THE STATE Government will soon conduct a special audit of the midday meal scheme at the gram panchayat level. This will be first special audit of the scheme after it was launched. About five teams, which will be formed under the leadership of the DIOS, the BSA, the Panchayati Raj Officer, the district supply officer and the accounts officer, will take rounds of identified schools in rural areas to ascertain the progress of the scheme.
The State Government is expected to issue the GO by month-end. Sources in the basic education directorate say, the period between July 1 and November 30 will come under the purview of the special audit
The government decided to audit the midday meal scheme following complaints of anomalies ranging from substandard quality of food to irregular
The special audit team will take into consideration the enhanced conversion cost that came into effect since July and the quality of the food supplied to the student. Officials in the newly constituted Midday Meal Directorate say there have been several complaints about the poor quality of cooked meal. Each team will audit schools of six villages.
Among other things, the audit team is expected to look into the attendance of students and regularity of food supplied to students.
If the audit teams are convinced that there has been some disparity in terms of money and the quality of food supplied to the students, stern action will be initiated against the responsible persons.
If found guilty, owners of fair price shops, village panchayats and others are liable for action. The Education Department is convinced that the special audit will send a strong message about the State Government’s seriousness in implementing the scheme.
The State Government has also formed a special task force to monitor the success of the midday meal scheme. Officers in the Education Department, who are above the rank of deputy director, have been entrusted with the task to monitor the scheme so that students benefit from it.
These officers will visit at least 20 schools in different districts from time to time to ensure proper implementation of the scheme.
The task force will identify shortcomings of the scheme. The government believes that the task force will ensure quality food for the students.