Food security to common people - Steps taken by government

Food security to common people – Steps taken by government

Question - Right to Food Act 2013 is not the only means of ensuring food security. Critically examine the recent steps taken by the Indian government to provide food security to vulnerable people.

To eradicate hunger and provide food security for vulnerable people, the Government of India has taken the following steps:

• Food grains have been provided at extremely subsidised prices for targeted population under state governments/UT administrations as part of the following schemes:

- Targeted Public Distribution System/TPDS
- Other Welfare Schemes/OWS
- Mid Day Meal Scheme
- Integrated Child Development Services/ICDS scheme
- Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls

• Government has so far allocated 614.53 lakh tonnes of food grains under TPDS and OWS

• Allocation of 483.70 lakh tonnes have occurred under TPDS while 66.45 lakh tonnes are for additional APL and BPL allocation

• 12.04 lakh tonnes are for natural calamities and additional TPDS requirements

• Allocation of 52.34 lakh tonnes of food grains under the OWS


• Nutrition situation in India remains critical

• India collected statistics for child undernourishment in 2005-2006 last; this marks the last time India has collected reliable nutrition statistics at a national level

• Under-nutrition in India is one of the highest in the world: HDI

• Right to Food Act/NFSA has certain flaws such as leaving out the requirements of good nutrition

• Well functioning public distribution system is another critical requirement which has not been met yet

• There is a need for strengthening child nutrition programmes such as school meals

• Integrated Child Development Services is another area of possible improvement

• Central and State governments need to hold joint responsibility for effective and timely implementation of the Act

Facts and Stats

• Government notified the National Food Security Act in 2013

• Act provides for coverage of 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population for receipt of food grains at subsidised prices of INR 3,2 and 1 per kg for rice, wheat as well as coarse grains as per the TPDS

• This covers 2/3rd of the population

• Act also provides important focus on nutritional support to children as well as women

• Coverage and entitlements of the Right to Food Act are in keeping with recent production and procurement trends. Annual requirement of food-grains for implementation of the Act is pegged at 614.4 lakh tonnes.
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