August 2023 :  Kurukshetra Magazine GIST : Micro Notes or Revision Notes : Kurukshetra Magazine Summary


Adequate Nutrition for Women and Children

Importance of Adequate Nutrition

  • Impacts health of women, children, and families
  • Malnutrition leads to:
    • Deficiency diseases
    • Lower life expectancy
    • Increased risk of maternal mortality

Prevalence of Malnutrition

  • 7% of women in reproductive age group are underweight (NFHS-5)
  • 57% of women in reproductive age group suffer from anaemia (NFHS-5)
  • 5% of children under five are stunted
  • 3% of children under five are wasted
  • 7% of children under five are severely wasted
  • 1% of children under five are underweight

Government Initiatives

  • National Nutrition Policy (1993)
  • National Plan of Action on Nutrition (1995)
  • NITI Aayog National Nutrition Strategy – “Nourishing India”
    • Focuses on reducing undernutrition during first 3 years of life
  • POSHAN Abhiyan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition)
    • Flagship program to improve nutritional outcomes
    • Involves convergence of various existing programs
  • Saksham Anganwadis and POSHAN 2.0 (2022)
    • Addresses malnutrition in children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers
    • Provides supplementary nutrition and diversified diet
  • Conditional cash transfer schemes:
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
    • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)
    • Provides free antenatal care services to pregnant women
  • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK)
    • Aims for 100% institutional delivery and zero out-of-pocket expenditure
  • Poshan Tracker (2021)
    • Governance tool to improve transparency and delivery support systems


  • Effective implementation of programs
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation
  • Modifying schemes based on ground-level needs



Promoting Household Food and Nutrition Security

Food Security Defined

  • FAO definition (2012): “all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life”

Causes of Food Insecurity

  • Complex and interconnected
  • Rooted in structural and economic constraints
  • Poverty is the main cause

Pillars of Household Food and Nutrition Security

  1. Food Availability:Sufficient and consistent supply of diverse food options
  2. Food Access:Affordability, physical access to markets, storage/transport infrastructure, social safety nets
    • Strategies: income generation, market infrastructure improvement, fair pricing, social protection programs
  3. Food Utilization:Maximizing nutritional value of food and health outcomes
  4. Food Stability:Ability to maintain food access during shocks/crises
  5. Governance and Policy:Coherent policies, strategies, and programs
  6. Empowerment and Capacity Building:Informed food choices, gender equality, strong local institutions

Key Methods for Ensuring Household Food Security

  1. Sustainable agriculture practices
  2. Diversification of food production
  3. Enhancing access to inputs and technologies
  4. Social protection programs
  5. Nutrition education and behavior change
  6. Strengthening health and nutrition services
  7. Policy and governance
  8. Research and innovation

Food Security and SDGs

  • SDG 1: No Poverty – sufficient food breaks poverty cycle
  • SDG 2: Zero Hunger – reduces hunger and malnutrition
  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being – improves overall health
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality – empowers women in food production/consumption
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – reduces food waste, promotes sustainable farming
  • SDG 13: Climate Action – enhances resilience to climate change
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals – requires multi-stakeholder partnerships

Strategies for Enhancing Household Food Security

  • Kitchen gardening – increases access to fresh, nutritious food, promotes sustainable practices, empowers individuals
  • Dietary diversification – includes a wide variety of foods from different food groups for a balanced diet
  • Food fortification – adds essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to food

Government Initiatives

  • National Food Security Act (NFSA, 2013) – ensures access to affordable, quality food
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) – provides free food grains to beneficiaries
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – provides cash support for pregnant/lactating women
  • Poshan Maah – annual event to address malnutrition
  • Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 – integrated nutrition support program
  • Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) – provides hot cooked meals for children


Achieving household food and nutrition security is crucial for India’s development and contributes to achieving SDGs.


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