PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Scheme
Part of: Prelims and GS II – Policies and interventions
Context The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to students, has been renamed as the National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.
Key propositions in the PM POSHAN Scheme
- Supplementary nutrition: Supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
- States to decide diet: It essentially does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables. Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.
- Nutri-gardens: They will be developed in schools to give children “firsthand experience with nature and gardening”.
- Women and FPOs: To promote vocals for local, women self-help groups and farmer producer organisations will be encouraged to provide a fillip to locally grown traditional food items.
- Social Audit: “Inspection” by students of colleges and universities for ground-level execution.
- Tithi-Bhojan: Communities would also be encouraged to provide the children food at festivals etc.
- DBTs to school: States will be asked to do direct benefit cash transfers of cooking costs to individual school accounts, and allowances to the bank accounts of cooks and helpers.
- Holistic nutrition: Use of locally grown traditional foods will be encouraged, along with school nutrition gardens.
About the Mid-Day meal scheme
- The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1995.
- Objective: To enhance enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improve nutritional levels among children.
- In 2001 it became a cooked Mid Day Meal Scheme.
- The Scheme covers children of classes I-VIII studying in government, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC) and madarsas/ maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
- It is the largest school feeding programme in the world.
- It is covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.