- The mid-day meal scheme will now be known as PM POSHAN, with the Centre initiating a major political push pivoted around ‘child nutrition’, and announcing that around 24 lakh students receiving pre-primary education at government and government-aided schools will also be brought under the ambit of the scheme from next year.
About mid-day meal scheme
- The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal program designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.
- It was launched in the year 1995.
- It is the world’s largest school meal programmeaimed to attain the goal of universalization of primary education.
- Address hunger and malnutrition, increase enrolment and attendance in school, improve socialisation among castes, provide employment at grassroot level especially to women.
It supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in:
- Government, government aided, local body schools
- Education Guarantee Scheme, and alternate innovative education centres,
- Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and
- National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour
- The Scheme has a legal backing under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
- Under the mid-day meal scheme, hot cooked food is provided currently to students from Classes 1 to 8 — around 11.80 crore children in all, in 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools.
Key propositions in the PM POSHAN Scheme
- The new scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
States to decide diet
- It essentially does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables.
- Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.
- They will be developed in schools to give children “firsthand experience with nature and gardening”.
Women and FPOs
- To promote vocal for local, women self-help groups and farmer producer organisations will be encouraged to provide a fillip to locally grown traditional food items.
- The scheme also plans “inspection” by students of colleges and universities for ground-level execution.
- Communities would also be encouraged to provide the children food at festivals etc, while cooking festivals to encourage local cuisines are also envisaged.
DBTs to school
- In other procedural changes meant to promote transparency and reduce leakages, States will be asked to do direct benefit cash transfers of cooking costs to individual school accounts, and honorarium amounts to the bank accounts of cooks and helpers.
- The rebranded scheme aims to focus on “holistic nutrition” goals. Use of locally grown traditional foods will be encouraged, along with school nutrition gardens.
- Under the scheme, midday meals have been extended to children of Balvatika (Pre-school[before class -1]) in addition to children studying in classes 1 to 8 in government and government-aided schools in the country.
- Like the midday meal scheme, both the Centre and the states will bear the cost of the PM-POSHAN scheme in 60:40 ratio, with the Centre taking care of the entire cost of grains ( ₹45,000 crore) in addition.
- PM POSHAN has been launched for an initial period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26).
- The Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana is expected to benefit 11.80 crore students from over 11.20 lakh government and government aided schools in the country.
- PM POSHAN will have a financial outlay of 54,061 crore from the Central government and Rs. 31,733.17 crore form the states and union territories have been approved. The Central government will bear additional cost of Rs. 45,000 crore on food grains.
- While the NEP also proposes breakfast in schools, the government has not taken any decision on that yet.
- The National Education Policy (NEP) has also recommended that pre-school education should be formalised.
- This is a step towards that. Also, it will help prevent leakages and bring more transparency.
Which of the following can be said to be essentially the parts of Inclusive Governance?
- Permitting the Non-Banking Financial Companies to do banking
- Establishing effective District Planning Committees in all the districts
- Increasing government spending on public health
- Strengthening the Mid-day Meal Scheme
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Latest Burning Issues | Free PDF