After linking the mid-day meal scheme with Aadhaar, the Centre now wants to assess the efficacy of the scheme and if it should continue in its existing form or introduce changes.
The human resource development (HRD) ministry will soon conduct an evaluation study of the mid-day meal scheme, for which a consultant will be roped in. The study will be completed by September, officials said. The mid-day meal programme has been allocated Rs 10,000 crore in the 2017-18 Union budget, up by Rs 300 crore from the previous budget.
The terms of reference for the study include assessing the extent of coverage of the scheme and the extent to which it has succeeded in achieving its objectives of making a positive impact on overall enrolment and attendance of children.
It will also suggest how community and private participation can be introduced to strengthen the programme.
“To map the nature of participation of students from diverse social groups — SC, ST, OBC, minorities and others in the mid-day meal scheme in rural and urban areas, and assess the contribution of mid-day meal scheme for social integration,” states the expression of interest document issued by HRD ministry.
“All schemes are being evaluated at the conclusion of the last five year plan to determine efficacy. Changes will be made after evaluating the scheme,” said a senior HRD official.