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Poshan Abhiyaan Scheme Impact, Policy and Importance

Indian government launched the National Nutrition Mission in 2018 which is referred to as Poshan Abhiyan. Poshan Scheme is a large-scale government program in India that aims to improve nutrition across the country.  The Poshan Scheme targets mothers, children under six years old, and adolescent girls.

By focusing on areas like balanced diets, anemia prevention, low birth weight, and hygiene, the program works to reduce malnutrition and improve overall health outcomes.

Poshan Abhiyaan

Poshan Abhiyan, also known as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), is a special initiative by the Indian government aimed at ensuring proper nutrition for people across the country. It primarily focuses on improving nutrition for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under six years old. The plan includes detailed strategies, such as:

  • Spreading awareness about the importance of nutritious food choices.
  • Increasing access to healthy food nationwide.
  • Strengthening nutritional services for target groups.

The Poshan Scheme is a crucial initiative with the potential to significantly improve the nutritional situation in India. It plays a key role in ensuring the well-being and prosperity of all citizens, thus contributing to a healthier and more prosperous future for the nation.

Features of Poshan Abhiyaan

The Poshan Abhiyaan Mission encompasses several key features aimed at addressing malnutrition comprehensively and effectively. Here are some of its prominent features:

Poshan Abhiyaan Mission Features
Program Name POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission)
Launch Date 8 March 2018
Target Population
Children (0–6 years), pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls
Objectives Reduce undernutrition, low birth weight, anemia, and stunting
Reduce under-nutrition by 2% annually
Reduce anemia by 3% annually
Reduce low birth weight by 2% annually
Helpline Numbers
Women’s Helpline: 181, 1091
Child Helpline: 1098
CA RA Help Desk: 1800-11-1311
Helpline for the Elderly: 14567
  • Objective: The main aim is to enhance nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
  • Approach: The program adopts a coordinated and results-driven approach to maximize nutritional benefits.
  • Mission Poshan 2.0: Launched to optimize nutritional outcomes, it integrates the POSHAN Scheme, the Supplementary Nutrition Programme under Anganwadi Services, and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls.
  • Components: The initiative incorporates elements such as social and behavioural change communication (SBCC) to comprehensively address malnutrition.
  • Guidelines: Streamlined guidelines were released on January 13, 2021, to ensure transparency, efficiency, and accountability in delivering supplementary nutrition. District Magistrates play a crucial role in monitoring nutritional status and quality standards.
  • Community Engagement: The program emphasizes community-based events like Poshan Maah, Poshan Pakhwada, and Jan Andolan activities to motivate field functionaries and beneficiaries for improved nutrition outcomes.
  • Training: Over 10 lakh field functionaries, including Anganwadi Workers, have been trained on key aspects of the scheme, with a focus on nutritional counselling.
  • Results: Regular progress reports, including the December 2018 report by NITI Aayog, highlight the achievements and impact of POSHAN Abhiyaan in addressing malnutrition.
  • Convergence: The program encourages collaboration with various ministries, departments, and stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach.
  • Behavioural Change: Social and behavioural changes are initiated through community-based events, sensitization activities, and continuous behaviour change interventions.

Poshan 2.0 Guidelines

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has released Operational Guidelines for the implementation of ‘Poshan 2.0’. This initiative, sanctioned by the Government of India for the period spanning from 2021-22 to 2025-26 under the 15th Finance Commission, aims to combat malnutrition among children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. Poshan 2.0, an Integrated Nutrition Support Programme, introduces a strategic overhaul in nutrition content and delivery methods. It also establishes a convergent ecosystem to foster practices promoting health, wellness, and immunity.

To address existing gaps and enhance implementation, as well as to expedite progress in nutrition and child development outcomes, the components of the ongoing nutrition program have been restructured under Poshan 2.0. The program encompasses the following primary verticals:

  • Nutrition Support for POSHAN through the Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) for children aged 6 months to 6 years, pregnant women, and lactating mothers (PWLM); and Adolescent Girls aged 14 to 18 years in Aspirational Districts and the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Early Childhood Care and Education [3-6 years] and early stimulation for (0-3 years).

