Prelims level : Institutional Reforms Mains level : GS-II Issues relating to Development of Management of Social Sectors or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
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Why in News?

  • Centre seeks to revamp the ICDS scheme in urban areas. For this NITI Aayog will develop draft policy, which will be circulated to the Ministries for consultations.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS):

  • The ICDS is a government programme in India which provides food, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunization, health check-up and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
  • The scheme was launched in 1975, discontinued in 1978 by the government of Morarji Desai, and then relaunched by the Tenth Five Year Plan.
    • Tenth FYP also linked ICDS to Anganwadi centres established mainly in rural areas and staffed with frontline workers.
    • The ICDS provide for anganwadis or day-care centres which deliver a package of six Services Including:
    • Immunization
    • Supplementary nutrition
    • Health Check-up
    • Referral services
    • Pre-school education(Non-Formal)
    • Nutrition and Health information


  • For nutritional purposes ICDS provides 500 kilocalories (with 12-15 grams of protein) every day to every child below 6 years of age.
  • For adolescent girls it is up to 500 kilo calories with up to 25 grams of protein every day.
  • The services of Immunisation, Health Check-up and Referral Services delivered through Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Revamp for Urban Areas:

  • Health and ICDS models that work in Rural Areas may not work in urban areas because of higher population density, transportation challenges and migration.
  • Children in urban areas were overweight and obese as indicated by subscapular skinfold thickness (SSFT) for their Age.
  • The first-ever pan-India survey on the nutrition status of children, highlighted that malnutrition among children in urban India.
  • It found a higher prevalence of obesity because of relative prosperity and lifestyle patterns, along with iron and Vitamin D deficiency.
  • According to government data from 2018, of the 14 Lakh Anganwadis across the country there are only 1.38 Lakh Anganwadis in urban areas.
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