- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
What to study?
For Prelims: POSHAN Abhiyan – features and the atlas.
For Mains: Significance of the campaign and government efforts to address malnutrition in the country.
Context: The ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Deendayal Research Institute is developing a POSHAN atlas under POSHAN abhiyan.
About the POSHAN Atlas:
Aim: to map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country so that nutritious protein rich food in local areas can be promoted.
Need for and significance of the atlas:
According to the World Bank Global Nutrition Report – 2018, malnutrition costs India at least $10 billion annually in terms of lost productivity, illness and death and is seriously retarding improvements in human development and further reduction of childhood mortality.
The solution to tackling malnutrition lies in promoting regional cropping patterns and embracing local food that are rich in protein. The atlas will help tackle malnutrition effectively.
What else is needed?
Community Management of Acute Malnutrition is a proven approach to manage severe acute malnutrition and moderate acute malnutrition in children under five. It involves timely detection of acutely malnourished children in the community and provision of treatment for those without medical complications with nutrient-dense foods at home.
Recommendations to solve malnutrition by Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019:
Recommendations are grouped by the three pillars of food security: availability, access and utilisation.
- Encourage and incentivise agricultural diversification.
- Promote innovative and low-cost farming technologies.
- Increase the irrigation coverage and enhance knowledge of farmers in areas such as appropriate use of land and water.
- The government should improve policy support for improving agricultural produce of traditional crops in the country.
- The targeting efficiency of all food safety nets should be improved, especially that of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), to ensure that the poorest are included.
- Fortificationof government-approved commodities within the social safety net programmes can improve nutritional outcomes.
- Child feeding practices should be improved in the country, especially at the critical ages when solid foods are introduced to the diet.
- Storage capacity should be improved to prevent post-harvest losses.
- All the major welfare programmes need to be gender sensitive.
- Funds for food to all yield great returns and help in unlocking the full potential of citizens besides strengthening the workforce.
Mains Question: Why despite India being a large agricultural country a large population is malnourished? Discuss in detail the reasons and challenges associated with malnutrition in India.