Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Education
27 JUN 2019 6:06PM by PIB Delhi
Govt has adopted a monitoring system to ensure quality food under Mid-Day-Meal Scheme: Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal

The Government has adopted an elaborate monitoring mechanism at Central, State and District levels to ensure quality food is served to children under the Scheme. At national level, an Empowered Committee, headed by Minister of Human Resource Development and also a National level Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee (NSMC) as well as Programme Approval Board (PAB) monitor the scheme and suggest measures for its smooth and effective implementation. At the State level, a State level Steering–cum-Monitoring Committee headed by the State Chief Secretary and, at the District Level, a District Level Committee under the Chairpersonship of the senior-most Member of Parliament of Lok Sabha of the district monitors the implementation of the scheme in the concerned District. 

At local level Gram Panchayats/Gram Sabhas, members of Village Education Committees (VECs), Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and the School Management Committees (SMCs) monitor the regularity and wholesomeness of the mid-day meal served to children, cleanliness in cooking and serving of the meal, timeliness in procurement of good quality ingredients, fuel, etc., implementation of variety in menu so as to make it attractive to children and ensuring social and gender equity on daily basis. In addition to directing States and UTs to carry out Social Audit, the Centre constitutes Joint Review Missions (JRMs) consisting of educational and nutritional experts, which review the scheme through field visits from time to time.  The reports of JRMs are shared with concerned States and UTs for taking suitable action on the findings.

The Government of India has issued guidelines on quality, safety and hygiene in school level kitchens to all the States and UTs in order to meet the nutritional standard of 450 calories and 12 gms of protein to children in primary classes and 700 calories and 20 gms of protein to children in upper primary classes. These guidelines inter-alia provide for instructions to schools to procure Agmark quality and branded items for preparation of mid day meals, tasting of meals by 2-3 adult members of School Management Committee including at least one teacher before serving to children and to put in place a system of testing of food samples by accredited laboratories. Further, the MDM Rules, 2015 provide for mandatory testing of food samples by Government recognized laboratories to ensure that the meals meet nutritional standards and quality.

This information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.