Since the inception of the District Primary Education Programme in 1994, there is a provision of developing district plans initially for the primary level of education which was later extended to the entire elementary level of education when Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme was launched in 2000-01. At the end of DPEP in 2000, the development of district primary education plans could reach 272 districts across 18 States of the Country but still confined to DPEP states and districts only. Special planning modules developed were extensively been used in developing district plans and the whole exercise is termed as rigorous.
Intensive capacity building programmes were conducted by the apex institutions, such as NIEPA, New Delhi on planning methodology with a focus on hands-on training and data analysis, and use of indicators. There was also a provision of pre-plan activities each of the districts covered under DPEP was supposed to carry out each of the activities proposed in the DPEP framework most of which were followed rigorously. District, as well as State planning teams with representations from all the main streams departments, were constituted both of which used to have intensive discussions on each of the plan components.