Berhampur, March 6 (LocalWire): Gajapati, a tribal-dominated district received the National Institution for Transforming India Aayog award for best practice in financial inclusion and skill development sectors.
District collector Anupam Saha received Rs 3 crore from the Aayog, as supplementary funds, at a function held today at New Delhi.
The supplementary fund was provided to the districts on the basis of delta rankings calculated from November 2018 to January 2019 on the ‘champions of change’ dashboard.
The delta rankings reflect the overall improvement made across sectors and sector-specific ranks in different sectors like health and nutrition, agriculture and water resource, education, skill development and financial inclusion and basic infrastructures.
Eighteen districts across the country received the award in different sectors and in overall performances but Gajapati was the only district from the state that received the prestigious award with supplementary funds from the Aayog in an individual sector.
The supplementary fund was awarded after the experts of the Aayog reviewed the special development goals of the districts, sources said.
Aayog’s chief executive officer Amitabh Kant presented the cheque of supplementary funds to Saha at a conference. ‘A special purpose vehicle will be formed to spend the funds, after approval of NITI Aayog,’ said Saha.
NITI Aayog stressed on linking the transformation of aspirational districts programme with India’s pursuit of the global sustainable development goals.
Gajapati district, ravaged by the severe cyclone Titli in October, 2018, faced challenges of transferring different benefits to the beneficiaries through the direct benefit transfer of money scheme due to lack of branches of banks in the remote gram panchayat areas. Similarly, the district also faced the exodus of people leaving the villages in search of livelihood after the cyclone aftermath.
‘We signed a MoU with the SBI and Utkal Grameen Bank for opening up of mini-banks under Odisha Livehood Mission in the panchayats without banking facilities. These mini banks also function as common service centres. As many as 15 banks have already started functioning,’ said the Collector.
Similarly, 27, 463 members of self-help groups opened bank accounts and around 23,000 of them linked it with Aadhar. A social drive was also launched in the district at the panchayat level to enroll for skill development training under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana scheme after the cyclone to stop the exodus, he said.