Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme
Launched on 2nd October 1975, today, ICDS Scheme represents one of the world’s largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development. ICDS is the foremost symbol of India’s commitment to her children – India’s response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality, on the other.
1. Objectives: The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched in 1975 with the following objectives:
2. Services: The above objectives are sought to be achieved through a package of services comprising:
The concept of providing a package of services is based primarily on the consideration that the overall impact will be much larger if the different services develop in an integrated manner as the efficacy of a particular service depends upon the support it receives from related services.
*AWW assists ANM in identifying the target group.
Three of the six services namely Immunisation, Health Check-up and Referral Services delivered through Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
2.1 Nutrition including Supplementary Nutrition: This includes supplementary feeding and growth monitoring; and prophylaxis against vitamin A deficiency and control of nutritional anaemia. All families in the community are surveyed, to identify children below the age of six and pregnant & nursing mothers. They avail of supplementary feeding support for 300 days in a year. By providing supplementary feeding, the Anganwadi attempts to bridge the caloric gap between the national recommended and average intake of children and women in low income and disadvantaged communities.
Growth Monitoring and nutrition surveillance are two important activities that are undertaken. Children below the age of three years of age are weighed once a month and children 3-6 years of age are weighed quarterly. Weight-for-age growth cards are maintained for all children below six years. This helps to detect growth faltering and helps in assessing nutritional status. Besides, severely malnourished children are given special supplementary feeding and referred to medical services.
2.2 Immunization: Immunization of pregnant women and infants protects children from six vaccine preventable diseases-poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis and measles. These are major preventable causes of child mortality, disability, morbidity and related malnutrition. Immunization of pregnant women against tetanus also reduces maternal and neonatal mortality.
2.3 Health Check-ups: This includes health care of children less than six years of age, antenatal care of expectant mothers and postnatal care of nursing mothers. The various health services provided for children by anganwadi workers and Primary Health Centre (PHC) staff, include regular health check-ups, recording of weight, immunization, management of malnutrition, treatment of diarrhoea, de-worming and distribution of simple medicines etc.
2.4 Referral Services: During health check-ups and growth monitoring, sick or malnourished children, in need of prompt medical attention, are referred to the Primary Health Centre or its sub-centre. The anganwadi worker has also been oriented to detect disabilities in young children. She enlists all such cases in a special register and refers them to the medical officer of the Primary Health Centre/ Sub-centre.
2.5 Non-formal Pre-School Education (PSE)
The Non-formal Pre-school Education (PSE) component of the ICDS may well be considered the backbone of the ICDS programme, since all its services essentially converge at the anganwadi – a village courtyard. Anganwadi Centre (AWC) – a village courtyard – is the main platform for delivering of these services. These AWCs have been set up in every village in the country. In pursuance of its commitment to the cause of India’s Children, present government has decided to set up an AWC in every human habitation/ settlement. As a result, total number of AWC would go up to almost 1.4 million. This is also the most joyful play-way daily activity, visibly sustained for three hours a day. It brings and keeps young children at the anganwadi centre - an activity that motivates parents and communities. PSE, as envisaged in the ICDS, focuses on total development of the child, in the age up to six years, mainly from the underprivileged groups. Its programme for the three-to six years old children in the anganwadi is directed towards providing and ensuring a natural, joyful and stimulating environment, with emphasis on necessary inputs for optimal growth and development. The early learning component of the ICDS is a significant input for providing a sound foundation for cumulative lifelong learning and development. It also contributes to the universalization of primary education, by providing to the child the necessary preparation for primary schooling and offering substitute care to younger siblings, thus freeing the older ones – especially girls – to attend school.
2.6 Nutrition and Health Education: Nutrition, Health and Education (NHED) is a key element of the work of the anganwadi worker. This forms part of BCC (Behaviour Change Communication) strategy. This has the long term goal of capacity-building of women – especially in the age group of 15-45 years – so that they can look after their own health, nutrition and development needs as well as that of their children and families.
4. Population Norms:-
The revised Population norms for setting up a Project, Anganwadi Centre and Mini-AWC are as under:
(i) Community Development Block in a State should be the unit for sanction of an ICDS Project in rural/tribal areas, irrespective of number of villages/population in it.
