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PIB – 06 November 2021





Focus:  GS III- Food processing and related industries in India

About Food Fortification

  • Fortification is defined by World Health Organization (WHO) as the “practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in food. So as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health“.
  • One of the most effective, scalable, affordable, and sustainable ways to address micronutrient deficiencies is fortification of staple foods.
  • Fortification of foods started almost a century ago in 1918. This has led to near eradication of goiter, rickets, beriberi, and pellagra in many countries. Over 130 countries mandated iodized salt, 80 countries have mandated cereal grain (wheat, rice, or maize) fortification and many countries are fortifying milk and edible oils.
  • In India, fortification of Vanaspati with Vitamin A since 1953, and mandatory fortification of salt with iodine since 1962 have been public health successes. However, there has been no program to fortify at scale since then.
  • A large share of India’s population suffers from a high incidence of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Over 70 percent people in India are still consuming less than half of their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of micronutrients.
  • One third of the two billion people globally that suffer from vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies are in India.
  • This “Hidden Hunger” affects all sections of India’s population–urban and rural, rich and poor, old and young with women and children most at risk.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) made standards for fortification in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018, for five staples i.e. wheat, rice, milk, oil and salt.
Fortification in Government Programmes
  • Fortification in Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Fortification in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
  • Fortification in Public Distribution System.
  • Fortification through SABLA: A Scheme for Adolescent Girls.
 Advantages of Food Fortification
  • Fortification is one of the most cost effective strategies that can be implemented on a larger scale since the cost of fortification is generally less than other techniques to address nutrition deficiencies.
  • Fortified foods are considered to be better at lowering the risk of multiple deficiencies that can result from seasonal deficits in the food supply or a poor quality diet.
  • Fortification does not require any behaviour modification or compliance that is expected in supplementation. It does not require a change in the individual food habits and consumption pattern.
  • The quantity of micronutrients added to the food product is small and well regulated, and so the likelihood of an overdose of nutrients is unlikely.
  • Fortification is planned in such a way that the intrinsic characteristics of the food are not altered, such as the taste, the appearance and the texture.
  • The food fortification process can be initiated quickly after formulating a set of regulations and standards. This means that the objective of improving the health of needy communities can be attained in a short period of time.
About Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI)
  • It is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
  • FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
  • The FSSAI is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.


Focus: Facts for prelims

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports announced the National Sports Awards 2021.

About National Sports Award:

The National Sports Awards of India comprise six different awards given to sportspersons of India by the Central Government.

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:

  • Formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, it is the highest award bestowed to a sports person in India and was instituted in the year 1991-1992.
  • It is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of the previous four years.
  • It comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.

Arjuna Award:

  • It was instituted in 1961 by the Government of India to recognise outstanding achievement in national sports events.
  • It is given for good performance over a period of previous four years and showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll of honour.

Dronacharya Award:

  • It was instituted in 1985 by the Government of India to recognise excellence in sports coaching.
  • It is given to coaches for doing outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis and enabling sportspersons to excel in International events.
  • It carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Dronacharya and a scroll of honour.

Dhyan Chand Award:

  • It was instituted in the year 2002 and comprises a Dhyan Chand statuette, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate and a ceremonial dress.
  • It is given to honour sportspersons who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to promotion of sports events after their retirement.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy:

  • It was instituted in the year 1956-1957.
  • It is for university-level sports performances.
  • It is given to a university for “top performance in the inter-university tournaments” over the period of the last one year.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar:

  • It was instituted in the year 2009
  • It is given to corporate entities (both in private and public sector), sports control boards, NGOs including sports bodies at the State and National level who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
December 2023