Government’s think tank NITI Aayog has begun consulting states and NGOs on tracking effectiveness of schemes on malnutrition and also launch a platform, linked via Aadhaar cards, to check their progress.
The first set of consultations, in which Tata Group’s Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata also participated, began today.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant held deliberations with the stakeholders including senior officials from states and NGOs working on nutrition besides creating a multi-sectoral platform for implementation and monitoring of malnutrition.
“The meeting – India’s malnutrition: A call to action – was on challenges of malnutrition and the deliberation focused on breaking the cycle of under-nutrition, disease, infections and mortality,” a source said.
“Discussion also centered on tracking of programmes run by the Women and Child Development Ministry, Health Ministry, etc through a portal that can track programmes’ effectiveness through Aadhaar cards that have been issued to beneficiaries,” the source said.
A senior government official, who participated in the meeting, said that now NITI Aayog will discuss with the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry on how Aadhaar data can be utilised for more effective functioning of the National Nutrition Mission.
National Nutrition Mission, run by WCD Ministry, focuses on delivery of supplementary nutrition in a targeted manner with real-time IT-based monitoring on the ground level.
The mission has been uniquely designed with participation of national and multi-national entities providing assistance in various forms. It will put in place a comprehensive set of measures to address complex issues of malnutrition and focus on outcome monitoring, training and capacity building.
The government has allocated Rs 360 crore in 2016-17 for the mission, as against Rs 65 crore last year.
The government official said the participants also discussed the issue of inter-generational cycle associated with malnutrition where the mother is malnourished, which in turn reaches the baby, who is also born malnourished.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed the ministries and NITI Aayog to form a programme or process where there can be a convergence of various schemes targeting malnutrition and at the same time the effectiveness of these schemes can be tracked on a real-time basis,” he added.
This would require coordinating bodies being set up at the district and village levels to provide support to effective implementation, monitoring and supervision of the programme, the official said.
The government is aiming to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.