Published on: September 30, 2021
PM POSHAN SHAKTI NIRMAN
What is in news : The mid-day meal scheme will now be known as PM POSHAN
What is in the programme :
- 24 lakh students receiving pre-primary education at government and government-aided schools will also be brought under the ambit of the scheme (government had opened pre-schools called Balvatikas attached to angandwadis in 2020)
- Launched for an initial period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26)
- 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.
- States are free to hike the honorarium of cooks and workers
- Primary (1-5) and upper primary (6-8) school children are currently entitled to 100 grams and 150 grams of food grains per working day each, to ensure a minimum of 700 calories. The new scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of
- Revamped scheme 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,”
- Nutri-gardens will be developed in schools to give children “first-hand experience with nature and gardening”. Such gardens have been already developed in three lakh schools.
- A social audit is being made mandatory in all the districts. 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.
- Tamil Nadu is considered the pioneer in introducing mid-day meals in government schools.
- While the Centre bears the entire cost of food grains and their transportation, as well as looks after the management, monitoring and evaluation under the scheme, components such as cooking costs, payments to cooks and workers are split in a 60:40 ratio with states.
- Several studies over the years have shown the critical role played by midday meals in increasing enrolment and preventing dropouts.