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Food, being the basic
need is must for the sustenance and growth of an individual. Food is labelled
as the utmost necessity for the maintenance of human life. India being an
agricultre based economy with impressive food production in recent decades,
have failed to provide complete food security to all the citizens equally. The
focus of improving food security to the people is an issue of great importance
towards welfare of the states.

To achieve this time
and again, Government of India has introduced lots of Food Security Programmes,
schemes and bills majorly being Public Distribution System (PDS), Antyodyua
Anna Yojana, Mid Day Meal Schemes, Annapurna Scheme, Food Security Bill etc. The
purpose of this paper is to present an evaluative study of the current running
food schemes in India with their motives with which it was started and the
outcomes, the achievements that have been achieved.

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KEYWORDS:
food security, schemes, PDS, challenges, Food Security Act

*Research scholar,
Dept. of EAFM, University Of Rajasthan.

INTRODUCTION

10,000 years ago,
agriculture was developed and since the time of the earliest cultivation many
changes have been witnessed. In the past human used to complete the food needs
by hunting. Animals were used for the food then and now after some time the
human complete the food needs by the agriculture. Human engaged in the
agriculture and now the agriculture produce food was for self-consumption. Now
the agriculture witnessed development gradually and more of the pattern has to
use in the agriculture for the more production. Agricultural practices such as
irrigation, crop rotation, fertilizers, and pesticides were developed long ago
but have made great strides in the past century. In the past century
agriculture has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the substitution
of labor for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, selective breeding,
mechanization, water pollution, and farm subsidies. The focus of improving food security to the people is an issue of
great importance to the today’s welfare state. Food is the most important need,
as it is necessary for the maintenance of human life. Despite impressive food
production in recent decades, such that enough food is available to meet the
basic needs of each and every person, complete food security has not been
achieved. Food is considered among basic amenities essential for the sustenance
and growth of an individual. It has three dimensions (a) Food availability- total food production including imports and
buffer stocks maintained in government granaries like FCI. (b) Food accessibility- food should be made
available or should be in reach of each and every person (c) Food affordability- an individual
should have enough amount of money to purchase proper, safe, healthy and
nutritious food to meet his dietary needs.

Since 1947, agricultural
development in India aimed at reducing hunger, food insecurity, malnourishment
and poverty at a rapid rate. Keeping this goal in mind, the emphasis, which was
initially on keeping food prices low, shifted to macro food-security and
subsequently to household and individual food-security. Later, the food
security of vulnerable, sustainable use of natural resources, and equity
between rural and urban or farm and nonfarm population became the issues of
dominant discourse related to agricultural development. The policies and
programmes related to marketing and trade were obviously guided by the overall
objective sought to be achieved from the agricultural development strategy. The
changes in marketing environment and production performance of the Indian
agricultural sector should, therefore, be viewed in the context of weightage attached
to these objectives at different points of time. India’s agricultural
development strategy and approach to food security has yet again proved its
resilience in the wake of recent global food emergency, which has created
political and social conflict in several countries of developing world. It
earlier helped India tide over the severe food crisis of mid1960s within a
period of one and half decades and also proved its appropriateness in the wake
of economic liberalization and globalization since the early-1990s. Though,
India’s performance in terms of reducing hunger and malnutrition has not been
as remarkable as that of China and some East Asian countries, given the
political and initial socio-cultural milieu, the achievements have certainly
been commendable. India’s experience has provided several lessons for the
countries that are struggling to come out of the poverty-malnutrition-hunger
trap.

OBJECTIVES
OF THE STUDY

·        
To know the food security act in India.

·        
To study the food security schemes and programme
running in India.

FOOD
SECURITY ACT

The National Food
Security Act (NFSA) that came into effect on July 5, 2013 aims to ensure “food
and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to
adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life
with dignity” (GOI 2013). The Act provides a legal entitlement (or the ‘right
to food’) of subsidised foodgrain to 75 per cent of the rural population and 50
per cent of the urban population of India. NFSA relies on four existing
programmes to provide food and nutritional security: the Targeted Public
Distribution System (TPDS), the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS),
the Mid Day Meal (MDM) programme and the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana
(IGMSY). While TPDS provides food grains to approximately 813.4 million Indians
under NFSA, the ICDS and MDM programmes ensure a free meal to all children aged
six months to 14 years at the Anganwadi (childcare centres) and schools,
respectively. The IGMSY programme provides for all pregnant and lactating
mothers a maternity benefit of not less than INR 6000. The impact of NFSA on
food security, a review of the experiences of various states/UTs in
implementing the Act would be helpful to both document the process and discuss
important innovations and challenges emerging from these observations. As NFSA
is implemented by the states/UTs, there has been a production of eligibility
criteria to select beneficiaries, methods of identification and use of
technology (biometric authentication, smart cards or offline transactions).
These state-level variations give us an opportunity to appreciate the
advantages and limitations of different approaches to improving the
effectiveness of TPDS. This review also discusses three major challenges faced
by NFSA: first, the delay in implementation of the Act; second, a lack of
universal maternity entitlements and third, the impact of the recommendations
of the 14th Finance Commission (that of fiscal devolution of taxes to the
states) on NFSA-related programmes. 

On November 1, 2016 all
states/UTs in India also implemented the process of NFSA. This report reviews
the early experiences of different states/UTs in rolling out the Act. The first
part provides a brief overview of NFSA by discussing the provisions of the Act
and issues relating to its level. The second part summarizes findings from six
studies conducted over the past three years in order to understand the
important issues associated with NFSA implementation. The third part highlights
some of the innovations and challenges in its functioning by looking at case
studies from specific states/UTs. The aim of this report is to provide the
reader with an overview of what we know about the implementation of NFSA. Along
with providing for the livelihood of farmers and labourers, the agricultural
sector also addresses food security for the nation. Although high levels of
production in the country, 15% of the population continues to be
under-nourished, as per 2014 estimates. India enacted the National Food
Security Act in 2013 with the  aim to
provide food and nutritional security to people by ensuring access to adequate
amount of quality food at affordable prices. Under the 2013 Act, persons
belonging to certain categories are provided with food grains at subsidized
prices.  As of 2015, 68% of the
population, i.e. 81 crore persons (of which 77% are in rural areas and 23% in
urban areas) are covered under the Act. Over the past few decades, with
increasing per capita income and access to a variety of food groups, the
consumption pattern of food in the country has been changing.  Dependence on cereals for nutrition has
decreased and the consumption of protein has increased. Sources of protein
include pulses, meat, seafood, and eggs, among others.  According to a Finance Ministry report on
incentivizing the production of pulses in the country, poor levels of nutrition
suggest that increasing the consumption of proteins should be the policy
priority for the government. The report estimates that the cost of pulses as a
source of protein is lower than other sources. 

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