Tata Trusts signs MoU with govt to provide development support in Naxal-hit districts

The Tata Trusts has joined hands with the government to help it in development initiatives in eight worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh, which were covered under the “transformation of aspirational” districts programme.

The Home Ministry officials said the Tata Trusts, the philanthropic organisation started by the promoters of the Tata group, has signed an MoU with the government to provide technical and human resource assistance to the special development programme launched by the NITI Aayog.

As per the pact, the Tata Trusts will help the government in conducting surveys and providing ground level and technical support in raising the living standards of citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all, a home ministry official said.

The eight worst Naxal-hit districts, which were chosen for the programme and would be helped by the Tata Trusts are Rajnandgaon, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.

Two more districts of Chhattisgarh are also part of the programme and one of them is partially affected by the Maoists menace.

The Tata Trusts own two-third of the stock holding of Tata Sons, the apex company of the 100 billion dollars salt-to-software conglomerate.

The Memorandum of Understanding with the Tata Trusts will facilitate placing of development fellows at district and state levels to assist district collectors and district administrations in extracting optimum benefits, the official said.

In addition, Special Central Assistance Scheme — Rs 33 crore per district per annum — has been approved by the home ministry for filling critical gaps in public infrastructure and for services of emergent nature.

Resources are also available in the form of District Mineral Funds and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, another official said.

Use of a large number of women in self help groups for taking lead in development and diversification of forest based livelihood activities have also been encouraged.

Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.

Over 100 districts from across the country were chosen to implement the ambitious programme.

The programme focusses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy.

Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure are the programme’s core areas of focus.

It envisages the rapid development of the selected districts on the basis of a composite index based on health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basis infrastructure.

The focus is to bring these indicators in the selected districts at par with the better performing districts in the country.

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