Topic:Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
3) Despite its transformative potential, the mid-day meal scheme is perceived as charity, not a civic responsibility. Discuss.
Why this question:
Two decades have passed since the mid-day meal became a part of the daily routine in government schools nationwide. In this long passage of time, procedures have stabilised but accidents continue to occur. Funds from the Centre flow smoothly though procurement of food items faces hurdles of different kinds.
Key demand of the question:
One must assess the reasons for constant occurrence of issues in the mid-day meal scheme. One must also provide the measures to overcome the same.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Briefly introduce the Midday Meal Scheme as a scheme which is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. Ever since it was made compulsory under a Supreme Court order, the mid-day meal scheme has received considerable appreciation. It is the world’s biggest scheme of its kind.
The answer should cover the following:
About: Launched in the year 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme, it provides that every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enrolls and attends the school, shall be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary (I- V class) and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary (VI-VIII class), free of charge every day except on school holidays.
The scheme covers all government and government aided schools and also Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Objectives: The key objectives of the MDMS are to address the issues of hunger and education in schools by serving hot cooked meals; improve the nutritional status of children and improve enrollment, attendance and retention rates in schools and other education centres.
Benefits of the scheme.
Key issues with the implementation of the scheme.
What needs to be done to address these issues and challenges?
Conclude with a way forward.