Nutrition and the Budget's fine print -Jayashree B and R Gopinath
While there are well-equipped schemes to address malnutrition, funding and policy gaps are problem areas
A few months ago, the Global Hunger Index, reported that India suffers from “serious” hunger, ranked 102 out of 117 countries, and that just a tenth of children between six to 23 months are fed a minimum acceptable diet. The urgency around nutrition was reflected in the Union Finance Minister’s Budget speech, as she referred to the “unprecedented” scale of developments under the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition, or POSHAN Abhiyaan, the National Nutrition Mission with efforts to track the status of 10 crore households.
Plan and allocation
There are multiple dimensions of malnutrition that include calorific deficiency, protein hunger and micronutrient deficiency. An important approach to address nutrition is through agriculture. The Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh which was launched in 2019 by Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a recent attempt to bridge this gap. Existing schemes can well address India’s malnutrition dilemma. However, where are the gaps in addressing this concern? We analyse Budgetary allocation and the expenditure in the previous year to understand more.
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The Hindu, 13 February, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/nutrition-and-the-budgets-fine-print/article30803731.ece?homepage=true&fbclid=IwAR0vC0M9xM1KqmNkbyWPFBT_RrjzhdOHaUhJPHI4bVyKeVgc