MDM Scheme, Government of India launched National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (Commonly known as Mid-Day Meal Scheme) on August 15, 1995 to provide mid-day meal to the children studying at primary stage.
In 2002, the Supreme Court directed the Government to provide cooked Mid-Day Meals (as apposed to providing dry rations) in all Government and Government aided primary schools. It was revised in September 2004 and in September 2006.
About: In keeping with the Constitutional provisions to raise the level of nutrition of children and enable them to develop in a healthy manner, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally sponsored scheme in 1995.
Commonly referred to as MDMS, this was expected to enhance enrolment, retention, attendance of children in schools apart from improving their nutritional levels. This was extended to upper primary (classes VI to VIII) children in 3,479 Economically Backwards blocks (EBBs) in 2007 and then universalised at the elementary level in the year 2008.
The scheme is implemented through the States/UTs. MDMS is managed and implemented by School Management/Village Education Committees, Panchayati Raj Institutions, and Self-Help Groups. MDMS now includes madrasas and maktabs supported under the SSA as well as children under the National Child Labour Projects. MDM Scheme
A detailed survey of implementation of intended nutritional values including calorific value, protein inclusion, additional nutritional supplements and vitamins, as detailed in the scheme, needs to be carried out to ensure that the nutrition scheme is implemented in both spirit and letter.
The key objectives of the programme are:
- protecting children from classroom hunger,
- increasing school enrolment and attendance,
- improving socialisation among children belonging to all castes,
- addressing the issue of malnutrition among children and
- social empowerment of women by creating employment.
Objectives: The objectives of the mid day meal scheme are:
- Improving the nutritional status of children in classes I – VIII in Government, Local Body and Government aided schools, and EGS and AIE centres.
- Encouraging poor children, belonging to disadvantaged sections, to attend school more regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities.
- Providing nutritional support to children of primary stage in drought-affected areas during summer vacation. MDM Scheme
Promoting school participation: Mid day meals have big effects on school participation, not just in terms of getting more children enrolled in the registers but also in terms of regular pupil attendance on a daily basis.
Preventing classroom hunger: Many children reach school on an empty stomach. Even children who have a meal before they leave for school get hungry by the afternoon and are not able to concentrate – especially children from families who cannot give them a lunch box or are staying a long distance away from the school. Mid day meal can help to overcome this problem by preventing “classroom hunger”.
Facilitating the healthy growth of children: Mid day meal can also act as a regular source of “supplementary nutrition” for children, and facilitate their healthy growth.
Intrinsic educational value: A well-organised mid day meal can be used as an opportunity to impart various good habits to children (such as washing one’s hands before and after eating), and to educate them about the importance of clean water, good hygiene and other related matters.
Fostering social equality: Mid day meal can help spread egalitarian values, as children from various social backgrounds learn to sit together and share a common meal. In particular, mid day meal can help to break the barriers of caste and class among school. Appointing cooks from Dalit communities is another way of teaching children to overcome caste prejudices.
Enhancing gender equity: The gender gap in school participation tends to narrow, as the Mid Day Meal Scheme helps erode the barriers that prevent girls from going to school. Mid Day Meal Scheme also provide a useful source of employment for women, and helps liberate workingwomen from the burden of cooking at home during the day. In these and other ways, women and girl children have a special stake in Mid Day Meal Scheme.
Psychological Benefits: Physiological deprivation leads to low self-esteem, consequent insecurity, anxiety and stress. The Mid Day Meal Scheme can help address this and facilitate cognitive, emotional and social development.
Mid Day Meal Scheme Rules
Mid Day Meal Rules under National Food Security Act 2013: The Central Government notified “Mid Day Meal Rules, 2015” on September 30th, 2015. The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA, 2013) contains provisions related to welfare schemes including the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Ministry of HRD has finalized the MDM Rules after consultation with the States and other related Central Ministries.
The rules will be known as Mid Day Meal Rules, 2015 and will be in effect from the date of notification in the Gazette of India. The Rules inter alia provide for temporary utilization of other funds available with the school for MDM in case school exhausts MDM funds for any reason Food Security Allowance to be paid to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of meals for specified reasons and monthly testing of meals on a random basis by accredited Labs to check its quality.
