STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 1 October
With allegation regarding supply of substandard items being supplied through Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) for pregnant mothers and severely malnourished children pouring in, the state government has asked the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) to take steps  to check their quality.
 The state government asked the OUAT scientists to prepare a work plan for setting up testing facilities in Kirshi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) in all the 30 districts of the state. This was decided at a high level meeting presided over by chief secretary J K Mohapatra here, official sources said.
Preparation and procurement of take home ration being supplied through ICDS centres has been decentralised. In most places, women self-help groups (WSHGs) prepare these rations as per the ingredient specifications prescribed by the women and child development department. It was decided at the meeting that nutrition quality, ingredient components and fungus or bacteria load of the products will be tested in the KVK laboratories in all the districts. The testing would start in the 13 KVK laboratories of the undivided districts in the first phase, sources said.
Mohapatra asked the OUAT scientists to work out details on the requirement of equipment, materials, training and minimal infrastructure within two weeks. He also asked agriculture secretary Mr Rajesh Verma to look into the process of formulation of the proposal and directed WCD secretary Ms Arti Ahuja to work out a programme for training and sensitizing the WSHGs involved in preparation of take home rations at the Nutrition and Home Science Colleges of OUAT.