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There is no proposal to discontinue Supplementary Nutrition Program under ICDS and replace it with Conditional Cash Transfer: WCD Ministry

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There have been reports in the Media that the Ministry of Women and Child Development is contemplating to dismantle the supplementary nutrition component of the ICDS programme and replace it with conditional cash transfer. It is pointed out that these reports are not based on correct factual position. Accordingly the ministry would like to place the following on record.
Supplementary nutrition services under the part of the ICDS programme is a legal entitlement under the National Food Security Act, 2013. As per the Section 5(1) (a) of the Act, a child in the age group of 6 months to 6 years is entitled to age appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi so as to get the nutrition specified in Schedule-II of NFSA 2013. It specifies the following:-
 
SCHEDULE II
{Section 4(a), 5(1) and 6}
NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS
 
Nutritional standardsThe nutritional standards for children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years, age group of 3 to 6 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers required to be met by providing “Take Home Rations” or nutritious hot cooked meal in accordance with the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme and nutritional standards for children in lower and upper primary classes under Mid Day Meal Scheme are as follows:
 
Sl. No.
Category
Type of meal
Calories
(Kcal)
Protein
(g)
1.
Children (6 months to 3 years)
Take Home Ration
500
12-15
2.
Children (3 to 6 years)
Morning Snack & Hot Cooked Meal
500
12-15
3.
Children (6 months to 6 years) who are malnourished
Take Home Ration
800
20-25
4.
Lower primary classes
Hot Cooked Meal
450
12
5.
Upper primary classes
Hot Cooked Meal
700
20
6.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers
Take Home Ration
600
18-20
 
The cost norms for the supplementary nutrition have recently been revised to Rs.8/- (for children below 6 years) Rs.9.50 (for pregnant and lactating mothers) and Rs.12/- (for severely malnourished children). The supplementary nutrition services from the anganwadis reach to approximately 10 crores beneficiaries covering each and every habitation in the country.
 
There is no proposal to discontinue the supplementary nutrition programme under ICDS and replace it with conditional cash transfer. The reports appearing in the Media therefore are factually incorrect.
 
The ministry is in the process of further strengthening the delivery mechanism of supplementary nutrition by use of IT based real time monitoring system.