Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

JAN 25

Preliminary   > Social Justice   >   Welfare Schemes   >   Vulnerable & Backward sections


Urban areas are likely to receive a renewed focus under the government’s ICDS programme, which provides for anganwadis or day-care centres across the country for delivery of nutrition and pre-school education.


  • Launched on 2nd October, 1975, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India and represents one of the world’s largest and unique programmes for early childhood care and development.
  • It is the foremost symbol of country’s commitment to its children and nursing mothers, as a response to the challenge of providing pre-school non-formal education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality on the other.
  • The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Objectives of the Scheme are:
    • to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
    • to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
    • to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
    • to achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
    • to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
  • The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services, viz.
    • Supplementary Nutrition
    • Pre-school non-formal education
    • Nutrition & health education
    • Immunization
    • Health check-up and
    • Referral services
  • For better governance in the delivery of the Scheme, convergence is, therefore, one of the key features of the ICDS Scheme.
  • This convergence is in-built in the Scheme which provides a platform in the form of Anganwadi Centres for providing all services under the Scheme.

Umbrella ICDS Scheme

  • The scheme has been restructured as Umbrella ICDS Scheme to include other schemes as well. The schemes include:
    • Anganwadi Services
    • Scheme for Adolescent Girls
    • Child Protection Services
    • National Crèche Scheme

Prelims Question

Q. With reference to the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers
2. Immunization and supplementary nutrition are components of ICDS Scheme
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to the Prelims Question