Poshan Abhiyaan - National Nutrition Mission

Government schemes are very important for the UPSC exam. They are a part of the polity and governance segments of the IAS exam. In this article, you can read all about the Poshan Abhiyaan programme of the Indian Government for UPSC.

Poshan Abhiyaan
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Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Poshan Abhiyaan Latest Developments

Poshan Abhiyan has now been re-aligned as part of Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, along with Anganwadi services and a revised Scheme for adolescent Girls.

  • It seeks to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes with a focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity to disease and malnutrition.
  • It rests on the key pillars of Maternal Nutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding Norms, Treatment of SAM/MAM and wellness through AYUSH.
  • Under Poshan 2.0, the focus is on diet diversity, food fortification, leveraging traditional systems of knowledge and popularizing the use of millets.
  • Now, nutrition awareness strategies aim to develop sustainable health and well-being through regional meal plans to bridge dietary gaps.

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Aspirants should enhance their preparation by solving UPSC Previous Year Question Papers now!! To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

Poshan Abhiyaan

Poshan Abhiyaan, also known as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), was launched in 2018 (although the programme was being implemented in 2017) by the Government of India with the aim of tackling the malnutrition problem prevalent in India.

  • The chief objective of the mission is to reduce the level of undernutrition and also enhance the nutritional status of children in the country.
  • The mission is a multi-ministerial initiative and aims to remove malnutrition from the country by 2022.
  • Poshan Abhiyaan is India’s flagship scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes of adolescents, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The mission leverages technology and convergence between various modules and departments.
  • The term ‘Poshan’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition.
  • The programme has specific targets for reducing stunting, anaemia, under-nutrition and low birth weight.
  • According to ‘Mission 25 by 2020’, the National Nutrition Mission aims to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • The mission also encompasses mapping of various other schemes related to malnutrition and enabling synergies through ICT-based real-time monitoring system, robust convergence between the schemes, incentivising states and UTs for meeting the set targets, and optimising Anganwadi centres’ functioning, apart from conducting social audits.
    • These other schemes include the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Janani Suraksha Yojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG), Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, PDS, National Health Mission, etc.
    • For Anganwadi centres, the mission envisages the following:
      •  Giving incentives to Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools.
      • Elimination of registers used by AWWs.
      • Measuring the height of children at Anganwadi centres.
  • Another component of the mission is the gradual scaling up of the interventions under the World Bank-assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems.
  • The implementing agency is the Ministry of Women and Child Development, GOI. 
  • The NITI Aayog also plays a pivotal role in the mission. The National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges, which has been set up under the Poshan Abhiyaan, has the Vice Chairperson of NITI Aayog as its Chairperson.
    • The council is also called the National Council on Nutrition or NCN.
    • The NCN offers policy directions to address nutritional challenges and review programmes for the same.
    • It is a national-level coordination and convergence body on nutrition.

To know more about the National Nutrition Strategy released by the NITI Aayog, click on the linked article.

Specific Targets of NNM

The National Nutrition Mission aims at achieving the following:

  1. Reduce stunting by 2% annually.
  2. Reduce undernutrition by 2% annually.
  3. Reduce anaemia by 3% annually.
  4. Reduce low birth weight by 2% annually.

Impact of Covid-19 on Malnutrition

  • Covid-19 is pushing millions into poverty, reducing incomes of many more and disproportionately affecting the economically disadvantaged, who are also most vulnerable to malnutrition and food insecurities.
  • Also, pandemic-prompted lockdowns disrupted essential services — such as supplementary feeding under Anganwadi centres, mid-day meals, immunisation, and micro-nutrient supplementation which exacerbated malnutrition. Read in detail about Malnutrition, its types and impact on the linked page.

Candidates can go through the following links to prepare comprehensively for the civil services exam –

Nutrition and India – UPSC Notes (GS I) Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)  Poverty and Hunger
National Nutrition Strategy 2017 of NITI Aayog Global Hunger Index Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme
Global Nutrition Report  National Health Mission Food Security of India – Food Subsidy Delivery, Challenges
Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India – Complete List Zero Hunger Program Causes of Poverty – A Multidimensional Challenge
Difference between Absolute Poverty and Relative Poverty World Health Organisation (WHO) Eat Right India Movement
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) National Family Health Survey Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
Mega Food Parks  National Food Security Act, 2013 | NFSA Farmer Producer Organizations
Child Health Programmes World Food Programme (WFP) Hidden Hunger: Causes and Steps Taken for Mitigation
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organisation PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana

Poshan Abhiyaan Pillars

The government has named the following as the pillars of the Abhiyaan:

Poshan Abhiyaan Pillars - UPSC 2021

Rashtriya Poshan Maah

Under the Poshan Abhiyaan, every year, the month of September is observed as a Poshan Maah. Several activities are undertaken to spread awareness of nutrition in the community. Here, the focus is on Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC).

Related Links
Nutrition and India – UPSC Notes  Government Exams
UPSC Current Affairs Quiz  UPSC Prelims Exam
UPSC Monthly Magazine for Current Affairs UPSC Eligibility Criteria


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