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Midday meal and supplements:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Schemes for the vulnerable sections of the society.



From the next academic session, Karnataka is likely to become the 13th state to provide eggs under the midday meal scheme.

  • The proposal comes on the back of successive surveys pointing out high prevalence of malnutrition, anemia and low immunity among children in many parts of the
  • The National Family Health Survey-V found 35% children under five stunted, and around 20% wasted.


Current Affairs


PM Poshan/midday meal scheme:

  • Midday meal scheme was renamed PM Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM Poshan in 2021.
  • It was launched on August 15 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Coverage: Initially, it was launched for students up to Class 5. In 2007, the UPA government expanded it to Class 8.
  • The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.



  1. The first initiative to provide meals to children had been taken by the erstwhile Madras Municipal Corporation around 1920.
  2. In post-Independence India, Tamil Nadu was again the pioneer, with Chief Minister K Kamaraj rolling out a school feeding scheme in 1956.
  3. Kerala had a school lunch scheme run by a humanitarian agency from 1961.
  4. The state government officially took over the initiative on December 1, 1984, making Kerala the second state in the country to have a school lunch programme.


What is the scale of the scheme today?

  • The scheme covers 11.80 crore children across Classes 1 to 8 (age group 6 to 14) in11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools and those run by local bodies.
  • In the Budget for 2022-23, the Centre has earmarked Rs 10,233 crore for the scheme, while the states are expected to spend Rs 6,277 crore.


Legal rights:

  • It is guaranteed under the provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
  • It is also based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in People’s Union of Civil Liberties vs Union of India and Others (2001).


Calories requirements:

  • For children in primary grades: at least 450 calories and 12 gm protein.
  • For upper primary children, the requirements are 700 calories and 20 gm protein.



Under the rules, the allocation of Rs 4.97 per child per day (primary classes) and Rs 7.45 (upper primary) are shared in 60:40 ratio with states and UTs with a legislature, and 90:10 with the Northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while the Centre bears 100% of the costs in UTs without legislature.

  • But the states and UTs that supplement the meals with additional items such as milk and eggs contribute more.
  • Components such as payments to cooks and workers are also split in the same ratio between the Centre and states.



Prelims Link:

  1. Origin of MDMS.
  2. When was it renamed?
  3. Difference between centrally sponsored and Central sector schemes? What kind of scheme of the MDMS?
  4. Financing under the scheme.
  5. Nutritional norms prescribed.
  6. Coverage under the scheme.
  7. Responsibility to pay food security allowance under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Mid-Day Meal scheme.

Sources: Indian Express.