Plan India Governing Board; and senior members of the Plan India team.

Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said, “Development partners are crucial to supplement the efforts of the Government in the Aspirational Districts, in providing quality knowledge inputs and practical support. Convergence of competence across sectors, improved administrative efficiency and evidence-based policy remains the hallmark of the Aspirational Districts Programme.”

Plan India is supporting NITI Aayog’s ongoing efforts to bring in an overall transformation of the districts leading to the rise of India in the Human Development Index ranking as well as Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore until 2020, Plan India as part of the SoI commits its support through technical and thematic assistance, assessing and building the capacity of the stakeholders, aiding in monitoring of the implementation of the district level action plans and engaging the civil society to steer issue based research.

Commenting on the partnership, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said, “Plan India is a child rights organisation, committed to the overall development of the children, particularly girls. For us this partnership is very important, as we can contribute to nation development by sharing our technical learnings, best practices and gender transformative approaches built over the course of 40 years.”

About Aspirational Districts: The Honourable Prime Minister of India, has set a vision to improve ‘ease of living’ in the most backward districts of India. NITI Aayog has identified 117 districts based on objective criteria pertaining to education, heath & nutrition, financial inclusion & skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure. These 117 districts aspire to improve the performance rapidly and hence are referred as ‘Aspirational Districts’. The Government of India, in partnership with States has launched an initiative to rapidly transform these districts. This initiative is anchored in the NITI Aayog. For this programme, the NITI Aayog and Plan India are collaborating to improve indicators in health & nutrition in aspirational districts of India.