In news- The mid-day meal scheme is renamed as PM POSHAN.
About the scheme-
- Under the mid-day meal scheme, hot cooked food is provided currently to students from Classes 1 to 8, in 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools.
- Primary (1-5) and upper primary (6-8) schoolchildren are currently entitled to 100 grams and 150 grams of food grains per working day each, to ensure a minimum of 700 calories.
- Around 24 lakh students receiving pre-primary education at government and government-aided schools (Balvatikas) currently covered under the ICDS, will be brought under the ambit of the scheme.
- The scheme has been launched for an initial period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26).
- The Centre will bear Rs 54,061 crore of the total estimated cost of Rs 1.3 lakh crore, with the states paying Rs 31,733 crore and Rs 45,000 crore will be released by the Centre as subsidies for food grains.
- Though it does not propose any hike in the honorarium of cooks and workers, the states are “free to do that”.
- The new scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
- Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost.
- The scheme essentially does away with this restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables.
- 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.
- The social audit has been made mandatory in all districts under the scheme.