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PM POSHAN to continue for five years at cost over Rs 1.30 lakh cr

The scheme covers about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools across the country. Earlier known as the Mid Day Meal Scheme, the scheme provides one hot cooked food to children studying in Classes I to VIII of Government and Government-Aided Schools.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, approved extending the National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools to provide mid-day meals to school children for the next five years at a cost of over Rs 1.30 lakh crore.

The scheme covers about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools across the country. Earlier known as the Mid Day Meal Scheme, the scheme provides one hot cooked food to children studying in Classes I to VIII of Government and Government-Aided Schools.

The CCEA decided that the Centrally-Sponsored Scheme will be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Bal Vatikas of Government and Government-aided primary schools, in addition to all the 11.80 crore children from elementary classes.

The Central government will meet the expenditure of Rs 54061.73 crores for the scheme, while Rs 31,733.17 crore will be spent by State Governments and Union Territory administrations.

In addition, the Central Government will bear a cost of about Rs 45,000 crore on foodgrains. Therefore, the total budget of the scheme rises to Rs 1,30,794.90 crore.

During 2020-21, the Central Government spent more than Rs 24,400 crore in the scheme, including a cost of about Rs 11,500 crore on foodgrains.

The concept of Tithi Bhojan will be encouraged extensively. The Tithi Bhojan is a community participation programme in which people provide special food to children on special occasions and festivals.

The Government is promoting the development of School Nutrition Gardens in schools to give children first-hand experience with nature and gardening. The harvest of these gardens is used in the scheme providing additional micronutrients. The School Nutrition Gardens have already been developed in more than three lakh schools.

A Social Audit of the scheme will be made mandatory in all districts. A Special provision is being made for providing supplementary nutrition items to children in aspirational districts and districts with a high prevalence of anaemia.

Cooking competitions will be encouraged at all levels right from village level to national level to promote ethnic cuisine and innovative menus based on locally available ingredients and vegetables.

The involvement of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) and Women’s Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme will be encouraged.
It is proposed to use locally grown traditional food items to give a fillip to local economic growth, the CCEA decided.

Field visits for progress monitoring and inspections will be facilitated for students of eminent Universities and institutions and trainee teachers of Regional Institutes of Educations (RIE) and
District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET).