Modi has given a call for converting the mission into a Jan Andolan for its effective implementation and desired reach.
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi’s ambitious National Nutrition Mission (NNM), which he is all set to launch on March 8 from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, will not have a critical component of direct cash transfer (DCT).
The PMO had directed the Union women and child development ministry — which is one the nodal ministries for implementing the scheme apart from Health Ministry — to introduce DCT in lieu of Take Home Ration (THR) component under the mission, on a pilot basis, however the WCD ministry has indicated to all states that there is no proposal for introducing such kind of cash transfer.
This lack of decision on part of a key Union ministry which has been tasked with the implementation of the NDA regime’s ambitious programme, looks strange as during a review meeting conducted by the PMO in November last year on the issue of nutrition, top officials from the WCD and Health ministries and Niti Aayog had been clearly told to take up a pilot project for DCT in lieu of THR in selected districts in consultation with state governments.
The meeting conducted by the PMO was held just days before the Union Cabinet had approved the setting up of NNM during its meeting held on December 1, 2017.
While THR is a norm which is followed in nutrition programmes being run in aanganwadis across country, introduction of DCT would have ensured greater transparency in the process, sources pointed out.
Highly placed sources informed this newspaper that quite a few states had contacted the WCD ministry, seeking its no objection certificate (NOC) for implementing DCT on a pilot basis, however the Union Ministry has written to chief secretaries of all the states, informing them that there is no such proposal under its consideration for introducing DCT in lieu of THR.
Sources privy to the implementation of NNM confirmed that even as the scheme is set to be launched by Mr Modi, whose brainchild it is, on March 8, no concrete decision has been taken on introducing DCT in lieu of THR. Therefore NNM is all set to be introduced sans DCT. The NNM is aimed at improving the nutritional status of children up to six years and pregnant as well as lactating mothers through achieving specific targets for improving malnutrition, stunted growth and controlling prevelance of Anaemia
Mr Modi has given a call for converting the mission into a Jan Andolan for its effective implementation and desired reach.
On December 1, 2017, the Union Cabinet had approved the setting up of the NNM with a three year budget of Rs 9,000 crore. Its main components are mapping of various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, introducing a very robust convergence mechanism, ICT based Real Time Monitoring system, incentivising states for meeting the targets, and incentivising Anganwadi Workers for using IT based tools.
More than 10 crore people are to be benefitted by this programme. All the states and districts will be covered in a phased manner i.e. 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20.