ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

National Food Security ActSubscribe to National Food Security Act

Maternity Entitlements

Maternity benefits of at least `6,000 per child are a legal right of all Indian women under the National Food Security Act, 2013. In practice, a large majority are still deprived of maternity benefits. A recent survey, conducted in six states of North India, reveals that pregnant women’s basic needs for nutritious food, proper rest, and healthcare are rarely satisfied. Among the women who had recently delivered a child, about half had eaten less than the usual during pregnancy and nearly 40% complained of a lack of rest at that time. The average weight gain during pregnancy was just 7 kg. There is, thus, an urgent need for better recognition of the special needs of pregnancy, provision of maternity benefits in accordance with the law, and better support for pregnant women, including quality healthcare.

Drivers of Foodgrain Productivity in Uttar Pradesh

The present study using district-wise panel data for the period between 2000–01 and 2016–17 assesses trends and acceleration or deceleration of growth in area, production and productivity of foodgrains in Uttar Pradesh. Though agriculture production growth in the state is primarily attributed to...

Pitfalls of Skewed Food Policies

Easing supply constraints on nutritious and deficit food products must be the top priority.

Credibility and Portability?

Examining the Centralised Online Real-time Electronic Public Distribution System reforms introduced by the Government of Chhattisgarh to understand the processes and conditions under which such reforms strengthen accountability and affect the delivery of public services, it is found that while earlier reforms have been successful, the contribution of CORE PDS has been useful but limited. A significant finding was that technological fixes for social protection programmes are only feasible insofar as they work within the political logic of the context in question. CORE PDS reforms could not address the issues of power imbalances between shop owners and cardholders which continue to shape interactions between them. Introducing transparency, accountability and quasi-market reforms in this context offered limited possibilities in what they could achieve.

Realising Universal Maternity Entitlements

In India, most of the work women do is invisible and unrecognised because it is done outside the boundaries of the formal economy. As a result, the laws pertaining to maternity entitlements reach a very limited number of women. The National Food Security Act, 2013 was the first national-level legislation to recognise the right of all women to maternity entitlements and wage compensation. Since the passage of the act, India has been using an existing conditional cash transfer scheme, the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, to implement this entitlement. An examination of the implementation of defined maternity entitlements under the act via a conditional cash transfer, highlights the failure of such a programme to uphold the spirit of the act. Amendments to the act are necessary to ensure that the most vulnerable women are able to realise their right to maternity entitlements, wage compensation, health and nutrition.

Children's Development

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme and maternity entitlements can play a crucial role in improving children's food and nutrition security. Both interventions are part of the National Food Security Act, though maternity entitlements have yet to be activated. Odisha has experimented with several creative policies, including initiating a maternity entitlements scheme in 2011 before the NFSA was enacted, introduction of eggs and decentralised procurement of take-home rations in the ICDS. This article, based on a field study of the two children's schemes in four districts in December 2014, reports how they perform and identifies areas for further action.

Food Security

Bihar's public distribution system used to be one of the worst in India, but the system has improved significantly from 2011 onwards. The National Food Security Act, backed early on by the political leadership, enabled the state to include the bulk of the rural population in this improved system. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the system is reliable, transparent and corruption-free.
Back to Top