(ii) The existing norm of 1 lakh population for sanction of urban project may continue.
Further to this, for blocks with more than two lac population, States could opt for more than one Project ( @ one per one lac population) or could opt for one project only. In the latter case, staff could be suitably strengthened based on population or number of AWCs in the block. Similarly, for blocks with population of less than 1 lac or so, staffing pattern of CDPO office could be less than that of a normal block.
For Rural/Urban Projects
400-800 1 AWC
800-1600 - 2 AWCs
1600-2400 - 3 AWCs
Thereafter in multiples of 800 1 AWC
150-400 1 Mini-AWC
For Tribal /Riverine/Desert, Hilly and other difficult areas/ Projects
300-800 - 1 AWC
For Mini- AWC
150-300 1 Mini AWC
5. Supplementary Nutrition Norms:
5.1 Financial norms:- The Government of India has recently, revised the cost of supplementary nutrition for different category of beneficiaries vide this Ministry’s letter No. F.No. 4-2/2008-CD.II dated 07.11.2008, the details of which are as under:-
5.2 Nutritional Norms:- Revised vide letter No. 5-9/2005-ND-Tech Vol. II dated 24.2.2009
5.3 Type of Supplementary Nutrition :
Children in the age group 0 – 6 months : For Children in this age group, States/ UTs may ensure continuation of current guidelines of early initiation (within one hour of birth) and exclusive breast-feeding for children for the first 6 months of life.
Children in the age group 6 months to 3 years : For children in this age group, the existing pattern of Take Home Ration (THR) under the ICDS Scheme will continue. However, in addition to the current mixed practice of giving either dry or raw ration (wheat and rice) which is often consumed by the entire family and not the child alone, THR should be given in the form that is palatable to the child instead of the entire family.
Children in the age group 3 to 6 years : For the children in this age group, State/ UTs have been requested to make arrangements to serve Hot Cooked Meal in AWCs and mini-AWCs under the ICDS Scheme. Since the child of this age group is not capable of consuming a meal of 500 calories in one sitting, the States/ UTs are advised to consider serving more than one meal to the children who come to AWCs. Since the process of cooking and serving hot cooked meal takes time, and in most of the cases, the food is served around noon, States/ UTs may provide 500 calories over more than one meal. States/ UTs may arrange to provide a morning snack in the form of milk/ banana/ egg/ seasonal fruits/ micronutrient fortified food etc.
6. Registration of beneficiaries: Since BPL is no longer a criteria under ICDS, States have to ensure registration of all eligible beneficiaries.
7. Expansion of the ICDs Scheme:
* State-wise no. of Projects/AWCs/Mini-AWCS sanctioned in 2008-09 under 3rd phase of expansion of the Scheme available at ‘Data Table on ICDS’.
# Total number of AWCs Budgeted for is 14 lakh leaving a cushion for Anganwadi – on- Demand.
8.1 BUDGETARY ALLOCATION : Alongside gradual expansion of the Scheme, there has also been a significant increase in the Budgetary allocation for ICDS Scheme from Rs.10391.75 crore in 10th Five Year Plan to Rs.44,400 crore in XI Plan Period.
The details of Budget Allocation and Expenditure for the year 2007-08 to 2009-10 in respect of ICDS (General) and supplementary nutrition are given as under:-
(b) Funds released (Rs. In Lakh)
9 THE ICDS TEAM:
9.1 The ICDS team comprises the Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Supervisors, Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs) and District Programme Officers (DPOs). Anganwadi Worker, a lady selected from the local community, is a community based frontline honorary worker of the ICDS Programme. She is also an agent of social change, mobilizing community support for better care of young children, girls and women. Besides, the medical officers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) form a team with the ICDS functionaries to achieve convergence of different services.
9.2 Role & responsibilities of AWW, ANM and ASHA:
Role and responsibilities of AWW, ANM & ASHA have been clearly delineated and circulated to States/UTs under the joint signature of Secretary, MWCD and Secretary, MHFW, vide D.O. No. R. 14011/9/2005-NRHM –I (pt) dated 20 January 2006.
9.3 STATUS OF ANGANWADI WORKERS AND HELPERS:
Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) & Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs), being honorary workers, are paid a monthly honoraria as decided by the Government from time to time. Government of India has enhanced the honoraria of these Workers, w.e.f. 1.4.2008 by Rs.500 above the last honorarium drawn by Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and by Rs.250 of the last honorarium drawn by Helpers of AWCs and Workers of Mini-AWCs. Prior to enhancement, AWWs were being paid a monthly honoraria ranging from Rs. 938/ to Rs. 1063/- per month depending on their educational qualifications and experience. Similarly, AWHs were being paid monthly honoraria of Rs. 500/-
In addition to the honoraria paid by the Government of India, many States/UTs are also giving monetary incentives to these workers out of their own resources for additional functions assigned under other Schemes.
9.4. FACILITIES/BENEFITS EXTENDED TO AWWs &AWHs:-
9.4.1 By the Govt. of India
Honorarium of Helper:
Under this Bima Yojana, a free add on scholarship is available for the children of the members who are covered under the scheme. Scholarship of Rs.300/- per quarter for students of 9th to 12th standard [including ITI courses] would be provided. Scholarship is limited to two children per family.
9.4.2 By State Governments/UT Administartions:-
10. ICDS Training Programme:
Training and capacity building is the most crucial element in the ICDS Scheme, as the achievement of the programme goals largely depends upon the effectiveness of frontline workers in improving service delivery under the programme. Since inception of the ICDS scheme, the Government of India has formulated a comprehensive training strategy for the ICDS functionaries. Training under ICDS scheme is a continuous programme and is implemented through 35 States/UTs and National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) and its four regional centres.
During the 11th Five Year Plan, the Government of India has laid much emphasis on strengthening the training component of ICDS in order to improve the service delivery mechanism and accelerate better programme outcomes. An allocation of Rs. 500 crore has been kept for the ICDS Training Programme during the 11th Five Year Plan.
Financial norms relating to training of various ICDS functionaries and trainers have been revised upwardly with effect from 1 April 2009.
Also, specific need based training programmes are organized under the ‘Other Training’ component, whereby the States/UTs are given flexibility to identify state specific problems that need specialized issue based training and take up such training activities.
[Govt. of Tamil Nadu has established a State Training Institute (STI) at the State level for the training of Trainers of MLTCs and CDPOs/ACDPOs]
Based on the needs, State Governments identify and open up AWTCs and MLTCs after due approval by the Government of India. As on 31.3.2009, 490 AWTCs and 31 MLTCs were operational across the country. About 80% of the AWTCs and 70% MLTCs are run by State/District based NGOs.
10.3 Monitoring & Supervision of Training Programme: A separate ICDS Training Unit within the Ministry of Women and Child Development headed by a Director/Dy. Secretary level officer is responsible for overall monitoring, supervision and evaluation of the training programme. The following measures are undertaken for monitoring and supervision:
10.4 Recent Initiatives: The Ministry has recently initiated a process of consultations with the States and other stakeholders to review and identify gaps in the existing training system and make suggestions to strengthen the ICDS Training programme including its contents/syllabi, training methodology and the existing monitoring mechanism under ICDS training programme. Three regional workshops have since been organized in collaboration with NIPCCD and with technical support from USAID/CARE INDIA during July-August 2009 at three Regional centres of NIPCCD at Bangalore, Lucknow and Guwahati.
11. Existing Monitoring System under ICDS Scheme:
11.1 Central Level
Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has the overall responsibility of monitoring the ICDS scheme. There exists a Central Level ICDS Monitoring Unit in the Ministry which is responsible for collection and analysis of the periodic work reports received from the States in the prescribed formats. States have been asked to send the State level consolidated reports by 17th day of the following month.
The existing status of monitoring of these six services is as under :
(i) Supplementary Nutrition : No. of Beneficiaries (Children 6 months to 6 years and pregnant & lactating mothers) for supplementary nutrition;
(ii) Pre-School Education : No. of Beneficiaries (Children 3-6 years) attending pre-school education;
(iii) Immunization, Health Check-up and Referral services : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for monitoring on health indicators relating to immunization, health check-up and referrals services under the Scheme.
