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Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Naupada (Odisha) and Sidharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) have emerged as the top three districts in the ranking of aspirational districts by Niti Aayog.

Pakur (Jharkhand), Hailakandi (Assam) and Chatra (Jharkhand) are three least improved aspirational districts, according to the second delta ranking released by the Aayog.

The delta rankings measures the incremental progress made by 111 aspirational districts between June 1, 2018, and October 31, 2018, across six developmental areas.

The development areas include health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure.

According to the ranking, the districts which have shown great initiative and displayed a qualitative jump in their scores between June and October 2018 are Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh), Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir) and Jamui (Bihar).

The aspirational district programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 5, 2018.

Of 115 aspirational districts, only 111 participated in the survey. Three aspirational districts from West Bengal did not participate, while one district of Kerala could not take part because of floods.

It aims to rapidly transform districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and have emerged as pockets of under-development, thereby posing a challenge to ensure balanced regional development.

The first delta ranking for aspirational districts was released in June 2018.

It ranked aspirational districts on improved performance across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure, over the months of April and May 2018.

Most improved top three aspirational districts in education are Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Nuapada (Odisha) and Gumla (Jharkhand) while least improved three districts are Pakur (Jharkhand), Yadgir(Karnataka) and Malkangiri (Odisha).

Most improved top three districts in health and nutrition are Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Barwani (Madhya Pradesh) and Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh), while the least improved three districts are Chatra (Jharkhand), Pakur (Jharkhand) and Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).

Also, most improved top three districts in agriculture and water resources are Sitamarhi (Bihar), Gajapati (Odisha) and Dhalal (Tripura) while the least improved three districts are Giridih (Jharkhand), Hailakandi (Assam) and Begusarai (Bihar). 

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