Ministry of Women and Child Development will be trifurcated

A trifurcation of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is on the anvil. The decision to streamline the ministry’s programs is currently pending in Cabinet, ministry officials said.

The three broad categories under which the programs of the ministry have been divided are the Shakti Mission, the Vatsalya Mission and the Poshan Mission. Women’s programs are organized under the Shakti Mission and child protection programs under the Vatsalya Mission. Mission Poshan will take care of the nutrition programs of the ministry.

A ministry official said that although the division has been operating informally for some time, the ministry recently sent a proposal to cabinet. “We expect a nod anytime soon,” the official said.

Sources said the split is unlikely to lead to any greater reach. The Ministry of Education, divided into two parts, is headed by two secretaries.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Program, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana Maternity Benefit Program, Gender Budgeting and Research Efforts as well as Creche Program will be part of Mission Shakti Women Empowerment.

The One Stop Crisis Center women’s protection programs, the Women’s Helpline, the Swadhar Greh Abused Women Rehabilitation Program, the Ujjawala Trafficking Program and the Mahila Police Volunteer, have been associated with another part of Mission Shakti.

The ICDS Umbrella Program, Anganwadi Services, Teenage Girls Program and National Nursery Program will be part of Mission Poshan, and Mission Vatsalya revamped Integrated Child Protection Services and Child Protection Services.

The ministry also has a program, Poshan Abhiyan, which is a revamped version of the multi-ministerial nutrition programs, the Integrated Child Development Services. It was renamed PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment, or POSHAN, in 2017, and ICDS is the Abhiyaan’s “delivery platform”, an official said.

The WCD Ministry was previously a department of the former Ministry of Human Resource Development (now the Ministry of Education) and was established in 1986. It became a full ministry in 2006.

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