(iv) Nutrition and Health Education
This service is not monitored at the Central Level. State Governments are required to monitor up to State level in the existing MIS System.
(v) No. of ICDS Projects and Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) w.r.t. targeted no. of ICDS Projects and AWCs are taken into account for review purpose.
Analysis & Action
The information received in the prescribed formats is compiled, processed and analysed at the Central level on quarterly basis. The progress and shortfalls indicated in the reports on ICDS are reviewed by the Ministry with the State Governments regularly by review meetings/ letters.
11.2 State Level
Various quantitative inputs captured through CDPO’s MPR/ HPR are compiled at the State level for all Projects in the State. No technical staff has been sanctioned for the state for programme monitoring. CDPO’s MPR capture information on number of beneficiaries for supplementary nutrition, pre-school education, field visit to AWCs by ICDS functionaries like Supervisors, CDPO/ ACDPO etc., information on number of meeting on nutrition and health education (NHED) and vacancy position of ICDS functionaries etc.
11.3 Block Level
At block level, Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) is the in-charge of an ICDS Project. CDPO’s MPR and HPR have been prescribed at block level,. These CDPO’s MPR/ HPR formats have one-to-one correspondence with AWW’s MPR/ HPR. CDPO’s MPR consists vacancy position of ICDS functionaries at block and AWC levels. At block level, no technical post of officials have been sanctioned under the scheme for monitoring. However, one post of statistical Assistant./ Assistant is sanctioned at block level to consolidate the MPR/ HPR data.
In between CDPO and AWW, there exist a supervisor who is required to supervise 25 AWC on an average.
CDPO is required to send the Monthly Progress Report (MPR) by 7th day of the following month to State Government. Similarly, CDPO is required to send Half-yearly Progress Report (HPR) to State by 7th April and 7th October every year.
11.4 Village Level (Anganwadi Level)
At the grass-root level, delivery of various services to target groups is given at the Anganwadi Centre (AWC). An AWC is managed by an honorary Anganwadi Worker (AWW) and an honorary Anganwadi Helper (AWH).
In the existing Management Information System, records and registers are prescribed at the Anganwadi level i.e. at village level. The Monthly and Half-yearly Progress Reports of Anganwadi Worker have also been prescribed. The monthly progress report of AWW capture information on population details, births and deaths of children, maternal deaths, no. of children attended AWC for supplementary nutrition and pre-school education, nutritional status of children by weight for age, information on nutrition and health education and home visits by AWW. Similarly, AWW’s Half yearly Progress Report capture data on literacy standard of AWW, training details of AWW, increase/ decrease in weight of children, details on space for storing ration at AWC, availability of health cards, availability of registers, availability of growth charts etc.
AWW is required to send these Monthly Progress Report (MPR) by 5th day of following month to CDPO’ In-charge of an ICDS Project. Similarly, AWW is required to send Half-yearly Progress Report (HPR) to CDPO by 5th April and 5th October every year.
Note : Details of various circulars/ orders on monitoring/ MIS issued from GOI and existing Management Information System (MIS) on ICDS are given at ‘Child Development’ portion of the web-site of the Ministry viz. www.wcd.nic.in
12. Evaluation of ICDS Scheme: A number of evaluation studies on implementation of ICDS Scheme have been conducted in the past viz., Programme Evaluation Organisation of the Planning Commission in 1982, National Evaluation of ICDS Scheme conducted by National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) in 1992, Evaluation Results of Annual Survey during 1975-1995, published by Central Technical Committee on Integrated Mother and Child Development on completion of 20 years of ICDS and Nationwide Evaluation of ICDS by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) 1998-1999. Main findings of study conducted by NCAER (1996-2001) are as follows:-
ix) Participation of beneficiary women and adolescent girls in AWC activities was reported to be low. These two segments of population form the foundation for any child care programme and their involvement is imperative for successful implementation of the ICDS Services.
