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Budget 2021: Experts’ View On Mission POSHAN 2.0 Announced By Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman To Improve Nutritional Outcomes

Union Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the convergence of Supplementary Nutrition Programme and POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) to launch mission POSHAN 2.0

Budget 2021 Experts' View On Mission POSHAN 2.0 Announced By Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman To Improve Nutritional Outcomes
Highlights
  • ₹24,435 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Women Child Development
  • Of this, ₹20,105 crore has been given to Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0
  • POSHAN2.0 to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts

New Delhi: In an attempt to strengthen India’s nutritional delivery and outcome with special focus on 112 aspirational districts, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of Mission POSHAN 2.0. On February 1, 2021, FM Nirmala Sitharaman presented India’s first paperless Union Budget for the financial year 2021-22 and touched upon the need to improve nutritional outcomes in the country. FM Sitharaman informed that Supplementary Nutrition Programme and POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) will be merged under the umbrella of Mission POSHAN 2.0. While delivering her budget speech, Ms Sitharaman said,

To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcome, we will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the POSHAN Abhiyaan and launch the Mission POSHAN 2.0. We shall adopt and intensify strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts.

Also Read: Budget 2021 Highlights: Key Announcements Made By FM Nirmala Sitharaman For A Swachh And Swasth India

As per the budget document, an expenditure of Rs. 20,105 crore has been estimated for ‘Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0’ covering the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, which last year had a budget estimate of Rs. 28,557.38 crore. Under the umbrella of ICDS, came different schemes like Anganwadi services; national nutrition mission or POSHAN Abhiyaan – government’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers; scheme for adolescent girls; national crèche scheme.

Sharing his opinion on the new policy focusing 112 aspirational districts, Basanta Kumar Kar, Recipient of Global Nutrition Leadership and Transform Nutrition Champion Award, called it ‘an excellent policy initiative on addressing inequity and social injustice in nutrition’. While talking to NDTV, Mr Kar said,

The aspirational districts have a very high incidence of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Actions on health and nutrition interventions, with 30 per cent weightage, are intended to quickly and effectively transform these high burden districts and turn development into a mass movement. With this announcement and given our pandemic experience which has compounded the nutrition disruption, we are expecting the number of aspirational districts to increase. We have to address the vulnerability of women and children who are the hardest hit.

Also Read: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan

Talking about the new initiative, ‘POSHAN 2.0’, Ruchika Chugh Sachdeva, Vice President- Nutrition, Vitamin Angels, global public health nutrition organisation, said, the increase in health budget and Mission POSHAN 2.0 are welcome initiatives to address the malnutrition issue. She added,

India suffers from the triple burden of malnutrition and the situation has been further exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic. The pathway to success would be to adopt a multi-sectoral approach and innovative solutions to ensure increased coverage with quality of evidence-based nutrition and health interventions for all including hard to reach areas and for underserved populations like urban slums. It will be important to engrain accountability within the health systems and ensure performance-based incentives to drive impact.

Dr Dipa Sinha from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi said there is not much clarity on the conversion of supplementary nutrition programme and POSHAN Abhiyaan as the later was always implemented under ICDS. She said,

The two main interventions of POSHAN Abhiyaan are digitsiation and behaviour change and they were being implemented through ICDS scheme only. Overall, I don’t see much difference.

Also Read: Can India Piggy Bank On Food Fortification To Achieve The Goal Of POSHAN Abhiyaan?

Dr Rajesh Khanna, Deputy Director of Health and Nutrition at Save the Children also shared similar thoughts and said the convergence of schemes will probably intensify the efforts in selected districts. He said,

As of now, we don’t know how POSHAN 2.0 will be rolled out. We need clear guidelines on it to better understand the renewed initiative.

Dr Sheila Vir, Director, Public Health Nutrition and Development Centre said the increased budget allocation for health will positively impact nutrition through improvements in preventive health measures such as child immunisation, effective antenatal care and newborn care through the network of health and wellness clinics. She added,

Additionally, the Budget refers to investment in drinking water, streamlining public distribution system (PDS) and agriculture aid and education. All these enhanced investments are in the right direction for improving nutrition situation. The challenge is in effective implementation of SNP (Supplementary Nutrition Program), health services and influencing behaviour of child, adolescent and maternal care effectively at state level.

