Panchayats & ULBs to implement ICDS

The need to bring about much desired transparency and accountability coupled with added involvement of community in the implementation of the nutrition scheme of the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS), the State Administrative Council (SAC) approved a decentralised policy for procurement of supplementary nutrition for it. The SAC met under the chairmanship of the Governor on January 25 to accord approval to it. Now, whatever Recipe Menu mentions about the nutrition items , which shall duly be displayed in the Anganwari Centres, alone shall have to be procured . Here care needs to be taken that too much divergence in the item selection among different Anganwadi Centres would create problems for procurement which should be addressed. As complaints were heard about the items being either stale or of sub- standard quality , care has got to be taken in this regard as well the quality of procured items cross checked.
Another problem as to where from to be procured, seems to have been resolved as these nutrition items are to be procured from Super Bazar/ Cooperative Stores / Fixed Price Shops or registered local shopkeepers on the rates not exceeding the ones notified. Since monitoring of any scheme guarantees its success, it is noteworthy that not only there is provision of review meetings on periodic basis but the entire procurement has got to be made under the supervision of respective Panchayati Raj Institutions as per delegation of powers to Panchayati Raj Institutions under the amended Panchayati Raj Act.
It is again a matter of satisfaction that it has been decided to make an analysis of procurement module as prevalent in some States like Kerala, Uttrakhand and Odisha to see which of the areas we could improve upon , however, two items have been kept out of the purview of the decentralized process, that of the rice and wheat. In short, the focus needs to be made on the implementation of the scheme for benefit of the targeted groups or the children aged 0-6 years, pregnant and lactating mothers as also adolescent girls.