Cabinet approves revisions/modifications in National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools

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New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the revision of norms under Mid Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of Rs.12,054 Crore for 2019-20 in addition to the subsidy of about Rs. 8,000 crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution. The following revised norms and inclusion of new components would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme:

Annual increase in Cooking cost linked to Inflation Index. This year Cooking cost is enhanced to Rs. 4.35 and Rs. 6.51 per child per school day, thus Cooking cost is enhanced by Rs 361 crore. This will offset the impact of inflation on the food items under Mid Day Meal Scheme.
Revision of the transportation rate from Rs 75 per quintal, for other than NE & Himalayan States to PDS rate (subject to maximum of Rs.150 per quintal).
Revision of Management. Monitoring and Evaluation (MME) rate from 2% to 3% of the total admissible recurring Central Assistance. This would enable the States and UTs for better supervision and monitoring of the scheme,
The assistance for kitchen devices has been enhanced from flat rate of Rs 5,000 per school to Rs 10,000 – Rs 25,000 based on enrolment. This would enable the schools for procuring / replacing adequate kitchen devices.
A new component of Rs 10,000 per kitchen for repair of more than 10 year old kitchen has been introduced. This will help in their maintenance and upkeep.
Rs 50 crore have been allocated for fortification of food items in a systematic manner. This will address the problems of anaemia and other micro nutrient deficiencies. Kitchen gardens in schools will also be encouraged.
Delegation of power of implementing the scheme with minor modifications from the existing guidelines (i.e Central / State Govt.) to District Level Committee Chaired by the District Magistrate. This will facilitate better delivery of the scheme suitable to local needs.
The States and UTs have been given flexibility to utilize, with the prior approval of MHRD, 5% of their Annual Work Plan & Budget for new interventions. This will help the States and UTs in undertaking innovative activities.
Concept of community participation in the form of Tithi Bhojan will be encouraged under which people from the community celebrate important days such as child birth, marriage, birthdays etc. by contributing to the Mid Day Meal Scheme. Tithi Bhojan is not a substitute to Mid Day Meal but it supplements or compliments Mid DayMeal.
Cooking competitions at Block, District and State levels will be organised to promote innovative menus.
Use of Pulses from buffer stock -The States and UTs may procure pulses as per their local taste for the Mid-Day Meal from the Central buffer stock created by the Government of India.
Monitoring of attendance – The Ministry of HRD has worked with States and UTs to implement a technology based (SMS, IVRS & Mobile App) Automated Monitoring System by which information on attendance at the Mid Day Meal is collected every day from schools. At present, the level of daily uploading of data has reached 56% of all schools.
Usage of Jails, Temples, Gurudwaras etc, for Mid Day Meal – All States and UTs are being advised to involve community and other agencies such as Jails, Temples, Gurudwaras etc. in the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
Background:

Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government-Aided Schools. The scheme covers more than 12 crore children studying in 11.4 lakh schools across the country.

Government of India incurs more than Rs 17,600 crore in the scheme including the subsidy of about Rs.7,600 crore on food grains.

The average per meal cost borne by Central Government is Rs 6.64 and Rs. 9.59 for students of primary and upper primary classes, respectively.

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