What is the ‘Vocal for Local’ Initiative?

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What is the ‘Vocal for Local’ Initiative? Blog Image


NITI Aayog recently launched the 'Vocal for Local' initiative under its Aspirational Blocks Programme.

About ‘Vocal for Local’ Initiative

  • It is an initiative of NITI Aayog under its Aspirational Blocks Programme to encourage a spirit of self-reliance among the people and propel them towards sustainable growth and prosperity.
  • As a part of this initiative, local products from 500 aspirational blocks have been mapped and consolidated under the Aakanksha brand.
    • Aakanksha is an umbrella brand, which could be supplemented into multiple sub-brands that have the potential to create an international market.
  • In order to encourage these products, a dedicated window for the Aspirational Blocks Programme under the brand name Aakanksha has been established on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
  • The partners will also provide technical and operational support for the facilitation of e-commerce onboarding, establishing linkages, financial/digital literacy, documentation/certification, and skill enhancement, among others.

Key Facts about Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

  • It is an online platform for public procurement, launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • It is a one-stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
  • The purchases made through GeM by Government users have been authorised and made mandatory by the Ministry of Finance under the General Financial Rules, 2017.
  • The platform is owned by GeM SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), which is a 100% Government-owned, non-profit company under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Key Facts about Aspirational Blocks Programme

  • It is on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme that was launched in 2018 and covers 112 districts across the country.
  • This new programme is aimed at improving performance of blocks lagging on various development parameters.
  • This will enable holistic development in those areas that require added assistance.
  • The programme will initially cover 500 districts across 31 states and Union Territories. 
  • Over half of these blocks are in six states: Uttar Pradesh (68 blocks), Bihar (61), Madhya Pradesh (42), Jharkhand (34), Odisha (29), and West Bengal (29). 

Q1) What is the Aspirational District Programme?

Launched in 2018, the ADP aims to quickly and effectively transform (socio-economic status of) 112 most under-developed districts across the country, with a vision of a New India by 2022. With States as the main drivers, this program focuses on the strength of each district, identifying low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement and measuring progress by ranking districts on a monthly basis. 

Source: NITI Aayog Launches ‘Vocal for Local' Initiative Fostering Grassroots Entrepreneurship and Self- reliance