Further, the Rules also provide that concerned State Governments shall fix responsibility on the person or agency if meals are not provided on 3 consecutive school days or 5 days in a month.
These rules and their effective compliance by implementing agencies in the States will ensure better regularity in serving mid-day meals in schools and also improve the quality of the meals as well as overall implementation of the Mid Day Meal Scheme in the country.
The Salient provisions of the MDM rules
1. Entitlements of children: Every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enroll and attend the school, shall be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary free of charge every day except on school holidays. The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
2. Implementation of the Scheme: Every school shall have the facility for cooking meal in hygienic manner. Schools in urban area may use the facility of centralised kitchens for cooking meals wherever required in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government and the meal shall be served to children at respective school only.
3. Responsibility of School Management Committee: The School Management Committee mandated under Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme and shall oversee quality of meals provided to the children, cleanliness of the place of cooking and maintenance of hygiene in implementation of mid day meal scheme.
4. Utilization of School Funds: The Headmaster or Headmistress of the school shall be empowered to utilise any fund available in school for the purpose of continuation of Mid Day Meal Scheme in the school in case of temporary unavailability of food grains, cooking cost etc. in the school. The utilised fund shall be reimbursed to the school account immediately after receipt of mid day meal funds.
5. Testing of the meals by Accredited Labs to ensure nutritional standards: Hot cooked meal provided to children shall be evaluated and certified by the Government Food Research Laboratory or any laboratory accredited or recognized by law, so as to ensure that the meal meets with the nutritional standards and quality. MDM Scheme Mid Day Meal Rules
6. The Food and Drugs Administration Department of the State may collect samples to ensure the nutritive value and quality of the meals.
The samples shall be collected at least once in a month from randomly selected schools or centralised kitchens and sent for examination to the accredited laboratories.
7. Food Security Allowance: If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains, cooking cost, fuel or absence of cook-cum-helper or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month in the manner provided herein below:
(a) Quantity of Food grains as per entitlement of the child; and
(b) Cooking cost prevailing in the State.
In case of non-supply of meal by the Centralised Kitchen, the Food Security Allowance shall be realised from the Centralised Kitchen as stated above.
Provided that in case a child has not taken food on offer for whatever reasons, no claim of food security allowance shall lie with the State Government or Centralised Kitchens:
Provided further that no claim shall lie with State Government or Centralised Kitchen for reasons of quality of food grains and meal: The State Government shall take action to fix responsibility on the person or agency in accordance with the procedure laid down, if mid day meal is not provided in school on school days continuously for three days or at least for five days in a month.
Wherever an agency of Central Government is involved, the State Government shall take up the matter with Central Government which shall resolve the matter within a month.
Mid Day Meal Implementation Guidelines
Mid Day Meal MDM Implementation Guidelines, DSE Telangana instructions on MDM: DSE Telangana, Rc.No.265; Dated: 23-06-2016; Subject: School Education – Mid Day Meal – implementation of Mid Day meal scheme in the State-certain instructions – issued
The attention of all the District Educational Officers in the State are invited to the subject read above, and they are informed that during the Regional workshop of MDM held at Thiruvananthapuram on 10th and 11th June 2016.
The Secretary, MHRD Govt. of India instructed to take immediate action on the guidelines of MDM issued by GOI from time to time and see that the scheme of Mid Day Meal is implemented in schools successfully without any scope of untoward incidents. Mid Day Meal MDM Implementation Guidelines
They are instructed to concentrate on the following at the field level in touch with them regular supervision.
- Conduct inspection in the Mid Day Meal Scheme
- Avoid Food poison.
- Care should be taken in cooking food in a hygienic atmosphere.
- One teacher, one parent should taste the meal every day.
- Every day 2 parents should come to school for observation in serving of MDM
- Prepare roster for parents every month to visit the school to supervise MDM
- Provide a safe drinking water facility.
- Wherever open place in the school premises see that plantation like Banana trees, papaya, etc to use fruits by the students
- Encourage multi-tap wash hands.