As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections approach, the Modi government’s failure to fulfil the promise of development is gaining more attention. The Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme, launched in early 2018, is now being promoted in order to salvage the government’s reputation on this account. An ambitious programme, launched after the dissolution of the Planning Commission and in the age of the NITI Aayog, it is not merely a political device. The programme also reflects what has become of the development project in India under neoliberalism, especially after the end of planning. This article comments on some of the programmatic strengths and weaknesses of the Aspirational Districts programme alongside its approach to and discourse of development.

Reading List

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