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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 29 December, 2020

  • Min Read

Food Security and Food Commission in India - UPSC

Food Security and Food Commissions in India - UPSC

Context: UPSC GS Paper III Food Security of India (Prelims Mains Interview)

What is in the news?

  • Activists of Rajasthan are upset about the new Food Commission.

What is National Food Security Act, 2013? (Except Antyodaya Anna Yojana)

  • In PUCL vs Union of India, SC said Right to food is essential to Right to Life (Art 21). Hence NFSA has a rights based approach. Objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach.
  • All the above schemes PDS, RPDS, TPDS are merged except AAY which will continue to give 35 kg to poorest of poor.
  • It covers 67% population (75% Rural and 50% Urban). Beneficiaries under SECC.
  • People will get 5 kgs of foodgrains per person per month upto 5 family members at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains. It uses TPDS mechanism.
  • Special nutritional support to women and children.
  • It includes meal to Pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and 6 months after child birth. They are entitled to a nutritious "take home ration" of 600 Calories and a maternity benefit of >= Rs 6,000 for 6 months. Hence, PMMVY is merged. 5000 + 1000 rs under Janani Suraksha Yojana.
  • Children upto 14 years will get nutritious meals.
  • If there is no supply in 15 days, then beneficiaries will get Food Security Allowance.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism at District and State levels. Transparency and Accountability to be ensured.
  • Food fortification = Rice with Protein; Wheat with Zinc and Coarse Cereals with Iron.
  • Utilisation of Dryland area agriculture which is 52% land.
  • Development of Wasteland to generate 250 million tonnes additional production.
  • In Chandigarh, Puducherry and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, act is impemented in cash transfer mode and they will have the choice to buy foodgrains from open market.
  • The eldest woman in a household, >= 18 years, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.

What is the State Food Commission in NFSA, 2013?

  • The State Food Commission is constituted under NFSA, 2013 to monitor and implement the provisions of the NFSA. Each Commission shall consist of a chairperson, five other members and a member-secretary (including at least two women and one member each from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes).
  • State Commission’s main function is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the act, give advice to the state governments and their agencies, and inquire into violations of entitlements. State Commissions also have to hear appeals against the orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer.
  • The intention behind establishing the Commission was that if the government does not implement or inadequately implements NFSA, depriving the exploited and vulnerable groups of its benefits, then there should be an independent body with the powers to hold the government accountable for the deficiencies

What is the issue in Rajasthan?

  • The much awaited formation of the Food Commission in Rajasthan, with the appointment of government officers as its ex-officio chairperson and members, has left the social activists disappointed.
  • Activists said this would result in the officers sitting in judgment on their own acts against which the complaints will be made to the Commission.
  • According to them, Food Commission had been constituted in “gross violation” of the principles of natural justice, which dictated that no one should be a judge in their own cause.

Source: TH


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