The National Food Security Act(NFSA), 2013 provides for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
This Act was published in the Gazette of India on the 10th of September, 2013 but deemed to have come into force on the 5th day of July, 2013.
As per the provisions under section 16 of this Act, every State Government shall, by notification, constitute a State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of this Act. However, pursuant to the provisions under section 18 of this Act , the State Government may, if considers it necessary, by notification, designate any statutory commission or a body to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the State Food Commission.
In view of these provisions, the Odisha Information Commission was designated in November,2015 to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the State Food Commission.
Subsequently, Odisha Government decided to constitute an exclusive commission and accordingly the Department of Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare issued Notification No. 5725 on 15th March,2016. Pursuant to the said notification, offers of appointment were issued on the 9th May, 2016 to appoint Shri Ranglal Jamuda, I.A.S.(Retd.) as the first Chairperson of the Commission along with Shri Manoj Kumar Panda, Special Judge(Retd.) and Dr. Sipra Mallick,(former M.L.A.) as Members. All of them assumed charge between 10th May to 18th May 2016.
Subsequently Ms. Rajashree Mohanty,O.A.S.(S) and Shri S.K.Sarangi, O.R.S. assumed charge as Member Secretary and Administrative Officer respectively. The Commission is also assisted by a few supporting staff to perform the functions.
The commission has a mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the State. Three schemes namely- Targeted Public Distribution System, Integrated Child Development Services and Mid Day Meal come within the purview of this Act.
Statutory Function of SFC :
There are mainly three major Function of SFC:
- inspect or cause to be inspected, the non-compliance of policy decisions of the Government relating to NFS Act
- organise regional camps to build awareness about benefits and entitlements under the Act; and
- define measures for redressal of grievances in three implementing departments i.e. FS&CW, W&CD and S&ME.
Powers of SFC :
The Commission have been empowered to,
- monitor and evaluate the implementation of the schemes pursuant to the NFS Act, 2013;
- either suo motu or on receipt of complaint inquire into violations of entitlement,
- hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer; and
- give advice to the State Government, their agencies, autonomous bodies as well as non-governmental organisations involved in delivery of relevant services for the effective implementation of food and nutrition related schemes, to enable individuals to fully access their entitlements specified in this Act.
Field Position on Food & Nutrition Security :
Each of the Scheme coming under this Act, is being implemented by the respective Administrative Department without much synergy. It is essential to bring all the players to a common platform to optimise their efforts and effectiveness through convergence and better appreciation of the ground realities.
Innovations in Securing Food and Nutrition :
In addition to TPDS, ICDS & MDM schemes, district authorities may have introduced/identified schemes/programmes to cater to the special needs of their locality. Such innovations as well as good practices will be shared from time to time with an open mind.
Integrated Grievance Redressal Mechanism
FS&CW Department had notified P.D.,DRDA as the District Grievance Redressal Officer(DGRO) under the NFSA on 14th October 2015. In the 1st convergence meeting of SFC convened through the FS&CW Department and held on 2nd June 2016, Chief Secretary to Government had requested Secretary W&CD and S&ME Departments to issue office order/notification for District Social Welfare Officer and District Education Officer to assist DGRO in disposal of grievances at district level.
Institutionalisation of Independent DGRO/NFSA Cell
As per the decisions taken in the said convergence meeting, DRDAs are to earmark an independent room in the offices of DRDAs to function as “NFSA Cell” for redressal of all grievances which could not be resolved satisfactorily at the level of C.S.O., D.S.W.O. and D.E.O. with the assistance from C.S.O., D.S.W.O. and D.E.O.