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NITI Aayog drafts new nutrition strategy

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-09-2017 Gireesh Chandra Prasad

New Delhi: To bring nutrition to the centre-stage of the national development agenda, government think tank NITI Aayog has drafted a National Nutrition Strategy.

The strategy lays down a roadmap for effective action, among both implementers and practitioners, in achieving nutrition objectives.

The nutrition strategy envisages a framework wherein the four proximate determinants of nutrition– uptake of health services, food, drinking water and sanitation and income and livelihoods–work together to accelerate decline of under nutrition in India.

“India cannot grow at a high rate unless we fix the nutrition problem,” said NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant.

The recently published NFHS-4 results reflect some progress, with a decline in the overall levels of under-nutrition in both women and children. However, the pace of decline is slower than what numerous countries with similar growth trajectories to India have achieved. Moreover, India pays an income penalty of 9% to 10% due to a workforce that was stunted during their childhood.

The nutrition strategy framework envisages a ‘Kuposhan Mukt Bharat’—linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. The aim is to ensure that states create customized state/district action plans to address local needs and challenges.

The strategy enables states to make strategic choices, through decentralized planning and local innovation, with accountability for nutrition outcomes.

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