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Govt should fill CDPO posts earliest for success of Poshan Abhiyan
2/21/2020 9:28:52 PM
New Delhi, Feb 21
Government think-tank Niti Aayog has made a strong case for urgently filling vacancies at Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) and Lady Supervisor levels for ensuring success of Modi government''s flagship nutrition scheme Poshan Abhiyan.

In a report titled ''Transforming Nutrition in India: Poshan Abhiyan'', the Aayog said the government is committed to improving the nutritional status of children and women through Poshan Abhiyaan.

"At a national level, the vacancy rates are in the range of 25 per cent at both the Child Development Project Officer(CDPO) and Lady Supervisor levels. This is the aggregated national scenario that varies from State to State; however, it is a clear indication of the relatively higher number of vacancies at the Supervisor level," the report pointed out.

It also said that for positions sanctioned under the Poshan Abhiyaan, State Project Management Units (SPMUs) have not been established in two of the 19 large States (Punjab and Karnataka).

"Even where SPMUs have been established, 10 States have vacancy rates in the excess of 30 per cent," the report added.

Noting that the position in smaller states is even worse, it said with the exception of two States (Meghalaya & Mizoram), in the rest of the states either the SPMU has not been set up altogether, or even where it has been set up all positions remain vacant due to non-completion of the recruitment process.

The UTs are slightly better placed with four of them having greater than 75 per cent of the SPMU posts filled up, the report said, adding that none of the posts were filled in Puducherry and Delhi.

"Thus, it is recommended that these gaps need to be closed at the earliest and they are critical to ensuring support to the frontline workers," it said.

There are huge gaps in the procurement and distribution of growth monitoring devices, the report noted.

As per the last update only 27.6 per cent of Anganwadi Worker(AWWs) across the country have been provided with Smartphones and about 35 per cent of AWWs have Growth Monitoring Devices (Infantometer, Stadiometer & Weighing Scales).

Observing that it is an urgent need to address challenges pertaining to connectivity and the software issues to ensure ICDS-CAS operations function smoothly, the report said,"Only few States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Daman & Diu have established helpdesks in all the Districts".

Stating that utilisation of funds for any programme is one of the proxy indicators of its successful implementation, it said the cumulative utilisation rate is about 20 per cent in the large states; small states and UTs have utilised on an average about 42 per cent of the allocated funds.

"Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi and Goa have a utilisation rate of less than 5 per cent," the report said.

It said all the large states have received funds from the Centre. Except Assam and Jammu & Kashmir, all large states have earmarked funds to implement Poshan Abhiyaan.

"Maharashtra has utilized maximum funds with close to 54.5 per cent. This is followed very closely by Karnataka and Bihar, with utilization rates of 40 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively," the report said.
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