Published: 29th April 2020
Centre increases mid-day meal allocation by meagre amount at WB govt's urging
The HRD ministry "only effected a marginal rise to Rs 4.79 for primary students and Rs 7.75 for secondary students"
The Centre has effected a "meagre" increase in the mid-day meal allocation for primary and secondary school students, after the West Bengal government urged the HRD ministry in this regard, state minister Partha Chatterjee said. Chatterjee told reporters over video conference on Tuesday that the state government had asked the ministry to hike the monthly mid-day meal allocation for each student from the existing Rs 4 to Rs 10 at the primary stage, and from Rs 5 to Rs 12 at the secondary stage.
However, the HRD ministry "only effected a marginal rise to Rs 4.79 for primary students and Rs 7.75 for secondary students", he said.
The West Bengal education minister also said the demand made by the state for raising the allowance of cooks and helpers of the mid-day meal scheme to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,000 was also "stonewalled" by the Centre. The state's decision to implement the 'no detention' policy from Classes 1-8 in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak was also communicated to the ministry during a meeting on Tuesday, the minister said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take a call on conducting the pending higher secondary exams for two papers after the lockdown is lifted and in consultation with education department officials, Chatterjee added.