Make modernize funds for midday meals

Midday meal suffers in government schools as the funds which are sanctioned for meals are not reaching on time. Children in most of the government schools suffered as they could not get proper food items on time. It is a matter of concern as why the alleged delay in funds reaching the state treasury for the midday meal scheme which further affected disbursement of money to the schools. The Joint Review Mission (JRM) team of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has asked the state to modernize its entire fund flow system from the secretariat to treasury. This is the only option left for the state government to make the flow of funds freely. Already in this matter, it was found that in some cases, it took a minimum of 10 months for the money to reach the schools. The Central Ministry had recommended the state to devise Management Information System (MIS) of cash transfer from the Centre to state/district so that schools get money on time.
As per JRM report the provision of advance payment for the midday meal scheme should be introduced. Instead of involving schoolteachers in every aspect of the scheme, from shopping to tasting, a separate person may be engaged as incharge at cluster level (12-20 schools) under the scheme. This will reduce the corrupt practices in the midday meal.
The report further claimed that there had been no governmental initiative to involve NGOs/trusts in the implementation of the scheme. It added that involvement of the community was poor and no initiative had been taken by the scheme functionaries to encourage community participation.
Earlier, the state has also been told to submit the utilisation certificate of the grant to the HRD Ministry within three months of the next financial year and also had to give priority to the weaker sections of society such as women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Categories and minorities in engaging the cook-cum-helpers under the Central scheme. During midday meal it should be clear that the cook-cum-helper should be engaged purely on a part-time basis and it will not bear any past service liability in this respect. The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, popularly known as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was launched by the Centre on August 15, 1995. The scheme covers nearly 12 crore children. The main objective of the scheme is to improve the nutritional status of children in government schools and government-aided schools, besides encouraging children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend school regularly.

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