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Cloud telephony to track midday meal scheme

New Delhi, Jan 30 2012, DHNS: 1:24 IST

New system will be made operational by April-June

The Centre is all set to use cloud telephony in its effort to monitor the implementation of midday meal scheme across the country.

Union Human Resource Development Ministry has come up with the plan to ensure students are given midday meals in schools run or aided by the government.

“The new system, which is being developed to track the implementation of the mid-day meal programme, will be made operational by April-June this year,” Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal said.

The technology would be used to send text messages to school principals asking them to provide the number of students in the school who had taken midday meals.

They head of schools will also be asked to give details on the food served. “This will help us see whether the daily (mid-day) meal was being served to children regularly or not,” Sibal said.

The Ministry is also working to send messages to parents to ascertain if meals are served to their children, a senior official in the Ministry said.

The move is based on a similar monitoring initiative implemented in Uttar Pradesh, where mobile calls are being made to each government school at noon every day to learn how many children are given mid-day meals.

Success story in UP

“Uttar Pradesh has successfully experimented with the cloud telephony to monitor mid-day meals on a daily basis through an IVRS-based telephone call to teachers. Sometime back, when Uttar Pradesh gave its presentation at one of the meetings here, it was not only appreciated but other states were asked to adopt it as well,” an HRD Ministry official said.

Meanwhile, Sibal launched a comprehensive website, www.mdm.nic.in, seeking to bring more transparency in the implementation of the scheme.

The website will show data uploaded by each state relating to the implementation of the mid-day meal programme, details of the fund allotted and its utilisation.

It will also provide information about the scheme, implementation guidelines and the steps being taken by the government to ensure its proper implementation.

“This will bring transparency. People can see themselves how the scheme is being implemented in schools located in area and lodge complains with the authorities if they find any irregularity,” the Minister said.

Sibal also launched a web journal, “Voices of Teachers and Teacher Educators”, to create greater awareness on the issue of teacher education and to facilitate the effective implementation of the scheme.

The first web journal contains articles on Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education (IASEs), Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) besides write-ups on state curriculum reforms, professional development of teachers in the states and other issues.

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