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National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

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National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

Why in news:

  • The Centre assured the Manipur govt of complete support in ensuring sufficient foodgrains stock in different parts of the state and regular supplies of the entitled quantities to NFSA beneficiaries. 

Key features of the NFSA,2013:

  • The National Food Security Act(NFSA) was passed in 2013 with the intention of moving away from welfare based approach towards rights based approach.

  • The Act provides for the food and nutritional security by adopting the human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to an adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices for people.

Life cycle approach under NFSA, 2013

  • It made the right to food as a legal right under the act.
  • The act almost covers the 2/3rd of the Country’s population.
  • Under the act up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the Urban Population are eligible to receive the food grains which are subsidized through the Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • The NFSA,2013 is implemented though out the all Indian States and UTs.
  • The Act ensures nutritional support to women and children. Pregnant and lactating women would be entitled to nutritious meals, free of charge under the MDM and ICDS schemes.
  • Maternity benefit of not less than Rs.6000 is also provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Children in the age group of 6-14 years would also be entitled to free nutritious meals under the MDM and ICDS schemes.
  • The Act also empowers women by identifying the eldest woman of the household as the head of the household to issue ration cards.

Benefits under the scheme:

  • Women empowerment: Giving the ration card under the name of the female rises her position and recognizing her importance in the family.
  • Special care taken towards pregnant ladies and children.
  • It provides nutritional security to huge chunk of population.

Issues under the scheme:

  • Migrants issue: Though eligible to receive the entitlements under the scheme, unable to take the ration.
  • Poor quality of grains being provided to the beneficiaries under the scheme.
  • Lack of transparency and accountability for the loss of grains and also issues of black marketing.
  • No revision in the central issue price since the starting of the scheme.

Way forward:

  • Central issue price should be revised to take into account all costs and prices.
  • Use of technology for the issues of transparency and accountability.
  • It takes into account all aspects of food security.

Syllabus: GS2 – welfare measures for the vulnerable sections of the society


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