Children will not be deprived of mid-day meals if they do not have Aadhaar card, the government said in Parliament on Friday.
The issue was raised by Congress leader Motilal Vohra during the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, saying the government has made Aadhaar mandatory under the mid-day meal scheme.
“It seems the government has decided to take away the free food scheme from school children,” he said, adding that about 12 crore children are enrolled under the scheme.
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar refuted the suggestion saying all beneficiaries will get mid-day meal and the government will ensure that all the beneficiaries get the 12-digit unique identification number also.
“I want to tell this House that no one will be deprived of mid-day meals. Everybody will get mid-day meal and they will get Aadhaar card as well,” the Minister said.
He said a large number of beneficiaries already have the Aadhaar and facilities will be made to enroll the remaining students as well.
Javadekar said in cases where facilities for Aadhaar cannot be created, the state governments will provide the unique numbers to the students.
He said that since the linking of Aadhaar with mid-day meal scheme was started, leakages have come down.
In her Zero Hour mention, Kahkashan Perween (JD-U) drew the attention of the House towards rampant female foeticide across the country. Referring to the arrest of a gang involved in sex determination test from Delhi, she said female foeticide was prevalent even in the national captial.
She added that there were 3,456 new births in a particular nursing home in Delhi, of which only about 300 were girls and rest boys.
Congress member Narendra Budania expressed concern over almost negligible representation of OBC community in all fields, inlcuding executive, legislative and judicary. He made a case of removal of creamy layer criteria in OBC reservation.