(Premium) Gist of Yojana: December 2012

Premium Gist of Yojana: December 2012


1. Provision for Children in Constitution of India (Free Available)

2. Problem of Malnutrition in Indian Children (Free Available)

  • Children under three to come under Childhood Care Strategy (Free Available)

3. Child Welfare Policies and Programmes in India (Free Available)

4. Schemes of Health and Nutrition of Children (Free Available)

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Provision for Children in Constitution of India:

The Framers of Constitution of India recognized the importance of secure childhood and protection of children’s rights as crucial components for laying the foundations of India’s democracy.
Article 39 (f) of Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution stated that ‘children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Further, recognizing the importance of right to education, Article 45 commits that “The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten year from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”. In fact it is the only article in the Constitution that makes a time bound commitment.

Article 46 it is stated that “The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interest of the weaker sections of the people and, in particular, of the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Problem of Malnutrition in Indian Children:

India has the largest food supplementation programmes in the world; Integrated Child Development Services and school Mid Day Meal programme cover all children up to 14 years of age. Inspite of rapid economic growth and ready access to affordable food and food supplementation programmes for children nearly half the under five children are under weight. Paradoxically the last two decades have recorded a progressive increase in over nutrition and obesity especially but not confined only to the urban affluent children. Health professionals warn that unless effective interventions are implemented there will be a huge increase in obesity and risk of diabetes and cardio vascular diseases when these children become adults. People are puzzled by these paradoxes and want to know that is happening, why and how child malnutrition can be combated.

  • Weight, height and Body Mass Index (BMI) for age are three anthropometric parameters widely used for assessment of nutritional status in children.
  • The WHO has provided the standards for weight, height and BMI in preschool children (WHO 2006) and school-age children (WHO 2007).
  • Give the well known large difference in height between different population groups and emergence of the dual nutrition burden (under-and over-nutrition the WHO has advocated the use of BMI-for-age early detection and effective management of both under-nutrition and over-nutrition in children.

Malnutrition in children is due to imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. It is therefore essential to find out how much food do children eat and what is the gap/excess between requirement and actual food intake. In the last two decades, newer technologies which allow computing human nutrient requirements especially energy requirements with greater precision under free living condition over a relatively long period have become available there have been major changes in lifestyles and physical activity patterns in the last decade.

Taking all these into account Indian Council of Medical Research has revised the nutrient requirements and recommended dietary intake of Indians in November 2010. Taking cognizance of the need to compute energy requirements for varying stature and physical activity, RDA has defined energy requirements / per Kg body weight and as level of physical activity. Computed energy requirements for current average weight in moderately active individuals of varying age, their actual food intake as reported by National Monitoring Bvreau and the average gap between intake and expenditure is given. The gap is relatively small in preschool children and could readily be bridged by improving infant and young child feeding practices. The gap between the requirements and the intake is highest in the adolescent girls and boys. This period provides the last opportunity for linear growth; providing adequate energy intake will enable optimal growth during adolescence and improve adult height. Viewed in this context the initiation of the MDM for the upper primary school children is an appropriate step to bridge the gap in adolescent girls.

Child malnutrition is due to difference between energy intake and energy expenditure. When the food intake is equal to the requirement the child is normally nourished. When food take is less than the requirement the child become undernourished; when the intake is higher than required the child becomes overweight and obese.

Children under three to come under Childhood Care Strategy:

The Centre is all set to restructure Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) to give special focus on children under three years, and pregnant and lactating mothers. The ICDS will soon have a Revised Framework for implementation and will be put in a ‘mission mode’. According to Human Development Report 2011, India is for behind in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) set by the United Nations for Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. In 2009 the U5MR of India was 64 per 1,000 live births compared to 31 in China. The National Advisory Council (NAC) has made a number of recommendations which call for new strategies and reforms that address institutional, programmatic and managerial gaps in the delivery of Integrated of ICDS, the recommendation of NAC have been given due consideration, The recommendations relating to child nutrition include balanced and nutritious diet including proper food and freshly cooked meals, nearly childhood care and development, growth monitoring, care of severely malnourished children, education and counseling, convergence through Village-level Fixed Health and Nutrition Days (VFHND), convergence through community-managed Health, Nutrition and Day-Care Centres (HNDCCs) etc.

