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Mid Day Meal Scheme was started in India from 15th August 1995 under the name of ‘National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE)’. In October 2007, NP-NSPE was renamed as ‘National Programme of Mid Day Meal in Schools,’ which is popularly known as Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Recently, the Vice President of India has proposed the inclusion of milk in mid-day meals of children.

Mid-day Meal Scheme Latest News :-

In September 2021, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was renamed ‘PM POSHAN’ or Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman. PM POSHAN will extend the hot cooked meals to students studying in pre-primary levels or Bal Vatikas of government and government-aided primary schools, in addition to those already covered under the mid-day scheme..

On 28th November 2001, the Supreme Court asked all state governments to begin this programme in their schools. The programme has shown many positive effects. Many parents who couldn't send their children to schools due to poverty, were eager to get their children free nutritious food and this incentivized them to send their children to school. The Midday Meal Scheme increased the number of school-going children.

The government of India initiated the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) on 15 August 1995. The objective of the scheme is to help to improve the effectiveness of primary education by improving the nutritional status of primary school children. Though cooked food was to be provided, most states (apart from those already providing cooked food) chose to provide "dry rations" to students. "Dry rations" refers to the provision of uncooked 3 kg of wheat or rice to children with 80% attendance.

Finances :-

The central and state governments share the cost of the PM Poshan Scheme, with the Centre providing 60 percent and the States 40 percent. The central government provides grains and financing for other food. Costs for facilities, transportation, and labor is shared by the federal and state governments. The participating states/territories contribute different amounts of money, depending on whether they are Himalayan states, Northeastern Region (NER) states, union territories without legislature, or the residual (Non-NER states and union territories with legislature). The share contributed by states is often larger than what is stipulated. The per day cooking cost per child at the primary level has been fixed to 5.45/- while at the upper primary level is 8.17/-.

Functions :-

  1. Apart from providing nutritional meals to school children, the revamped scheme will also focus on monitoring the nutritional levels of school children.
  2. A nutritional expert will be appointed in each school to ensure that the BMI, weight levels and hemoglobin levels of the students are monitored.
  3. In districts with a high prevalence of anemia, special provisions for nutritional items would be made.
  4. The government is also considering developing nutrition gardens on school campuses with active participation by students.
  5. There could also be cooking competitions held under the scheme to promote ethnic cuisine and innovative menus based on local ingredients.

Aspirants can read similar articles from the links mentioned below :-

UIDAI Samagra Shikhsa Abhiyan
Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
Poshan Abhiyan – National Nutrition Mission Child Health Programmes

What is a PM Poshan

It is one meal that is provided to all children enrolled in government schools, government-aided schools, local body schools, special training centres (STC), madrasas and maktabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

What is the objective of PM Poshan

The main objectives of the PM Poshan scheme are:
  1. To increase the enrolment of the children belonging to disadvantaged sections in the schools.
  2. Leading enrolment to increased attendance in the schools.
  3. To retain children studying in classes I-VIII.
  4. To provide nutritional support to the children of the elementary stage in drought-affected areas.

Salient Features of PM Poshan Scheme :-

  1. It is the world’s largest school meal programme aimed to attain the goal of universalization of primary education.
  2. The Ministry of Education (earlier known as the Ministry of Human Resources and Development) is the authorized body to implement the scheme.
  3. It is a centrally sponsored scheme hence cost is shared between the centre and the states. (Centre’s share – 60 percent.)
  4. Tamil Nadu is the first state to implement the PM Poshan scheme.
  5. In 2001, PM Poshan became a cooked midday meal scheme under which each eligible child was provided with a prepared midday meal for a minimum of 200 days:
  • Energy intake – 300 calories
  • Protein intake – 8 to 12 grams

Till 2002, the scheme was only designed for government, government-aided and local body schools. Later, children studying in Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) centres too were included under the scheme.

In 2004, MDMS was revised:

  • Central assistance provided for cooking cost
  • Transport subsidy included for all states (Max. of Rs 100 per quintal for special category states and Rs. 75 per quintal for other states.)
  • Management, monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.
  • Provision to serve midday meals during summer vacation to the children of drought-affected areas was also added.

In 2006, the MDMS was again revised:

  • Cooking cost was enhanced to Rs 1.80 per child/school day for States in the North Eastern Region and Rs 1.50 per child/school day for other States and UTs.
  • Nutritional norm was revised – Energy intake was increased from 300 calories to 450 calories and protein intake was increased from 8-12 grams to 12 grams.

In 2007, class VI-VIII children studying in 3,479 Educationally Backwards Blocks (EBBs) were included in the scheme.
SSA-supported madrasas and maktabs were included in this scheme in 2008.
Apart from the calories and food intake, for micronutrients (tablets and de-worming medicines), each child is entitled to receive the amount provided for in the school health programme of the National Rural Health Mission.

PM Poshan Rules, 2015 :

PM Poshan Rules 2015 are notified on 30th September 2015 under National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013.

  • Under the PM Poshan rules, schools are empowered to utilize other funds for midday meals in case PM Poshan funds get exhausted.
  • On occasions where schools and other required bodies are unable to provide cooked meals to children; they are to provide food allowances to beneficiaries.
  • Accredited labs to take on the monthly testing of meals on a random basis.
  • Under PM Poshan rules 2015, if children of any school don’t get food for 3 consecutive school days or 5 days in a month, the concerned state government has to fix the responsibility on a person or an agency.

Salient Features of PM Poshan Rules, 2015

  • Each child from class I-VIII within the age group of six to fourteen years is eligible for a cooked nutritious meal every day except school holidays; with the following nutritional requirements:
    Calories Intake Primary Upper Primary
    Energy 450 calories 700 calories
    Protein 12 grams 20 grams
    Food Intake Primary Upper Primary
    Food Grains 100 grams 150 grams
    Pulses 20 grams 30 grams
    Vegetable 50 grams 75 grams
    Oil and Fats 5 grams 7.5 grams
  • The schools procure AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals.
  • The meals are to be served in the school premises only.
  • Each school should have a hygienic cooking infrastructure to cook midday meals in a hygienic manner.
  • The School Management Committee (SMCs) play a vital role in the monitoring of MDMS. SMSs are mandated under the right to free and compulsory education act, 2009 or Right to Education Act
  • The headmasters or headmistress are empowered to utilize the school funds on the account of midday meal fund exhaustion. However, the same has to be reimbursed to the midday meal fund as soon as the school is credited with the PM Poshan fund.
  • The Food and Drugs Administration Department of the State may collect samples to ensure the nutritive value and quality of the meals.
  • Food allowance to be provided to the children whenever cooked meals are not provided due to unforeseen circumstances in the manner stated below:
    1. Quantity of Food grains as per entitlement of the child; and
    2. Cooking cost prevailing in the State.

How is the PM Poshan Scheme implemented?

It is implemented using one of the three models:

  1. Decentralized model – Preparing meals on the site by local cooks, Self-help groups etc.
  2. Centralized model – In the place of local on-site cooks, under this model, an external organization cooks food and delivers it to the schools.
  3. International assistance – Various international charity organizations aid government schools.