13 May 2012

The Ministry of Women and Child development initiated the scheme of ICDS in 1975 with 33 projects and 4891 Anganwadi centres

The Ministry of Women and Child development initiated the scheme of ICDS in 1975 with 33 projects and 4891 Anganwadi centres (AWCs). The scheme was gradually universalised, in phases, and finally in 2008-09 with approved 7076 projects and 14 lakh AWCs. The universalisation of the scheme led to increased outreach which necessitated operational, programmatic and other reforms.

In order to address various programmatic, managemental and institutional reforms as well as to meet administrative and operational challenges, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has formulated a comprehensive proposal on ICDS Strengthening and Restructuring which inter-aliainclude addressing the gaps and challenges with

(a) special focus on children under 3 years and pregnant and lactating mothers  
(b) strengthening and repackaging of service including, care and nutrition counseling services and care of severely underweight children
(c) a provision for an additional Anganwadi Worker cum Nutrition Counselor for focus on children under 3 years of age and to improve the family contact, care and nutrition counseling for P&L Mothers in the selected 200 high-burden districts across the country, besides having pilots on link worker, 5% crèche cum Anganwadi centre
(d) focus on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
(e) forging strong institutional and programmatic convergence particularly, at the district, block and village levels (f) models providing flexibility at local levels for community participation
(g) improving Supplementary Nutrition Programme including cost indexation,
(h)  provision for the construction and improvement of Anganwadi centres
(i) allocating adequate financial resources for other components including Monitoring and Management and Information System (MIS), Training and use of Information and communication technology (ICT),  and
(j) to put ICDS in a mission mode etc.

The Scheme of ICDS is a Centrally Sponsored Programme implemented through the State Governments/UT Administrations. The Scheme, since inception, envisages involvement of voluntary organizations, Central Social Welfare Boards, Local bodies, Panchayati Raj Institutions etc. wherever they are functional, to be actively involved in this Programme for implementation, soliciting community support etc. The States have been given the autonomy, within the overall framework of the ICDS, to entrust whole or part of the ICDS projects to a voluntary organization including NGOs for which grants to them would be provided by the concerned State Government/UT Administration. The responsibility for deciding eligibility criterion, job responsibilities, wages etc. of NGO appointees, therefore, rests with the State Governments/UT Administrations.

This was stated by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Krishna Tirath, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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