Child Welfare Policies and Programmes in India:

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, child means a person male or female who is below 18 years of age.

While casting glance over Indian situation, it is found that around 440 million are children which constitute around 40 percent of country’s population. India has high rate of neo-natal deaths which is around 35 percent in the world. Around 50 percent of child mortality occurs in the country.

Constitutional Safeguards for Indian Children:

Article-15 & 15(1): The State shall prohibit discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex. Nothing in this article prevents the State from making any special provision for women and children.
Article – 21 A: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6-14 years in such manner as the State may, by law determine.

Article – 24: No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in factory or mine or engaged in any hazardous employment.

Articles – 39(f): Enjoins the State to ensure that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in condition of freedom and dignity and that the childhood and youth are projected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Article – 45: The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.

Article – 243 G: Provides for institutionalization of child care by seeking to entrust programmes of women and child development to Panchayat (item 25 of Scheduled 11)

The Juvenile Justice Act 2000 and Amendment Act-2006 formulates laws relating to juveniles in conflict with law (juvenile who is alleged to have committed and offence) and provide proper care and protection for children in need. The Act adopts child-friendly approach by catering to the development needs to the children and their rehabilitation in institutions established under law. The Act brings juvenile law and prescribed set standards to be adhered by all State parties for securing the best interest of the child and provides alternatives such as adoption, sponsorship, foster care and institutional care. The Act has been further amendment in 2011 to remove discriminatory references to children affected by diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, hepatitis-B etc. As per new provisions more power has been entrusted to Child Welfare Committee and Child Protection Units in each district of the State to oversee its implementation and provide care, education, training for rehabilitation of the children.

Institutional Frameworks for Child Welfare:

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up as a statutory body under Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Right (NCPCR) Act 2005 to protect, promote and defend child rights in the country. The prime objectives of the Commission is to review the safeguards provided for protection of child rights and recommends measure for effective implementation, spread child literacy, enquire into violation of child rights, look into the matters relating to distressed, marginalized and disadvantaged children without family, children prisoners, inspect juvenile home and recommend appropriate measure.

The Commission undertakes periodic review of existing laws, policies and programmes on child rights and makes recommendations for their effective implementation in the best interest of the children.
The National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) is a premier organisation which acts as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development Department, Government of India to promote voluntary action, research, training and documentation on women and child development 1860 in the year 1966. The institution was established at New Delhi with its four Regional Centres at Guwahati, Bangalore, Lucknow and Indore.

The thrust areas of eh Institute relates to child care interventions relates to maternal and child health and nutrition, early childhood care and education, childhood disabilities, positive mental health in children an child care support services.

The central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. CARA which primarily deals with adoption or orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through recognized agencies. As per the provisions of Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions, 1993, CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with in-country and inter-country adoption of children.

Schemes of Health and Nutrition of Children:

The Nutrition component of Prime Minister Gramodya Yojana and Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls is implemented with additional central assistance from Planning Commission to promote nutrition of children. A National Nutrition Mission has also been set up to enable policy direction to the concerned Department so the Government for addressing the problem of malnutrition of children. The Pulse Polio Immunization Programme implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare covers all children below five years of age. The programme covers 166 million children in every round of National Immunization Day. Other programmes include, Universal immunization programme to control deaths due to acute respiratory infection, control of diarrheal diseases, control of essential new-born care, prophylactic programmes for prevention of micronutrient deficiencies relating to vitamin A and iron, Anemia control programme, and Integrated Management of Neonatal and childhood illness. The other immunization programmes include Hepatitis B, DPT etc. The Reproductive and Child Health Programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Family Welfare which provides effective maternal and child health care, micronutrient interventions for vulnerable groups, reproductive health services for adolescent etc. The programme integrates all family welfare programme of women and child health and provides ‘need based, client centred, demand driven and high quality services.’

The National Rural Health Mission Scheme implemented under ministry of Health and Family Welfare seeks to provide effective healthcare services to rural population including large population of children in the country. The programme seeks to raise spending on public health management and service delivery in the country.