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7th September 2022 (6 Topics)

More than half the funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan unutilized: NITI Aayog report


It has been highlighted in the fourth progress report released by the NITI Aayog that, less than half the funds set aside for the POSHAN Abhiyaan have been utilized by India’s states.


About POSHAN Abhiyaan:

  • The Government of India launched its flagship programme in 2018, the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan, to draw national attention to and take action against malnutrition, in a mission-mode.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan is the Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers, and adolescents.

Objectives of Poshan Abhiyaan Fourth Progress Report:

  1. Examine the progress to date on rolling out all POSHAN Abhiyaan interventions using relevant data.
  2. Discuss the importance of preserving progress on the nutrition agenda in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  3. Recommend key actions to accelerate progress toward India’s nutrition goals.

The report listed five key elements of the POSHAN Abhiyaan scheme:

  1. Deliver a high-impact package of interventions in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life
  2. Strengthen the delivery of these interventions through technology and management
  3. Improve the capacity of frontline workers
  4. Facilitate cross-sectoral convergence to address the multi-dimensional nature of malnutrition
  5. Enhance behaviour change and community mobilisation

Key Findings of the report:

  • States and Union territories (UTs) with poor distribution of mobile phones and growth monitoring devices emerged as those with low fund utilization.
  • The scheme has an earmarked three-year budget of Rs 9,046.17 crore from 2017-18. More than half the funds (60 per cent) remained unutilized until March 31, 2020.
  • Only three states had used more than 50 per cent of their POSHAN Abhiyaan funds between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. This improved marginally to 12 between 2017-2019 and FY 2019-2020.
  • Nagaland (87 per cent), Meghalaya (78 per cent), Sikkim (71 per cent), Mizoram (67 per cent) and Lakshadweep (65 per cent) had utilised the maximum proportion of funds by the end of 2019-2020.

State-wise comparison of the percentage funds utilised up to FY 2018-19 and FY 2017-18 and upto FY 2019-20

  • Punjab (22 per cent), Puducherry (22 per cent), Tripura (16 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (9 per cent) and Odisha (8 per cent) were the poorest performers.
  • The number of funds being utilised improved across most states and UTs 30 of 35. It decreased in Telangana, Mizoram, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Puducherry.
  • The readiness and capabilities to deliver POSHAN Abhiyaan interventions have improved compared to previous progress reports. This has been highlighted by assessing other indicators like human resources, infrastructure, supplies, training, and capacity building.

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