Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
The Department of Food and Public Distribution under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has sent letters to States Governments/UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013.
- The NFSA Act mandates that the Central Government may from time to time give directions to the State Governments for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.
- The Department advised all States/UTs to ensure that all disabled persons, who are eligible as per identification criteria of beneficiaries under NFSA, are covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 and they get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & PMGKAY as per provisions of the Act.
- It is stated that those not already covered should be covered with fresh ration cards to be issued as per the eligibility criteria.
- It is also reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY households and as disabled persons are vulnerable section of the society.
- The letter further advised that it is imperative that they are also covered by States/UTs under the priority households as per the criteria of identification evolved by them
National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013
- The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
- It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.
- The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013) converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Government of India.
- It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System. Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.
- The Midday Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
- Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.