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Integrated Child Development Scheme

CHILD Protection & Child Rights » IV. National Mechanisms » Child Targeted Schemes & Programmes » Integrated Child Development Scheme


The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) comes under the purview of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). Recently MWCD released their annual report (2008-2009) on child development. According to this report the ICDS which was launched in 1975 has been working diligently to eliminate hazards to child health and development. The following are the objectives of ICDS.

  • To advance the nutritional and health standing of children in the age-group 0-6 years.
  • To create a system that tackles the proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.
  • To fight the rate of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout.
  • To have all the various ministries and departments work in a coordinated fashion to achieve policy implementation and create an effective ECCE system.
  • To support the mother and help her become capable of providing of the necessary nutritional and development needs of the child and aware of her own needs during pregnancy.

The scheme aims at providing an integrated package of services. These services include supplementary nutrition, immunization, medical check-ups, recommendation services, pre-school non-formal education and nutrition & health awareness. The purpose of providing these services as a package is because each of these issues is dependent on the other. In order to ensure that the overall care and education of the child is addressed the MWCD envisions the scheme as a complete parcel of provisions.

The structure of ICDS is that it is a centrally funded scheme implemented through the States and Union Territories. Originally, financially it was 100% backed by the central government, except the supplementary nutrition, which must be provided by the State's resources. But in 2005-2006 it was noted that many of the States were not capable of providing adequately for supplementary nutrition in view drought, economic slowdown, etc. Hence it was decided to support the States up to 50% of their economic norms or to support 50% of expenses acquired by them on supplementary nutrition, whichever is less. The reason for the Central assistance for Supplementary nutrition is to ensure that all beneficiaries are receiving the supplements for 300 days of the year as has been laid out in the norms of the scheme.

Another modification in the financial responsibility of state and central has been that instead of 100% support in non-supplementary expenses the central government is now only responsibly for 90% in all States and Union Territories. In the 2009-2010 financial year the sharing pattern of supplementary nutrition in respect of North-eastern States between Centre and States has been changed from 50:50 to 90:10 ratio. In other States and UTs, with regard to supplementary nutrition, the pattern continues to be a 50:50 ratio sharing. Anganwadi's are set up according to the population in a given area. The population norms are as follows.

For Rural/Urban Projects ( Anganwadi Centres- AWC)




2 AWCs


3 AWCs

Thereafter in multiples of 800


For Mini AWC


1 Mini AWC

For Tribal/Riverine/Desert, Hilly and other difficult areas/Projects



For Mini AWC in above areas


1 Mini AWC

ICDS also outlines the amount in calories that the beneficiaries should receive. A child between the ages 6-72 months should receive 500 calories of food with 12-15 grams of protein. This should cost Rs. 4 per child/ per day. A child severely malnourished on medical advice after health check-up (6-72 months) should receive 800 calories of food with 20-25 grams of protein. This should cost Rs. 6 per child/ per day. Lastly pregnant and lactating mothers should receive 600 calories of food with 18-20 grams of protein. This should cost Rs. 5 per beneficiary/ per day.

ICDS is no longer only available to below the poverty line beneficiaries; hence states are responsible to register all eligible beneficiaries. In accordance with this development the third phase of the ICDS scheme has begun. The GOI has sanctioned 792 additional Projects, 213286 additional Anganwadi Centres and 77102 Mini-Anganwadi Centres. This expansion aims especially to reach SC/ST and minority population in remote rural areas. To support these increases the eleventh Five Year Plan has set aside Rs.51,400 crores for ICDS which includes Rs.9000 Crores for Conditional Maternity Benefit Scheme.

The ICDS scheme receives aid from various other non-government bodies. Three of the main contributors are Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP). Pre-school education (PSE) has come under the purview of the MWCD along with pre-primary education. The MWCD does not specify much information about this area, simply that it will continue as planned under the ICDS scheme. The Non-formal education offered as per the Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) consists of providing a learning environment to children between the ages of 3-6. PSE is supposed to be implemented through a medium of play to allow for social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of the child as well as prepare him for primary education in the formal system.

For more information visit the ICDS website