25 Oct 2019

Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey5 min read

Source: The Hindu

Manifest pedagogy: Nutrition and food security are important tools to carry forward the goals of human and sustainable development. National Nutrition Strategy tries to look at the problem in a comprehensive manner. It is a key aspect both in society and economy thus important for mains and prelims exam.

In news: National nutrition survey, 2019 reports released.

Placing it in syllabus: Agriculture 

Static dimensions:

  • POSHAN abhiyan
  • National nutrition mission
  • Zero hunger programme

Current dimensions:

  • National nutrition survey
  • Maa scheme


Poshan abhiyan:

  • Set up by Government of India in 2017 for a three-year time frame commencing from 2017-18.
  • It aims to reduce the level of stunting in children (0-6 years), under-nutrition (underweight prevalence)in children (0-6 years) and Low Birth Weight at 2% per annum and reduce anaemia among young children (6-59 months), women and adolescent girls at 3% per annum across the country.
  • It was launched in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan in March 2018.
  • It will monitor and review implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available.
  • Its large component involves gradual scaling-up of interventions supported by World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan in 315 Districts in first year, 235 Districts in second year and remaining districts will be covered in the third year.
  • UNICEF provides technical support to MWCD for POSHAN Abhiyan under Country Programme 2018-2022.


  • ICT based Real Time Monitoring system incentivizing States/UTs for meeting the targets.
  • Incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools
  • Eliminating registers used by AWWs
  • Introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs)
  • Social Audits
  • Setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.

National nutrition mission (NNM):

  • The National Nutrition Mission also known as Rashtriya Poshan Mission has been launched by the government of India with three year budget of 9046.17 crore rupees.
  • Commenced from 2017-18
  • As an apex body under the MWCD will supervise, monitor, fix targets and guide nutrition related interventions all over the Ministries.
  • It will also monitor an assortment of schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition in India.
  • 50% of the NNM will be funded by the Government Budgetary Support and 50% will be funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, also known as the World Bank). 
  • The Government budgetary support would be of 60:40 between Centre and States/UTs, 90:10 for Northeast region and Himalayan States and 100% for UTs without legislature.
  • NNM will bring in measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs). 
  • The scheme will assist to conduct Social Audits. 
  • It will also set-up Nutrition Resource Centres, which will involve masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition throughout various activities, among others.

Zero hunger programme:

  • India’s ambitious ‘Zero Hunger’ programme through interventions in farm sector was initiated on October 16 (World Food Day) in three districts – Gorakhpur in UP, Koraput in Odisha and Thane in Maharashtra in 2018.
  • Many more districts will eventually be covered under this dedicated farm-based programme in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030.
  • These three districts would act as a model of an integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agricultural\horticultural practices.
  • There will be intensive training programme in order to identify the nutritional maladies in each district and the appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.

It is initiated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

  • The concerned state governments will also be involved in the programme which consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants/crops and initiation of a ‘Zero Hunger’ training.
  • A genetic garden for biofortified plants/crops contains the germplasm of naturally biofortified crops or such crops through plant breeding.
  • It has plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among others.

National nutrition survey:

The first-ever Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) has been conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to measure the level of malnutrition in India. The CNNS is the largest micronutrients survey ever conducted in India.

It has, for the first time provided evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition (called double burden of malnutrition) among school going children. A total of 1.12 lakh children and adolescents (0-19 years) were surveyed for height and weight measurements and 51,029 children (1-19 years) for biological samples.

Key findings:

  • Only 6.4% of Indian children aged less than two years get a “minimum acceptable diet”. 
  • A higher proportion of children (12-15 months) residing in rural areas are breastfed (85%) compared to children in urban areas (76%).
  • Breastfeeding is inversely proportional to household wealth.



  • Under the age of 5, 35% of children are stunted (low height for age), 11% were acutely malnourished, 17% are wasted (low weight for height), 33% underweight (low weight for age) and 2% are overweight or obese. 
  • In the 5-9 year age group, 22% are stunted, 10% underweight and 4% overweight or obese. 


  • Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have a high (37- 42% ) stunting prevalence.


  • Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure. 
  • Children and adolescents residing in urban areas have a higher (40.6%) prevalence of iron deficiency compared to their rural counterparts (29%) due to a better performance of the government’s health programmes in rural areas.

MAA scheme:

  • MAA (Mothers’ Absolute Affection) Programme for Infant and Young Child Feeding is a nationwide programme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in an attempt to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of counselling services for supporting breastfeeding through health systems. 
  • The programme has been named ‘MAA’ to signify the support a lactating mother requires from family members and at health facilities to breastfeed successfully.
  • The goal of ‘MAA’ Programme is to revitalize efforts towards promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding practices through health systems to achieve higher breastfeeding rates.

Key components:

  • Communication for enhanced awareness and demand generation through mass media
  • Training and capacity enhancement of nurses at government institutions, and all ANMs and ASHAs
  • Community engagement by ASHAs for breastfeeding promotion, who will conduct mothers’ meetings.
  • Breastfeeding mothers requiring more support will be referred to a health facility or the ANM sub-centre or the Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND) organized every month at the village level
  • Monitoring and impact assessment
  • Progress will be measured against key indicators, such as availability of skilled persons at delivery points for counselling, improvement in breastfeeding practices and number of accredited health facilities
  • Recognition and team awards will be given to facilities showing good performance, based on evaluation against per pre-decided criteria.

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