The objectives of Poshan abhiyan 2.0 are multifaceted, aiming to:

  1. Foster the development of human capital within the country.
  2. Tackle the challenges posed by malnutrition.
  3. Raise awareness about nutrition and cultivate sustainable eating habits for improved health and well-being.
  4. Address nutrition-related deficiencies through targeted strategies.

Poshan 2.0 will emphasize Maternal Nutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding Norms, Treatment Protocols for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and Wellness through Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) practices. Its focus is on reducing the prevalence of wasting, underweight, stunting, and anemia. This effort is supported by the introduction of the ‘Poshan Tracker,’ a robust ICT centralized data system, which is being integrated with the RCH Portal (Anmol) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Poshan Abhiyaan Achievements

Poshan Abhiyaan has made strides in tackling malnutrition in India. Here are some of its key achievements:

  • Reduced Malnutrition Rates: There has been a decrease in stunting (from 38.4% to 35.5%), wasting (from 21.0% to 19.3%), and underweight prevalence (from 35.8% to 32.1%) among children.
  • Jan Andolan for Behavior Change: The Poshan Scheme has effectively used public awareness campaigns. Over 40 crore activities have been organized under “Poshan Maahs” (Nutrition Months) and “Poshan Pakhwadas” (Nutrition Fortnights) to promote healthy habits.
  • Technological Advancements: The program leverages technology for real-time monitoring and data collection. Over 11 lakh smartphones and growth monitoring devices have been distributed to Anganwadi workers, allowing them to better track children’s health.
  • Convergence and Millets: Poshan Abhiyaan fosters collaboration between various government departments to address nutrition holistically. Additionally, it promotes the inclusion of millet, a nutritious and climate-resilient grain, in meal plans.

These achievements highlight Poshan Abhiyaan’s positive impact on improving children’s health and well-being in India. However, the fight against malnutrition is ongoing, and the Poshan Scheme’s efforts continue to focus on further reducing malnutrition rates and creating a healthier future for generations to come.

Poshan Abhiyaan 2.0

Launched in 2022, Poshan Abhiyaan 2.0 builds on the successes of the original Poshan Abhiyaan program to further tackle malnutrition in India. Poshan Abhiyaan 2.0 aims for a more comprehensive and data-driven strategy to combat malnutrition in India, with a focus on preventive and holistic care for mothers and children. read the following below:

  • Focus on Maternal Health: Poshan 2.0 recognizes the crucial role of maternal health in child development. It emphasizes proper nutrition for pregnant and lactating mothers to ensure healthy babies.
  • Improved Delivery Systems: The program utilizes the “Poshan Tracker,” a robust digital platform for data management and service monitoring. This allows for quicker identification and intervention for malnourished children.
  • Integration of AYUSH: Poshan 2.0 incorporates practices from India’s traditional medicine system, AYUSH, to promote overall wellness and immunity among beneficiaries.
  • Diet Diversity and Millets: The program promotes a wider variety of nutritious foods in diets and encourages the use of millets, a protein-rich and drought-resistant grain.
  • Convergence and Capacity Building: Poshan 2.0 strengthens collaboration across government departments for a more unified approach. It also invests in training Anganwadi workers to enhance their skills in nutrition delivery and child development.

Poshan Maah

Since 2018, September has been celebrated as POSHAN Maah, aiming to enhance nutritional outcomes for children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. The month-long activities are centred around various aspects such as antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, addressing anemia, growth monitoring, promoting girls’ education, advocating for the right age of marriage, emphasizing hygiene and sanitation, and promoting healthy eating through food fortification.

These activities primarily focus on Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) and adhere to the Jan Andolan Guidelines. SBCC involves strategically using communication approaches to promote changes in knowledge, attitudes, norms, beliefs, and behaviors related to nutrition and health.

