Mid-day meal
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has started working on a plan to revamp the mid-day meal scheme. (Representational image) | mdm.nic.in
Text Size:

New Delhi: The Modi government is set to drastically overhaul the mid-day meal scheme, which it feels needs more monitoring, especially after the salt-roti incident at a government school in Uttar Pradesh.

There had been outrage after a school in Mirzapur was found serving salt with roti as its mid-day meal. The video had gone viral on 22 August. The row was further compounded after the journalist who broke the story, Pawan Kumar Jaiswal, was booked by the UP police.

The incident has pushed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to take up the revamp plan as a priority. This will include better plans for fund utilisation and monitoring at a micro level. There is, however, no proposal to change the diet being served to the children.

According to norms under the scheme, pulses, rice, rotis, vegetables, with fruits and milk on certain days, are to be served to school-going children to ensure necessary nutrition to them. The scheme is designed to provide a minimum of 450 calories per child per day, of which at least 12 grams should be of protein each day. These meals should be served to each child at least 200 days a year.

The ministry now wants to make sure that the scheme is implemented more efficiently across the country.

“We are working on changing the mid-day meal scheme and it will be a big revamp. Most changes will be related to financing and monitoring,” a senior HRD ministry official said.

“We are not planning on changing the meal type as many of the children come from poor families and the mid-day meal is the only nutritious one that they have in a day. We cannot change the menu from dal, roti, rice and such things to dry items.”

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Micro-level monitoring begins

Monitoring at the micro level has already been started by the ministry. A daily report from schools all across the country, through state governments, is submitted to the ministry, which is further assessed by the school education department and issues, if any, are addressed.

The HRD ministry had sought a reply from the Uttar Pradesh government after the video of salt-roti being served to children went viral. In its response, the UP government has denied that the incident occurred, instead calling it “fake news” that was “concocted with the purpose of maligning the government’s reputation”.


Also read: Why states chicken out when it comes to introducing eggs in mid-day meals


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here