Rapid facility Survey by NCAER: The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) conducted a Rapid Facility Survey on ICDS infrastructure in 2004. The report submitted by NCAER in February, 2005 has, inter-alia, brought out that;
Three Decades of ICDS – An appraisal by NIPCCD (2006)
The study covered 150 ICDS Projects from 35 States/UTs covering rural, urban and tribal projects. A total of five Anganwadi centres (AWCs) were randomly selected from each sample projects covering 750 AWCs. The main findings of the appraisal is as under:
i) Around 59 per cent AWCs studied have no toilet facility and in 17 AWCs this facility was found to be unsatisfactory.
ii) Around 75% of AWCs have pucca buildings;
iii) 44 per cent AWCs covered under the study were found to be lacking PSE kits;
iv) Disruption of supplementary nutrition was noticed on an average of 46.31 days at Anganwadi level. Major reasons causing disruption was reported as delay in supply of items of supplementary nutrition;
v) 36.5 per cent mothers did not report weighing of new born children;
vi) 29 per cent children were born with a low weight which was below normal (less than 2500 gm);
vii) 37 per cent AWWs reported non-availability of materials/aids for Nutrition and Health Education (NHED).
13. Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP) The Government of India allocates food grains (wheat and rice) at BPL rates to the States, on their demand, for meeting their requirement for supplementary nutrition to beneficiaries under the ICDS Scheme. Total quantity of food grains allotted during last 3 years is as under:-
2006-07 523095 MTs
2008-09 716745 MTs
Presently, 23 States are availing the allocation of wheat/rice under the WBNP.
4. INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
Government of India partners with the following international agencies to supplement interventions under the ICDS:
UNICEF supports the ICDS by providing technical support for the development of training plans, organizing of regional workshops and dissemination of best practices of ICDS. It also assists in service delivery and accreditation system where the capacity of ICDS functionary is strengthened. Impact assessment in selected States on early childhood nutrition and development, micro-nutrient and anemia control through Vit. ‘A’ supplementations and deworming interventions for children in the age group of 9-59 months is also conducted by UNICEF from time to time.
CARE is primarily implementing some non-food projects in areas of maternal and child health, girl primary education, micro-credit etc. Integrated Nutrition and Health Project (INHP)-III, which is a phaseout programme of INHP series would come to an end on 31.12.2009.
WFP has been extending assistance to enhance the effectiveness and outreach of the ICDS Scheme in selected districts (Tikamgarh & Chhattarpur in Madhya Pradesh, Koraput, Malkangir & Nabrangpur in Orissa, Banswara in Rajasthan and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh), notably, by assisting the State Governments to start and expand production of low cost micronutrient fortified food known as ‘Indiamix’. Under this the concerned State Government are required to contribute to the cost of Indiamix by matching the WFP wheat contribution at a 1:1 cost sharing ratio.
15. Special Focus on North East : Keeping in view the special needs of North Eastern States, the Central Government sanctioned construction of 4800 Anganwadi Centres at a cost of Rs.60 crore in 2001-02, 7600 Anganwadi Centres at a cost of Rs.95.00 crore in 2002-03 and 7600 AWCs at a cost of Rs.95.00 crore in 2004-05. In the wake of expansion of ICDS Scheme in 2005-06, it was provided in the Scheme itself that GOI will support construction of AWCs in NE States. The cost of construction was also revised from Rs.1.25 lakh per centre to Rs.1.75 lakh per center. In 2006-07, 50% of funds have been released to all the NE States except the State of Manipur.
16. Recent Initiatives
17. INTRODUCTION OF WHO GROWTH STANDARDS IN ICDS -
The World Health Organization (WHO) based on the results of an intensive study initiated in 1997 in six countries including India has developed New International Standards for assessing the physical growth, nutritional status and motor development of children from birth to 5 years age. The Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Health have adopted the New WHO Child Growth Standard in India on 15th of August, 2008 for monitoring the Growth of Children through ICDS and NRHM.
. - Change in current estimates
- increase in total of normal weight children
- increase in severely underweight children
- increase in underweight children (mild/moderate and severe) in age group of 0-6 months.
18. Achievements: There has been significant progress in the implementation of ICDS Scheme during X Plan both and during XI Plan (up to 31.12.2010), in terms of increase in number of operational projects and Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) and coverage of beneficiaries as indicated below:-