Poshan Vatika

Posha Vatika serves as a small plot of land where families cultivate organic fruits and vegetables, ensuring a steady supply of nutrition, especially for women and children, while also preserving soil health. Community GIS is a platform empowering communities to establish a spatial data infrastructure, featuring both a user-friendly frontend and a backend known as geonode. Its main objective is to educate users on spatial information and showcase how modern tools can address real-world challenges.

Catering to a diverse user base, from data contributors to analysts, Community GIS facilitates data collection, aggregation, access, analysis, and decision-making support. Notably, the open-source code of the front end allows anyone to replicate the technology without seeking permission from MakerGHAT. Data sources include the Census of India and the GISE Lab at IIT Bombay, with website coordination handled by volunteers, drawing inspiration from concepts such as ‘p2p governance’ by Bowens and Dr. Raghuram Rajan’s Third Pillar.

Poshan Abhiyaan Jan Andolan

Poshan Abhiyaan Jan Andolan is a nationwide campaign launched by the Government of India in 2023 to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition and to promote healthy eating habits among all sections of the population. The campaign is based on the theme of “Nutrition for All: Together Towards a Healthy India.” The campaign is being implemented through a variety of activities, including:

  • Public awareness campaigns: The government is using a variety of media channels to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition, including television, radio, social media, and community outreach programs.
  • Nutrition Education: The government is working to improve nutrition education in schools and communities.
  • Access to Nutritious Food: The government is working to improve access to nutritious food for all sections of the population, including pregnant women, lactating mothers, children under the age of 6, and adolescent girls.

The Poshan Abhiyaan Jan Andolan is a major initiative to address the problem of malnutrition in India. The campaign is expected to help improve the nutritional status of the Indian population and promote healthy eating habits among all sections of the population.

Poshan Abhiyaan Mission

Poshan Abhiyaan Mission 2023, which stands as India’s flagship effort to enhance nutritional outcomes, harnesses the power of technology and inter-departmental collaboration. “Poshan,” derived from the program’s name, represents the acronym for the “Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition.” The core objective of the Poshan Abhiyan Mission is to streamline various malnutrition-related initiatives and promote synergy through an ICT-based real-time monitoring system. It places significant emphasis on robust scheme convergence and offers incentives to states and Union Territories for effective implementation.

Difference between Poshan and Poshan 2.0

Poshan 2.0 is an improved version of the original Poshan, which was launched in 2018. The key differences between the two programs are provided below in the table:

Feature Poshan 
Poshan  2.0
Launch date 2018 2022
Key focus areas Stunting, wasting, and underweight prevalence
Maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding norms, treatment of SAM/MAM, wellness through AYUSH
Pillars 4 (Convergence, Capacity Building, Jan Andolan, and Technology)
5 (ICDS-CAS, Convergence Action Planning, Capacity Building of ICDS Officials, Jan Andolan for Behaviour Change, Innovations, Incentives, and Grievance Redressal)
Key interventions Anganwadi services, nutrition supplementation, behaviour change communication
Anganwadi services, nutrition supplementation, behavior change communication, diet diversity, food fortification, leveraging traditional systems of knowledge, use of millets
Target beneficiaries Pregnant women, lactating mothers, children under 6 years old
Pregnant women, lactating mothers, children under 6 years old, adolescent girls
Budget ₹9,746 crore (2018-2022)
₹12,000 crore (2022-2027)
Expected outcomes Reduction in stunting, wasting, and underweight prevalence
Reduction in stunting, wasting, and underweight prevalence, improved maternal nutrition, improved infant and young child feeding practices, reduced incidence of SAM/MAM, improved wellness through AYUSH

Poshan Abhiyaan, National Nutrition Mission’s (NNM)

These goals are in line with the mission’s aim of reducing malnutrition’s main indicators and enhancing children, women, and adolescent girls’ overall nutritional status in India. By establishing these particular objectives, the NNM hopes to monitor and assess development in the fight against anemia, low birth weight, stunting, and undernutrition, ultimately working towards the objective of enhancing the general public’s health and well-being.

