Odisha has topped the ranking of states for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, the government said on Tuesday.
Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal released the ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’ 2022 during a conference of state food ministers on food and nutrition security in India.
Among the special category states (the North Eastern states, Himalayan states, and the Island states), Tripura has obtained the first rank. Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim are at the second and third positions.
Despite the logistical limitations in these areas, they displayed a high degree of accomplishment in competing with the general category states as well, the report said.
As per the government’s ranking, Odisha is at first position with a score of 0.836, followed by Uttar Pradesh (0.797) and Andhra Pradesh (0.794).
Gujarat is at fourth place, followed by Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
Kerala has been ranked at the 11th position, Telangana (12th), Maharashtra (13th), West Bengal (14th) and Rajasthan (15th).
Punjab is at the 16th position, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Goa.
The current version of the Index measures the effectiveness of NFSA implementation majorly through operations and initiatives under TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System).
Goyal said the exercise of ranking the states and UTs was commissioned by the ministry but carried out by a third party.
He said the ranking will lead to healthy competition among states under the NFSA, also known as the food law, under which the Centre provides highly subsidised foodgrains to nearly 80 crore people. The government provides 5kg foodgrains per person per month at Rs 1-3 per kg.
It does not cover programs and schemes implemented by other ministries and departments under the NFSA.
The Index denotes only the efficiency of TPDS operations, it does not reflect the level of hunger, if any or malnutrition, or both, in a particular state or union territory, the report clarified.
The Index focuses on NFSA and TPDS reforms, which can be standardized across the states and union territories.
It rests upon three pillars that consider various facets of food security and nutrition. Each pillar has parameters and sub-parameters that support this evaluation.
The first pillar measures coverage of NFSA, rightful targeting, and implementation of all provisions under NFSA.
The second pillar analyzes the delivery platform, while considering the allocation of foodgrains, their movement, and last-mile delivery to Fair Price Shops (FPS).
The final pillar focuses on nutrition initiatives of the department.
The findings from the exercise revealed that most states and union territories have fared well in digitization, Aadhaar seeding, and ePoS installation, which reiterates the strength and scale of the reforms.
“However, states and union territories can improve their performance in a few areas. Exercises, such as conducting and documenting social audits thoroughly and operationalizing functions of state food commissions across states and union territories, will further bolster the true spirit of the Act,” the report said.