Rs 600 cr to improve midday meal scheme

Rs 600 cr to improve midday meal scheme

The Ministry of Human Resource Development is planning to restructure the management systems and monitoring procedures of the midday meal (MDM) scheme. The cost of monitoring and evaluating the scheme across the country is Rs 236 crore.

This will be hiked to Rs 600 crore for setting up a proper management structure from the financial year 2014-15, according to Gaya Prasad, Director, Department of School Education and Literacy – Midday Meal Scheme.

Briefing reporters on the sidelines of a ‘National Workshop on MDM Scheme’ here on Monday, he said the ministry was finalising an “emergency medical plan” in case of incident like midday meal tragedy that took place in Bihar recently. Measures like ready availability of medical kits, mobile numbers of medical officers and primary health centres will be put in place as part of the plan.

The auditing and monitoring system involving school management committees and members of the local community is being taken up. The honorarium provided to cooks-cum-helpers is being increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. Besides, cooking costs will be revised by 7.5 per cent. Funds for procuring kitchen utensils are being revised from Rs 5,000 per school for five years to Rs 15,000 for five years with the maximum limit of Rs 25,000, Prasad said.

Scheme revision likely

Many components of the MDM scheme in the State are also set for a revision. Jayakumar S, Joint Director, MDM, Department of Public Instruction, has said that the present structure of management of the MDM scheme at various levels would be strengthened.

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