Government to Provide Monetary Assistance through DBT under MDM Scheme . About 11.8 Cr students to be benefited. Additional Funds of about Rs.1200 Cr to be provided for the purpose
- The Union Minister for Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to 11.8 Crore students (118 Million Students) through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, to all eligible children, as a special welfare measure. This will give a fillip to the Midday Meal programme.
- This is in addition to the Government of India’s announcement of distribution of free-of-cost food grains @ 5 Kg per person per month to nearly 80 Crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).
- This decision will help safeguard the nutritional levels of children and aid in protecting their immunity during the challenging pandemic times.
- The Central Government will provide additional funds of about Rs 1200 crore to State Governments and UT Administrations for this purpose.
- This one time special welfare measure of the union Government will benefit about 11.8 crore children studying in class I to VIII in the 11.20 lakh Government and Government aided schools across the country.
About Mid-Day meal scheme:
The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.
Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.
- The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.
- It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
The MDM rules 2015, provide that:
- The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
- If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.
- The meal shall be prepared in accordance with the Mid Day Meal guidelines issued by the Central Government from time to time.
- Procuring AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals, tasting of meals by two or three adult members of the school management committee, including at least one teacher, before serving to children.
- The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.
- The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee (SSMC) shall oversee the implementation of the scheme including establishment of a mechanism for maintenance of nutritional standards and quality of meals.
- In terms of calorie intake, as per the MDM guidelines, the children in primary schools must be provided with at least 450 calories with 12 grams of protein through MDM while the children in upper primary schools should get 700 calories with 20 grams of protein, as per MHRD.
- The food intake per meal by the children of primary classes, as provided by MHRD is 100 grams of food grains, 20 grams of pulses, 50 grams of vegetables and 5 grams of oils and fats. For the children of upper-primary schools, the mandated breakup is 150 grams of food grains, 30 grams of pulses, 75 grams of vegetables and 7.5 grams of oils and fats.
The cost of the MDMS is shared between the central and state governments.
- The central government provides free food grains to the states.
- The cost of cooking, infrastructure development, transportation of food grains and payment of honorarium to cooks and helpers is shared by the centre with the state governments.