Centre renames Mid-Day Meal scheme, calls it PM POSHAN

Published on Sep 29, 2021 05:33 PM IST

The scheme will be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Balvatikas running in government and government aided primary schools. Currently, these students were not included in the scheme. The government will also promote nutritional gardens in schools.

The PM POSHAN scheme will cover 11.8 crore students enrolled in classes 1 to 8 in over 11.2 lakh schools across the country. (HT FILE PHOTO.)
The PM POSHAN scheme will cover 11.8 crore students enrolled in classes 1 to 8 in over 11.2 lakh schools across the country. (HT FILE PHOTO.)
ByHT Correspondents

The Centre on Wednesday launched the Prime Minister POSHAN scheme or PM-POSHAN scheme for providing one cooked hot meal in government and government-aided schools and announced that it would spend 1,30,795 crore on the scheme in the next five years. . The scheme will replace the existing national programme for mid-day meal in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme.

The decision was taken during the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The scheme will cover 11.8 crore students enrolled in classes 1 to 8 in over 11.2 lakh schools across the country. “The scheme is for the five-year period 2021-22 to 2025-26 with the financial outlay of 54061.73 crore from the Central government and 31733.17 crore from state governments and UTs administration. The Central government will also bear the additional cost of 45,000 crore on food grains. Therefore, the total budget of the scheme will be 130794.9 crore,” the government said in a statement.

The scheme will be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Balvatikas running in government and government aided primary schools. Currently, these students were not included in the scheme. The government will also promote nutritional gardens in schools.

Officials said the government will not decide items which will be served under the scheme and states can decide on their own. “States will be allowed to include their local nutritional items as well. Earlier the provision was not there... Special provisional has been made to for providing supplementary nutrition items to children in aspirational districts and districts with high prevalence of anaemia,” an official said, adding involvement of farmers and women self-help groups will be encouraged under the scheme.

The social audit of the scheme has been made mandatory in all disticts under the scheme. The scheme will be renewed after five years, an official added.

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