During the year 2018-19, some of the major activities undertaken by the Division are summed up below:
National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan:
Under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges has been constituted to act as an apex body to formulate overall policies, guiding and monitoring all nutrition based schemes highlighting the life cycle approach. The key role of the Council is also to coordinate and review convergence among Ministries for providing policy directions to address India’s Nutrition Challenges through coordinated inter-sectorial action.
The National Council has met three times in 2018. The main issues initiated by NITI Team and finalized during the Council Meeting have included:
Finalization of “Package of interventions to be provided during the first 1,000 days of child’s life”
Outlined the POSHAN Maah Celebration Framework during September 2018
Discussion on Food Fortification
Quarterly Monitoring of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister, for the implementation of PMMVY) in all the districts of the country in accordance with the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013, NITI Aayog has been assigned the task of monitoring and evaluating it.
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According to the programme all pregnant women and lactating mothers whose first child has been born on or after January 2017 are eligible. The objective is to provide partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child, and the cash incentive provided would lead to improved health seeking behavior amongst the PW&LM.
Accordingly, five quarterly reports have been prepared with inputs received from MWCD and State and shared with PMO.
Due to the constant monitoring and facilitation effort of NITI Aayog, nationally 52 Lakhs of PW&LM women have been benefitted (amounting a total of Rs. 1300 Crore) under the scheme till October, 2018
Creation of Technical Support Unit (TSU) for anchoring the work of POSHAN Abhiyaan:
The WCD Division of NITI Aayog has set up a Technical Support Unit (TSU) under POSHAN Abhiyaan for monitoring and evaluation, policy research, programme review and effective coordination and convergence between Ministries under POSHAN Abhiyaan, which will have a sectorial responsibility for addressing nutrition challenges in India. The TSU will play a catalytic role in driving POSHAN Abhiyaan towards the aim of achieving malnutrition free India.
Appraisal and examination of MoWCD Schemes:-
The WCD division, in collaboration with other verticals of NITI (Project Appraisal and Management Division (PAMD) and Development of Monitoring and Evaluation (DMEO)), examined the Expenditure Finance Committee’s (EFC) Memorandum for Appraisal for a number of schemes. The sub-schemes: Child Protection Services and the National Crèche Scheme, under the umbrella Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), were examined for continuation from 2018-19 to 2019-20. For enhancement of honorarium and extending welfare AWWS and AWHS, and SFC proposals in respect of Home for Widows (Central Sector component of Umbrella Scheme for Protection and Empowerment for Women) and National Women Entrepreneurship Council (NWEC).
First Bi-annual Report on POSHAN Abhiyaan:
To monitor and fast track the progress of the POSHAN Abhiyaan, the Technical Support Unit (TSU) prepared the first bi-annual report on the progress of POSHAN Abhiyaan along with strategic recommendations for effective implementation of the programme. The report contains a preparedness index reflecting the level of readiness of States for implementation of the POSHAN Abhiyaan.
Conceptualisation and Conduct of Rashtriya POSHAN Maah in September, 2018:
WCD division has played a pivotal role in conceptualizing and conducting the rashtriya POSHAN Maah as National Nutrition Month across the country in the month of September, 2018. POSHAN Maah had eight Key themes, namely, antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, complementary feeding, anemia, growth monitoring, education; diet and right age of marriage for girls, hygiene and sanitation and food fortification. Stakeholders across India organized more than 23 lakh activities and reached out to approximately 27 crore people at grass roots to spread the messages on importance of POSHAN and popularized that how every family can easily access government services to supplement nutrition for their children and pregnant/lactating mothers.
Work related to National Technical Board of Nutrition (NTBN):
Under the Chairmanship of Dr. V.K Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, National Technical Board of Nutrition (NTBN) has been constituted to provide technical, responsive and evidence based recommendations on the policy relevant issues in concerning Nutrition for women and children. The second board meeting of NTBN to discuss India’s nutrition issues was held on 29 August 2018.
The NTBN has examined and finalized the operational guidelines on prevention of malnutrition and community based management of severe acute malnutrition (c-MAM); and operational guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).
Field Visits to Aspirational Districts and High Priority States:
WCD Division of NITI Aayog undertook field visits to Aspirational Districts and high priority States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, - in August and October 2018, to provide strategic support to States for accelerating effective implementation of PMMVY and POSHAN Abhiyaan.
Representation of NITI Aayog at various Committees and Fora:
The Division represented NITI Aayog in different Committees constituted by Ministry of Women & Child Development under their various schemes. The Division also represented NITI Aayog as a Member of Governing Board of Rastriya Mahila Kosh(RMK) and General Body and Executive Council of ‘National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development’ (NIPCCD), and ‘Central Social Welfare Board’ (CSWB).
Schematic Briefs for P.M. Visit to States:
The Division also prepared briefs on major schemes of Ministry of WCD for PMO for PM’s visit to States. Besides providing information about the performance of the Flagship Scheme i.e. Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS), it also highlighted the issues concerning the sector in the States and UTs and reiterated the need for close monitoring of the implementation of the scheme