The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to school students, will be renamed as National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.
The Union Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, gave its nod to the ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman’ scheme in order to address malnutrition among school-going children in the country.
The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to students, will be renamed as the National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.
A total budget of over Rs 1.3 lakh crore has been allocated for the continuation of the scheme for five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Of this, the central government will contribute Rs 54061.73 crore, while the state governments and union territory administrations will provide Rs 31,733.17 crore. The Centre will also bear an additional cost of about Rs 45,000 crore on food grains, the government said in a statement.
The scheme aims to cover 11.80 crore children in 11.20 lakh schools, according to an infographic shared on MyGovIndia’s official Twitter handle. All school-going students of classes I to VIII, studying in government and government-aided schools, are eligible to avail the benefits of the scheme.
Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated on Twitter that the scheme will encourage the participation of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Women Self-Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme.
Highlighting two other “areas of special focus”, the Minister shared an infographic which stated that the scheme will provide “supplementary nutrition in aspirational and tribal districts and districts with high prevalence of anemia.”
“Cooking competitions will be encouraged at all levels to promote ethnic cuisines and culture in line with #Vocal4Local,” it further read.
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