The HRD Ministry on 18 July 2013 announced setting up a new committee to look into the quality aspect of the Mid Day Meal Scheme nationwide.
The decision was taken by the Ministry while responding to the queries of the media on death of children in Bihar after taking Mid Day Meal in schools.
The Mid Day Meal Scheme is important for promoting primary education in the country. Bihar was alerted about unsatisfactory quality of food served in government schools in 12 districts and the worst affected Saran district was one of them.
What is Mid Day meal Scheme?
The Mid Day Meal is the world’s largest school feeding programme reaching out to about 12 crore children in over 12.65 lakh schools/EGS centres across the country.
In 1925, a Mid Day Meal Programme was first introduced for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation. By the mid 1980s three States viz. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the UT of Pondicherry had universalized a cooked Mid Day Meal Programme with their own resources for children studying at the primary stage By 1990-91 the number of States implementing the mid day meal programme with their own resources on a universal or a large scale had increased to twelve states.
With a view to enhancing enrollment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15 August 1995, initially in 2408 blocks in the country.