Day 51 – Q 1. What are the key challenges of prenatal care in rural India? Do you think the ongoing government interventions address these challenges effectively? Critically examine. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • March 22, 2022
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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1. What are the key challenges of prenatal care in rural India? Do you think the ongoing government interventions address these challenges effectively? Critically examine. (10 Marks)

ग्रामीण भारत में प्रसव पूर्व देखभाल की प्रमुख चुनौतियाँ क्या हैं? क्या आपको लगता है कि चल रहे सरकारी हस्तक्षेप इन चुनौतियों का प्रभावी ढंग से समाधान करते हैं? समालोचनात्मक जाँच करें।


Candidates need to write about the parental care and highlight the government intervention to improve the parental care system. Also mention challenges in rural India despite government intervention and suggest the measures. 


Parental care can be defined as any non-genetic contribution by a parent that increases the fitness of baby and can occur before or after birth. In rural India. In India, making parental care more inclusive and access to the kind of care and information that can help save lives is still a challenge. 


Government intervention improving the parental care in rural areas:

  • Auxiliary Nurse Midwife: ANM, is a village-level female health worker in India who is known as the first contact person between the community and the health services helping mothers in critical care. 
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) providing pregnant women absolutely free ante-natal check-ups, delivery including C-section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants till one year of age. 
  • Institutional Births: Institutional births have increased substantially from 79% to 89% at all-India Level.
  • Establishment of Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU), Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSU) and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) units for care of sick and small babies.
  • Breastfeeding to Children’s: Exclusive breastfeeding to children under age 6 months has shown an improvement in all-India level from 55% in 2015-16 to 64% in 2019-21. All the phase-II States/UTs are also showing considerable progress.

Despite several efforts key challenges of parental care in Rural India still persist:

  • Child care in rural area suffer from multiple deprivations related to poverty, malnutrition, access to quality health services, lack of sanitation facilities, hygiene, and access to improved water.
  • Acute shortage of trained medical personnel, poor health infrastructure and service delivery (particularly in rural areas).
  • High levels of inequality in access to healthcare and sanitation levels between rural and urban areas.
  • Low awareness, illiteracy, early marriages and multiple pregnancies of women impacting health of newborn.
  • Lack of institutional delivery practices, breastfeeding practices impacting mother and child health.
  • As per NFHS 5 incidence of anaemia in under-5 children has worsened in all States of India.


  • Address health equity through universal health coverage so that all children are able to access essential health services without undue financial hardship
  • Address priority maternal and child health problems by strengthening health systems at PHCs, anganwadis etc.
  • Prioritize the essential elements of child health and nutrition services such as breast feeding immunization etc.
  • To increase access, coverage, and quality of child health services, strategic direction and an optimal mix of community and facility based care is required.

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