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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Bribes, bad quality mar meals for kids

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 02, 2012
First Published: 00:28 IST(2/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:30 IST(2/12/2012)

The world’s biggest nutrition scheme, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), is mired in corruption involving contracts in four big states and the ready-to-eat food being provided is lacking in nutrition, a Supreme Court (SC)-appointed committee has found.

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The committee urged the Supreme Court to form a special investigation team to look into the “politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus”.

The report of Biraj Pathnaik, principal adviser to the office of SC’s food commissioners, based on ground study in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka and testing of food samples by the Union government’s Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition, says the “rot is systematic” and people responsible for “stealing food from children of the poorest and most marginalised communities” in the country should be booked.

The report shows how the UP government helped Great Value Foods, owned by Ponty Chadda, to get contracts under the government’s ICDS scheme in violation of Supreme Court orders.

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