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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 08 January, 2021

  • 9 Min Read

Issues related to Poverty and Hunger: Nutrition Committees of India

Nutrition Committees of India

  • The three top committees responsible for policies regarding nutrition are:
  1. The National Nutrition Council (NNC), headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and including 12 Union Ministers and five Chief Ministers on a rotational basis;
  2. The Executive Committee (EC) of the National Nutrition Mission headed by the Secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry Ram Mohan Mishra; and
  3. The National Technical Board on Nutrition (NTBN), headed by Member, NITI Aayog, V.K. Paul.
  • These committees were set up after the Cabinet approved the National Nutrition Mission in December 2017 and were mandated to meet once every quarter.
  • They have to supervise the policy framework and the implementation of the government programmes, review the performance of various States, give scientific and technical recommendations for the execution of various schemes and propose corrective measures.
  • The government’s three top committees on nutrition responsible for providing policy directions, monitoring the implementation of various schemes and reviewing the nutritional status of various States and Union Territories have failed to meet even once since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, though they are required to meet every quarter.
  • This is despite global warnings of rising levels of hunger, malnutrition and child mortality.
  • A leading member of one of these bodies, Chandrakant S. Pandav, who is also known as the “Iodine Man of India”, told that “he is depressed and angry” at the “collapse” of the nutrition system as the “situation has gone from bad to worse, which could have been prevented”.
  • Another member of the Executive Committee of the National Nutrition Mission said on the condition of anonymity that “structures created by the PM under the Nutrition Mission need to be used and not be kept idle”.
  • Dr. Pandav said: “COVID-19 is the reason why these meetings should have been held urgently. COVID-19 has scuttled everything. I am depressed and angry. The situation [poverty and hunger] has gone from bad to worse, which could have been prevented. We could have used imaginative ways of engaging communities, but we lost the opportunity to reach them.”
  • Another expert, who is a member of the EC that met last in February 2020, said: “COVID-19 has put a lot of pressure on the underprivileged, especially women and children, who need nourishment at a time income levels have gone down. We need to put our heads together to ensure this.”

Source: TH


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