State Ranking Index under the NFSA

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    In News

    • Recently, the Government of India came up with a first-ever state ranking index under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). 

    About the Index

    • Purpose: The index was released to capture the implementation of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
    • Data: This ranking is generated by data provided by the states about their food and public distribution processes, which is vital for ensuring no one goes hungry.
    • 3 Pillars were used in this Ranking:
      • NFSA— Coverage, targeting and provisions of the Act:
        • It has 45 percent weightage. 
        • It has been divided into three aspects with 15 percent weightage each:
          • beneficiary coverage and rightful targeting, 
          • other provisions of NFSA and 
          • grievance resolution. 
      • Delivery platform: 
        • It has 50 percent weightage.
        • It has been divided into allocation and movement and last mile delivery with 25 percent weightage each
      • Nutrition initiatives:
        • The third is an evolving pillar and accordingly, a minimalistic weightage has been assigned to it.
    • Performance:
      • Odisha topped the list of 34 states and Union territories (UTs). 
      • Ladakh was ranked last on the index. 
      • Nine of the 14 special category states and UTs (states in the North East, Himalayan states and island regions), were ranked among the lowest. 
      • Goa came last among the general category states.
      • Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh scored the highest and secured the second and third positions in the Index, respectively. 
        • The states performed very well on all parameters and indicators governing the implementation of NFSA through TPDS.
        • Score: Odisha which got an index score of 0.836 is followed by Uttar Pradesh which got an index score of 0.797, Andhra was close behind with a score of 0.794.
      • Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim secured the top positions among special category states.
        • Despite the logistical limitations in these areas, they displayed a high degree of accomplishment in competing with the general category states as well.
      • Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu scored the highest in terms of coverage, targeting and implementing provisions of NFSA.
        • They obtained nearly full indicator level scores. 
      • Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had the best delivery platform displaying the efficiency of the TPDS supply chain.

    Image Courtesy: News On Air 

    Significance of Index

    • Indices like these will create an environment of competition, cooperation and learning among states while addressing matters of food security and hunger.
    • It will help in creating transparency in the system to publish reliable and standard data in the public domain for citizens and for periodically publishing data that global and Indian agencies can use for their research and analysis.

    National Food Security Act (NFSA)

    • The National Food Security Act (NFSA) was enacted on July 5, 2013
    • In order to celebrate the day, the conference was organised to deliberate and discuss nutritional security, food security, best practices followed in Public Distribution System, crop diversification, reforms in PDS and storage sector.
    • After enactment, it gave legal entitlement to 67% of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas) to receive highly subsidised foodgrains.
    • Under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), foodgrain is sold at highly subsidised prices of Rs. 1/-, Rs. 2/- and Rs. 3/- per kg for nutri-cereals, wheat and rice respectively.
    • Under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Act, the term “eligible households” comprises two categories:
      • Priority household category is entitled to 5 kg per person per month.
      • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families are entitled to 35 kg per family per month.
    • Coverage under the Act is based on the population figures of Census, 2011. 
    • The Act is now being implemented in all 36 States/UTs and covers about 81.35 crore persons.

    Food Security

    • About:
      • It is access to enough food by all people at all times for an active and healthy life. 
      • Three Dimensions:  Food availability,  Food accessibility &  Food affordability.
    • Importance of Food Security:
      • 101st position among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2021 (serious level).
      • Nearly 47 million or 4 out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic undernutrition and stunting: UN

    Challenges to Food Security in India

    • Overpopulation & Poverty: High per cent of people under BPL.
    • Lack of storage facilities: Improper storage facilities for grains & cold storage facilities.
    • Transportation infrastructure: Poor roads and inefficient transport systems & limited reach of Mandies.
    • Food Wastage: India being the 2nd largest vegetable producer, encounter a waste of close to 18% worth INR 44,000 crore ($7 billion) of produce
    • Policy & administration issues: Fragmented approach & improper implementation & lack of monitoring.
    • Climatic Change: Like unreliable rainfall, flash floods, cyclones etc
    • Lack of Awareness: about food security programmes
    • Shift from cultivation of food crops to cultivation of fruits

    Way Ahead

    • NFSA’s implementation through TPDS should be made uniform in the country. 
    • There is a need for a standard framework to measure the efficiency and impact of food security initiatives through NFSA across all states and union territories.
    • Crop Diversification, establishing Food grain banks will help the cause.

    Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)

    • In June, 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with focus on the poor. 
    • Under the Public Distribution System, States were required to formulate and implement foolproof arrangements for identification of the poor for delivery of foodgrains and for its distribution in a transparent and accountable manner at the Fair Price Shops level.
    • Objective of the Scheme: The scheme, when introduced, was intended to benefit about 6 crore poor families for whom a quantity of about 72 lakh tonnes of food grains was earmarked annually. 
    • The identification of the poor under the scheme was done by the States as per State-wise poverty estimates of the Planning Commission for 1993-94 based on the methodology of the “Expert Group on estimation of proportion and number of poor” chaired by Late Prof Lakdawala. 
    • The allocation of food grains to the States/UTs was made on the basis of average consumption in the past i.e. average annual off-take of food grains under the PDS during the past ten years at the time of introduction of TPDS.

    Source: DTE