  • Reduce stunting by 2% annually.
  • Reduce undernutrition by 2% annually.
  • Reduce anemia by 3% annually.
  • Reduce low birth weight by 2% annually.

5 Pillars of Poshan Abhiyan Mission

The Poshan Abhiyaan Mission rests on five core pillars that guide its strategy towards achieving its goals. These pillars work together to address malnutrition fully:

  • ICDS-CAS (Common Application Software): This pillar focuses on strengthening the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. A common application software (CAS) streamlines data collection and service delivery through Anganwadis, improving efficiency and real-time monitoring.
  • Convergence Action Planning: This pillar emphasizes collaboration between various government departments. Health, education, agriculture, and sanitation departments work together to ensure a holistic approach to tackling malnutrition. This eliminates duplication of efforts and maximizes impact.
  • Capacity Building of ICDS Officials: This pillar invests in training Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and other ICDS officials. AWWs receive training on nutrition, child development, and effective service delivery. This equips them with the knowledge and skills to provide better support to mothers and children.
  • Jan Andolan (People’s Movement) for Behaviour Change: This pillar focuses on creating a mass public awareness movement. It utilizes campaigns like “Poshan Maah” (Nutrition Month) and “Poshan Pakhwada” (Nutrition Fortnight) to educate communities on healthy practices like breastfeeding, balanced diets, and hygiene. This fosters positive behaviour change that contributes to improved nutrition.
  • Innovations, Incentives, and Grievance Redressal: This pillar embraces innovation to find better solutions. It encourages the use of technology for monitoring and service delivery. Additionally, the program provides incentives for AWWs based on performance and has a system to address grievances and ensure program effectiveness.

Poshan Maah – National Nutrition Mission

Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan aka National Nutrition Mission was launched in 2018. POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched to provide good nutrition to children under 6 years of age, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and adolescent Girls. In 2018, the month of September has been celebrated as the Poshan Maah for generating awareness and promoting women and child healthcare.

  • About: Poshan Maah 2022 is celebrated to develop practices that nurture health, fitness and immunity to disease as well as end the menace of malnutrition in the nation.
  • Theme: Rashtriya Poshan Maah 2022 theme is “Mahila aur Swasthya” (Woman and Health) and “Bacha aur Shiksha” (Child and Education). Poshan Maah 2022.
  • Poshan Maah of Poshan Abhiyaan 2021 was celebrated in September.
  • The main purpose was to create awareness about the nutritional importance among the people.
  • The focus of Poshan Maah was on social and behavioural change and communication.
  • The event aimed to educate people about nutritional importance through assertive dialogue.
  • The key areas covered during Poshan Maah included antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, anemia, growth monitoring, girls’ education, diet, hygiene, sanitation, and healthy eating.
  • Over 120 million women, 60 million men, and 130 million children were reached out to for the implementation of Poshan Maah under the Poshan Scheme .
  • Poshan Maah successfully reached more than 30 crore people in just 30 days.

Importance of Poshan Abhiyan Mission

The Poshan Abhiyaan Mission holds immense importance in India’s fight for a healthier future. Here’s why:

  • Improved Child Development: Malnutrition, especially in early childhood, hinders physical and cognitive development. Poshan Abhiyaan tackles this by promoting proper nutrition for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and young children. This translates to a healthier generation with better learning potential and future productivity.
  • Reduced Healthcare Burden: Malnutrition weakens the immune system, increasing susceptibility to illnesses. Poshan Abhiyaan’s focus on balanced diets and micronutrient intake leads to healthier individuals, reducing the burden on healthcare systems and fostering a more productive workforce.
  • Economic Growth: A nation’s economic prosperity is intricately linked to its people’s health. By combating malnutrition, Poshan Scheme contributes to a healthier workforce, improved productivity, and lower healthcare costs. This translates to economic growth and a stronger nation.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Malnutrition often traps families in a cycle of poverty. Children born malnourished have lower educational attainment and earning potential, perpetuating the cycle. Poshan Abhiyaan empowers families to break this cycle by ensuring proper nutrition, leading to better educational opportunities and future economic mobility.
  • Empowering Women: The program focuses on maternal health and empowers women with knowledge about nutrition and child development. This fosters better health outcomes for both mothers and children, leading to a stronger and more empowered future generation.

