GS 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Why in News?

The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme, launched in 1975 to tackle under-nutrition, offers nutrition and health services across the continuum of care in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. It was made universal in 2006.


  • To provide food and primary healthcare to children under six as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • It also provides pre-school education.

ICDS assessment:

  • Health insurance coverage jumped to 24.3 per cent from 3.7 percent.
  • Illiteracy among mothers fell to 27 per cent from 46.3 per cent.
  • The receipt of supplementary food by mother-child pairs increased to 37.9 per cent from 9.6 per cent. Use of health check-ups increased by 23.5 percentage points
  • Health and nutrition education rose 17.9 percentage points.
  • Children receiving supplementary food monthly went up to 27.6 per cent from 19.1 per cent.


  • The programme hasn’t benefited all social groups equally.
  • Improvements among lower-income groups —traditionally at a disadvantage — were relatively lower than higher-income groups. Lower utilisation and lower expansion of the scheme. The exclusion of the potential beneficiaries.
Share Socially