Cabinet approves Continuation/Modifications of Centrally Sponsored National Scheme for PM POSHAN in School For five more years

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of the ‘National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools’ for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

What is the National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools?

This scheme will replace the existing national programme for mid-day meals in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme.

Aim of the scheme: To provide one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Type: Centrally-Sponsored Scheme

Coverage: It will cover all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government-Aided Schools.

What are the Key Changes/Modifications made to the Scheme?

Extension of Coverage: The scheme is proposed to be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Bal Vatikas of Government and Government-aided primary schools, in addition to all the children from elementary classes.

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

School Nutrition Gardens: 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.

Read more: How Poshan vatikas can help bridge the nutrition

Social Audit of the scheme is made mandatory in all the districts.

Special provision is 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.

Vocal for Local for Atma Nirbhar Bharat: Involvement of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) and Women Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme will be encouraged. Use of locally grown traditional food items for a fillip to local economic growth will be encouraged.

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

What are the findings of NFHS Survey 5?

It exposes the worsening scourge of malnutrition, which can impact millions of children of fully productive adult life. The survey found that childhood stunting rose in 13 States and wasting was a serious concern in 12 States. There was a high prevalence of anaemia among children and women.

Source:  This post is based on the following articles: 

  • Cabinet approves Continuation/Modifications of Centrally Sponsored National Scheme for PM POSHAN in School For five more years”  published in PIB on 29th Sep 2021.
  • “24 lakh pre-primary students to get meals” published in TOI on 30th Sep 2021
  • “​​Mid-day meal scheme is now ‘PM Poshan’, pre-primary children will be covered” published in Indian Express on 30th Sep 2021.
  • Mid-day meal plan is now PM Poshan”  published in Livemint on 30th Sep 2021
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