Al- Jazeera (English) has published an article by OPHI Researcher Mihika Chatterjee on the recently approved Food Security Bill in India.
In the article, ‘Food security in India is not doomed after all’, Chatterjee explores the controversies surrounding the Public Distribution System (PDS), through which centrally-procured food commodities are distributed to households across India. Under the Bill (now known as the Right to Food Act), provision of subsidised foodgrains for 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of urban dwellers will occur through the PDS.
Critics of the Bill have focused on the ‘inefficiency’ of the PDS, but in the article Chatterjee highlights the fact that most recent research shows the PDS has improved significantly in the last decade. She notes that leakages have decreased, and that the PDS plays a fundamental role in the lives of people from districts in which starvation is known to be a problem, such as Koraput.
You can read the article in full here. An earlier article by OPHI’s Director Sabina Alkire on India’s food security debate which was published by The Hindu newspaper in July is available to read here.