In conclusion, Poshan Abhiyaan goes beyond just addressing malnutrition. It’s an investment in India’s future, contributing to a healthier, more productive, and economically prosperous nation.

Poshan Abhiyaan ICDS

The Poshan Abhiyaan ICDS Common Application Software (CAS) serves as a central element of the POSHAN Abhiyaan initiative. This system provides Anganwadi Workers and Lady Supervisors with smartphones/Tablets equipped with pre-installed Common Application Software. This software enables frontline workers to efficiently collect data, while a comprehensive six-tier dashboard ensures effective monitoring and intervention mechanisms.

With the implementation of Poshan Abhiyaan ICDS-CAS, approximately 8.2 kg of paper registers have been replaced by a lightweight 173 gms smartphone. This innovative technology enables the crucial task of growth monitoring in children through the automatic plotting of growth charts within the mobile application. It further streamlines operations by auto-generating task lists and home visit schedules, allowing AWWs to prioritize beneficiaries effectively.

What is ICDS and its role in Poshan Abhiyaan?
Integrated Child Development Services (Poshan Abhiyaan ICDS) is an Indian government welfare program that provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.

Poshan Phagwada Under Poshan Abhiyan

  • Poshan Phagwada marked the 2nd anniversary of the Poshan Abhiyaan with a celebration from March 8th to March 22nd, 2020 (temporarily suspended on March 17th, 2020, due to COVID-19 concerns). The theme for this occasion was “Enhancing male participation in Poshan Abhiyaan for improved nutritional outcomes.”
  • In preparation for Poshan Phagwada, a video conference was held on February 29th, 2020, featuring the Hon’ble Chief Minister and Chief Secretary of Haryana, along with all Deputy Commissioners in the state. The objective was to ensure the successful execution of Poshan Phagwada. Clear directives were issued to all Deputy Commissioners, emphasizing a focus on combating anemia and malnutrition in their activities.
  • Numerous meetings occurred at various administrative levels, including the state, district, and block levels, involving relevant line departments to strategize and organize the Poshan Phagwada activities. On March 2nd, 2020, a state-level meeting convened with the participation of Secretaries from all relevant departments. This meeting, chaired by the Chief Secretary of Haryana, aimed to discuss and plan the initiatives for Poshan Phagwada.
  • At the district level, Deputy Commissioners were entrusted with leading and overseeing all activities throughout the fortnight. They were also tasked with mobilizing the community, particularly in rural areas, and monitoring the progress and outcomes of the concerted efforts. Given the theme’s focus on increased male engagement, they were encouraged to involve male-dominated sectors such as daily wage laborers, factory workers, and construction workers in the activities.

Poshan Abhiyaan UPSC

Poshan Abhiyaan is a crucial program to understand for the UPSC exam due to its multifaceted impact on India’s social and economic development. By understanding the Poshan Scheme’s significance in public health, social welfare, and governance, and by critically analyzing its achievements and limitations, you can demonstrate a well-rounded understanding of this important policy in the UPSC exam.

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What does the UPSC Poshan Scheme entail?

Having a budget of Rs. 1.31 trillion, Poshan Abhiyaan is a centrally sponsored programme that will be implemented for five years, from 2021–2022 to 2025–2026.

Which Ministry launched Poshan Abhiyaan?

Ministry of Women and Child Development.

What is the main objective of Poshan Abhiyaan?

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)

What is the theme of Poshan Abhiyan 2023?

Poshan Pakhwada 2023 will be celebrated on the theme, “Nutrition for All: Together Towards a Healthy India.

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