DBT Of The Cooking Cost Component Of The Mid-Day-Meal Scheme:
The Ministry of Education has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to students through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the Mid-Day-Meal (MDM) Scheme, to all eligible children.
Implications of DBT for MDM Scheme:
- With schools closed for months due to Covid-19, this move will give a fillip to the Midday Meal program.
- This is in addition to the Government of India’s announcement of distribution of free-of-cost food grains at Rs. 5/kg per person per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).
- It will help safeguard the nutritional levels of children and aid in protecting their immunity during challenging pandemic times.
- This one time special welfare measure will benefit about 11.8 crore children studying in class I to VIII in the 11.20 lakh Government and Government aided schools across the country.
- The central government will provide additional funds of about Rs. 1200 crore to state governments and UT administrations for this purpose.
About Mid-Day-Meal Scheme:
- Launch: It is a centrally sponsored scheme which was launched in 1995.
- It is considered the world’s largest school feeding programme aimed to attain the goal of universalization of primary education.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Education.
- Aim: To address hunger and malnutrition, increase enrolment and attendance in school, improve socialization among castes, provide employment at grassroots level especially to women.
- Provides cooked meals to every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enrolls and attends the school.
- Cooked meal having nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary (I-V class) and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary (VI-VIII class).
- If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.
- Beneficiaries: All children in government and aided schools and madrasas supported under Samagra Shiksha.