CCEA okays continuation of PM POSHAN mid-day meals in schools for five more years
New Delhi, September 29, 2021
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the continuation of the National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools, known popularly as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, for another five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
The scheme will have a financial outlay of Rs 54061.73 crores from the Central Government and Rs 31,733.17 crores from State Governments and Union Territory administrations. The Centre will also bear an additional cost of about Rs 45,000 crore on foodgrains, an official press release said.
The total scheme budget will amount to Rs 1,30,794.90 crore, the release said.
The PM POSHAN Scheme for providing one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools covers all school children studying in classes I-VIII. The earlier name of the scheme was the National Scheme for Mid Day Meal in Schools.
The scheme covers about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools across the country. During 2020-21, the Government invested more than Rs 24,400 crores in the scheme, including about Rs 11,500 crores on foodgrains.
The scheme is proposed to be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Bal Vatikas of Government and Government-aided primary schools in addition to all the 11.80 crore children from elementary classes.
The concept of "Tithi Bhojan" will be encouraged. It is a community participation programme in which people provide special food to children on special occasions/festivals.
The Government was promoting the development of School Nutrition Gardens in schools to give children first-hand experience with nature and gardening. The harvest of these gardens is used in the scheme providing additional micronutrients. School Nutrition Gardens have already been developed in more than 3 lakh schools.
Social Audit of the scheme is made mandatory in all the districts. Special provision is made for providing supplementary nutrition items to children in aspirational districts and districts with a high prevalence of Anemia.
Cooking competitions will be encouraged at all levels right from village level to national level to promote ethnic cuisine and innovative menus based on locally available ingredients and vegetables.
Involvement of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) and Women Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme will be encouraged. Use of locally grown traditional food items for a fillip to local economic growth will be encouraged.
Field visits for progress monitoring and inspections will be facilitated for students of eminent Universities / Institutions and also trainee teachers of Regional Institutes of Educations (RIE) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET).