PM Poshan Scheme:
The Union Cabinet has approved the Prime Minister POSHAN scheme or PM-POSHAN for providing one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools.
- The scheme will replace the existing national programme for mid-day meal in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme.
- It has been launched for an initial period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26).
- The scheme will cover 11.8 crore students enrolled in classes 1 to 8 in over 11.2 lakh schools across the country.
- Primary (1-5) and upper primary (6-8) schoolchildren are currently entitled to 100 grams and 150 grams of food grains per working day each, to ensure a minimum of 700 calories.
- The scheme will be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Balvatikas running in government and government aided primary schools.
- Balvatika is the pre-school that was started in government schools last year to include children aged younger than six years in the formal education system.
- The government will promote nutritional gardens in schools. The gardens are being provided to offer additional micro-nutrients to students.
- The new scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
- It does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables.
- Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.