PIB Daily

PIB Daily – 11th October 2019 – IASToppers

POSHAN atlas; POSHAN abhiyan; ‘Dhruv’ platform;
By IASToppers
October 14, 2019


Issues related to Health & Education

  • POSHAN atlas to map local crops, food grains for tackling malnutrition
  • HRD Ministry launches ‘Dhruv’ platform


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Issues related to Health & Education

POSHAN atlas to map local crops, food grains for tackling malnutrition

In a bid to tackle malnutrition, government is developing an POSHAN Atlas to map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country so that nutritious protein rich food in local areas can be promoted.


  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Deendayal Research Institute is developing a POSHAN atlas under POSHAN abhiyan.


  • It will map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country.
  • The intent behind such mapping is to tackle malnutrition by promoting regional cropping patterns and embracing local food that are rich in protein.


National Nutrition of India

  • Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure.
  • Nearly 25% of 5-9 and 10-19 year-olds were thin for their age, one in five children 5-9 years’ old were stunted.
  • According to the World Bank Global Nutrition Report – 2018, malnutrition costs India at least $10 billion annually in terms of lost productivity, illness and death.



  • POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched on International Women’s day (March 8) in 2018 to boost nutrition among children and women.
  • It is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
  • Its aim to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
  • Its large component involves gradual scaling-up of interventions supported by on-going World Bank assisted ‘Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project’ (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022.


  • The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38 % to 25% by 2022.


  • Prevent and reduce stunting in children (0-6 years)
  • Prevent and reduce under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years)
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among young Children (6-59 months)
  • Reduce the prevalence of anemia among Women and Adolescent Girls in the age group of 15-49 years:
  • Reduce Low Birth Weight (LBW)


  • The project will include investments in improving the skills and capacities of ICDS staff and community nutrition workers.
  • It aims at strengthening systems of citizen engagement and grievance redress and establishing mobile technology based tools for improved monitoring of services.
  • The project ensure convergence of all nutrition related schemes and provide performance based incentives to states and community nutrition and health workers.


  • Ministry of Women and Child Development constituted the National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges under the POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  • It is headed by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.


  • To provide policy directions to address India’s Nutrition Challenges through coordinated inter-sectoral action
  • To coordinate and review convergence among ministries
  • To review programmes for nutrition on a quarterly basis



  • Over the last 20 years, total food grain production in India increased from 198 million tonnes to 269 million tonnes. Wheat and rice are a major portion of food grain production, constituting around 75 percent of the total food grain production.


  • The state of Uttar Pradesh leads in the production of wheat, cereals and Foodgrains, followed by Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. West Bengal is the ‘rice bowl’ of India, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar.

Farm Productivity:

  • Though yields in food grains have increased by 33 percent in last two decades, it has been far less than desired. For instance, India has set a target of achieving yields of 5,018 kgs/hectare for rice, wheat and coarse grains by 2030. While no state/UT has achieved this target yet, the Chandigarh is nearing the targeted productivity followed by Punjab.


Food Expenditure

  • According to Engel’s law, the share of income spent on food decreases, even as total food expenditure rises. A higher share of total monthly expenditure for food shows lower purchasing power and is related to food access, so it is a relative measure of food insecurity.
  • On average, people of India allocate about 49 percent of their monthly expenditure on food in rural areas and 39 percent in urban areas.
  • Between 2004-05 to 2011-12, among the poorest, the share of expenditure on food has declined in rural and in urban areas showing that incomes have increased in both rural and urban areas and that food is no longer the only predominant expenditure head for the people.

Nutritional Intake:

  • Between 1993-94 to 2011- 12, the average daily per capita consumption of both energy and protein decreased in rural India while in urban areas, there was no consistent trend. This decline has happened despite the increase in household income.
  • Among the lowest 30 % of the expenditure/ income class, the average per capita consumption of energy is 1811 kcal/day which is much lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) norm of 2,155 kcal/day.

Public Distribution System (PDS) and Nutritional Intake:

  • The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) has provided a critical nutritional supplement. During 2011-12, the average per capita supplementation of energy from TPDS was 453 kcal/day in rural areas and 159 kcal/day in urban India.
  • However, it has been seen that poorest 30 percent of households had lower capacity to access food, and as a result, despite the PDS support, they were not able to reach the Recommended Dietary Energy (RDA) levels of energy and protein intakes


National Malnutrition Decadal Trends

  • The prevalence of malnutrition in children 6-59 months in India has declined between 2005-06 to 2015-16. The prevalence of anaemia in young children has also decreased.


  • Stunting has declined by one fifth during last decade. The prevalence of stunting is more than 30 percent across all states in India, except
  • The Government of India has envisaged a challenging target for itself through National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with the target to reduce stunting by at least 2 percent per annum to reach 25 percent by 2022. Goa, Kerala, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar, Puducherry and Tripura have already achieved this level.

Inter and Intra State Variations in Malnutrition:

  • The prevalence of stunting in children under five is the highest in Bihar (48 %), Uttar Pradesh (46 %), Jharkhand (45 %), and Meghalaya (44 %) and lowest in Kerala and Goa (20 %).
  • Jharkhand also has the highest prevalence of underweight and wasting.
  • At the national level, among social groups, the prevalence of stunting is highest amongst children from the Scheduled Tribes (43 %), followed by Scheduled Casts (42 %) and Other Backwards Casts (38 %).


Recommendations to improve availability

  • Farmers should be encouraged and incentivised to increase production of micronutrient-rich grains.
  • Use of innovative farming technologies, increase in the irrigation coverage and enhancing knowledge of farmers in areas have high potential to improve the sustainability of food productivity.
  • Promotion of farming of traditional coarse such as maize which are produced in abundance and are good source of energy.
  • Enhanced coverage of Soil Health Card to small holder farmers and protection of farmers against price fluctuations and losses.
  • Improve Storage Capacity.

Recommendations to improve access

  • Strengthened Safety Nets Programmes such as well implemented Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

Recommendations to improve utilisation

  • Improve Child Feeding Practices, especially at the critical ages when solid foods are introduced to the diet.
  • Food Supplementation Programmes such as The Take-Home Rations (THR) under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) should be adapted to the local food habits in each state.
  • Good practices in Mother and Child Care
  • Prioritise Maternal Anaemia
  • Focus on addressing the Increase in Wasting Prevalence
  • Improvement in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices

Other recommendations

  • Monitoring Progress on SDG 2 – Zero Hunger.
  • Addressing Gender Issues (Women and children remain vulnerable due to various inequalities)
  • Increase the utilization of Knowledge on Consumption Patterns and Behaviors
  • Greater Use of Technology (use of Technology to inform farmer in terms of crops, rainfall and soil health)


  • September 2019 is being observed as Poshan Maah or Nutrition month.
[Ref: Economic Times, PIB]


HRD Ministry launches ‘Dhruv’ platform

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry launched the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme called ‘Dhruv’, a platform to help meritorious students achieve excellence in science, performing arts and creative writing.



  • It aims to encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge and allow talented students to realize their full potential.


  • Currently, it will cover two areas i.e. Science and Performing Arts with 60 students from classes 9 to 12 in all. These students will be called ‘DHRUV TARA’.
  • This is only the first phase of the programme which will be expanded gradually to other fields such as Creative writing.


  • The programme will act as a platform to explore the talent of outshining and meritorious students, and help them achieve excellence in their specific areas of interest may it be science, performing arts, creative writing, etc.
[Ref: PIB]


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