Recently, the Union Cabinet approved a national scheme for Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana.
Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM Poshan) is a centrally sponsored scheme. Its aim is to end malnutrition among school going children. This scheme will encourage the process of education and learning as well as increase the enrollment rate in government schools.
Studies have shown that human productivity has decreased by 8 percent due to malnutrition in India. Also, there has been a loss of up to 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in this context.
Earlier the name of this scheme was ‘National Scheme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools’.
Salient Features of the Scheme
- The scheme has been approved for a period of five years (from the year 2021-22 to the year 2025-26).
- Under this, cooked hot food will be provided to all the children studying in government and government aided schools from class one to eighth.
- The scheme will also be implemented for students studying in pre-primary or children’s gardens of government and government-aided primary schools (as per the recommendation of the National Policy on Education, 2020).
- Accordingly, development of gardens is being encouraged in schools to provide the children with first-hand experience with nature and gardening.
- Special provision has been made for providing supplementary nutritional material to children of aspirational districts and districts with high anemia.
- Social audit of this scheme has been made mandatory in all districts.
- Participation of farmer producer organizations and women self-help groups will also be encouraged in the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme.
Source – PIB