BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to take development to grassroots level, Odisha Government has started process for identifying most aspirational blocks in the backward districts of the State. As advised by the NITI Aayog, of 314 blocks in the State, at least 20 per cent (pc) blocks will be selected as aspirational. A set of special initiatives has been planned to be implemented in these blocks on the lines of aspirational districts programme.
The Planning and Convergence department has listed out 50 key indicators under five basic categories - Health and Nutrition, Agriculture and Water Resources, Education, Basic Infrastructure and Skill Development - as criteria for selection of the backward blocks. The chart of indicators has been communicated to districts for furnishing information.
Percentage of ST/SC people to total population as per 2011 census tops the chart of indicators followed by percentage of pregnant and nursing women regularly taking supplementary nutrition under the ICDS programme and underweight children, stunting and wasting children under six years of age and percentage of anganwadi centers with own building.
Similarly, percentage of institutional deliveries, low birth weight babies, fully immunised children, severe acute malnourished and moderate acute malnourished children, percentage of referral units, labour rooms, villages having all weather roads, households having electricity connection, access to safe drinking water, banking and post office, mobile and internet connectivity will be taken into consideration.
This apart, data on area under irrigation, female literacy, number of primary schools per one lakh population, enrolment ratio, dropout rate, pupil-teacher ratio, performance of students in languages and mathematics, schools with electricity connection, toilet, safe drinking water and household industrial workers will be collected. Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said the intention is to develop these blocks through focused interventions so as to get them at par with the developed ones of the State.