The implementation of National Food Security Act must base on principle of self-exclusion and culture of honesty. Discuss.

The National Food Security Act is an act of the parliament of India that is aimed at providing subsidized food grains to almost two-thirds of the country’s population. It converts into the legal prerogative of other food security schemes viz. Midday Meal Scheme, ICDS scheme, and the PDS.

Beneficiaries

  • The beneficiaries covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana will keep receiving the 35Kg per household per month at the same rates.
  • It also covers infants, children, and lactating women with different entitlements for them. For example, it guarantees age-appropriate meals, free of charge through local Anganwadi for children up to 6 months, and one free meal for children in the age group 6-14 years in schools.
  • Every pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to a free meal at the local Anganwadi (during pregnancy and six months after childbirth) as well as maternity benefits of Rs 6,000, in installments. Maternal benefits do not extend to Government employees.
  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution of the Central Government of India has addressed the matter of including all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act, NFSA 2013 to all State Governments and UTs.

Identification of beneficiaries

The identification of eligible households is left to state governments, subject to the scheme’s guidelines for Antyodaya, and subject to guidelines to be “specified” by the state government for Priority households.

Principle of self-exclusion

The National Food Security Act has a novel concept of conception to cremation lifecycle approach. Despite putting a number of transparent criteria for excluding those from food security, there are so many who do not need that kind of assistance for livelihood. So, self-exclusion could be treated as a guiding principle. The basic idea of self-exclusion is that people who do not need food should not ask for it. Even the inclusion of a man who should be excluded doesn’t matter. But never should a needy man be excluded. Freedom from hunger is like freedom from corruption. The implementation of the act must be followed by a principle of honesty.

Question for UPSC Mains:
The implementation of National Food Security Act must base on principle of self-exclusion and culture of honesty. Discuss.

Published: October 28, 2015 | Modified:September 17, 2020

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