GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Human Resource Development Department of School Education & Literacy
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.3141
TO BE ANSWERED ON 23.04.2010
CAG findings regarding M.id-Day-Meal scheme
3141. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT be pleased to state:
(a) whether a recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) covering five years of implementation of the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme in schools reveals that Government is yet to establish a dependable system for its evaluation;
(b) whether the report indicates that during school hours many children are doubling up as cooks and the teachers too are involving themselves in the procurement and preparation of food thereby compromising on teaching hours; and
(c) if so, the action Government proposes to take regarding this under the Mid-DayMeal Scheme in light of CAG report?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
(SMT. D. PURANDESWARI)
(a): Yes, Sir.
(b): There is no mention In the CAG report that children are involved in cooking activities under the Mid-Day Meal scheme. However, the report points out that teachers are involved in receipt of food grains, procurement of vegetables and condiments, supervision of cooking and serving of meals.
(c): It is not practicable and feasible to assess the impact, exclusively of MDM Scheme because there are separate schemes being implemented simultaneously for universalisation of education and improvement in the general health and nutritional of children. In fact, MDM is a supplementary scheme to the main schemes on Education, Health and Nutrition.
Further, mid day meal is just one of the four meals a student takes in a day. There is no prior base line study (since the Scheme started in 1995) to facilitate measurement of improvement in nutritional status of children due to mid day meal scheme. Also, Mid-Day Meal is a universally implemented scheme.
However, this Department vide letter No.4-li2006-Desk (MDM), dated 27.6.2006 has assigned an evaluation study to the Programme Evaluation Organisation of the Planning commission. The Terms of Reference of the evaluation inter alia included assessment of the impact of the scheme on enrolment, attendance, retention and nutritional status of the children.
With regard to role of teachers, Mid-Day Meal Scheme Guidelines already stipulate that teachers, should under no circumstances, be assigned such responsibilities under the scheme that will impede or interfere with teaching-learning process. Teachers are to be involved only in ensuring that good quality, wholesome food is served to children, the actual serving and eating is undertaken in a spirit of togetherness, under hygienic conditions and in orderly manner during the lunch break of 30-40 minutes. However, in the light of observations contained in the CAG report, Central Government vide letter No. 1-10/2009- Desk (MDM), dated 8.10.2009 has reiterated the above instructions for compliance by the States/UTs.