Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme is one of the largest national flagship programmes for the development of the maternal and child care services. Started by the GOI in 1975, operational for over 35 years, it is contributory in improving the health and wellbeing of maternal and child care through its services. As the restructuring of the ICDS has taken a mission mode, it is considered irreplaceable to include nutrition education as a component because enhanced nutrition care requires continued and repetitive distinctive actions.
The problem of malnutrition is complex, multi-dimensional and inter-generational in nature, the determinants of which include household food insecurity, illiteracy and lack of awareness especially in women, lack of access to health services, availability of safe drinking water, sanitation and proper environmental conditions and adequate purchasing power etc. Clearly, a vibrant societal awareness and collective efforts of Government, complemented by grass-roots organizations is the route to preventing maternal and child malnutrition.
Objectives of the Scheme are:
- To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years.
- To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.
- To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout.
- To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development.
- To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
Services: The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services, viz.
Supplementary Nutrition in ICDS
Provision of supplementary nutrition under the ICDS Scheme is primarily made to bridge the gap between the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Average Daily Intake (ADI) of children and pregnant and lactating women.
Under the revised Nutritional and Feeding norms which have been made effective from February 2009, State Governments/UTs have been requested to provide 300 days of supplementary food to the beneficiaries in a year which would entail giving more than one meal to the children from 3-6 years who visit AWCs.
- This includes morning snacks in the form of milk/banana/egg/seasonal fruits/micro-nutrient fortified food followed by a hot cooked meal (HCM).
- For children below 3 years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers, Take Home Rations (THRs) in the form of pre-mixes/ready-to-eat food are provided.
- Besides, for severely underweight children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, additional food items in the form of micronutrient fortified food and/or energy dense food as THR is provided.
These norms have also been endorsed by the Supreme Court in order dated 22.04.2009. Presently, after revision of cost norms in 2008, the sharing ratio between the centre and States /UTs is on 50:50 basis and for NER it is 90:10.The extent of nutritional supplements to different types of beneficiaries is indicated below:
|Beneficiaries||Calories (Kcal)||Protein (g)||Cost (per beneficiary per day)|
|Children (6 months to 72 months)||500||12-15||8.00|
|Pregnant and Lactating mothers||600||18-20||9.50|
|Severely Malnourished Children (SAM) (6 months to 72 months)||800||20-25||12.00|
The Supplementary Nutrition Programme under ICDS has become a legal entitlement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 which has been enacted on 10.9.2013. Section 4, 5 and 6 of the National Food Security Act 2013 pertain to nutritional support to pregnant and lactating mothers, nutritional support to children and prevention and management of child Malnutrition.
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Fortification in Public Distribution System (PDS)
The Public Distribution System (PDS) is the key channel of the Government's food security system in India. PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The present food basket of PDS includes wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene. Many States/UTs also permit sale of food items such as pulses, iodized salt, spices, and edible oil, through the PDS outlets.
Under NFSA, 2013 total coverage under PDS has gone up to 75% for the rural population and upto 50% for the urban population at the all India level. Beneficiaries under AAY are allocated 35 kg per family per month; Non AAY card holders are allocated 5 kgs per person per month at Rs 3 per kg rice and Rs 2 kg for wheat.
Operational Model in PDS
FCI procures the grain from the farmers, and transports in to central warehouses. From central warehouses the grains are transported to state warehouses. The grains are transported from state warehouses to the Fair Price Shops.
As per the supply chain, fortification in PDS for rice needs to be done at the FCI stage right after rice is procured and sent for milling. For wheat flour, fortification needs to be done at the state godown level where state tenders the millers to convert the wheat grain into wheat and fortifying wheat as per FSSAI standards.
A directive has been issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, advising all the states to give wheat flour/fortified wheat flour in place of wheat grains to the beneficiaries.
Mid-Day Meal (MDM)
National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools (MDMS) is a flagship programme of the Government of India aiming at enhancing enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children studying in Government, Local Body and Government-aided primary and upper primary schools and the Centres run under Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS)/Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) and National Children Labour Project (NCLP) schools of all areas across the country. MDM is also served in drought-affected areas during summer vacation also.
Cooked mid-day meals provides
To achieve the objectives of the Scheme, the guidelines prescribe the following nutritional content in the mid day meal:
While implementing the mid-day meal programme, the Central and State Governments work hand in hand. Central Government issues guidelines to be followed by State Governments while executing the scheme. However, there are some states that have issued guidelines different from Central Guidelines.
|Calories||450 Cal||700 Cal|
|Protein||12 gms||20 gms|
|Micro-nutrients||Adequate quantities of micro-nutrients like Iron, Folic Acid , Vitamin-A etc.|
FFRC point of intervention
FFRC needs to work with Central government to release guidelines for procurement of fortified staples. However, in States which have guidelines separate from Central Government, FFRC needs to work directly with the State authorities.
A National Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee (NSMC) is set up to monitor the programme, assess its impact and provide policy advice to Central and State Governments. The Programme Approval Board releases central assistance in the form of subsidies upon submission of the committee?s Annual Work Plan.
Steering-cum-Monitoring Committees are also set up at a state level to monitor the programme. A nodal department is authorised to take responsibility. Implementation cells are organised by the nodal department and one officer is appointed at each district and block level to oversee effective implementation of the programme.
The Panchayats / Urban Local Bodies are in charge of the scheme in states where primary education is entrusted to them.
Flow of Funds
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is the nodal agency for sanctioning funds and supply of food grains (central assistance) to the states on behalf of the Government of India. The cooking cost is summarized in the table below (corresponding order can be found here).