The decision to form the inter-ministerial committee was taken Monday during a meeting between Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar and Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi, a senior official said.
"After the resounding success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, the women and child development ministry is now targeting malnutrition".
Pointing to undernutrition among expectant mothers and growing children, she said, "We need to give minimum 1,000 calories to pregnant mothers and 600 calories to children".
"I want to bring about a complete change in supplementary nutrition".
The minister for Women and Child Development told the media that the committee will be constituted of six secretaries, who will be responsible of monitoring the implementation and progress of safety guidelines in schools.
She also released a book "Forest Lanterns" containing essays on solutions to improve nutrition among children in tribal areas. We should stop thinking of it as giving food.
A change in policy is required to implement this, the Minister said.
Highlighting the importance of child protection along with nutrition, she announced that "a separate self-contained protocol for severely and acutely malnourished (SAM) children will also be issued shortly". The Ministry will soon issue new guidelines on supplementary nutrition in this regard in the next few days which will supersede all existing guidelines.
Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer, said the problem of malnutrition is closely linked to the problem of drinking water and sanitation. He was of the view that through Swachh Bharat Mission was instrumental in converging all departments and trying to achieve the needed outcomes towards sanitation.