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Discuss the provisions of the national food security act, of 2013. What reforms are required to strengthen food security? Explain. । UPPSC General Studies-III Mains Solutions 2018


 Discuss the provisions of the national food security act, of 2013. What reforms are required to strengthen food security? Explain.

 (UPPSC, UP PCS Mains General Studies-III/GS-3 2018)


The National Food Security Act ( NFSA) of 2013 is an important legislation enacted by the Union Government of India with the aim of ensuring food security for the country. The act has several provisions that focus on the distribution of subsidized food grains, nutritional support, and strengthening the public distribution system.

The following are provisions of the National Food Security Act, of 2013:-

Targeted Public Distribution System ( TPDS):

The act also identifies the eligible beneficiaries to ensure the regular supply of subsidized food grains.

Coverage and Identification of Beneficiaries:

The act aims to cover up to 75 % of the rural population and 50 % of the urban population for provide specific quantities of food grains at subsidized prices. States government is responsible for creating and maintaining a list of beneficiaries.

Nutritional Support:

The act recognizes the importance of nutritional support, especially for poor people. It aims to provide fortified food grains like wheat flour and edible oil, to pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children between the ages of six months and six years.

Mid-day Meal Scheme:

The act reinforces the mid-day meal scheme, which provides cooked meals to school children. This act aims to provide nutritious meals to children in primary and upper primary schools.

Grievance redressal Mechanism:

The act empowers District Grievance Redressal Officers and State Food Commissions to handle complaints and monitor the implementation of the act.

The following are specific reforms required to strengthen food security and the Act:

Strengthening Implementation and Monitoring: 

There is a need to strengthen the implementation and monitoring mechanism to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of food security programs.

Enhancing Quality and Nutrition: 

The act needs to distribute diverse and nutrient-rich food items that can help address malnutrition and improve the overall health of beneficiaries.

Technology Integration:

Introducing Aadhar-based biometric authentication, computerization of supply chain management, and mobile-based monitoring system can help streamline operations, reduce leakages, and ensure accurate targeting and distribution of food grains.

Former Welfare and Agricultural Reforms:

Strengthening food security requires addressing agricultural challenges, implementing agricultural reforms, investing in irrigation, improving access to credit, promoting sustainable farming practices, and ensuring fair prices for farmers can contribute to increased food production and stability in food availability.

Climate change Adaptation:

At present, climate change is a major threat to agricultural productivity and ensuring food security. Integrating climate change adaptation strategies like water conservation and disaster management into agriculture and food production systems can help build resilience and ensure long-term food security.

Applying the above reforms with continuous evaluation and adaptation, are essential to strengthen food security and improve the effectiveness of the National Food Security Act.

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