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Introducing Millets In The Mid-Day Meal Scheme

Introducing Millets In The Mid-Day Meal Scheme:

Flagging “critical” levels of malnutrition and anaemia among children, the Union Government has urged the states to explore the possibility of introducing millets in the mid-day meal scheme, now known as PM Poshan.

  • Millets or nutri-cereals, which include Jowar, Bajra, and Ragi, are rich in minerals and B-complex vitamins, as well as proteins and antioxidants, making them an ideal choice for improving the nutritional outcome of children.

About the Mid-Day meal scheme:

  • The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.
  • Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.
  • The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.
  • It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
  • The Scheme is also covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.
  • Objective: Address hunger and malnutrition, increase enrolment and attendance in school, improve socialisation among castes, provide employment at grassroot level especially to women.
  • The MDM rules 2015, provide that:
    • The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
    • 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.
    • The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.

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