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State Food Provisioning as Social Protection. Debating India’s National Food Security Law

Issue Paper

This publication provides an overview of the most important debates which ensued in the four and a half years of the official writing of the India’s National Food Security Act (2013). The Act is legally binding for national and federal state governments to further extend the outreach of social protection to the country’s population. 

These discussions cover several questions about the nature and extent of the state’s duties and possible strategies for food provisioning as part of a larger framework of social protection. 

The debates summarized are based on the author’s participation in many of the processes related to the right to food in India over the last decade and more, in many different capacities, as the Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court in the PUCL Right to Food Case, as Member-Convenor of the Working Group of the Prime Minister’s National Advisory Council (NAC), which was charged with the drafting of the first version of the National Food Security Bill and as a member of the Right to Food Campaign. 

Starting from the Indian experience and focusing on the richness of its debates, the event aimed at stimulating the discussions on the fundamental issues related to the role of the State in fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty. 

Published: 2015
Publisher: FAO
Policy Theme: Right to Food
Geography: Asia & Pacific