Niti Aayog unveils strategy for national nutrition mission

Government think-tank Niti Aayog on Tuesday came out with the National Nutrition Strategy, seeking to put nutrition at the forefront of the narrative of the National Development Agenda.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2017 00:12 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Niti Aayog,National Nutrition Strategy,National Development Agenda
The Aayog made the pitch, citing the benefit to cost ratio of 16:1 for 40 low- and middle-income countries, adding that there is a well-recognised rationale globally for investing in nutrition.(HT File Photo)

The government on Tuesday unveiled the national nutrition strategy which aims at ensuring every child, adolescent girl and woman attains optimal nutritional status by 2022.

The Integrated Child Development Services Mission would be expanded to form a National Nutrition Mission along the lines of National Health Mission under the ministry of women and child development (WCD), as per the strategy document.

Federal think tank Niti Aayog, which has authored the strategy, has suggested setting up a steering group for monitoring the progress of mission that will report directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The outcome of deliberations of an inter-ministerial group, the strategy document titled ‘Nourishing India’ envisages use of tracking and targeting children from birth until they are three years old, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Describing malnutrition among children as “India’s biggest governance failure”, Kant said one third of the world’s stunted children live in India.

The document lays the roadmap for targeted action to address India’s nutritional needs. The Aayog has been tasked with monitoring the governance of the strategy, vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said.

The strategy envisages a framework that will focus on improvement in health, food, drinking water, sanitation, income and livelihoods. Currently 50% of pregnant women and 60% of children in the country are estimated to be anaemic.

As per the document, the states will be asked to create customised district specific action plans with greater role for rural and urban local bodies. The focus will be on decentralised planning and local innovation, officials said. Nutrition outcomes will be monitored by the think tank.

The steering group will be headed by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi while ministers from states with high burden districts will be made members on a rotational basis. Other members will include secretaries of WCD, expenditure in finance ministry, health, panchayati raj, rural development, drinking water supply and food; state chief secretaries and five sector experts.

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 20:16 IST