The Union Minister of Women and Child Development recently said that the Government has introduced a 5-tier monitoring & review mechanism at different levels (National/ State/ District/ Block and Anganwadi level) in order to strengthen the performance of the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme:
- ICDS was launched in 1975 in accordance to the National Policy for Children in India. The scheme aims at holistic development of under-six children and providing nutritional and health support to pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Scheme provides for a package of six services viz. supplementary nutrition, immunization, referral services, health check-up, pre-school non formal education and health and nutrition education. Three of the six services namely Immunization, Health Check-up and Referral Services are delivered through Public Health system.
- These services are provided from Anganwadi centres established mainly in rural areas and staffed with frontline workers.
- In addition to fighting malnutrition and ill health, the programme is also intended to combat gender inequality by providing girls the same resources as boys.
- The scheme is implemented through the States/UTs on a cost sharing basis in the ratio of 50:50 for supplementary nutrition (SNP) and 90:10 for other components except in the case of North Eastern States where the share of Central and State Government is in the ratio of 90:10 for all the components including SNP.
The predefined objectives of ICDS are:
- To raise the health and nutritional level of poor Indian children below 6 years of age.
- To create a base for proper mental, physical and social development of children in India.
- To reduce instances of mortality, malnutrition and school dropouts among Indian children.
- To coordinate activities of policy formulation and implementation among all departments of various ministries involved in the different government programmes and schemes aimed at child development across India.
- To provide health and nutritional information and education to mothers of young children to enhance child rearing capabilities of mothers in the country of India.
- To provide nutritional food to the mothers of young children & also at the time of pregnancy period.