Also Read: Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Rs. 35,000 Crore For COVID-19 Vaccines

What is important to note is that POSHAN 2.0 leaves two of the schemes earlier covered under ICDS – firstly, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana or maternity benefit programme; secondly, child protection services. These two schemes have been moved to a different umbrella.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana or Maternity Benefit Programme announced in 2016 a pregnant woman or lactating mother is entitled to Rs. 5,000 for the first live birth. The key objective of the scheme is to provide partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first child and lead to improved health seeking behaviour amongst the pregnant women and lactating mother. This programme now comes under the umbrella of ‘SAMARTHYA’. Talking about the shuffling of schemes, Dr Sinha said,

The ICDS scheme only makes the list of pregnant women and lactating mother eligible for the cash incentive. I cannot make what it means to reshuffle the programme. We will have to look for changes in the on ground implementation.

Before the announcement of the union budget, Dr Sinha had wished for removal of limitation on the number of births on maternity entitlement. According to her, if the government spends, it will contribute to the local economy.

Also Read: “Nutrition Is More Than Food, More Than Hunger,” UNICEF India’s Arjan De Wagt Talks About The Impact Of COVID-19 On Poshan Abhiyan 

Dr Khanna believes that reshuffling of schemes is a good move as now all women empowerment related programmes are under a single umbrella ‘SAMARTHYA’. He said,

Women empowerment will be crucial for our country’s future. SAMARTHYA covers Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the girl child, educate the girl child), maternity entitlements, gender budgeting, research, and other things and together it carries an estimated budget of Rs. 2,522 crores. It shows that the government is focusing on nutrition sensitive interventions along with nutrition specific interventions and this was the basic idea of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Child protection services have been clubbed with Child Welfare Services and added under the header ‘Mission VATSALYA’. The mission has been allocated an estimated budget of Rs. 900 crores. In 2020-21, the budget estimate for child protection services was Rs. 1,500 crores and was later revised to Rs. 821 crores.

Dr Khanna added that integrated approach seems to be a good idea but we will have to wait and watch how the schemes are rolled out. He added,

Since the government has decided to take things in mission mode, programmes will have targets to achieve which I think will benefit all the schemes.

Also Read: Budget 2021: Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 To Focus On Faecal Sludge Management, Said Nirmala Sitharaman

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,78,24,983Cases
22,84,48,447Active
3,40,97,388Recovered
52,79,148Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,78,24,983 and 52,79,148 have died; 22,84,48,447 are active cases and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 3:47 am.

India

3,46,66,241 9,419Cases
94,742 1,009Active
3,40,97,388 8,251Recovered
4,74,111 159Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,66,241 confirmed cases including 4,74,111 deaths. The number of active cases is 94,742 and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,40,888 893

9,964 157

64,89,720 1,040

1,41,204 10

Kerala

51,78,892 5,038

41,615 887

50,95,263 4,039

42,014 112

Karnataka

29,99,098 399

7,284 155

29,53,565 238

38,249 6

Tamil Nadu

27,32,648 703

7,946 36

26,88,142 728

36,560 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,74,217 181

2,011 3

20,57,749 176

14,457 2

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,502 10

139 7

16,87,452 3

22,911

West Bengal

16,20,803 574

7,576 0

15,93,659 568

19,568 6

Delhi

14,41,514 65

404 28

14,16,010 36

25,100 1

Odisha

10,50,760 255

1,931 11

10,40,403 264

8,426 2

Chhattisgarh

10,07,075 37

341 9

9,93,140 27

13,594 1

Rajasthan

9,54,984 40

236 16

9,45,792 24

8,956

Gujarat

8,27,873 67

417 45

8,17,361 22

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,288 14

140 1

7,82,619 13

10,529

Haryana

7,71,904 29

223 15

7,61,626 14

10,055

Bihar

7,26,259 9

36 6

7,14,133 3

12,090

Telangana

6,77,546 205

3,871 19

6,69,673 185

4,002 1

Assam

6,18,042 134

2,541 24

6,09,374 158

6,127

Punjab

6,03,578 22

350 0

5,86,614 20

16,614 2

Jharkhand

3,49,383 16

129 7

3,44,113 23

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,402 17

192 3

3,36,799 14

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,38,198 151

1,639 38

3,32,070 111

4,489 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,753 69

722 14

2,23,174 81

3,857 2

Goa

1,79,307 65

441 37

1,75,478 28

3,388

Mizoram

1,37,377 320

3,049 10

1,33,819 309

509 1

Puducherry

1,29,128 23

230 1

1,27,022 22

1,876

Manipur

1,25,429 23

325 5

1,23,119 28

1,985

Tripura

84,888 14

94 11

83,968 3

826

Meghalaya

84,631 12

240 11

82,916 23

1,475

Chandigarh

65,515 7

67 2

64,628 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,298 3

29 2

54,989 5

280

Sikkim

32,390 8

200 2

31,785 6

405

Nagaland

32,143 1

116 2

31,328 3

699

Ladakh

21,749 14

230 17

21,304 31

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,405

11 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,691 1

3 0

7,559 1

129

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