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news details
Supply of sub-standard nutritional items by ICDS
Mission Director cornered at Niti Ayoug workshop
8/7/2018 11:49:49 PM

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Aug 7: Mission Director of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in J&K had to face embarrassment at a workshop organized by Niti Ayoug in Srinagar on Tuesday as some members from civil society groups raised questions about supply of sub standard nutritional items in Anganwadi centres across J&K.
Members from civil society groups in presence of senior officials of Niti Ayoug and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment quoted the news items carried by Early Times and demanded that high level probe be conducted against the involved officers of ICDS including its Mission Director.
Details available with Early Times reveal that top officials of Niti Aayog and J&K Government met around three dozen civil society organsiations working on social development in J&K particularly on children m women and senior citizens issues.
The civil society groups as per reliable sources were divided in six "Thematic Clusters", which had representatives from NGOs state and central Government. Senior Citizens group which had some half a dozen civil society members working for senior citizens, seniors officers like Secretary Tourism J&K Govt , Secretary Social Welfare Board. In addition to it several top officials from Govt of India like Anjana Dubey Deputy Director General Ministry of Financial services, Sarwaesh Arya, Director Ministry of Culture and N Shanan Economic Adviser Ministry of Health & Family Welfare were are present. When the discussion began on ICDS some senior citizens raised the issue of misbranded and sub standard nutritional items being supplied to Anganwadi centres in J&K. Two news articles from Early Times & valley based newspapers (Greater Kashmir) were quoted and this was an embarrassment for the ICDS Mission Director who according to sources has been summoned by the Secretary Social Welfare.
As reported already ICDS Mission Directorate recently selected a biscuit brand which was declared sub-standard and misbranded in 2017 by Assistant Commissioner Food Safety. Early Times is already in possession of the said report . The said biscuits will are to be supplied to around 30,000 Anganwadi centres across state in the coming weeks and health of around 10 lakh kids is at stake. Authorities have been asked by many stake holders to stop this supply order ICDS has shortlisted a company by illegal means which intends to supply biscuits of inferior quality to the directorate meant for Anganwadi centres across state. Sources say that biscuits identified and accepted are manufactured by an unregistered firm. Sources in ICDS J&K have told Early Times that the said firm and its products are not registered with the Registrar of Trade Mark ™ of India which is a Central Vigilance Commission's (CVC) mandatory norm. Moreover the (unregistered) biscuits are being purchased for Rs 74/Kg while as registered / branded biscuits can be easily purchased @ Rs 65 to Rs 67 / Kg. A substandard company is being encouraged by ICDS against registered companies with lowest F.O.R price.
Reliable sources have told Early Times that mandatory testing for the biscuit samples was required to be conducted from outside state labs, this condition has also been violated by ICDS and testing has been carried out form the local labs to obtain certificate of Choice. Sources have further reveled that there is tremendous fluctuation in the purchase rates of Channa supplied to Anganwari centres. In Delhi the rate for high quality Channa is Rs 32/ Kg whereas ICDS is allegedly purchasing inferior Channa at the rate of Rs 57/kg. If freight is charged to Delhi Channa the cost /Kg would not exceed Rs 36 in Srinagar. It is evident that the purchases in bulk are being made on exorbitant rates to benefit some blue eyed suppliers against huge cuts. It has been revealed through sources that c class Nutri is being supplied to Anganwadi centres across state.
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