The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was restructured and strengthened by the Economic Affairs Cabinet Committee. The following measures were taken to refine the policy:
- Continue the implementation of ICDS in ICDS Mission Mode and 12th Five year plan.
- To initiate institutional, Programmatic and management reforms with revised and widened services package to focus on maternal care, under-3 children and Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE) as per the broad framework to implement with necessary changes in financial norms/allocations and outcomes as per the recommendations of EFC along with flexibility to the States with scope for innovations.
- Rolling out Strengthened and Restructured ICDS in three years beginning with 200 High Burden districts in the first year 2012-13; additional 200 districts in second year (2013-14) including districts from special category States namely Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and North East Region and remaining 243 districts in the third year (2014-15) of the 12th Five Year Plan.
The financial implications during 12th Five Year Plan is estimated at Rs. 1,23,580 crore. The strengthening and restructuring of ICDS Scheme would:
- Prevent and reduce young child under-nutrition by 10 percentage points in 0-3 years
- Enhance early development and learning outcomes in all children below six years of age
- Improve care and nutrition of girls and women and reduce anaemia prevalence in young children, girls and women by one-fifth.
ICDS is a universal programme for children under 6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers. Currently it is benefitting 9.65 crore beneficiaries of which 7.82 crore is children under-6 and 1.83 crore is pregnant and lactating mothers. With improved services, the number of beneficiaries is likely to increase.