Recently, Odisha topped the list of general category states in the first-ever “State Ranking Index” under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). While Tripura has secured the top slot in the list of special category states.
On July 5, 2022, the Indian government created a first-of-its-kind state ranking index to track the implementation of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). For the first time, a ranking based on the food and security index has been created. Every year, a similar activity would be conducted. Of the 34 states and Union Territories (UTs), Odisha topped the list.
This rating is based on information that the states have provided in their methods for distributing food to the general public essential for preventing hunger. In the general category of states, Odisha is followed by Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat, whereas Tripura is followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland in the special category, which includes the Northeastern states, Himalayan states, and island areas.
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, released the theme of ‘Food & Nutrition Security of India’ at the conference. “The Index has been developed with the objectives of creating an environment of competition, cooperation, and learning among the states; states learning from each other their best practices while addressing grave matters of food security and hunger,” the Minister said.
Several states presented details about their best practices during the conference.
Goyal slammed the states that didn’t attend the meeting in person or digitally, saying: “It shows that the states are not serious about the important issue of food security.”
According to the government, the rating will contribute to system transparency and help disseminate reliable and standard data in the public domain for the benefit of the citizens.
On the index, Ladakh was at the bottom. In fact, the North East, Himalayan states, and island regions were among the lowest-ranked states. Goa came in last among states in the general category.
Three criteria were used to rank the states and UTs for 2022: (1) NFSA coverage, appropriate targeting, and application of all provisions under the Act. (2) The delivery analysis takes into consideration the distribution of food grains, their transportation, and last-mile delivery to shops with reasonable prices. And, (3) departmental strategies and programmes for nutrition
The report states, “Overall, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh scored the highest and secured the top three positions in the Index. The states performed very well on all parameters and indicators governing the implementation of NFSA through TPDS.”
The top three special category states were Sikkim, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh. These states showed a high degree of accomplishment in competing with the general category states as well, the report noted, ‘despite the logistical limitations’.
The best performing states were Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu in covering, targeting, and putting the NFSA’s provisions into practice. They received practically perfect marks on the indication level.
Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana were the most effective delivery platforms demonstrating the effectiveness of the TPDS supply chain.
To ensure food security, the NFSA is a key policy tool. It includes around 800,000,000 people.
“NFSA plays a critical role in combating hunger and safeguarding food security in the country. Yet, the uneven implementation of the Act across the states highlighted the need for a standard framework to measure the efficiency and impact of food security initiatives through NFSA across all states and union territories,” the report added.