The Mid-Day Meal Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Education with effect from 15th August, 1995 for the benefit of students in primary schools in Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS)/earlier Revamped Public Distribution System(RPDS) blocks (2368). The Scheme covers students (Class I-V) in the Government Primary Schools / Primary Schools aided by Govt. and the Primary Schools run by local bodies.
Food grains (wheat and rice) are supplied free of cost @ 100 gram per child per school day where cooked/processed hot meal is being served with a Minimum content of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein each day of school for a minimum of 200 days and 3 kgs per student per month for 9-11 months in a year, where foodgrains are distributed in raw form. In drought affected areas the mid day meal is distributed in summer vacations also.
To cut down delays in implementation of the scheme, Department of Elementary Education & Literacy has been authorized to make State / UT-wise allocation of foodgrains under intimation to this Department. Food Corporation of India (FCI) releases foodgrains to States/ UTs at BPL rates as per allocation made by Department of Elementary Education and Literacy.
The Midday meal scheme under which cooked, meal has been provided to all Govt. and Govt. aided primary and upper primary schools is one of the most important flagship scheme of the Government of India. Since no school going child is to lose a meal on any school day, it is therefore essential that disruption if any in the feeding programme should be brought to the notice of the appropriate authorities so that causes for such disruption can be resolved at the earliest.
At the District level, the Deputy Commissioner is the nodal officer assigned with the overall responsibility of effective implementation of the programme. The guidelines in respect of National Programme of Nutritional Support for Primary Education (MDM) Scheme rest the responsibilities of lifting the Food grains under the MDM to the DC in the district and the supply department takes the responsibilities of lifting the food grains and ensures good quality of FAQ rice and distribution up to the school level.
Supply of Food Grains: The allocation and supply of food grains under the scheme is based on the enrolment figures collected by DISE and forwarded to the Education Department. The DSEL then request the Education Deptt. in the MOHRD GOI, to allocate the required quantity of rice. Based on the enrolment figure under the jurisdiction of the respective DIs the rice is allocated @ 100 grams per child per day for LPS and 150 grams for UPS for every working day. Rice is lifted by the wholesaler of the Supply Deptt. from the FCI depot and transported to the respective godown of the wholesaler centre wise.
The Deputy Inspector of Schools then submits the enrolment figure of the students to the respective nodal of ficer. Under Tura Sardar to the DC(S) and under Ampati and Dadenggre to the respective SDO (Supply) on getting the enrolment, the rice is calculated as per the prescribed norm taking into account the working days and an issue list to all the schools is prepared. This is then lifted by the FPS dealers and transported to the doorstep of the school. In case where there is no dealer the school cum headmaster is directed to lift and transport the rice by themselves from the wholesale godown upto the school premises. This is how rice which is given free of cost by the Govt. of India is transported from the FCI centres upto the school premises.
Transportation Cost: The Government of India reimbursed the transport cost for the movement of rice from the FCI Godown upto the school premises. Based on the rates sanctioned by the GOI which is at present sanction @ 125/- per qtl the amount is shared between the wholesellers and the FPS dealers in the ratio 40:60.
Conversion Cost: The Govt. released the conversion cost for providing the cooked meal @ Rs. 4.03 per child per day for UPS and Rs. 2.69 per child for LPS. Strict instruction had been given to all concerned that only cooked meal is to be served and in no way dry ration be given to the children. The teachers are not to cook the meal s as cook cum helpers are to be engaged by all the schools for cooking and cleaning purpose. An Order had been circulated that the MDM should be given regularly and the scheme should not be interrupted. The District Administration in order to ease the problem of releasing the conversion cost by cash or cheque has released the conversion cost received from the Govt. to the respective DIs by direct transfer into the A/c of the DIs in SBI. The DI are further directed that the amount released to them for conversion cost should also be released to the SMCs by direct transfer as all SMCs are mandatory to have an A/C at SBI. No cheque or Cash transaction is permitted.This is done so to ease the process of releasing the conversion cost besides bring about more accountability and transparency of the funds sanctioned by the Govt.
Kitchen Shed: All schools availing MDM are provided with a kitchen shed of which the Government sanction the amount for construction of the same. The amount is sanction by the Education department and directly released to the respective DIS.
Cook Cum Helpers: Cook cum helpers are being appointed in all Government and Govt. aided LPS and UPS, an honorarium of Rs. 1000/- monthly is paid to the appointed cook cum helper.
Decentralization of Payment for Cost of Food Grains to FCI:The FCI submits the bills pertaining to supply of foodgrains during a month /quarter to the District Administration. Under the present system funds are released by the Central Government to the consolidated fund of the state, thereafter it is channelized to the District through Education Department. The Deputy Commissioner on receiving the sanction amount from the Government for the quantity of rice lifted from FCI for the period then transfers the amount directly into the account of the area Manager, FCI Shillong.
Re - Constitution of the District Level Steering & Monitoring Committee: In pursuance of Para 3, 2 of the Guidelines of the National programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education 2006 (MDMS) and to streamline the effective implementation of the scheme in the District the Governor of Meghalaya reconstituted the District Level Steering & Monitoring Committee of West Garo Hills District.
The Chairman & Deputy Commissioner therefore earnestly urged the members of the DLS & MC West Garo Hills, of sincere effort for monitoring and sensitization to the public of the scheme. This will evolve and received a boon if strict monitoring is done, monitoring can be done by visiting personally to the school/village and checking the records available, besides bringing to the notice of the DLS & MC any loopholes for a brief analysis and rectification.