Published: 29th September 2021
PM-POSHAN will 'subsume' Mid Day Meal Scheme, says Union Minister Anurag Thakur as Cabinet gives approval
According to a report by The New Indian Express, earlier this month, the Union government had decided to carry out a detailed audit and review of the mid-day meal scheme
Under the newly approved PM-POSHAN scheme, mid-day meals have been extended to children of balvatikas (pre-primary schools) in addition to children studying in Class I to Class VIII in government and government-aided schools across India, Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted on September 29.
The Union Cabinet gave the approval to PM-POSHAN earlier in the day. While announcing the scheme at a press conference, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said, "The PM-POSHAN scheme will subsume the existing Mid Day Meal Scheme and there will be more things added to it." Thakur said that the scheme will run for five years and a total of Rs 1.31 lakh crores will be spent on it. Thakur added that the scheme runs in partnership with state governments while major contributions will be from the Central Government.
Pradhan, in his tweet, added, "Government of India will bear ₹99,061.73 crore, including cost of food grains for #PMPOSHAN over 5 years. Introduction of Tithi Bhojan, social audit, school nutrition gardens and several other measures will help in the effective implementation of the scheme and boost learning & nutrition outcomes." Pradhan added that PM-POSHAN is in line with the government's vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. "To support #Vocal4Local & fulfil the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, #PMPOSHAN will involve Farmer Producer Organisations & Women Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme," the tweet said.
According to a report by The New Indian Express, earlier this month, the Union government had decided to carry out a detailed audit and review of the Mid Day Meal Scheme as schools have been shut since the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020. Over the last year and a half, the Centre has been giving about Rs 100 each to children studying in Class I to VIII in government schools who are the beneficiaries of the scheme. “A major professional services network firm is being hired to see how the scheme is working on the ground as the schools are shut,” a senior education ministry official had told the newspaper.